BMW C400X (2018 - on) Review

Highlights

  • Premium scooter at a premium price
  • Good handling
  • Enough power and speed for national speed limits

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £130
Power: 34 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.5 in / 775 mm)
Weight: Medium (450 lbs / 204 kg)

Prices

New £6,000
Used £5,000 - £6,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

At its inception, BMW claimed the the C400X would be ‘just over £6000’ when it arrived in October 2018, putting it in the right ballpark for its competition, although once you add extras (as with all BMWs...) it will inevitably be the most expensive mid-sized scooter.

On riding fun and handling it is a winner, but the BMW is lacking a bit in terms of practicality due to its smaller size, which is a downside.

It looks and feels a premium scooter, and has an excellent array of accessories, so it’s down to rider choice what their priority is – agility or practicality.

For 2021, the C400X and its sister bike the C400GT were updated for Euro5 emissions regulations. The X also got a fresh paintjob and became available in black, grey or a sporty black and blue option.

2021 BMW C400X black and blue

Ride quality & brakes

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

With an excellent turning circle that allows the C400X to easily be U-turned in a road and a light feel, the BMW is at home in town.

It’s narrow, so you can zip through gaps and the riding position means your feet are always close to the ground. Although the brakes lack feel, they are strong enough and the ABS isn’t too intrusive.

Pulling away on gravel activates the ASC (traction control), which is a bit abrupt when it deactivates and allows the power to kick back in, but works well and is a worthwhile addition.

BMW designed the C400X to be a sporty middleweight once out of town, hence the lack of feet-forward riding position, a necessary compromise to keep it short and agile. And it works. On the open road the BMW turns quickly and is fun while at speed it remains stable.

The suspension is a bit choppy, especially the shocks, but it’s a comfortable riding position, although a taller screen would be beneficial for extended dual carriageway riding.

Engine

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

BMW have tailored their CVT for acceleration and the C400X is nippy off the line, accelerating away from traffic lights with less of the build up of revs than you would expect.

The single cylinder has good levels of torque, virtually no vibrations (the mirrors remained clear at all speeds) and pulled the bike up to an indicated 86mph. Interestingly, BMW admit that they designed the 350cc single with the ability to both grow and shrink in capacity should the need emerge…

Reliability & build quality

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

This is a BMW product, so you can expect decent reliability all backed up by an excellent dealer network. There should be no horrors and the addition of a stainless steel exhaust is a nice touch.

The stainless steel exhaust is a nice touch

Value vs rivals

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

Despite being launched in July, the C400X won't arrive in the UK until October 2018. BMW didn't initially set a definite price for the C400X, however simply said  it would cost ‘just over £6000.’ For that price you will get ABS and ASC (traction control) as standard.

The Yamaha XMAX 400 is £6149 and has ABS, TC, an adjustable screen and a keyless ignition as standard while the Suzuki Burgman 400 relies on just ABS for £6299.

If the C400X is ‘just over £6000’ when it arrives in October as BMW claim it puts it in the right ballpark for its competition, although once you add extras it will inevitably be the most expensive mid-sized scooter.

The BMW C400X is a premium model

The £5599 Kymco Xciting 400i is smartphone connected and has ABS and an adjustable screen, however the updated S Xciting model, which arrives in August, also has TC.

When you add the optional extra TFT dash with its connectivity you are looking at close to £7000 for the C400X, even more with a keyless ignition, so it is a premium model.

The underseat storage isn't generous

Unlike the above mentioned rivals’ mid-segment scooters, BMW have given their bike more of a sporting edge (it lacks a traditional feet forward riding position to keep it short and agile) and as a result its storage space is a bit more limited.

As well as two lockable cubbyholes, the right hand of which also contains a 12V plug-in point, the C400X has enough underseat storage to fit a half-face lid and other items, but it isn’t that generous.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

You get ABS and ASC as standard on the BMW as well as LED lights, a 12V socket, stainless steel exhaust, centre stand and an immobilisor system, which isn’t a bad level of spec, however as with all BMW models you need to tick the optional extra box to really make the difference.

Smartphone connectivity to a TFT dash and a keyless ignition are all optional extras alongside heated grips, an alarm, daytime running lights, a taller screen and lots of luggage options.

Underseat storage is a bit limited, thanks to its sporting stance, but BMW’s Flexcase system expands the underseat storage area when the bike is stationary to allow it to hold a full-face lid alongside a half-face one.

Underseat storage can be limited

Specs

Engine size 350cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4v, single
Frame type Tubular space frame
Fuel capacity 12.8 litres
Seat height 775mm
Bike weight 204kg
Front suspension 35mm conventional forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Twin shocks, adjustable spring preload
Front brake 2 x 265mm discs with four-piston radial calipers. ABS
Rear brake 265mm single disc with single-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70x15
Rear tyre size 150/70x14

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 80.7 mpg
Annual road tax £47
Annual service cost £130
New price £6,000
Used price £5,000 - £6,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 34 bhp
Max torque 25.8 ft-lb
Top speed 86 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 226 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

The C400X first appeared on UK roads in late 2018 and is the first middleweight scooter of this kind from BMW. 

Previously, the German manufacturer have produced a range of 600 and 650 large-capacity scooters, as well as the radical C1 125, which came with a roof that doubled-up as accident protection.

In 2014, the firm also introduced the C Evolution, which was the first electric maxi-scooter from a mainstream manufacturer. With a range of 62 miles, it sits as a direct competitor to petrol for those who live in the urban sprawl.

Owners' reviews for the BMW C400X (2018 - on)

2 owners have reviewed their BMW C400X (2018 - on) 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 C400X (2018 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Equipment: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £130
4 out of 5 Who would buy a Maxi Scooter "ME"
05 December 2022 by birchwoodbiker

Version: c400x

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £130

Comfort and fuel economy is fantastic, There is a major downside with the bike drawing all the charge within 3 days and if you do not charge it or leave it on a optimizer, you be pushing it everywhere.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

This bike can do it all, the brakes are as good if not better on some larger motorcycle, I have ridden 3.5 hrs solid and felt like I just got on it, the fuel economy and the way it rides on motorways and in built up area's is untrue.

Engine 4 out of 5

It's not a sports bike but the 1st 200 feet it will keep with any of them, the take off from 0 is smooth, and it goes up-to motorway speed limit with ease.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

The bike is well built sturdy although signs of corrosion around the mirrors and lower suspension back and front show quickly, you just have to keep it clean and watch for stone chips

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

1st service oil change from main BMW dealer is overpriced, I was also appauled that the bike went in clean and came out dirty, I would never go back to that main dealer again

Equipment 5 out of 5

You would have to pay well over 10k to get larger motorcycles with this bikes tech and comfort. Heated Seat, Heated Grips, Turn By Turn Navigation, Traction Control, stability control.I would advise a better windshield Puage some hand guards, and cruise control, this bike will cover any motorway A or B roads, I wouldn't take it on dirt or back roads the suspension is far to hard

Buying experience: I bought from BMW main dealer and it was a great deal, shame about the servicing department.

4 out of 5 Great do it all scooter
18 October 2022 by Allyearrider

Version: C400x

Year: 2022

Lovely scooter, well made and solidly built. I stepped up from a NIU to this A2 scooter and haven’t regretted it. The ride is pretty hard going on bumpy surfaces but fine on other surfaces and on the motorway. It could do with a larger screen for motorway cruising and I’m having one fitted now. Heated seat and bars are glorious and toasty. Good protection from the elements too. There isn’t much room under the seat though but strapping a BMW bag to the seat is easily done. It’s a stable ride and inspires confidence for me as a relatively new rider. The engine note is uninspiring, as someone else put it: a bit like a loud sewing machine. It’s pretty heavy at over 200kg but that helps in other areas and isn’t noticeable at all when riding. At 5’8” I have no trouble getting my feet down but those shorter might find they’re on tip toes. Overall, very pleased with it. Just going in for its first service at 650miles soon.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Ride is stiff and can be quite unpleasant on certain bumpy surfaces. Cobbles aren’t to bad, more broken surfaces that you feel through your backside. Otherwise the ride is rock solid, like being on rails. Brakes are good - hazards come on if you emergency brake! The indicators are a menace though as they self cancel whenever they feel like it, often way too early.

Engine 5 out of 5

Plenty fast enough for me, good away from traffic lights but thereafter takes a bit to get up to motorway speeds. Once there it sits happily at fast cruise. I would have liked cruise control as the spring on the throttle is tiring after an hour.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Properly put together, as you’d expect. Inside of the headlight is misting up after a wash though so it doesn’t look to be sealed (I went for the LED headlamp and DRL, both are very effective). I was warned by the dealer to get it corrosion proofed and to wash it daily in the winter!? So it’s been ACF50’d and am keeping an eye on it as I stay in Scotland and riding in the winter means lots of rain. The rear brake lever isn’t self returning but will get that fixed at first service.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

In town I’m getting about 65mpg but the engine’s still breaking in. On the motorway got nearer to 75mpg so as per spec. Servicing costs are an unknown but my first service is quoted at just over 100 quid so not too bad - so far…. I bought mine on PCP so it’s not proving that much more expensive than other cheaper scooters. As a newly minted A2 rider i pay about 45 pcm for insurance, which will go down each year.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Great equipment but the authentic bmw experience means you’ll pay for the goodies. The tft screen is great and definitely worth it, though I am struggling to figure out how to get music to play to my lid - phone calls work fine but not media (likely my stupidity). The LED headlight is great at night, as is the easy flash switch.

Buying experience: Very positive experience from Dalkeith Motorrad. Only thing was the lead in time for delivery, be prepared to wait if you want one.

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