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RideFast Nov 2019

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Ride impressions. The

Ride impressions. The C400X handles very well. The chassis has a 50/50 weight distribution, and the telescopic fork and twin rear shocks give a really comfortable yet firm ride. Smacking into the odd pothole doesn’t feel nearly as harsh as you might expect from a scooter, and even when we accidentally launched the scoot over a lurking speed bump it didn’t get too out of shape. Loading the aforementioned youngster on the back when we fetched him from school, we did notice that the rear suspension could be a bit firmer… it bottomed a bit on the bumps. The rear shocks are adjustable, we checked them out – standard they are on the softest setting, so if you are going to carry a pillion, stiffen up the back a bit. It is a fairly simple task. In traffic, the C400 X is great fun, with a tight turning circle and easy handling. On open roads, the 400cc mill pulls well and is great much fun in twisty bends. There’s a lot of fun to be had on a twist-and-go like this. Freeway work is easy, She’ll sit at 130/135kmh all day and even at an indicated top end of 145kph, the engine never felt stressed and the wind protection is very good even with the little windscreen. The scoot also feels extremely stable. According to the book, the CX weighs in at 204kg. It carries its mass extremely well, without feeling ‘big’ or top heavy. Sean Says: It is no secret that I have always been a huge protagonist for smaller cc bikes and scooters. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the big powerful stuff; they separate the men from the boys, get your adrenalin pumping and sort out your relationship with whatever deity you choose to believe in. The smaller cc bikes, I think, improve your riding skills because the power is not intimidating thus you tend to push harder, try the corner faster with more lean angle and later braking accelerating out earlier so when you get onto more powerful stuff “On open roads, the 400cc mill pulls well and is great much fun in twisty bends. There’s a lot of fun to be had on a twist-and-go like this.” you are more skilled and confident. The same is true for scooters and DCT bikes, but my passion for scooters goes way back to the late 70’s ad early 80’s. My old Man had a Lambretta 150cc, I was into the Mod’s and Rockers culture and these were the bikes of choice. Always wildly modified and customized, ridden with piss pot lids and generally just a carefree way of riding. My mates always used to tease me with the old joke, “What’s the similarity between doinking a large lass and riding a scooter ….. both fun until your mates catch you!”, let me tell you, do not underestimate a large lass in the sack. Things have changed however, the best golfer in the world in not white, the best rapper in the world is white and there are more cars parked outside the local pub on a Sunday than outside the church and the likes of Justin Bieber is considered a super cool rock star. However, not everything is messed up in the world today, scooters are still cool and that negates a lot of the other nonsense. The BMW C400X is that scoot, it reminds me of all these ‘Cross’ and ‘X’ cars like the Polo ‘Cross’, Livina ‘X Gear’ and Sandero ‘Stepway’, standard cool little hatch backs with slightly raised suspensions, rugged black fender over riders and meaty bumper making them look a bit tougher and ready for anything. The C400X has a similar aesthetic with a GS inspired headlight, windshield & duck bill front fender, tougher looking footwells, big chunky wheels, stepped seat and black body over riders below the pillion grips and rear carrier. It almost has a bit of an off road appeal about it, needlessly encouraging us to find the odd dirt road short cut here and there. Glenn mentioned its comfort and ergonomics even for my stretched chassis. I was really expecting to feel a bit cramped as I have on one or two the other maxi scooter I have We have a shortcut to the kids school. The C400X handles mild off-road stuff perfectly. tested lately, especially with the stepped seat that kinda restricts where you sit. Honestly, it is possibly the most comfy scoot I have ridden to date with plenty space in the cabin for my lanky legs, the stepped seat actually gets you sort out your posture and sit properly without slouching too much, giving your lower back great support for long distance riding. Grabbing a handful of throttle is pleasantly surprising, the C400 whips off the line instantaneously more like a 400cc bike than a scooter with almost no lag from the belt driven CVT transmission which is prevalent in almost every other scooter I have ever ridden making it feel like a much bigger cc scoot. I saw a top speed, on a slight uphill with a bit of a headwind, of 145kmh and easily maintained a cruising speed of 135kmh all day long. Big twin rotors upfront and a single out back bring it to a smooth quick stop with ABS and traction control sorting out any over enthusiastic antics, so no cheeky slide and burn out pics because we couldn’t turn them off. Cranking over through corners was a lot of fun, albeit a nerve wracking because of the relaxed sitting position. All in all, I couldn’t really find anything to fault the C400X on …. Maybe just the fact that I can’t really afford one. Conclusions: Overall build quality is – as you’d expect – very high. The C400 X is made on a BMW-dedicated production line at China-based Loncin and materials and tolerances are of the same standard as the bikes made in Europe. The Bavarian company has a long and successful history with Loncin, the F650GS and 850GS for instance are built there. A larger-capacity scoot like this BMW is a great choice. If you’re a commuter who travels to work and back every day, the convenience of boot space and the comfort and ease of use really will appeal. She is also more than capable at freeway speeds or twisty back roads. If you’d like to pop your best friend out back and go exploring on the weekend, then this is also great, comfortable fun. and you can pack a picnic under the seat. As a side bar, if you have a kid that needs a ride to school and back… this scoot is safe and fast enough to carve through traffic and you’ll save a fortune in time and fuel. Just, it’s a 400, so you’ll need to check age limits for his or her license. Like we said, go and ride one! Priced from R120.000, the C400X is available from your BMW dealer. www.motorrad.co.za 60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 6 1