The BMW CE 04 is a seriously cool looking scooter, it gives us hope for the next generation of two wheelers. Jenko headed down to Melbourne to test it out... Photos: BMW Motorrad Australia
The launch of BMW’s latest fully electric scooter the CE 04 would see us head to Melbourne to test the full electric offering in the southern capitals urban sprawl and find out if this funky electric offering is indeed the ultimate way to navigate the city hustle bustle…
But first a brief presentation from the good people at BMW Motorrad, which highlighted the tech and design features of the CE 04. We got a glimpse of what the future holds for the German marque. Although there is plentiful design for future electric models there is still no commitment to end production of I.C.E motorbikes in the near future.
Check out our other electric reviews here…
The CE 04 builds on a process that began in 2014 with BMW’s first electric pilot bike, the C-Evolution electric scooter, which went on to sell more than 8,000 units globally before being cut from the Motorrad line-up in 2020. Fast forward to 2022 and BMW’s CE 04 is now on sale in more than 38 countries, with strong results thus far. It’s now Australia’s turn to experience it, and potentially fall in love with the electric scooter.
Utilising synergies gained form the car side of BMW’s empire, the CE 04 builds on its urban mobility strategy. That translates to the CE 04 being the launch product for what the brand is sprucing as its silent revolution…
Buzz words and environmental agendas aside, it’s what the CE 04 can do on the road that matters. To get going on our test, we paired our phones, complete with the planned routes, and stuck it on the concealed proximity charging pad. I use an Android phone.
Into the urban sprawl we went, towards St Kilda, to get acquainted with the CE 04 and of course, get some happy snaps along the way. Let’s call a spade a spade here. It’s a bloody good electric scooter. Sure, it has limitations, like a range of 130km, but it’s aimed straight at those who want to use it for their urban commute and many scooter out there only have a similar range, they are not for touring use.
Engaging and captivating with that trademark electric torquey goodness is the substance that lies at the heart of what the CE04 offers the rider. 31kW, with the capability to the 0- 50km/h sprint in 2.6 seconds. As with most electric bikes, it’s always amusing to take the opportunity to tap into the instant, responsive linear acceleration and surprise bigger motorcycle riders with the zippiness, pulling away from traffic lights and leaving them behind.
“It’s always amusing to take the opportunity to tap into the instant, responsive linear acceleration and surprise bigger motorcycle riders with the zippiness…”
There are four selectable Ride Modes, including ECO, Rain, Road and Dynamic. They all influence acceleration, regenerative braking and, of course, range. We spent the majority of our time in Dynamic, enjoying the benefits of maximum electric acceleration.
Thanks to being in Melbourne, we were able to experience four seasons in a day, and test each of the ride modes. Road is probably the easiest to live with on a day to day basis, but the surprise packet was the performance of ECO mode. Yes, it didn’t have the performance off the line, but it was really strong through mid range power delivery.
Styling cues are a little futuristic and purposeful. Deliberate sharp flat surfaces are an obvious effort to conceal mechanical parts, although the rear wheel does resemble a space saver car tyre. That’s only a thing if we were being overly picky. The CE 04 is a big scooter too, or to be more accurate, a long one. That means it’s very accommodating for bigger humans, with plenty of leg room, and no chance of hitting your knees, like some smaller offerings.
The size doesn’t take away from lane filtering capability or city manoeuvrability though, and the CE 04 is even fitted with a reverse gear. It works perfectly to assist with the additional weight of the batteries and electrical components. Even with the heft, it manages a top speed of 120km/h.
The BMW CE 04 weighs 231kg, and is very long. It’s 855mm wide, but despite the size, very nimble. Standard seat height of 780mm makes it comfortable for most riders. A steel double looped frame with single bridge telescopic fork provides 100mm travel on the front. The rear set up features a single sided swingarm, with directly hinged suspension that provides 92mm travel. Combined with 15-inch rims, the CE 04 offers a firm but plush ride, with good handling dynamics.
Stopping power is provided by a dual 265mm rotors with a four-piston fixed callipers on the front, while the rear houses a single 265mm rotor and a single piston floating calliper. It’s much better than some of its rivals, and is bolstered by BMW Motorrad ABS.
From a tech perspective, a 10.25in TFT display delivers a decent range of rider information. It’s here you can access the Ride Modes too, which can also be operated from toggles on the handlebars. It provides full smartphone connectivity of course, as mentioned, and is easy enough to navigate.
Charging availability is still a contentious issue for local consumers, but it’s definitely improving (a new Federal government may further assist that). Importantly, the CE 04 can be charged from both a domestic socket, or at dedicated charging stations. When charging from a Mode 2 cable (provided as standard), plugged into normal socket or a standard column charger, you can get from 0-80 per cent in around 3.5 hours (1.9/2.3kW). An optional Mode 3 rapid charger can speed that up to 65 mins (6.9kW).
Storage for cables, helmets and bags is taken care of via an under seat compartment that can handle a full-sized lid. There are also three concealed compartments that can hold wallets, keys and phones, located under the dash on the front of the scooter. A range of accessories are available too, including an additional side bag, sticker kits and upgraded sports seats. Niceties such as heated grips and a similarly toasty seat come standard with the scooter.
“You can get from 0-80 per cent in around 3.5 hours (1.9/2.3kW). An optional Mode 3 rapid charger can speed that up to 65 mins (6.9kW)”
We came away from the launch event a little relieved but mostly excited by the electric offering BMW Motorrad have bestowed upon us. Funky with a futuristic vibe, the future of urban mobility is no longer a task but a journey to be excited about.
The CE 04 is a tech packed scoot that is a blast to ride and makes the daily task of commuting a little less of a chore. Sure, like most people this particular bike reviewer loves an internal combustion engine as much as the next rider, but the transition to electric alternatives is made that little bit easier by machines such as the 2022 BMW CE 04 electric scooter.
Fitted with an abundance of tech and rider features, the CE 04 sits at the premium end of the scooter segment, with the range opening at $21,960 ride away. The spec’d up Avantgarde starts at just over $22,155 ride away.
The 2022 BMW CE 04 represents the future of urban mobility, regardless of our emotional connection to internal combustion. Bikes like this help make the journey a little easier and less confronting. I left this launch feeling like I have a new favourite scooter…
2022 BMW CE 04 Specifications
Price: $21,960 ($22,155 Avantgarde) rideaway
Colours: Avantgarde and Light White
Kerb weight: 230kg
Engine: Permanent magnet liquid-cooled synchronous, Electric motor, 148v, 4h and 20 min to full charge with normal charger, 1hr 40min with quick charger, 120km/h max speed.
Gearbox: Single-speed, integrated into motor housing, toothed belt
Frame: Steel double loop
Suspension: Telescopic fork with 100mm travel (f). Single sided swingarm, with directly hinged suspension with 92mm of travel (r)
Brakes: Four-piston fixed calipers, dual 265mm rotors – ABS (f) Single piston floating caliper, 265mm rotor (r)
Wheels & Tyres: Cast aluminum 15 x 3.50in 120/70R15 (f) 15 x 4.50in 160/60R15
Seat height: 780mm
Ground clearance: 140mm
Instruments: 10.25in TFT Dash with changeable Riding Modes.
Check out more reviews by Andrew Jenkins on www.exhaustnotes.com.au
The Verdict | Australian Launch: BMW CE 04 Electric Scooter