BMW Motorrad C1 scooter  - front three-quarter studio viewDo you remember the BMW C1? The funky scooter from the German automaker has become something of a two-wheeled cult classic. The scooter made either 15 or 18 horsepower, depending on which model you got. But the most notable thing about the C1 was its futuristic windshield/roof combination and its emphasis on safety – with its integrated seatbelt, it was said to be so safe as to not require a helmet.

BMW got out of the scooter game when it ended production of the C1 in 2003, but it's poised to reemphasize that market in a big way. According to Bloomberg, BMW is looking to revive its scooter offerings, which already includes the C600 Sport and C650 GT. The lineup is set to be bolstered by the electric C Evolution e-Scooter.

BMW hinted at the return of the C1 a few years back with the C1-E concept (above, right), but it merely laid the groundwork from the e-Scooter.

This renewed focus may have something to do with rival Audi and its recent purchase of Ducati, as some are suggesting that the move has stoked BMW's desire to broaden its product portfolio to better compete with the Italian motorcycle builder.

If it's a piece of the city-dweller market that BMW is after, they may also have competition from niche automaker Smart. Daimler's urban specialist will introduce an electric version of its ForTwo city car later this year. Smart also makes a bicycle with electric propulsion that is available in Europe for around $3,500 (it's set to go on sale in the U.S. in 2014). This will be followed by an electric scooter.

Will BMW's renewed efforts in the scooter market be enough to fend off growing competition in the city vehicle market? Only time will tell.


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  • 13 Comments
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just had a holiday on the IOW England last weekend had 10,000s of 1950s - 1960's waspy sounding Italian Lamberetta & Vespa scooters on the island, very green machines they seem to last go on forever, never notice one that was broken down. BMW scooter is not cool at all, or as classy or sophisticated as a those kool Italian Vespa Lamberetta scooter dudes riding down to a beachside cafe on the Italian Riviera on the Amalfi Coast whilst drinking Peroni listening to some classic Motown whilst watching the pretty girls go passing by. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCk_wUMdS6w
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Whenever I see decades old scooters mostly I notice that they didn't really bother to control noise and pollution back then.
          Rick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          LOL sounded like a noisy plague of wasps investing every small rural village on the island, with 500-700 lined-up outside every country pub drinking them dry listening to the In crowd music. Very much a 60's "in with the in crowd" Mods thing that are into The Who/Tamla Motown/Northern Soul/Beatles are British scooter owners.
      mazdamattyp5
      • 2 Years Ago
      This article is worthless without specs and pricing. The C1 is ancient (and I love it) and those pictures have been floating around the internet for a long time. There is nothing new in this "news".
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Scooters are awesome and much faster than cars in cities........
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        eBikes are even quicker if you're willing to break the legal speed limits.. ;] Not that i'd know anything about that!! :D
          Ian Bruce 伊恩·布鲁斯
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Nick is correct... stupid but true. They're considered "motorcycles" there, but don't fit the approval criteria for motorcycles. Dumb. On the other hand, mainland China's been cool with eBikes since 2006, and it's gone a long way in reducing atmospheric pollution (and noise) in a lot of cities there.
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Coud be, but they're also illegal in some parts of the world. eBikes are illegal in Hong Kong for example....it's absurd but it's how it is.
        upstategreenie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        nobody in giant trucks here is law abiding texting driving through lights but if you are on a scooter or light bike you literally get no green light at all...they only respond to heavy SUVs....so we need to upgrade entire infrastructure in the US separated bike lanes etc and what is chance of that ever happening. elect romney and probably you will be banned from biking anywhere and have mandatory two minutes of hate every day in addition to whatever additional mandatory praying to invisible men etc. since god forbid we separate church and state believe in science and go buy some 4th of july stuff thanksgiving stuff and it is all made in communist china....in three days not one single GOPer stated a SINGLE concrete policy objective at all...might as well of invited that hateful church dude with an effigy of obama who likes to burn korans instead of eastwood gestalt session. would have been same response. keep on track we are on, bail out banks GM and you can just mas89trbate to what others already have vs. anything green ever happening in the US.
      Carmen Johnson
      • 2 Years Ago
      thanks
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like a great bike. Wish I lived in the country.
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      So, there are two things that need to improve to make these more acceptable. Make the tires a few inches bigger, and have the persons knees bent more and the feet closer to the rear wheel.
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