As a Brit based in Geneva and getting tired of the continual drive to take cars off the road (road closure, reduced parking etc. etc.), I'm moving over to a 2 wheel alternative to getting around home / work / town. I presume this is fairly common to most members :) I've spent some years in Asia where I tore up tarmac on a 750 for 3 years (so have well and truly got that out of my system; at least where bikes are concerned!).
Rapidly approaching middle-age (is 50 considered "middle" - well if it isn't, it should be!:) ) and being somewhat used to comfort and convenience as well as being fairly risk-averse, the C1 (125cc) fits the bill very nicely for me (as well as my family). Contrary to some, I actually find the look of the C1 fairly good (some of the colour choices notwithstanding!) and will definitely appreciate the (relatively good) weather protection as well as the heated bits (must have), ABS and safety features. I'm also a fan of the BMW marque from an engineering / competence perspective ...
Couple of concerns are availability of spares / service professionals and the general age of the vehicle since they went out of production 2003 or so. Fortunately, there seem to be quite a few of these bikes around Switzerland so I hope to not have too much of an issue with servicing. I can always buy parts via this club I hope :)
Does such a thing as a Buyers Guide exist? I'm looking at a couple of C1 Executives online and before I start arranging appointments, I'd like to know what I'm going to look at. I'm fairly competent mechanically but have only really worked on my own cars in the past (all german, many BMW's).
I've seen one in particular which has all options I'm after except the additional wind / rain protectors (that are added to each side of the roof). Are these easy to buy and fit after bike purchase?
Is the year critical when searching? Any major changes during the model years? I've seen mentioned on this forum the stand issue (apparently the design was changed in 2002 to a two-pronged stand?) but are there others I should be aware of?
Comments on any or all of the above welcome and I look forward to becoming part of the community :)
You appear to have done your homework on the C1 so just a few comments.
Although designed by BMW the C1 was manufactured by an Italian scooter company and this shows in the quality of the assembly and parts. Spare parts are going to get harder in the future but many of the mechanical parts are substitutable and there are enough enthusiasts around that spares should not be a bar to ownership but maybe at a price. Only one C1 produced other than the minor tweeks such as the stand - if a mark 2 had been made many of the little niggles might have been sorted.
As a unique and safe form of transport the C1 has no alternatives nor any sign of one in the medium term future. Again there is a price for this uniqueness and safety - they are not cheap to maintain and can cost as much or more than a small car to keep on the road. If you are able to do your own basic spannering the costs are much reduced as BMW garages are very expensive and most other scooter mechanics do not want to handle C1s although some do and can do an excellent job. The C1 forums are excellent places for help and advice.
Many C1 riders have come from big bikes so you would fit in there.
There are not sufficient C1s about for there to be any sort of buyers guide of which I am aware. The for-sale ads on the forums are not a bad guide if you include looking at the comments.
Welcome to C1s - although we might grumble about them at times we would not ride anything else.
There's a lot of info on the things you have queried both here and on the forum (if it's up and running again now) if you use the search facility for "windkit", "headlight" and the like. Headlight remedies run from fitting a HID lamp to bolting on extra lights, so browse away :-)
The c1ub holds some spares, see http://parts.c1ownersc1ub.org.uk/cart/
for members, and I have posted parts to the far east and the USA as well as all round Britain, so there is some back-up there as well as the excellent technical help you will find on both sites
Thanks superted, appreciate the response and have discovered earlier this evening that the website's up and running. I'll be searching for sure; just need to buy the bike first! Hopefully, I'll get the one I'm after which has pretty much everything I was looking for except the windkit. I've seen one for sale on ebay.ch at Sfr1000 (UKP600?) which is brand new. Maybe worth waiting for a bike with the kit included :)
I've been used to HID on all my cars for the last ... 8 years or so? I spend a lot of time on fairly dark (country) roads so lighting will be important.
It would be fun to have a built-in stereo system as well but I'm getting ahead of myself (tends to happen with me and anything mechanical!).
And there was me thinking I was just about middle-aged at 63! lol.
Fingers crossed you find your dream C1 and join our community.
Found it and will be picking it up this coming Sunday :) To get it home from where I'm buying it will be a journey of 200Km's through the mountains and backroads of Switzerland (Bern to Geneva) so I should know a lot about the bike by the time I get home after the 4 hours or so.
Weather forecast is good though so I should get some great scenery on the way :)
One riding technique that it might be useful to know from the start - when steering at slow speed it helps to hold on the rear brake lightly. I assume that this allows you to use higher revs and that this is more stable.
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