BMW C650 Sport and C650 GT first ride
BMW have updated their C650 Sport and C650 GT maxi-scooters for 2016 with styling changes alongside suspension and clutch revisions in an attempt to differentiate the two models.
In the flesh the scooters look noticeably srharper - especially the Sport model, which now looks rather similar to the S1000XR and R1200RS thanks to the new lights. The updated CVT transmission, which BMW say offers a sharper respone in traffic certainly gets the scooters off the line quickly. Twisting the throttle all the way to the stop results in the new-for-2016 ASC (Automatic Stability Control) chiming in on the greasy Valencian roads, although it doesn't feel overly intrusive.
For 2016 the GT comes with optional Side View Assist, which notifies you of road users hiding in your blind spot via orange warning lights on the mirror stalks. The system works well, although the warning lights are just out of your peripheral vision if you're looking dead ahead and they're almost constantly on in heavy traffic.
Surprisingly, the heavier, comfier GT felt slightly more stable on the narrow mountain roads surrounding Valencia, the extra 11kg of mass no doubt helping to soak up the bumps. The Sport definitely lives upto its name - it's much more eager to flick into corners and punches out the other side with enthusiasm, accompanied by the new, cheekier exhaust note.
While BMW have made changes to differentiate the two models, there's still not a huge amount of difference, as you might expect from two models using the same frame and engine. Neither scooter is better or worse and ultimately the choice will come down to personal preference or intended use.
Prices have not yet been released, and the scooters will be on sale in the UK in February 2016.