BMW C1 125 (2000 - 2002) Review


  • Bike with a roof
  • 125cc so learner-friendly
  • Suitable for commuters

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 2.8 out of 5 (2.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £270
Power: 15 bhp
Seat height: Low (27.6 in / 700 mm)
Weight: Medium (408 lbs / 185 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
2 out of 5 (2/5)

The BMW C1 is a motorcycle with a roof that doubles as accident protection. Be the smartest commuter in the city or ‘that twonk in the Noddy moped’, depending on your perspective.

The BMW C1's £4K price tag (it dropped by £600 when the 200cc version came out) was high for an overweight scooter – even if it did keep you dry. Few were sold and BMW were swift to pull the plug.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.


Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Our BMW C1 owners' reviews show despite an average score, the bike is capable at what it's meant for: cheap commuting in cities.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.


5 out of 5 (5/5)

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. 


Engine size 125cc
Engine type 4v single, N/A gears
Frame type Steel spine
Fuel capacity 9 litres
Seat height 700mm
Bike weight 185kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension None
Front brake 200mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 13
Rear tyre size 140/70 x 12

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 72 mpg
Annual road tax £25
Annual service cost £270
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 6 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 15 bhp
Max torque 9 ft-lb
Top speed 65 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 20.7 secs
Tank range 140 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2000: Original 125cc BMW C1 launched.
2001: BMW C1 200 launched.

Other versions

BMW C1 125: Base model with 125cc engine.
BMW C1 200: Base model with 176 cc engine producing 18bhp.
BMW C1 125 Family Friend: extra luggage attachment kit and large storage compartment.
BMW C1 200 Family Friend: extra luggage attachment kit and large storage compartment.
BMW C1 125 Executive: As Family Friend plus reading light and mobile phone holder.
BMW C1 200 Executive: As Family Friend plus reading light and mobile phone holder.
BMW C1 200 Williams: As Executive plus special paint.

Owners' reviews for the BMW C1 125 (2000 - 2002)

5 owners have reviewed their BMW C1 125 (2000 - 2002) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW C1 125 (2000 - 2002)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Engine: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Reliability & build quality: 2.8 out of 5 (2.8/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Equipment: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £270
4 out of 5 BMW C1, "concept" perfect motorcycle, but without evolution abandoned by BMW HQ
21 July 2023 by Ras_Kt

Year: 2001

Annual servicing cost: £100

The concept of the C1 and daily use at any time of the year is excellent: the windshield perfectly protects from water (only at high speed, if you don't have the rear window covered with accessory glass, which would get water from the slipstream). , and in summer, the roof completely protects from the sun, and since it is not necessary to wear a helmet, it is very pleasant to drive. It is a motorcycle, very faithful, stable and safe, and in three accidents, it protected me perfectly. I only find technical problems that are absurd and easy to solve, and design problems that are very easy to solve. I do not understand, that BMW abandoned the C1 project, or that another manufacturer took it and improved it.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Very comfortable driving (different from driving a "normal" motorcycle. Very safe, faithful, comfortable, warm in winter and cool in summer. Excellent Brembo discs. and perfect suspension

Engine 2 out of 5

The Austrian Rotax engine that it mounts is silent, low-consumption, correct in itself, but much more power would be desirable. what surrounds the engine: automatic transmission, water pump... it's painful

Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5

I did 160,000Km, and I always had the same failures, and repeated at the same kilometers: 1st the water pump bursts at 60,000km 2nd The gear disc wears out absurdly and it has to be changed every 25,000Km (on my Yamaha Tmax 560 lasts + 80,000Km) 3º The support, the legs of the C1, have a ridiculous, expensive design, and with a Teflon axis, which constantly breaks.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Gasoline consumption is very low. What is enormously expensive are the breakdowns that cause the points listed above (water pump, automatic gearbox disc, etc.

Equipment 3 out of 5

The quality is good, but it has tremendous, ridiculous and avoidable design flaws, easy to correct: 1º It does not have space under the roof for a passenger (if it is carried, it must go outside, ridiculously). 2º The parking leg system is absurd, delicate (it breaks constantly and is very expensive, unnecessarily making the motorcycle more expensive). 3º The front fender, is expensive and painfully designed.

Buying experience: The C1 was a purchase and a good experience, but very disappointed with BMW, due to its lack, its inability to make a 2.0 version, improving obvious things. In fact, I communicated with their HQs, and they have been unable. Currently, I keep a BMW R100-RS in perfect use, which in the boxer history of BMW, has been constantly evolving, and in the C1 project, which as a concept is brilliant, they have not known how to evolve, and it is disappointing.

4 out of 5 BMW C1 - Half Bike, Half Car.
12 December 2022 by Richard S

Year: 2001

Annual servicing cost: £500

A very unique type of bike which has no equal. Arguably not much of a recreational motorcycle, but what it lacks in that department it makes up for with practical attributes in the areas of safety, storage, weather protection etc

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The C1 isn't fast, so it is best suited to short commutes under 1 hour. It is relatively comfortable, especially so in wet weather. The Brembo brakes work well, and some were equipped with (optional) ABS.

Engine 3 out of 5

It's a torquey little engine actually, but it has 185 kg's to tug around, so it could do with more grunt. In that respect the C200 (175cc) was the better choice.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

German engineering means the C1 is very reliable & durable. Plenty of them are still doing daily duty 20 years after they were first manufactured.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

BMW tend to charge a premium, so servicing with them will be considerably more expensive than a Japanese motorcycle.

Equipment 5 out of 5

There was a huge optional equipment list, but my favorite feature is the rear "top box" which is genuinely huge and super useful for shopping trips.

Buying experience: I bought privately & it was cheap at the time - about 1500 GBP.

5 out of 5
21 January 2016 by Andy

Year: 2001

Annual servicing cost: £200

Can only rate it based on what it wants to be it is a cult bike designed for women although they must have been amazons, it weighs a ton is almost impossible to push backwards wallows round corners, is top heavy and the BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD have been riding 50 years have a garage full of classic and modern bikes from 125 to 1200cc this is the hardest thing I have ever rode But I LOVE IT

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Very top heavy little where's so a bit bumpy

Engine 5 out of 5

Mine always starts and runs sweet

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Stand is very complicated and even though I have modified mine still easy to break

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Not many bike shops want to work on these so if you get one make sure you can fix it

Equipment 4 out of 5

Amplifier keeps going in sound system but otherwise apart from stand shear system is very good

Buying experience: Private eBay got a great price and am enjoying it

4 out of 5 Try one first!
18 May 2012 by Iainhen

Don't knock it until you've tried it. As a commuting vehicle, it's great. Safe, dry well equipped and comfy. Realistic cruising speed is 50mph, but that's fine on most roads. Don't think that you're getting German build quality though, as it's actually made by Bertone in italy. Will do 85mpg, despite the performance blunting weight. Can't seem to improve on 85mpg no matter how hard I try. Great fun in the wet on Bridgestone Hoops and secure with ABS. A 2 wheeled car.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
1 out of 5 Ha
17 October 2010 by davidstowe358


Ride quality & brakes 1 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 1 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
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