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RideFast Nov 2019

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||| TESTED: BMW C400X Words: Glenn Foley, Sean Hendley | Pics: Sean Hendley & Tristan Foley SPECS Engine: 350cc water-cooled single cylinder four-stroke, four valves per cylinder, single overhead cam Power: 33.5bhp @ 7,500rpm Torque: 35Nm @ 6,000rpm Wheelbase: 1565mm Max speed: claimed (139 km/h) Seat height: 775mm (760mm option available) Kerb weight: 204kg Tank size: 12.8litres Build quality – from the stainless steel exhaust to the bodywork – is of very high quality and the amount of storage space is impressive. BMW C400X Sleek, sturdy and stylish. RideFast is synonymous with hyper bikes that most of us can’t even begin to use to their full potential. So what’s a scoot doing in here then? Well, go and ride one - and you’ll understand. This is BMW’s latest superscoot, the C 400X - and it is, well, super. “Wow Dad! What scooter is that in the garage?” “It’s the new BMW boys, and you just leave it alone!” “Flip but it’s beautiful! C’mon dad can’t we ride it?” “Boys, it costs 120k – NO! Go away!” That lasted all of a day – and before I could blink, my older son Tristan, who was left at home to study… took off on it while his folks were out and about. Sadly for him, he left the ignition on when he parked it, we checked the mileage and he was properly bust! We had this scoot parked at our offices for a full week - and guess what? Despite the fact that we had a selection of other superbikes and adventure bikes knocking about, when we needed to go somewhere - the scoot was selected. Why? Well that’s quite easy to answer. Quick, comfortable convenience. Pop on a lid, hop on the bike and off you go. No fussing with leathers, worrying about where to park or anything of the sort. Everyone should have a scooter like this. Those not open to the idea that a scooter is as much an exciting form of two-wheeled transport as a motorcycle will try to point out that you could buy a “real” bike for the price. To be quite frank, our lot even battled to justify the costs when big scoots first made their appearance. But, think about it: Bike or scoot, both have a huge amount of development and engineering going into building them. The engine might sit in a different place on a scooter (which takes more development), but it still has a piston, four valves and a heap of electronic controls. It still has a carefully designed chassis, brakes, suspension and bodywork. In fact, many of the parts on the C400X are shared with those from BMW’s larger machines, like the distinctive headlight and filler cap that a very ‘GS’ esque. This is not the little scootertjie that you might remember the young ladies at high school riding. The big cc scoots are so much more - and BMW has packed this one with some real high end stuff that adds to the seriously cool factor. Check out the TFT display – as found on most modern motorcycles. Complete with Bluetooth that links to your SCS headset. BMW is particularly proud of the C400X’s ability to link to your smartphone using the ‘Connectivity’ package. This brings a TFT display and very easy to use multi-function controller. You can also use the multicontroller to skip back and forth through music on your phone, and make and receive calls with full access to your contact list on the scooter’s display. By downloading the BMW Motorrad Connected app from the iOS app store or Google Play, up to five different phones can be connected to provide sat-nav directions to the dash. The app on your phone will also allow you to find where you last parked, check the weather, see where the nearest petrol station is, and view various data from the machine, including mileage, riding time and average speed. Also shown is when your next service is due. Record your rides, navigate, AAARGH! You need to play with it all – tech overload for the plebs in this here office. Electronic Fuel Injection is the norm these days. ABS - just like any modern motorcycle. The C400X features BMW’s Flexcase; when riding, you can fit an open-face lid into the front of the boot, as well as documents, shopping etc. When you stop, a lever allows the rear to drop down into the space above the rear wheel that lets you also fit a full-face helmet in. The bike won’t run with this down as it reduces rear clearance. The boot is opened with a button when the ignition is on, as are the two cubby holes at the front, one of which has a small DIN socket for power. It’d have been nice to find a USB power outlet here, but an adaptor will give you the ability to plug your phone in. Our test scooter featured keyless ignition, a heated seat and grips and LED daytime running lights. Just like the big Brother BMW’s. See, we told you, lots of tech fitted into this package. Cool Huh! Power: It’s all about the ride. A liquid cooled 350cc engine accelerates you rapidly to the 140kph mark at the twist of a throttle. Seamless, powerful power transfer through the CVT system all the way. CVT simply means it’s a gearless twistand-go. A transmission belt is carried on two expanding pulleys that effectively change the gear ratios constantly and seamlessly. Peak power is quoted as 33.5bhp at 7,500 rpm, with torque hitting 35Nm at 6,000rpm. Yamaha’s 395cc XMAX400 makes 32.6bhp at 7,000rpm and 36Nm at 6,000rpm. Engineers at BMW say that the new 350cc engine was developed to give a good balance of performance and economy, with the added benefit that the layout has the flexibility to work for both smaller and larger capacities. The Connectivity system gives directional arrows on the dash, while the app is well featured Brakes Twin front discs are bitten by four-piston radially-mounted Bybre (Brembo) calipers – combined with the large rear disk they offer excellent power. The two-channel Continental ABS works well; small wheels are harder to keep in contact with the ground, and the ABS activates easily, but even when grabbing a handful of front brake at high speed, the C400X is very well controlled and feels really safe, the ABS pump pulses gently. Comfort While a lower seat is available as an optional extra, we all found the standard 775mm seat to be just right. The riding position feels pretty familiar and natural to someone used to big scoots, though you don’t have the room to stretch your legs out quite like you can on the larger super-scooters. More than comfy enough, even for our six foot something Sean and your feet are tucked away by the fairing to give the bike a more aerodynamic design. The engine is mounted on rubber bushes, which BMW claims eliminates vibration without reducing rigidity, makes sense – they’ve been doing it in cars for decades and decades… and they work – there’s no vibration at all from the motor when moving (you can feel it pulsing at a standstill), and the mirrors are completely still, definitely a very refined feel. 58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 5 9