Saturday, March 3, 2012

The One and Only

Back around 2001, I was standing on a street in Germany, and this motorcycle passed.  I had this brief moment where I thought I had seen the greatest thing ever invented.  I spent days trying to figure what it was and how it might fit into my life.

It was the BMW C1.  It was a brief life for the C1....from 2000 to 2003.  The basic model was a 120cc, and then came the slightly larger engine.  It was not what you'd call a touring vehicle, or the kind of thing you'd want to drive on the autobahn for long distances.  It was probably a perfect design for suburban environments.

Cost?  The basic model ran around the $6500 range.  If you tossed options on could have gotten up to $8k.  If you went for the larger started to get closer to $10k, which made it kind of silly spending that much money on what amounted to being a hyped-up scooter.

BMW, at least in my mind, had anticipated a strong secondary market.....with growth after the second and third year.  They just didn't get that.  The US market?  Never to be.  By the early part of 2002, it was apparent that it couldn't grow the numbers.  By 2001, they'd sold around 10k of them, and by the end point of production....they'd made it to roughly 13k of these bikes total.

I admired a parked C1 bike once.  I came to realize several limitations with it.  If you got into an accident.....other than a straight head-on situation.....nothing much else helped to improve your odds.  The seat-belt?  That bothered me a bit.  It was a simple over-sized scooter, with an image.  It was an awful big big be a 120cc type.

So as you stand around on the streets of Germany.....suddenly gazing on this odd scooter approaching's the C1.

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