Questions while waiting to test ride C400GT

mzflorida

New member
Hello everyone. I'm researching the C400Gt as a replacement for my Xmax 300. Can any taller riders share their experiences with the bike? Are there any others who own or owned an Xmax and also have a C400GT who can share their opinions on the two? They have three coming in here to Gulf Coast BMW, but they don't know when. I understand the stock suspension leaves something to be desired. Other than that, I'm not seeing a lot of concerns. Anyhow, thanks very much!
 

wspollack

Active member
Not really directly addressing your questions, but FWIW, I'm just sitting here, reading, so ...

I'm 5'9", with a 29" or 30" inseam (I buy jeans typically at 38W30), so I'm not tall. Unlike your upsizing, I downsized, from a 650 Burgman (actually, I had two of them, over the years) to the C 400 GT this past June. I find the 400 a little more cramped, in terms of leg room, than the Burgman: I can't completely stretch out, but I've gotten used to it, it doesn't bother me, etc. And my knees are still lower than my hips, so all in all it's just a minor change for me, i.e., bending my knees a little more than I typically had them on the Suzuki.

In terms of the suspension, yep, IMO it's what bike-magazine writers often pen: "built to a price point." But, then again, so were the suspensions of all the bikes -- from baggers to scoots -- that I've owned. I think this is pretty much the case with all bikes, unless you're dealing with the absolute-top-spec sport bikes, the ones with Ohlins suspension built in, that sort of thing. I changed the shock springs on my 2000 Valkyrie, for instance, and may change out the entire shocks on the 400. Or may not -- I haven't really decided. In case you haven't read this thread yet:


The two things that annoy me about my C 400 GT -- and I try not to dwell on them, just "get over it" as a friend is fond of saying to me -- are:

1) The lack of cruise control. Given that the '22 has ride-by-wire throttling, umpteen sensors, a nice TFT display, etc., it seems to me like it would be trivial to add that.

2) The Schrader valves in the "spokes." This may make checking air easier -- I've added sideways valves to many rims over the years -- but it precludes adding a TPMS sensor to the front wheel (because it would hit a brake caliper). I did add a new FOBO sensor to the back wheel, so I'm halfway there. If BMW is going to go against the grain, i.e., not put Schrader valves in the rim like every other manufacturer, the least they could do is offer a factory TPMS for the 400 (which they don't).

OTOH, the C 400 GT is my favorite bike over the last 25 years. It just invites me to hop on and go for a ride. This may also have something to do with its being the lightest bike I've owned, coupled with my not getting any younger, but it also handles superbly, accelerates and rides very smoothly, brakes well, and looks sharp. I put more miles on the 400 this summer than I have on any bike in quite some time.
 

mzflorida

New member
Not really directly addressing your questions, but FWIW, I'm just sitting here, reading, so ...

I'm 5'9", with a 29" or 30" inseam (I buy jeans typically at 38W30), so I'm not tall. Unlike your upsizing, I downsized, from a 650 Burgman (actually, I had two of them, over the years) to the C 400 GT this past June. I find the 400 a little more cramped, in terms of leg room, than the Burgman: I can't completely stretch out, but I've gotten used to it, it doesn't bother me, etc. And my knees are still lower than my hips, so all in all it's just a minor change for me, i.e., bending my knees a little more than I typically had them on the Suzuki.

In terms of the suspension, yep, IMO it's what bike-magazine writers often pen: "built to a price point." But, then again, so were the suspensions of all the bikes -- from baggers to scoots -- that I've owned. I think this is pretty much the case with all bikes, unless you're dealing with the absolute-top-spec sport bikes, the ones with Ohlins suspension built in, that sort of thing. I changed the shock springs on my 2000 Valkyrie, for instance, and may change out the entire shocks on the 400. Or may not -- I haven't really decided. In case you haven't read this thread yet:


The two things that annoy me about my C 400 GT -- and I try not to dwell on them, just "get over it" as a friend is fond of saying to me -- are:

1) The lack of cruise control. Given that the '22 has ride-by-wire throttling, umpteen sensors, a nice TFT display, etc., it seems to me like it would be trivial to add that.

2) The Schrader valves in the "spokes." This may make checking air easier -- I've added sideways valves to many rims over the years -- but it precludes adding a TPMS sensor to the front wheel (because it would hit a brake caliper). I did add a new FOBO sensor to the back wheel, so I'm halfway there. If BMW is going to go against the grain, i.e., not put Schrader valves in the rim like every other manufacturer, the least they could do is offer a factory TPMS for the 400 (which they don't).

OTOH, the C 400 GT is my favorite bike over the last 25 years. It just invites me to hop on and go for a ride. This may also have something to do with its being the lightest bike I've owned, coupled with my not getting any younger, but it also handles superbly, accelerates and rides very smoothly, brakes well, and looks sharp. I put more miles on the 400 this summer than I have on any bike in quite some time.
It does answer some of my other questions and I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to write them out. Funny you mention the C400 becoming your favorite. The Xmax is (maybe has) becoming my favorite bike. I never owned a bagger. Last year I sold my last sport touring bike, a VFR1200X (technically classified as an ADV bike, but I loved it). My wife quit riding as she no longer felt safe here in SW Florida with all the growth we've had. Anyhow, she still scoots so I bought the Xmax and she has a Like 150i. She then was DXxed with cancer and has not ridden in some time.

I purchased an NC750X (my second) and I really do like the bike a lot. I've farkled the heck out of it. That said, I've put about 900 miles on the NC over the last 3 Saturdays and I keep on finding myself wishing I had taken the Xmax out instead. It will absolutely handle it. I'm 55 and still in good physical shape. But honestly, I just don't want big bikes, and their weight, anymore. I am not going cross country anymore either. I find myself riding the Xmax on my day to day runs to the store, pharmacy, clubhouse, etc. I'm thinking about just having one bike in the garage and the C400 seems like it might fit the bill for what my future of riding holds. However, my bike addiction may require that I buy the new TransAlp if it hits our shores in 2023!

I've changed the suspension on every bike I've owned. Though, honestly, I did not need to on the Xmax. Stock was pretty good, it's just what I do (I like to tinker). It is an improvement overall. Agree completely that they are all built to a price.

I found one rider in Thailand who owned both the X and currently the C400GT. He finds the C400 superior in all the critical measures, but he has an average build and not able to offer much relative to my ergos concerns.

Anyhow, I'm 6' 02", 235 with a 34" inseam and 35.5 shoulder to wrist length.

I love talking/typing about bikes. I am grateful for any comments that you all may have.
 

wspollack

Active member
@mzflorida :

Well, welcome to potential C 400 GT ownership.

First of all, I hope your wife comes through her illness okay, and sooner rather than later.

This may be TMI, but five+ years ago my wife had a serious cancer, to the point where we weren't sure she was going to make it. So we bought our fanciest car -- by a long shot -- because she wanted to either go out in style, a last hurrah sort of thing, or celebrate, if things turned out okay. She did two test drives of different variants, while I sat in the back, and the salesman rode shotgun. Happily, she came through it okay (although she gets CAT scans every six months), and we just finished paying off the car a couple of months ago.

Now, she's back to riding, which was my impetus for getting the 400: see my introductory post www.bmw-scooters.com/index.php?threads/new-c400gt-owner-albany-ny-area-may-2022.2460/

You must be a little cramped on your Xmax, with your inseam. I don't know the specific ergonomics of that scoot, but I suspect that you'll have more room on the Beemer.

BTW, save your pennies for the 400, as they'll likely come with the Premium Package -- the heated grips and seat that you don't need in FL. I wanted the grips, anyway, but as I understand the world of BMW dealerships, the bikes that arrive in the USA tend NOT to be the bare bones versions.

Last, I'm a farkler, too. If you haven't yet, you might want to check out my gallery (www.billanddot.com/C400GT/ , if you don't see my signature block on your device).
 

mzflorida

New member
@mzflorida :

Well, welcome to potential C 400 GT ownership.

First of all, I hope your wife comes through her illness okay, and sooner rather than later.

This may be TMI, but five+ years ago my wife had a serious cancer, to the point where we weren't sure she was going to make it. So we bought our fanciest car -- by a long shot -- because she wanted to either go out in style, a last hurrah sort of thing, or celebrate, if things turned out okay. She did two test drives of different variants, while I sat in the back, and the salesman rode shotgun. Happily, she came through it okay (although she gets CAT scans every six months), and we just finished paying off the car a couple of months ago.

Now, she's back to riding, which was my impetus for getting the 400: see my introductory post www.bmw-scooters.com/index.php?threads/new-c400gt-owner-albany-ny-area-may-2022.2460/

You must be a little cramped on your Xmax, with your inseam. I don't know the specific ergonomics of that scoot, but I suspect that you'll have more room on the Beemer.

BTW, save your pennies for the 400, as they'll likely come with the Premium Package -- the heated grips and seat that you don't need in FL. I wanted the grips, anyway, but as I understand the world of BMW dealerships, the bikes that arrive in the USA tend NOT to be the bare bones versions.

Last, I'm a farkler, too. If you haven't yet, you might want to check out my gallery (www.billanddot.com/C400GT/ , if you don't see my signature block on your device).
I definitely would not call the Xmax roomy for my size, but I did add the European seat and it helped quite a bit. Though the stock seat was very comfortable the Euro seat allows the rider to scoot back a couple of inches. In either configuration, stock. or euro, it is absolutely rideable. I think that much beyond a 34" inseam would start raising questions.

Thank you for the kind sentiments regarding my wife. We were pretty sure we got past it but it looks like it may have returned; just found that out last week and going through the process now. We're praying it is scar tissue showing up. I'm very happy to hear it is behind you all!

The finances are not an issue. Motorcycles and fishing are my only two "vices." Plus, having a wife who is a former rider helps a lot. She'd be just as likely to feel the "need" for Clearwater lights and a Corbin seat!

I did look at your blog last night. The blog and your farkles are both very well done! I've actually bookmarked a few of your pages as a reference should I buy this bike. I am happy to hear that your initial thoughts are that I may have more room on the C400.

I have another couple of questions. Is the front suspension mounted on a triple tree? Is the top speed limited to 80 on the C400? Though I was really wringing its neck to get there, I was over 90 GPS on the Xmax. The speed question is more of a curiosity than any kind of requirement. As an aside, they have made some very nice improvements to the 2023 Xmax, if you have not seen them yet.
 

wspollack

Active member
@mzflorida :

I have some answers for you.

Top Speed:

I was curious, too.

Short answer:

1) The owner's manual (and I think some specification tabs on a BMW site or two) actually says 86 MPH. That's what I got, after break-in, c. 1,000 miles, for my first test.

2) After c. 4,000 miles, I got it up to 89, on level ground, on my second test.

3) Third test, a few weeks later, on a long downhill run, I got it up to 91.6 (and took a video of the speedo and tach).

The first and third speeds were determined with a GoPro Hero9, which has a stellar -- 18 Hz! -- GPS chip, the second with a 10 Hz Hero11. The speedometer reads a couple percent high, as is customary in bikes (the odometer is dead nuts on, btw, at least with new-ish tires).

Long answer, with videos, see the thread I started on this:


Front Suspension:

I'm a goober when it comes to forks. I've never messed with them on any bikes, hardly know what they look like, etc. So I don't really understand your question.

I've attached a couple of screen grabs from the manual (see www.bmw-scooters.com/index.php?threads/bought-pdf-shop-manual-for-c-400-gt.2474/ ) I bought, which might have the sort of info that you're looking for, along with a pic I just took in the garage, looking back over the front fender (i.e., similar to the second manual image).

Funds:

I haven't mentioned that especially the official luggage rack and top case are silly expensive, if you're interested. Note that the C 400 X that we had rented for a couple weeks had this configuration, and that that was the setup that my wife liked, so that was that. If I were always riding solo, or willing to experiment in this area (and I'm not willling -- see "... wife liked ..."), I might go with the adjustable Shad case and still order the BMW luggage rack, I think. Anyway, just something to keep in mind.
 

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wspollack

Active member
Oh, one other thing. I was just re-reading your last post, and the different Xmax seat you got reminded me of this:

On both of my Burgman 650s, I removed the butt bumper or whatever it's called. This made it like your "European seat," I gather: adds a couple of inches to scoot back (and I did add bar-back/risers to both of those).

To get to the point, I tried that on the C 400 GT, in the garage. That is, I removed the butt bumper thingy (three screws underneath). Unfortunately:

1) What's behind that bumper is not tough, weather-resistant, material, like the rest of the seat. On a Burgman, that area is finished just like the rest of the actual seating area (although you wind up with two holes, where riders often plug in a backrest), but this is not the case with the 400.

2) Some plastic pieces from underneath/inside the seat jut into that area, the area that the butt bumper covers up, and are lightly covered by the thin vinyl back there. That is, it is not a smooth area.

The bottom line is that that bumper is really not meant to be removed, the rider is really not meant to sit all the way back there if it were removed, etc. Just thought I'd point that out, as I don't recall anyone's mentioning that on the 400 forum. It's possible, I suppose, to have an upholsterer remove some of the fore-aft width of the bumper, which might yield, say, an inch, but that's it, IMO.
 

mzflorida

New member
I still have not been able to ride one but I put a refundable deposit down on one that is on its way to a dealer just north of me. Should be here right after the first of the year. It’s alpine white with the premium package. Fingers crossed.
 

ooop

New member
I had a 400xmax for 5 years and acquired a c400gt about 5 months ago . i think i find the main differences between the two bmw has very little under seat storage while traveling.So i put on givi v47 top box,in most every other respect handling especially in cross winds .fuel consumption is a fair bit better.Power is similar. maintenance is still a pain,the BMW rear suspension is on hardest setting and is just about good enough for two up, Sure we can all nitpic about this and that but i wouldn't go back, the c400 is an easy machine to get to like.
 

mzflorida

New member
I had a 400xmax for 5 years and acquired a c400gt about 5 months ago . i think i find the main differences between the two bmw has very little under seat storage while traveling.So i put on givi v47 top box,in most every other respect handling especially in cross winds .fuel consumption is a fair bit better.Power is similar. maintenance is still a pain,the BMW rear suspension is on hardest setting and is just about good enough for two up, Sure we can all nitpic about this and that but i wouldn't go back, the c400 is an easy machine to get to like.
The X does have a lot of storage under the seat, for sure. I've only found one other person who went from the X to the C, but both have said they would not go back. The other owner has the opinion that the C400 is superior to the Xmax in every measure except under seat storage.

What is it that makes you feel the maintenance is a pain? Interesting observation on the power being similar across the two bikes. I would have thought that the HP increase (21%) with the C400GT would have been noticeable. Overtaking another vehicle while riding the Xmax is not fun.

EDIT: Sorry. You are coming from a 400 CC Yamaha.
 
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ooop

New member
When i say maintenance is a pain ,i mean a simple job like removing the rear wheel is almost a career move .Oil is simple on pretty well all the scoots that i have had most everything else i have to psych myself up to remove panels which sort of tends to put me off doing stuff
 

mzflorida

New member
When i say maintenance is a pain ,i mean a simple job like removing the rear wheel is almost a career move .Oil is simple on pretty well all the scoots that i have had most everything else i have to psych myself up to remove panels which sort of tends to put me off doing stuff
Thanks for the explanation. I still do love working on bikes. But, if it becomes too big of a PITA, off to the shop it goes!
 

mzflorida

New member
Hello everyone. On of the contributors on another forum informed me that the C400 has a history of losing body panels while underway. I have not seen another reference to that. Has anyone heard of that or experienced it firsthand?
 

mjnorris

Member
If the front upper panels are fastened like the c650gt be very careful with the screw at the front. A previous owner of my second one had broken the mounting tab. The other there we’re holding fine. On the expressway going to work one morning a gust of wind under the front body apparently pushed the front corner of the panel and the hiway speed wind just ripped it right off. This is not a problem if the front tab is not broken. If all of the fasteners are intact the panels hold just fine and do not vibrate at all. Just make sure that front fastener is intact.
 

mzflorida

New member
If the front upper panels are fastened like the c650gt be very careful with the screw at the front. A previous owner of my second one had broken the mounting tab. The other there we’re holding fine. On the expressway going to work one morning a gust of wind under the front body apparently pushed the front corner of the panel and the hiway speed wind just ripped it right off. This is not a problem if the front tab is not broken. If all of the fasteners are intact the panels hold just fine and do not vibrate at all. Just make sure that front fastener is intact.
Thanks for that! I'll take a look when I have the chance to sit on one. It is still supposed to be here in January, which confounds me in that we are still in this supply chain mess.
 

wspollack

Active member
Thanks for that! I'll take a look when I have the chance to sit on one. It is still supposed to be here in January, which confounds me in that we are still in this supply chain mess.
A couple of things:

1) I've taken off most of the bodywork in the front and the back of the C 400 GT (see gallery), and it all seemed pretty well put together to me: all Torx screws, with a few added expandomatic gizmos. And the few pieces I didn't take off seemed to be well tucked underneath the parts I did take off. I only found two plastic push-pin rivets on the whole bike so far (toward the front of the underseat storage).

I've had two Burgman 650s, which used dozens of the push-pins, which get old and brittle and don't hold things all that well. On those bikes there was a plastic cover next to the glove box that would fly off if you opened the glove box door at speed. Lost one of those, and then I put tethers on the replacement, and on the second scoot.

On my Victory bagger, there was a plastic side panel that some folks reported loosing. I put heat-shrink tubing over one of the plastic barbs that went into a grommet to forestall that; I haven't seen anything like that on the C 400. On the same bagger, a very few folks reported having saddlebags depart the bike; I replaced their two dzus fasteners per side with bolts, to avoid that possibility.

No such problems for me on the C 400 GT. And remember, I've done three how-fast-will-this-go runs on the scoot, and put more than 4,000 miles on it since taking delivery in June.

2) In terms of the supply chain, you are aware that the scoot is made in China, right?


That's still a long way to come, and possibly the covid-shutdown issues over there aren't helping, either.
 
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mzflorida

New member
A couple of things:

1) I've taken off most of the bodywork in the front and the back of the C 400 GT (see gallery), and it all seemed pretty well put together to me: all Torx screws, with a few added expandomatic gizmos. And the few pieces I didn't take off seemed to be well tucked underneath the parts I did take off. I only found two plastic push-pin rivets on the whole bike so far (toward the front of the underseat storage).

I've had two Burgman 650s, which used dozens of the push-pins, which get old and brittle and don't hold things all that well. On those bikes there was a plastic cover next to the glove box that would fly off if you opened the glove box door at speed. Lost one of those, and then I put tethers on the replacement, and on the second scoot.

On my Victory bagger, there was a plastic side panel that some folks reported loosing. I put heat-shrink tubing over one of the plastic barbs that went into a grommet to forestall that; I haven't seen anything like that on the C 400. On the same bagger, a very few folks reported having saddlebags depart the bike; I replaced their two dzus fasteners per side with bolts, to avoid that possibility.

No such problems for me on the C 400 GT. And remember, I've done three how-fast-will-this-go runs on the scoot, and put more than 4,000 miles on it since taking delivery in June.

2) In terms of the supply chain, you are aware that the scoot is made in China, right?


That's still a long way to come, and possibly the covid-shutdown issues over there aren't helping, either.
Thanks. Yes, I know they are built in China. Under most conditions it is only about 15 days from Shanghai and 18 days from Guangzhou to arrive at LA; pretty short trip. My point is we are three years into this mess, and conditions have only marginally improved.
 

wspollack

Active member
Thanks. Yes, I know they are built in China. Under most conditions it is only about 15 days from Shanghai and 18 days from Guangzhou to arrive at LA; pretty short trip. My point is we are three years into this mess, and conditions have only marginally improved.
Ah, got it.

You suppose they have to also go to some BMW warehouse first? I think when I ordered mine, last day of May, it had to be shipped to Troy from — I think — a warehouse in NJ. Took a couple of weeks (which was strange, too).
 
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