Small wheels, quite a bit of weight and some of it’s carried high – it’s not the recipe for perfect handling. The BMW C1’s not about scything round long sweeping country bends though – it’s an urban dodger. It works fine in that role except it’s a little wider than conventional scooters which can be annoying.
The BMW C1's 125cc engine’s an unremarkable four-stroke single producing a respectable 15bhp. But it’s a heavy motorcycle at 185kg – all the 1000cc sports bikes weigh less. This means performance is pretty sluggish – the BMW C1 willl pull away from cars when the lights go green but not by much. The 200 version (which was actually 176cc) is nippier.
Like all BMW’s the C1 is well thought out but suffers a few niggles. The oil pressure switch can fail, wipers judder, front wheel bearings fail, fork legs corrode and the headlight can overheat – which sounds like a big list of problems but they’re all pretty minor and not that common.
The BMW C1 is not cheap compared to regular scooters – but you get more for your money than most. BMW C1s have a real cult following and some owners have two or three to provide them with a supply for the future. Potentially a collector’s piece. You’ll probably have to travel to find one though – try Chasbikes in London, SE1. Find a BMW C1 for sale.
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Yes the BMW C1 has a roof and it doubles as a safety cage. The only comparable machine with a roof is Honda’s non-UK Giro. The C1 has quite a bit of luggage space and it’s pretty comfy too. There’s even a seatbelt. Brembo brakes are great and ABS is an option. Massive list of optional extras including things like heated seat and stereo. Compare and buy parts for the BMW C1 in the MCN Shop.