Smooth and super comfortable, BMW has sanded the edges and rounded the curves of it 400X and here’s the result.
Under the skin the X and the GT have the same brilliant substructure, engine, suspension and brakes but as you’re eyes are drawn to the angles and almost naked style of the X, the GT looks altogether better dressed. More Saville Row rather that Sports Direct. The edgy look of the X fits its intended environment perfectly. And the GT’s the same, with its taller more purposeful screen to its wide headlight unit.
The next thing that makes this scooter different from its previous incarnation is the seat unit. A sculpted, sumptuous looking sofa style seat that begs the question, how many miles before that would become uncomfortable. The pillion gets spoilt just as much as the rider, given foot plates rather that pegs which have in the past made my feet sore on long pillion rides and long, large grab rails on either side.
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The ex-works optional full colour 6.5 inch TFT screen (fitted to this test scooter) comes courtesy of the 1200GS and paired with a multi controller and your smart phone gives you access to integrated connectivity, vehicle functions, and allows you to listen to music and use your phone without being distracted from what is happening on the road ahead and a super easy to follow sat-nav that shows you the way with large clear arrows.
First impressions when sitting on the 400GT are that there is a lot of space and very little in the way of buttons and clutter. It’s clean and smooth lines from the exterior styling have been carried over to the riders interface/instrument panel and position. You’re sat very upright and initially I thought that this would lead to a lot of wind noise as the screen didn’t look like it would deflect enough. Handlebars and levers are swept back just a little meaning that wrist comfort is not going to be an issue. The footplates are wide and with the swept up feet forward sections being long and starting closer to you than I have seen on some other mid-sized scooters, even shorter riders will benefit. With the wider shoulders of the GT this should add to weather protection, allowing the worst of any wind to whip around you.
Keyless ignition as standard. Meaning that a simple press of the ignition button and then your away. So how does it ride? From the first few yards let alone miles it claims a place as one on the smoothest machines I have ever ridden. Its 350cc four valve motor combined with the CVT transmission (twist and go) it surprised me with how quickly it zipped away.
Weighing in at 212kg (8kg more than the X) I was expecting a slightly slower acceleration which was exactly what I did not get. The liner delivery was so smooth that I would have said it was more powerful than its stated 34bhp. The front telescopic forks have a full 110mm of travel and are softer than the C400X but even when we came of the smooth A roads and started to really test the scooters on the twisty ups and downs I never felt like it was washy and wallowing. The rear suspension is twin preload adjustable spring struts that didn’t buck, skip or squirm while under load. Combine this with the amazingly comfortable seat and riding position and the 85 plus miles that we did by the end of the day just seem like a blast down to the local shops and back. Braking on the GT is handled by twin front 265mm discs and four pot clippers and a single 265mm disc with a single pot floating clipper on the rear, assisted by a Continental MK100 2-channel ABS unit.
The star of the day was the heated grips and heated seat. It was a cold, well it was February .The three levels of heat just warms you through like having an extra blanket on that already wonderful bed.
To summarise – build quality of the C400GT is exceptional, which from BMW you kind of come to expect. The comfort is astounding, from the seating position to the suspension and the interactivity offered by adding all the extras is well worth looking into. In its straight from the factory basic form it costs (correct at time of written) £7050. The version we rode with TFT screen, heated grips and seat, added alarm system and connectivity pack plus the metallic paint rocks up at £7850.
Specification – BMW C400 GT
Engine: 350cc, Single cylinder water cooled, 4 valves, single ohc
Power: 34bhp or 25kW
Torque: 35Nm at 6000rpm
Frame: Steel bridge frame
Brakes: Front – Twin 265mm discs and 4 piston fixed caliper // Rear – Single 265mm disc with single piston floating caliper
Transmission: Centrifugal force dry clutch to a CVT belt transmission
Suspension: Front – Telescopic fork // Rear – double (preload adjustable) spring strut
Wheels: Die-cast aluminium, Front 3.50×15” Rear 4.25×14”
Tyres: Front 120/70 ZR15 // Rear 150/70 ZR14
Seat height: 775mm
Fuel capacity: 12.8litres
Warranty: 36 months, unlimited mileage
Service intervals: First service 600 to 1000 miles, then every 6000 miles or yearly
Roadside recovery: 36 months, Full EU Roadside Assistance