Nick has been out on the "Tron-like" 2022 BMW CE 04. Check out what he thought of daily commuting on the seriously cool and futuristic electric machine.... Photos: Kirsten Auditor
I spent a few weeks silently screaming around the local streets on BMW’s latest luxury, fully electric scooter, the 2022 BMW CE 04. I managed to put close to 500km on the battery powered machine, putting it through its paces in the twisties, the freeway and the CBD…
We attended the Australian launch of the CE 04, read about it here…
The first thing you notice is the different styling. It looks like something out of a Tron movie – it’s futuristic, with tons of tech that is hidden nicely underneath the plastics. It’s big, too, stretching out to 2285mm long. The seat height sits at 780mm, which makes it comfortable for most riders. The colours are simple, bright white paired with a completely blacked out chassis, motor, swingarm and wheels.
This colour scheme is the “Light White” however it is also available in “Magellan Grey Metallic. I’m not a huge fan of the choice of wheels for this current model, the solid steel look reminds me of a run-flat you’d put on a car in an emergency. I am assuming it was a cost cutting issue – as a nice set of alloys would look better and bring down the curb weight, and would be more suited to the price point.
The soft bag on the side is a neat addition. I managed to squeeze a laptop in there, as well as groceries. The footrests are roomy and blend in nicely under the fairings and storage compartments. Unfortunately, even when sitting as far back as I can, at 196cm tall my knees still manage to hit the front fairing, so the CE is not for taller riders.
Although the front windscreen looks fantastic and very minimal, it is slightly too short for my height and when the speeds went up past 100km/h – there was a lot of turbulence.
Up top in the control room, it’s roomy and spacious. The CE 04 comes with the standard BMW Motorrad control setup with intuitive switches, scroll wheel, the indicators, horn, lights, and reverse buttons are relatively easy to reach while riding. This reverse gear is damn helpful, particularly when I’d have to back it up to the side of our house to charge the scooter each evening, as I live in a villa.
The huge TFT display is very easy to read at 10.25 inches. From up here, you have the option to connect your mobile via the BMW Motorrad App, or via the standard Bluetooth connection. Otherwise, you can go via your helmet headset and answer phone calls, change and adjust music, and speak to Siri or Google! Performance data for the CE 04 is also easily visible, and you can check charge range, riding modes and average/current speed, odometer, and trip range.
The CE 04 boasts a watertight, ventilated charging compartment on the lower left hand side, which is fantastic for those of you who don’t run a bar mount. Although, a wireless charging compartment probably would have gotten a fair bit more use for me personally. The storage compartments open electronically with flush mounted buttons that also lock when the scooter is off. The huge central compartment easily fits a lid and gloves, as well as the included charger when not in use. Oh, and the heated grips and seat are a neat addition for those cold morning commutes.
The CE 04 comes with a 240V 2kW charging adapter ready to plug into any 10amp wall socket. You do have to make sure you set the charging current to something suitable/available from your wall socket. I had it set to 8 amps – which slowed the charging cycle down from the faster charge – however it was always at 100 per cent each morning.
I was lucky enough to access my University free charging stations. As these were set up for larger EVs like Tesla, you’d have to purchase an additional EV cable that would suit the charging station. Luckily, the University had a couple of charging bays that had cables attached for use. When charging from the standard cable, I’d get to around 80 per cent charge in just under four hours.
There are options to move up to the rapid charger, which will get you up to 80 per cent in around 65 minutes. For me, this would be rarely necessary given the workday is usually eight hours, plus an hour at the gym, I’d always be walking out to a fully charged scooter.
In terms of rider technology, you can cruise silently and safely with BMW’s tried and tested ABS and ASC, which come standard on the CE 04, while DTC and ABS pro are optional extras. Also, the key fob stays in the jacket pocket with BMW’s keyless ride. You literally hop on, press the button, kick up the stand and ride away. The CE 04 has four modes, Rain, Road, Eco and Dynamic, which increase the power output available and soften engine braking respectively. Given the crazy weather we’ve had in NSW recently, I had many opportunities to test out the handling and performance in each mode.
“Although it isn’t exactly what I’m used to, it’s a damn fun thing to ride, not to mention the cash I managed to save on fuel!”
The instant, linear power delivery of an electric motor never ceases to put a smile on my face, and the CE 04 is no exception. Even at 231kg, and with a 100kg rider on top, the scooter is nimble and lane filters with absolute ease.
The 31kW maximum electric power output enables you to get out in front of traffic easily at the lights, and it is surprisingly torquey, no matter the incline you’re on. I managed to sneak it up to 121km/h – however at this speed the wind buffeting was bad – and I could see the battery draining far faster than I needed it to.
You’re at 50km/h in 2.6 seconds – which is nothing to laugh about, especially considering the target environment for this scooter is the CBD and urban neighbourhoods, where limits sparsely get above the 60km/h mark.
In terms of range – I struggled to get near the reported 130km on a single charge. Around town, where the regenerative braking was in full force, I surpassed 100km range on the odd occasion, however, on the freeway I’d be lucky to hit 75km. This was even lower when there was a strong headwind.
This is expected, as I’m sure the reported range from BMW relied heavily on the charge acquired from the regenerative braking. Road mode is what I’d expect you would typically have it in day-to-day life. Given the weight and traction systems, I rarely felt the need to put it in rain mode, even in the worst weather conditions I had enough grip to feel very comfortable. I’d typically swap between Road and Dynamic – depending on how much fun I felt like having and how far from home I was…
The front 265mm discs are paired with a four-piston fixed caliper, while the rear 265mm disc and single floating caliper pull up the heavy scooter quite well, and I had no problems grabbing them in a hurry in the Newcastle CBD. These brakes are far better than many of the rival scooters on the market and compliment this modern machine nicely.
“Given the weight and traction systems, I rarely felt the need to put it in rain mode, even in the worst weather conditions I had enough grip to feel very comfortable.”
Despite the curb weight, it’s a smooth, nimble, and comfortable ride. The single bridge telescopic front forks provide 100mm of travel on the front, while the rear hinged suspension provides 92mm of travel. On the bigger bumps and potholes, it would bottom out with a bang, but for the most part, it handled the rain damaged roads of the Central Coast and Newcastle with ease…
While it was an awesome couple of weeks cruising in silence on this big, comfortable, and zippy EV, it’s not a machine I think I’d be running out to personally buy any time soon. Given that the purchase price starts at a whopping $21,960, it would take me nearly 10 years to recoup that money based on what I currently pay per week for fuel on my combustion powered motorcycles.
At 26 years old – that sort of money would help me into the housing market… That being said, it’s a beautiful machine packed to the gills with some great technology. If you’ve got the cash to spare and are interested in moving towards EV’s, it’s certainly worth a test ride. For me, I think I’ll continue pumping in the gasoline until these EV prices are more affordable, and the charging facilities become more accessible around my part of town.
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.
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The Verdict | Review: 2022 BMW CE 04 Electric Scooter