Originally posted by TahiTaneWaka on 20.8.05:
Crash report: 2004 C1-200 (2,400k, 10 months since first registration) Auckland, New Zealand (where BMW did import about 40-50 C1s)
Driver was following a bus in heavy traffic at 40 k. Bus veered rapidly and unexpectedly to left, apparently to avoid hitting a Subaru wagon making a right turn (probably a last minute decision, which would explain the bus driver's sudden movement). C1 driver following (age 60, in fit condition and an Italian driving style) reported he had a choice, jam on the brakes or turn to left to evade. Almost made it, the shoulder protector caught the rear of the wagon, shattering the rear window of the wagon and making a mess of the Subaru pillar (and when the c1 stopped, astonishing the Subaru driver who had no clue what the batman bike was that hit it). The C1 bounced off, did a series of dramatic spins damaging almost every panel, including the roof glass which popped out but did not break. Finally came to a halt on the side of the road. The driver, wearing a ski helmet, assessed himself. Determined he was not dusty (no injuries or damage to clothing [correction... on inquiring as to why we found feathers in the C1, we were advised by the driver that his down parka did tear, but he confirmed that he sustained no injuries and did not get dusty]). Attempted to undo the seatbelts using the red handle, but it was not operative. Released both seatbelts manually, stood up and wheeled C1 to side of road, parked it, called BMW to arrange a pick up and took a cab home.
Bike was written off by BMW who advised the insurance the frame was bent. It appears they did very little investigating, but simply noted that the cost of obvious parts and labour exceeded the price of a new replacement C1-200, insurance company agreed and paid. The legal owner of the C1 (a charitable trust) retained ownership of the C1 for $500 (£175). Disassembly shows the frame appears OK, but the shoulder protector is broken in both top and bottom mounts, which appears to be the only structural damage. In-so-far as this is a bolt on part, even if it cannot be welded, it does not affect structural integrity. It appears BMW used a different type of metal in this area so that it would fracture, rather than transmit further stress to the frame, making it a sacrificial structural element. The handlebar (throttle side) rubber missing rubber and some peculiarities in steering to be investigated (turning right seems to stop prematurely, and appears to be something related to the steering lock, must remove faring to assess)
The fibreglass painted panels and black plastic panels have considerable minor damage, scrapes, road-rash, cracks at points of impact and broken tabs where screws hold panels in place. In the absence of cheap replacement parts, the panels are easily repaired and repainted; however given the number of C1's being broken in the EU and BMW seeming to be flushing out its parts system, it may be less expensive to replace the parts and store the damaged ones for future crashes. If one wishes to drive with visible scrapes, little work would be required, only replacing the crash elements (tits), which survived, but the underlying foam was destroyed, the mountings bent and on the road-rash side, the fibreglass ground down about 2-8 mm. Considering having solid rubber replacements manufactured at a local rubber manufacturing company as C1 reports suggest the plastic tits are excessively priced and too easily damaged. (When back in August 2000, BMW headquarters in Munich provided our charitable trust with a 48 hour loaner in London to assess the potential of the C1 to relieve congestion in Auckland, one of the crash elements popped off when too close to a wall. We advised them then to look at an upgrade)
Conclusion: Had driver been on a normal scooter (and assuming it would have still struck car) the spin would have thrown the driver into the bike or off the bike at 40 kph onto the road. At a minimum moderate injury to skin and bones, with the potential of severe injury or even death. Savings to Accident Compensation Commission estimated in the thousands or ten thousands of dollars. Savings to driver: Pain and suffering. C1 did its job.
End of reporthttp://www.c1forum.co.uk/cgi-bin/topic_show.pl?pid=77401#pid77401