BMW C650GT (2012 - 2014) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £160
Power: 60 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.7 in / 780 mm)
Weight: High (576 lbs / 261 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

A competent maxi scooter with a claimed 108mph top speed and armchair comfort. Well equipped, with ABS and electronically adjustable screen as standard, plus two glove boxes and a large under-seat compartment. Optional heated grips and seat available in a ‘Highline’ version for an extra £750. Not as nimble or fast as the C600 Sport model despite sharing the same engine and chassis. Production delayed after MCN reported the glove box doors felt cheap, and one on the C600 Sport opened when supposedly locked. Pricey.

Ride quality & brakes

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

Competent and planted, if slightly bus-like compared to its more agile brother, the C600 Sport. Brakes and suspension are more than up to the job.

Engine

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

Powerful (for a scooter) with a very motorbike-like throaty roar. The 647cc parallel twin is produced by Kymco but BMW insists it’s to its own specifications and standards. Throttle response is good for a twist-and-go, with only a slight delay. 

Reliability & build quality

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

Production delayed after MCN reported the glove box doors felt cheap, and one on the C600 Sport opened when supposedly locked. The petrol filler cap also seemed flimsy for a machine of this price. Hopefully, when it eventually goes on sale, this will have been addressed. Reliability as yet unknown.

Value vs rivals

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

It’s the most expensive scooter yet. Suzuki’s 650 Burgman Executive has heated grips, seat, electric screen and 110mph potential for £1500 less. BMW might shift a few in the southern Europe but the C650GT is unlikely break any sales records in the UK.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

Excellent for a scooter, with ABS and electronically adjustable screen as standard, two glove boxes, one lockable, and space under the seat for two full-face lids (just). A ‘Highline’ version is available with heated grips, seat and LED daytime running lights – for an eye-watering extra £750. 

Specs

Engine size 647cc
Engine type Liquid cooled 647cc (79mmx66mm) four-valve parallel twin. CVT transmission, enclosed chain-in-oil-bath final drive
Frame type Aluminium bridge frame with aluminium rear frame bolted on
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 261kg
Front suspension Upside down 40mm fork with 115mm travel
Rear suspension Cast single-sided swingarm with single rear shock, 115mm travel
Front brake Twin 270mm discs with double-piston floating calipers
Rear brake Single 270mm disc with double piston floating caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 R15
Rear tyre size 160/60 R15

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 58.8 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £160
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 60 bhp
Max torque 48 ft-lb
Top speed 108 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 206 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2012: Model introduced

Other versions

C600 Sport. The same engine and chassis but with less bulk and different ergonomics, resulting in what feels like a completely different, much sportier machine.

Owners' reviews for the BMW C650GT (2012 - 2014)

3 owners have reviewed their BMW C650GT (2012 - 2014) 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 C650GT (2012 - 2014)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Engine: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.3 out of 5 (3.3/5)
Equipment: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £160
4 out of 5 Fantastic scooter for more senior bikers
23 March 2020 by Neil Redmond

Version: Highline

Year: 2012

Annual servicing cost: £150

Wonderful touring scooter

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Very good and comfortable.

Engine 5 out of 5

More powerful than my brothers 900cc triumph street scrambler!

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

I bought my 2012 BMW c650 highline 12 months ago and I have been greatly impressed by the quality of the motorcycle.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

I'm getting mine moted and serviced next month. It won't be cheap!

Equipment 5 out of 5

I've never had a bike with so much paraphernalia. All good and working.

Buying experience: Private sale

4 out of 5 Much better than a scooter has a right to be - but sadly overpriced. I look forward to the Mark 2 version?
18 September 2015 by aitchemm

Version: Highline

Year: 2012

Annual servicing cost: £180

A brilliant first shot at building the ultimate maxi-scooter. Some minor flaws that could be improved with a second shot. Its a shame BMW overpriced it so wildly. Also they should have aimed it more at touring and distance work which its very good at. There is less point in this machine if you look at it for so called 'urban mobility' (classic bit of marketing speak)

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

By maxi scooter standards (and I have owned three) the suspension and brakes are superb. All I would ask is for some remote pre-load adjustment for the rear. C-spanners not really appropriate on a bike like this.

Engine 4 out of 5

Powerful engine which, partly thanks to twist and go CVT transmission, gives much better acceleration than you would expect. Its also cruises two-up with raised screen and full luggage in the eighties, even nineties - on the autobahn obviously. Exhaust note is a bit harsh and tiring on a long run.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

It has only let me down once when the switchgear failed (during a tour of the Pyrenees!) and that was quickly replaced under warranty. Quality is generally good - for a scooter - but not to the standard of similarly priced BMW (or Honda!) bikes.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Servicing costs are not much different from those of a comparable bike. The additional bodywork will surely make a difference when major servicing is needed though. Generally running costs are not an issue. The issue that turns everyone off is the list price when new. UK bikers can't get their heads around paying over £10k for a scooter when so many 'proper' bikes are less expensive (including BMWs)

Equipment 4 out of 5

ABS, electric adjustable screen, heated grips and seats, decent on board computer etc. Pretty good for a scooter. I would like to add traction control (because of the CVT the power always comes in at max torque and needs watching on slippery surfaces) Better mirrors would be good - there is a big blind spot right behind you

Buying experience: I bought this a year old with very low mileage from the local BMW dealer. It was an OK transaction. There is one major reason why I own this bike - my wife can no longer get on the pillion of a 'normal' bike as she has a problem with her hip dislocating (not good). She can slide onto a scooter and so we tour on this - for which it is excellent. The only other bike on production which would do the job is the Burgman 650. I'm really hoping BMW will persist and bring out a Mark 2 version of the C650 - and at a more realistic price. It deserves to succeed.

4 out of 5 Too soon to know
21 October 2012 by jbaughan

I've only had my bike for three weeks but have managed to clock up 600 miles which is I guess more than most test rides. My main reason for trying the C650GT in the first place was for my wife to see how easy it was to get on and off - an important consideration when you're covering longer touring distances. Secondly would it carry enough luggage for us both for a ten day to two week tour. It is easier for the pillion to mount and dismount than the previous bike (RT1200) and carries almost as much luggage. We've made a 300 mile round trip to stay with our daughter for a couple of nights and the bike was very comfortable to ride. It handles very well and so far is returning about 60 to the gallon - not bad for a new engine. We're now looking forward to a long weekend away in the Forest of Dean in January and Germany next June. Definitely this is capable of being more than just a commuter machine and will be good for touring. Yes it is a little pricey but hopefully it will have the build quality and reliability to justify the price.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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