Scooter of the Year Winner: BMW C650 GT


By Evans Brasfield

The accolades keep rolling in! Last year, the BMW won the scooter MOBO with the C650GT. This year the GT topped the heap in our Uber Scooter Shootout by besting the other competitors in 10 of the 12 scoring categories. That’s dominance.

So, no one should be surprised that the BMW C650GT retains its title as Best Scooter for 2014. There’s a lot to love. First, there’s the class-leading claimed 60 hp and 49 ft.-lb. from its 647cc parallel-Twin, which is plenty of oomph to easily exceed legal highway speeds. The C650GT also carries 4.2 gallons of go-juice to keep the party going for over 200 miles.

When four lanes drops down to two, becoming serpentine, the Beemer displays remarkable handling characteristics. The taut-for-a-scooter suspension combines with a performance-minded chassis to give seemingly boundless ground clearance. The 15-inch wheels offer quick steering while never feeling twitchy at speed. Strong ABS brakes complete the performance package.

While the 31.7-in. seat height may put off some shorter riders, the GT’s accommodations are luxurious. The feet-forward riding position is roomy even for folks in the six-foot range, while an electrically adjustable windshield can be tuned to suit the rider’s height and weather conditions. Winglets at the base of that windscreen appreciably increase the airflow on hot days. Optional heated grips and seat (for both rider and passenger) for an additional $605 make the BMW a great choice for a cold-weather commuter.

Like all good scooters, the BMW C650GT features plenty of storage – a whopping 40 liters of stuff can be carried under the seat, while a bin in the fairing holds small items that need quick access. A 12-volt outlet for charging accessories resides in the left fairing compartment.

Yes, it costs a pretty penny ($9,990), but the GT’s high levels of comfort and performance exceeds what we thought possible from a scooter. The GT’s far-ranging capabilities not only make it our favorite scooter, it’s also a viable alternative to a “proper” motorcycle.

Honorable Mention: Honda PCX150


By John Burns

There’s a fine line between clever and stupid when it comes to urban scooters, and the Honda PCX150 nicely straddles it. Too big sort of defeats the whole purpose of the thing, which is to be able to squeeze through places where rats leave greaseprints. Too small and underpowered, and you can easily fall prey to the blonde rodents driving the huge SUVs. A good scooter’s got to be able to scurry, it’s got to be able to squeeze a gallon of gas, it’s got to be cheap. And it’s got to be ready to go when you are. Nobody wants a dirty, high-maintenance scooter anymore.

Say hello to the PCX150. It sells for $3,449, packs a 153cc liquid-cooled fuel-injected Single that’ll get it up close to 70 mph, weighs less than 300 pounds, and many owners report upward of 90 mpg. Updates for 2015 include fresh new bodywork and dual headlights, a new instrument panel, and friction-reducing engine modifications that may yield even better fuel mileage. With its larger fuel tank (2.1 gallons), we’re talking a range of 180 miles or more between fill-ups. The PCX has also got great underseat storage that’ll swallow a full-face helmet and then some, a glovebox for your linty Chapstick and spare change, and a 12-volt outlet to keep your devices charged.

Furthermore, the PCX is reasonably sporty, with 14-inch wheels, a stiff chassis, linked brakes and good suspension at both ends. If lots of your runs are short ones, a PCX in the pits will save you money and make your life more enjoyable at the same time. The right-sized PCX150 lowers your carbon footprint, not your expectations.

Related Reading:
Value-For-Money Hondas: 2015 Honda PCX150
2013 Honda PCX150 Review Best of 2014 Categories

Best Motorcycles of 2014 Best Value Motorcycle Best Sport Bike
Best Cruiser Motorcycle Best Touring Motorcycle Best Standard Motorcycle
Best Sport Touring Motorcycle Best Dirt Bike Best On-Off Road Adventure Motorcycle
Best Streetfighter/Hooligan Motorcycle Best Scooter Best Electric Motorcycle
Best New Motorcycle Technology Best Motorcycle Product

    When will we see the C650GT duke it out with Honda’s new NM4-02?

    • fastfreddie

      Have you seen pictures of that thing?It makes the beemer look like it was designed by Michelangelo!Made me laugh 😀

      • BTRDAYZ

        Looks are subjective. Yes, I do agree the BMW looks better, but the NM4 looks do not offend me. They interest me, as it doesn’t look like anything else on the road. Plus, my first bike was a Honda Pacific Coast, so the NM4 is appealing.

        What the BMW doesn’t have is full size wheels and a dual clutch transmission. Who wants a CVT? Otherwise, both bikes are about the same weight and displacement, with somewhat similar enclosed styling, step through seating and floorboards.

        • fastfreddie

          I guess we differ on what we like aestetic-wise then.But see how it can make for a better comparo than the two here which varies widely.Still think the honda is the better [i]scooter[/i]

          • BTRDAYZ

            I hear you. I’ve also owned a Kawasaki ZRX1100 and Z1000. Have also had my eye on a MV Agusta Brutale 800, and even the Suzuki GSX 750 50th Anniversay Edition. I like a LOT of different things. At 48, I’m more open to different things than when I was in my 20’s. But I do like things with unique styling that everyone doesn’t have. And at the end of the day, I like the feel of being out in the open on 2 wheels, and there are plenty of differently styled things that will provide that sensation. 🙂

        • VeganLondonMan

          I think all 3 Honda NM4s that get sold this year (in North America) will be to former Pacific Coast owners. But hey, if you like it, ride it!

    • Guest


      670cc PT @ 48 HP/43lb
      647cc PT @ 60 HP/49lb

      SOHC, 4 Valves
      SOHC, 4 Valves

      Final Drive
      Chain Drive
      Chain Drive

      6 Speed DCT

      Front Suspension
      43mm, 3.9″
      Inverted 40mm, 4.5″

      Rear Suspension
      Single, 3.9″
      Single, 4.5″

      Front Tire

      Rear Tire

      Seat Height
      31.7″, 30.9″ Option



      Fuel Capacity
      3.06 Gallons
      4.2 Gallons

      Curb Weight, Full

      $ 10,999.00
      $ 9,990.00

  • fastfreddie

    BMW costs nearly three times as much as the honda?!As a scooter it’s job is to zip you through traffic with a grin on your face.The beemer looks cumbersome.

    • Kevin Duke

      “As a scooter it’s job is to zip you through traffic with a grin on your face.” Before the Burgman and Beemer, that’s all a scooter excelled at. But the C650 is so much more than that. It’s a scooter that can be the sole bike in your garage instead of a second bike. And while zipping through traffic on it, I often had a grin on my face!

      • BTRDAYZ

        Kevin Duke! How’s bout that comparo I’m mentioning below between the Honda NM4 and the BMW C650GT? I put together an Excel sheet showing some pretty similar specs and important differences that should make for a great review. I want one of these 2 bikes!

        • Guest


        • Kevin Duke

          Can you wait till October…?

          • BTRDAYZ

            I suppose I can for a comparo, but I hope Honda doesn’t take that long to get you guys a NM4. Looking forward to your feedback. No dealer near me is willing to stock for fear of being stuck with them if they don’t sell!

  • fastfreddie

    So,are you gonna let those two duke it out?

    See what I did there?;)

  • Ken

    Apparently choosing winners does not take into consideration the long term costs of ownership. As a long time BMW owner and while still owning two, I went to the dealer with the intention of buying one of the first ones in Virginia. I found the C650GT a little tall for me but they promised to have a lower seat available soon. Since I ride 10,000-12,000 miles per year, I researched the long term costs to own it. In addition to the cost of premium fuel , the cost of the required maintenance was prohibitively expensive. It requires frequent (14,000 miles or so) replacement of the CVT belt, final drive chain and rollers at great expense for parts and labor. Instead, I bought a Burgman 650 that requires none of that and it has only required tires and oil changes for the 20,000 miles I have ridden it so far. There is also a lot of aftermarket accessories available that are not available at any price for the BMW as well as a lot more dealers for parts and service.

  • VeganLondonMan

    Nice writing Burns, especially the rodent motif. Linty chapstick……you’re a weird dude!!! I don’t wanna know what you do with your chapstick

  • Courtney Allen

    Love my BMW F800GT and my Aprilia Scarabeo 500. My BMW dealer has a C650GT as a service loaner and I have ridden it – nice! But I wouldn’t upgrade my ‘Beo for another scooter with a CVT. Sorry. I think that the Honda NM4 looks derivative of the Gurney Alligator which is fine, but not for me. I *would* seriously consider buying a Honda Integra though – another one in the NC700 line but so far not being sold in the US.