Can a mid-size or maxi scooter be fun to ride? BMW seem to think so. After launching the BMW C 600 Sport and 650 GT as large premium scooters back in 2011, they’ve now followed up with a smaller capacity alternative. So the new 2018 BMW C 400 X scooter has been unveiled as practical, high-quality, and also enjoyable to ride.
It looks interesting. The design includes a much more angular fairing that the larger GT and Sport models. And there’s a noticeable gap in the top section around the main LED headlight. The top screen and lip under the light seem to echo the GS Adventure range. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does look a little bit disjointed from certain angles. Which could make it a bit of a Marmite bike, in that you either love it or hate it – which keeps life more interesting.
Despite the name, the 2018 BMW C 400 X scooter actually has a 350cc single-cylinder engine. Obviously it’s aimed at fuel efficiency for the urban commuter market, but still puts out 34hp (25kW). Which should means it’ll top out around 86mph. So it’s fast enough to keep up with traffic on A-roads and motorways heading into cities, and to comfortable overtake when you need to. Which is important if you’re paying the extra to step up from a 125cc scooter to a larger model.
And the premium price of a BMW scooter should be rewarded with good reliability and smooth power delivery from the motor, and the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) gearbox. The swing arm is designed to be torsionally stiff with a new swing arm bearing to reduce vibration. The fuel tank will take 12.8 litres, so you should be able to enjoy yourself a fair bit between petrol stations.
The 2018 BMW C 400 X scooter is built on a tubular steel frame. You get telescopic front forks and two spring struts at the back for suspension. And the aim has been to combine comfort with some more sporty performance. So it’ll be interesting to see how it handles the typical inner city potholes and hazards with 110mm travel at the front and 112mm (pre-load adjustable) at the rear.
One thing that will help is the Automatic Stability Control (ASC) to help you keep grip and control under acceleration, particularly on slippery surfaces. Which is useful considering the combination of manhole covers and plenty of spilt diesel in most city centres. That should mean you can pull away pretty quickly given the engine is aimed at providing plenty of torque and the automatic gearbox means no need to change gears.
Stopping is a pretty important function, so you get twin front discs and a single disc at the rear. And ABS is provided as standard. You also get a 15″ front wheel with a 120/70 tyre and a 14″ rear with 150/70 rubber.
There’s not a lot of weight to stop, with a full-fuelled claimed mass of 204kg. And a manageable seat height of 775mm when you need to get your feet down. The relatively slim design means you should be able to filter pretty easily as well.
Gadget fans will have enough to keep them happy, with a multifunctional instrument cluster, which can be uprated to a 6.5 inche full-colour TFT screen as a BMW option. And the BMW Motorrad Multi-Controller. Which means you can use your phone, listen to music and get your sat nav directions all sorted without hassle.
The press release doesn’t mention charging your phone, but it’s something generally expected on any large modern scooter. And it looks like there’s a covered 12V socket in the right hand storage panel.
Speaking of the all-important storage, there’s a large Flexcase under the single-section seat which looks like it can swallow up a reasonable amount of kit. That’s in addition to the two smaller storage spaces.
The 2018 BMW C 400 X Scooter has a fair number of optional upgrades in addition to the dash. These includes a keyride ride which controls the ignition, handelbars, seat, fuel filler cap and more. There’s also a lower seat available, a scooter canopy, topcases and luggage carriers. Plus a comfort package for a heated seat and grips.
The 2018 BMW C 400 X scooter is available in two paint options. You can go for the Zenith Blue Metallic with a Grey/Black seat. Or Alpine White non-metallic with a Red/Black seat.
The 2018 BMW C 400 X Scooter price hasn’t been confirmed. It’s likely to have a bit of a premium, given that the larger BMW scooters start around £9,000 and work upwards with options. But it should compare pretty well with the likes of the Suzuki Burgman and Yamaha X-MAX, which both offer slightly less power from slightly larger engines, and come in around the £6000 mark. And the fellow Europeans including Peugeot and Piaggio.
2018 BMW C 400 X Scooter Videos: