Surprisingly Sophisticated Electronics For Its Class

BMW Motorrad expands its C 400 range with a Gran Turismo version designed to bring some long-distance capabilities to the table. This mid-size scooter features comfort amenities alongside safety features that deliver peace of mind, and let’s face it, peace of mind has a comfort factor all its own. Cutting-edge electronics and multimedia connectivity come standard, and I gotta’ say the electronics suite is vastly superior to a good number of “proper” motorcycles on the market today. Think I’m overstating it? Hold that thought for just a few minutes and I’ll make a believer of you.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW C 400 GT.

  • 2019 BMW C 400 GT
  • Year:
    2019
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    350 cc
  • Top Speed:
    83 mph
  • Price:

2019 BMW C 400 GT Design

2019 BMW C 400 GT
- image 804581
The display screen acts as a window to the scooter's soul through the CAN bus system to connect the instrumentation, engine control unit, ABS, and the wireless Bluetooth connection that pulls your phone and helmet into the network.

Beemer blesses the “GT” with a mature look that clearly puts it in the business-commuter class, but that’s certainly nothing new for the Bavarian marque. Classy and tasteful looks meet the eye with split dual LED headlights up front and fiber-optic daytime running lights that vary in their configuration according to the laws of the land.

Up top, a large windscreen carries a dramatic kick about two-thirds of the way up to punch a hole for the rider’s upper torso and head with a vented design that provides some vacuum relief to prevent excessive head-buffet effect where the wind-pocket and slipstream meet. Below the lights, the cheek fairings or “bash plates” carry LED turn signals in recessed housings that are faired off with clear covers along the leading edge, and the plates themselves form a sort of angular engine spoiler and radiator shroud for a little supersport spice. Of course, the appearance quickly surrenders to the realities of scooter design as the profile view shows the feature to actually be the legguard area that creates a well-protected footwell and should offer ample protection from the elements and spray from the front wheel.

Behind the glass is an LCD screen that serves as the stock instrument panel. You can opt for a 6.5-inch TFT display ex werke, but even the standard screen acts as a window to the scooter’s soul through the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus system. The CAN networks the instrumentation, engine control unit, ABS and optional security system to serve as a one-stop shop with a wireless Bluetooth connection that pulls your phone and helmet into the network. Yak on the phone or pipe in your tunes; you’ve got access to whatever your favorite distractions might be.

The underpinnings encroach into the step-through with a pretty significant obstruction in the form of an enclosed tunnel, but it’s still much easier to mount/dismount than a proper motorcycle though you can forget about any kind of ’tween-feet storage; it just ain’t happening. Beemer more than makes up for it with a pair of storage spaces at the front of the tunnel and its proprietary “flexcase” space under the seat that expands downward and aft to create more room for your books/groceries/whatever. Plus, there’s a 12V outlet and optional USB adapter that’ll let you charge your smartphone under way.

Pilot and pillion sit on separate seats, and that allows for an optional pilot’s seat that rides at 760 mm, which is down from the 775 mm stock saddle. The generous p-pad comes with large J.C. handles that double as hardpoints for a bungee net. At the subframe’s terminus is an ultra-modern taillight and turn-signal array with a short mudguard and plateholder to finish off the gear in the rear.

2019 BMW C 400 GT Chassis

2019 BMW C 400 GT
- image 804578
Bigger-than-usual wheels help lend the GT a handling profile that is certainly more motorcycle-like than you get from the usual rinky-dink doughnuts that scooters tend to roll on.

Steel members make up the bridge-type frame to stiffen the assembly and provide ample torsional resistance, even under the strain of lively cornering actions. A set of rwu, 35 mm forks float the front end on fixed values, but the dual shocks out back have an adjustable preload feature so you can at least dial in for changing passenger and cargo loads. The steering head holds the forks at 26.4 degrees from the vertical with 81 mm (3.18-inches) of trail that imparts a decidedly eager nature that dives into the corners with a will. Suspension travel is 110 mm (4.33-inches) and 112 mm (4.4-inches) on the front and rear, respectively, and that’s pretty generous for a scooter, generally speaking, but this is a Beemer and not your usual scooter fare.

Dual, 265 mm discs and four-pot calipers slow the front wheel with a third like-sized disc and single-piston caliper out back. The BMW Motorrad ABS provides the first layer of safety gadgetry as part of the standard equipment package, but certainly not the last.

Cast-aluminum rims round out the rolling chassis with a 120/70-15 up front and 150/70-14 out back, numbers that help lend the GT a handling profile that is certainly more motorcycle-like than you get from the usual rinky-dink doughnuts that scooters tend to roll on.

Frame: Steel bridge frame
Front Suspension: Telescopic fork, Ø 35 mm
Rear Suspension: Aluminum double-sided swing arm, double spring strut, adjustable spring preload
Spring travel, front/rear: 4.3 inches/4.4 inches (110 mm/112 mm)
Steering head angle: 26.4°
Trail: 3.2 inches (81 mm)
Brakes front: Rigid twin disc brake, diameter 265 mm, 4-piston fixed caliper
Brakes, rear: Rigid single disc brake, diameter 265 mm, 1-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad ABS
Wheels: Die-cast aluminum wheels
Wheel, front: 3.50 x 15”
Wheel, rear: 4.25 x 14”
Tire, front: 120/70 ZR15
Tire, rear: 150/70 ZR14

2019 BMW C 400 GT Drivetrain

2019 BMW C 400 GT
- image 804566
Power and acceleration figures show highway and interstate travel is handled with confidence.

The beating heart is a liquid-cooled, 350 cc, four-stroke thumper that runs a single 80 mm bore with a 69.6 mm stroke and an 11.5-to-1 compression ratio so you’ll be pulling up to the expensive pump, no doubt. A single over-head cam times the four-valve head, and a 40 mm throttle body manages the induction. Large, 32.5 mm intake poppets open up the combustion chamber on the intake stroke and 27.2 mm exhaust valves to vent and scavenge ensures that the incoming charge is as fresh as possible.

An electronic BMS-E2 injection system meters the juice and helps the engine meet its fuel-efficiency and EU4 emissions goal. How does the performance numbers shake out? Well, the factory claims a total of 25 kW (34 horsepower) at 7,500 rpm with 35 Nm (25.8 pound-feet) that comes on fully by six grand. That gives the GT a 139 km/h (86.3 mph) top speed and a 0-to-100 km/h (0-to-60 mph) time of 9.5 seconds, so you can hit the motorway/interstate/whatever with a measure of confidence.

Speaking of confidence, Beemer’s Automatic Stability Control (traction control) delivers plenty of it, so you can accelerate with confidence, even in inclement weather. Power flows through a CVT that delivers twist-and-go operation and the ultimate in riding convenience.

Engine: Water-cooled single-cylinder 4-stroke in-line engine, four valves per cylinder, overhead camshaft with rocker arms, wet sump lubrication
Displacement: 350 cc
Bore x Stroke: 80 mm x 69.6 mm
Compression/fuel: 11.5:1
Max Power: 34 hp (25 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: 25.8 lb-ft (35 Nm) @ 6,000 rpm
Throttle body: 40 mm
Fuel Delivery: Electronic injection BMS-E2
Clutch: Centrifugal force dry clutch
Gearbox: Continuously variable CVT belt transmission
Secondary drive: Gear reduction cog wheel pairing

2019 BMW C 400 GT Pricing

2019 BMW C 400 GT
- image 804579
MSRP is TBA at this writing, but could come in around $11k.

Price is still up in the air, but I’m looking for a sticker that lands somewhere around the $10 K mark.

Standard Equipment: BMW Motorrad ABS, stainless steel exhaust, LED lighting, Keyless ride, flex-case, ASC, center stand
Colors: Alpine White, Moonwalkgrey Metallic, Blackstorm Metallic
Price: TBA

2019 BMW C 400 GT Competitors

2019 BMW C 400 GT
- image 804577
2018 - 2019 Yamaha XMAX
- image 733833
They look like 'brothers-from-another-mother' so the difference could be whether you're willing to pay for the extra power and torque.

It’s hard to think of maxi-scooters without going to Yamaha’s XMAX line, so I decided to go that route in spite of the difference in engine size. At a glance, the XMAX is clearly cut from much the same cloth with a mature overall look that puts it squarely in the business-commuter class. In fact, head-on, the Tuning Fork Company’s entry looks very much like the Beemer with split headlights and a cowl-scoop to lead the way below a tall windshield. Unfortunately, the front turn signals are of the standoff variety and thus, nowhere near as clean as the GT.

Both run with equally obstructed step-throughs, and the Yamaha’s saddle is a single unit without the handy-dandy height adjustability that the GT brings to the table. The suspension drops off a bit on the XMAX with 33 mm forks ahead of dual shocks that turn in 4.3 and 3.1 inches of travel, respectively, but Yammy did the wheels right with a 120/70-15 up front and 140/70-14 out back. The XMAX surrenders some ground in the brakes too. Both run with ABS, but the XMAX relies on but a single, 267 mm disc up front against the dual binders that the Beemer sports.

Now, I know the engine size is a bit lopsided, but looks matter, especially when you’re trying to look like an adult on something you want to ride as opposed to a kid riding whatever their parents can afford, so Yamaha necessarily takes a hit with a 292 cc, four-cycle powerplant. The new, liquid-cooled mill claims 27.6 ponies and 21 pound-feet of torque against 34/25.8 for a difference that’ll definitely register on the old heinie-dyno.

Yamaha does get credit for its traction control feature, and of course, the displacement offset leaves it with a much lighter sticker at only $5,599 versus what I reckon will be almost twice that much when the GT’s numbers are released.

He Said

“This is a sharp-looking, business-class ride that seems to meet Beemer’s goal as a tour-capable machine. Sure, a top case would help that, but the expandable under-seat storage should not be sold short. This makes a nice compromise for riders who aren’t thrilled about going for the “650” version but still want a top-shelf machine. However, if the asking price lands where I think it will, that’ll put the GT in the same price bracket as a number of proper motorcycles and will likely appeal only to those who started out looking for a scooter, and for whom a “regular” motorcycle is not an attractive option.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “Unveiled at 2018 EICMA, this new scooter from BMW takes on a more touring bent with more.....more comfortable seating, more wind/weather protection, more storage. It’s lightweight compared to other scooters in the same class and that weight is carried low for better handling and maneuverability. Something you don’t usually see in this displacement range is the sophisticated connectivity that brings your phone and helmet in to become one with the scooter.”

2019 BMW C 400 GT Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Water-cooled single-cylinder 4-stroke in-line engine, four valves per cylinder, overhead camshaft with rocker arms, wet sump lubrication
Displacement: 350 cc
Bore x Stroke: 80 mm x 69.6 mm
Compression/fuel: 11.5:1
Max Power: 34 hp (25 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: 25.8 lb-ft (35 Nm) @ 6,000 rpm
Throttle body: 40 mm
Fuel Delivery: Electronic injection BMS-E2
Clutch: Centrifugal force dry clutch
Gearbox: Continuously variable CVT belt transmission
Secondary drive: Gear reduction cog wheel pairing
Chassis:
Frame: Steel bridge frame
Front Suspension: Telescopic fork, Ø 35 mm
Rear Suspension: Aluminum double-sided swing arm, double spring strut, adjustable spring preload
Spring travel, front/rear: 4.3 inches/4.4 inches (110 mm/112 mm)
Steering head angle: 26.4°
Trail: 3.2 inches (81 mm)
Brakes front: Rigid twin disc brake, diameter 265 mm, 4-piston fixed caliper
Brakes, rear: Rigid single disc brake, diameter 265 mm, 1-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad ABS
Wheels: Die-cast aluminum wheels
Wheel, front: 3.50 x 15”
Wheel, rear: 4.25 x 14”
Tire, front: 120/70 ZR15
Tire, rear: 150/70 ZR14
Dimensions & Capacities:
Total length: 87 inches (2,210 mm)
Total width: 32.9 inches (835 mm)
Wheelbase: 61.6 inches (1,565 mm)
Seat height (without rider): 30.5 inches (775 mm)
Inside leg length: 69.3 inches (1,760 mm)
Dry Weight: 447.5 lbs (203 kg)
Curb Weight: 467.4 lbs (212 kg)
GVWR: 915 lbs (415 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment): 447.5 lbs (203 kg)
Fuel tank capacity: 3.4 gals w/ 1 gal reserve (12.8 l w/ 4.0 l reserve)
Fuel consumption (according to WMTC): 67.2 mpg (3.5 l/ 100 km )
Acceleration: 0-31 mph (0-50 km/h): s 3.1, 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h): s 9.5
Top speed: 86 mph (139km/h)
Electricals:
Alternator: 316 W
Battery: 12V/9Ah
Headlight: High beam/low beam: LED
Rear light: LED brake light/rear light
Starter: 500 kW
Details:
Standard Equipment: BMW Motorrad ABS, stainless steel exhaust, LED lighting, Keyless ride, flex-case, ASC, center stand
Colors: Alpine White, Moonwalkgrey Metallic, Blackstorm Metallic
Price: TBA

Further Reading

Yamaha XMAX

2018 - 2019 Yamaha XMAX
- image 733831

See our review of the Yamaha XMAX.

BMW Motorrad

no article
- image 789359

Read more BMW Motorrad news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: bmwmotorcycles.com, yamaha-motor.com

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