M1 Removal of front panel - with your fingers at the base of the headlamp panel ease the base forward pivoting around the top - it is secured into four holes and may be stiff to remove. Once it is away by a few inches at the bottom wiggle it to untuck the tabs at the top. They are easy to break, usually at least one will already be broken, it doesn't matter. When you refit it vaseline the holes and future removals will be much easier.
M2 Removal of Top Box - From the inside of the top box turn the red wheel anti clockwise then lift the retaining lever to fully vertical. The top box will then lift a little at the rear and can be pulled backwards away from the bike. Be careful not to break the prongs by lifting the box too far and never do it when it's icy as the prongs can be frozen to the bike.
M3 Battery Location - With the Top Box removed open the rear storage area with the bike key, the battery is behind a cover, push down on the top of the cover to remove the battery cover. Be very careful refitting the battery if you reverse the terminals you will fry the wiring loom and that writes the bike off.
M4 Oil Check - With the bike on level ground and the engine warm (having allowed time for the oil to drain back) unscrew dipstick on right of engine and check the lever resting dipstick on threads (ie not screwed in) Avoid overfilling.
M5 Tyres Pressures - Front 27 Rear 30 (or to taste )
M6 Fuelling - Open seat using ignition key and brim to the top, the overflow is external so it's OK to fill to the top of the neck. There is often a vacuum and on some bikes the filler cap can be fairly stiff - this is the luck of the draw.
M7 Trip and Mileage - There are two plastic buttons at the base of the speedo, the left button toggles between trip and mileage. When on trip holding the tight button for a couple of seconds zeroes the trip. Holding both bottons together for 2 seconds allows you to adjust the clock.
M8 Screenwash and Wiper Speeds - The screenwash button is behind the top of the throttle twistgrip and will wash for as long as you press it and the wipers will continue for a little while after the button is released. Wiper position one will give an intermittent wipe when moving and a slower intermittent when stationary, the full on position will give a constant wipe when moving and a more frequent intermittent when stationary.
M9 Fuses - Fuses are behind the riders backrest and are accessed by opening the seat with the ignition key, undoing two knobs at the base of the backrest and lifting the backrest upwards and out.
M10 Low battery High Tickover - If the ECU senses low battery power it will speed up the tickover to maximise battery charging. This can sound worrying but is normal.
M11 Use of Hazards - The hazards can only be activated with the ignition switched on but can be turned off at any time. This is to prevent children (of any age) turning them on whilst parked but does not prevent a recovery operator turning them off without a key.
P1 Locking/ Unlocking - With the handlebars turned to the right turn the ignition key anti clockwise to the 9.00 o/c position. This may require a little wiggling of the handlebar. Turning the key too far (to the 8.00 o/c position) will activate the parking lights and may flatten the battery. It is good practice when leaving the bike to visually check that the ignition is at 9.00 o/c and glance at the tail light.
P2 Left Belt First, then Right - Please fasten the left belt first (reaching over to your left shoulder with your right hand) then the right belt with your left hand. The manual is specific on this. Do it whilst the bike is on the stand as it is easy to overbalance whilst you are trying to locate the seat belt socket, also the bike can roll as you release the brake to play with the belts.
P3 Avoid Emergency Belt Release - The red handle in front of the handlebar will release the belts in emergency. Some owners use them routinely to release the belts. If you do this the belts will fly up out of control, will chip the paintwork of the shoulder hoops and, if you're really lucky, smash you in the mouth. Gradually they will wear and stretch the emergency release cable and trust me (speaking from experience) when you are on your side struggling to get out of a C1 you really want that cable to work as well as it can. Often when the rider's weight is pulling hard on the belts they can be extremely difficult to release. Using the red handle daily is not a good idea. The polite way to release the belts is the same as in a car, press the buckle release and pass the belt back over your shoulder.
P4 Weight Off Seat - When operating the centre stand raise your bottom until no weight is bearing the seat. This will make operating the main lever less effort and give the actual stand more clearance from the ground. It is the stand cables (the operation of the smaller lever) that break and if you feel ANY resistance when operating the smaller lever STOP and move the lever back to the position it is moving from. This can happen if the ground is uneven or more commonly if the bike is not at right angles to the ground. It's easy to break cables, we have all done it at least once, and it's a real pain riding with broken cables. Experienced C1 owners rarely do it!
P5 Stand, Nearest Lever First - to take bike off stand UNWEIGHT THE SEAT then use larger lever, raise all the way to the handle bars (Tthis paces the front wheel back on the ground) then push the small lever downwards until the stand is raised. Be gentle with the small lever, that is the one that breaks. To place bike on stand UNWEIGHT SEAT, pull small lever up to lower the stand, the pull large lever all the way up to the bars then back a little which will lower the bike and stand onto the ground. They easy way to remember is to move the lever that is nearest to you first!
P6 Starting Routine - Hold back brake lever on, close throttle and press starter. That's the theory! Some C1s start more willingly than others and I alway find if there is the slightest doubt they start easier when off the stand. Sometimes they may require a tiny amount of throttle. There is crank sensor which will disallow a start beneath a certain amount of revs. if the battery is low it will never start no matter how hard you try, don't trash your sprag clutch, charge or replace your battery instead. Some C1s are pigs to start - a conmon culprit is valves but there could be a million reasons. Ideally they are effortless, closed throttle even on the stand they start (hot or cold) with no drama - it's great if you have one like that!
P7 Parking Watch for Parking Light - I've covered this elsewhere but if you flatten your battery that way it's worth turning the parking light off and waiting 20 - 30 minutes - the battery sometimes recovers enough to allow a start.
P7 Fuel Range - I usually get 75 MPG and the tank holds a little over 2 gallons so a brimmed tank will get you 150 miles, maybe more. I always reset the trip when I fill up and, although the fuel light will come on between 100 and 110 miles, you have about 40 miles from when it comes on. Ideally fuel up as soon as the fuel light comes on but if you are running on fumes 150 miles is probably as far as you should push it (or you may end up pushing it!)
G1 Do Not Park Downhill - As it says on the box park on level ground or ideally a little nose up. But more than that, if you have a three point stand the bike will be seriously unstable and you should fit the two point stand ASAP. BMW modified the stand after about a year and upgraded owners free of charge (if requested), that's how seriousy BMW took it.
G2 Mirrors as "Whiskers" - They are the widest part of the bike and can be used to gauge a gap. Be aware that the mirrors may go through only to catch the "Tits". Also to squeeze through a gap it is common practice the fold the mirrors flat. Some confident members filter with them permanantly folded and I really cannot recommend that.
G3 Use of a Book - Sometimes it is possible to find yourself in a situation where there is not enough clearance to raise the stand. This can often happen when parked at right angles to a heavily cambered road. It's a good idea to carry an unwanted paperback (Barbara Cartland works best) and pack as many pages as you can under the front wheel. This will give additional clearance to raise the stand, As it's Barbara Cartland you then can ride off and leave the book behind.
G4 Open Face Recommended - Most of us ride lidded. Obviously the heavier the helmet the more chance of neck trauma due to increased inertia. Helmets should, therefore ideally be open face and as light as possible, engaging the seatbelts whilst wearing a full face helmet is a real joy but a visor is a good idea both for reasons of warmth and protection from flying objects, I have been hit by a stone thrown up by a car and narrowly missed an apple thrown by a schoolchild.
R1 Screenwash When Stationary - Screen washing when on the move usually results in screenwash splashing onto one's clothing. If the screen is washed when stationary this doesn't seem to happen. Your clothes, your choice.
R2 Forward with engine, back with feet - This is the Golden Rule of C1s. They are a pain to push forward from the seated position. Assuming your bike is a runner by far the easiest way to manoeuvre a C1 is to use the engine to move it forward and paddle it backwards with your legs.
R3 Beware of front pillar blind spots - Actually not really much of an issue unless the windkit is fitted but stay aware of the possibility.
R4 Beware of side blind spots - The mirrors will catch what's behind you but there are serious blind spots alongside the C1. ALWAYS perform a lifesaver shoulder check before turning or changing lanes.
R5 Both Feet Down When Stationary - This is more for very new owners but C1s are at their most unstable when stationary, they are particularly prone to moving about in response to gusty winds. It's probably a good idea to have both feet on the ground and the bike vertical whilst waiting at trafffic lights etc. Experienced owners will mix one foot down and two feet down according to wind conditions.
R6 One Foot Down to Set Off Into a Turn - This one is highly individual but if you are waiting to turn left at a junction it's possibly helpful to have your left foot down. The C1 will obviously lean slightly to the left and will have a tendancy to turn towards the left as you set off. For beginners this tip can work wonders.
R7 Avoid U-Turns, Instead Perform 3 Point Turns - U-Turns should certainly be avoided until the rider is fully experienced on a C1. It is easy to avoid a U-turn by riding the C1 to the middle of the road, rolling backwards to the kerb taking advantage of the road camber and then riding off making a simpler right turn.
R8 Confident throttle to Set Off - C1s don't take off very fast even when given a fistful of throttle. Don't be gentle when setting off, the C1 needs a certain amount speed to achieve stability and you need to get there quickly, so give it a reasonable amount of throttle. Keep your head up, look where you want to go and go for it!
R9 Revs Up Drag rear Brake to Manoeuvre - this works for many bikes but I guess it's more important on a C1, keep the engine revs reasonably high and control your speed by dragging the back brake. You can move the C1 almost to zero speed using this technique. Mini roundabouts, right and left turns and, yes, eventually U-turns - this one does the lot!
R10 Light Grip Unless Over Bumps - Most of the time relax your grip. C1s handle superbly well left to their own devices. If you are too tight on the bars it all goes to pieces.
R11 Lean Forward and Tighten Grip Over Bumps - If you notice a bumpy patch in time try to lean forward away from the backrest and tighten your grip to ensure that your back is not jolted, at the same time a firm grip will keep you holding onto the bars. Also stabilise the bike with a slight application of throttle. The suspension on a C1 is very forgiving if you do it right!
R12 Stop Upright In a Straight Line - Basic stuff, I know, but because of the top heavy nature of the C1 you really don't want to be leaning over when you stop. Sometimes it can't be helped but it's very easy to drop a C1 at such a time. Avoid by planning your route and anticipation. If you are turning into (say) a service road make sure the car you are following has a clear exit. Stopping a C1 mid manoeuvre is hard work.
R13 Follow The Wind - This one is a surprise. C1s are amazingly stable and really hard to unsettle. If you are on a windy motorway, getting blown all over the place, trying to keep the C1 in a straight line, try relaxing your grip and letting the C1 do it's own thing. It will weave along, following the wind and stay pretty well on course. All you will need to do is make minor corrections. Trust me on this, it really does work! I found this out on a very windy M4 by taking the C1 up to maximum speed and letting go of the handlebars It was a revelation!
R14 Bump "Twitching" and ABS Feel - C1 is incredibly hard to destabilise. If the front wheel hits a foreign object on the road the steering will twitch and immediately recompose itself. The rider needs take no action. If there is any tendancy towards a tank slapper when the handlebars are released the wheel bearings or front tyre make/pressure/wear are at fault. On Hoops and unworn bearings the front end of a C1 will compose itself with ease everytime it hits undulations, bumps or foreign objects. It is also very hard to lock up the brakes on a c1. If the ABS does activate, and this is almost always on the rear, you will feel a pulsing of the left hand brake lever which will probably pass quickly.
R15 Look Where You Want to Go/ Target Fixation - This is VERY basic, in a car, on a bike, on a c1 you will steer in the direction you are looking. Keep focussed on your intended course (looking at the girl on the pavement could mean you getting together sooner than planned)
R16 Honk/Screech/Bang - How often have you heard this? Hooting at someone rarely stops them proceeding with their manoeuvre, it may stop a pedestrian walking in front of you but it won't stop a duck, a car or probably even a motorcycle. When you hear The Honk someone is hooting (territorially) at an invader. When they ignore it the driver, having wasted valuable braking or swerving time panics, hits the brakes hard, locks up and skids into the other vehicle. That's the Screech and the Bang. My personal view is that avoiding action should be taken at the earliest opportunity and hooting just wastes time. Again, it's your bits and your choice.
R17 Road Positioning "King Position" - This one is highly subjective but I'll say it anyway. Lay out your left hand on your desk and spread your fingers. Your little finger is the kerb, your thumb is the white line in the middle of the road. You don't want to be riding your little finger cos you'll be in the gutter hitting the kerb. You don't want to be where your thumb is because you'll be at risk from cars coming the other way and risk being undertaken by vehicles. You don't want to be where your middle finger is because that's where the oil is (this is probably where CBT or Stage 2 test would tell you to be). Ideally you want to be on your index finger, the "King" position or if that is unsafe (always move away from danger) on the ring finger position. Those two positions are where the car wheels clear all the oil and nails from the road, and when in the king position cars will not mistake you for taking a left turn, nor will you be hidden behind trees road furniture etc. This positioning is the KEY to defensive riding. You must keep visible to other vehicles and away from the kerb whenever possible. If this is in any way new to you please take some advanced riding instruction, Bikesafe or IAM are an excellent and very affordable start. However good the secondary safety of a C1 is you can't beat not hitting the bloody car in the first place. And finally, sensible adherance to speed limits will minimise the hurt to all parties should the worst happen.
R18 Use of Throttle/ Cornering - OK this is all very basic and may generate many varied opinions, but here are some of mine. Obviously the C1 should be cornered in drive with at least gentle throttle for maximum stability. The old maxim is "Slow in Fast Out", set up your speed and line before the bend, enter on steady drive and open up as you power out of the corner. Another maxim is "Look, roll, lean" Look where you want to go, roll the throttle open and lean the bike into the bend. This WILL generate some comments but remember, the "Racing Line" is for racing, on the road it may get you killed. Instead use road positioning for maximum view and only accelerate through the bend when you can see your path is clear. It is claimed that every metre of extra road positioning to the right (for a left hand bend) is worth an extra 10 mph of exit speed (though I'm sure as hell they weren't referring to C1s ) There is also the technique of "Counter Steering". I cannot discuss this. DSA riding instructors are not allowed to teach this, nor is it mentioned in the excellent Police Roadcraft Manual as it is still considered too controversial to be taught to learners or inexperienced riders. I use it but if you want to use it you must look it up for yourself, for obvious reasons.
R19 Both Brakes 50% (not 75/25) - C1 carries a lot of it's weight to the rear. The usual advice of front 75% rear 25% ( 50 50 in the wet) doesn't really work well for a C1 as it very much relies on support from the rear brake for maximum braking. You can easily test this if you try braking a C1 from speed using front brake only and then attempting the same stop using both brakes 50 50, the difference is huge! So if in the dry you use 50 50 and in the wet you use the 50 50 that is already advised for conventional bikes, to me it makes sense. Comments invited on this one!
R20 Both sides of the Headlight Debate - The reason people use headlights for daytime running is to be seen. All modern bikes now have headlamps permanently on (so aren't we lucky to have a choice). The reason I don't want to use headlights during the day is that it makes it harder to signal with a flash of the headlamp (eg to signal HGV back in after their overtake) that if the C1 hits a bump (which will make the beam rise and fall )the car at a junction ahead may misread that as a flash to proceed signal. In particular it makes my brake light harder to be noticed by a following vehicle. There are two sides to this debate and my choice is definitely not to ride with lights on. It does also contribute to headlamp misting and heat cracking to the top of the light unit. Again this is very much personal choice but don't allow yourself to be brainwashed
C1 Feet in Footwells Where Possible - Try and keep your feet to the front of the footwell whenever moving. This helps to keep your legs inside the cage in a collision. However obvious this may be we all get into bad habits and have to constantly remind ourselves.
C2 Cross Arms in a Collision - This one feels really unnatural, BMW recommend that we fold our arms and grab hold of the seatbelts at the point of impact. There have been some horrendous, life changing, injuries to C1 riders whose arms (and indeed legs) have ended up outside of the cage and trapped between a moving C1 and a hard object. C1's seatbelts are designed to keep the rider away from the screen, dash etc. One of our members broke both wrists as she held onto the handlebars as she hit an oncoming car. It's hard to imagine having the nous to cross one's arms at such a moment but, nevertheless, that is what BMW recommend that we do.
(Cont next posting)