Pictures by: Evans Brasfield
With no US publications invited to the press launch of the BMW CE 04 greater than a 12 months in the past, we needed to enlist the assistance of our pal Bertrand Gahel to ship us his ideas within the type of his First Ride Review. 13 months later, we lastly obtained our fingers on the BMW scoot.
Critics of electrical bikes – and there are numerous you – have made their factors completely clear: An electrical motorbike merely doesn’t make sense. At the least not but. They don’t go far sufficient, they usually don’t cost quick sufficient to make any cheap sense to personal.
An electrical scooter with a futuristic design that’s good for doing scooter issues. Disgrace in regards to the value, although.
Editor Rating: 83.75%
A scooter, nevertheless, is a unique animal solely. Not like your traditional motorbike that’s constructed to whisk you away to faraway locations, scooters are city utility automobiles by and thru. Constructed to zip round metropolitan areas shortly and with ease, scooters are all about quick jaunts, working errands, and being sensible alternate options to vehicles or customary bikes. This, associates, is the place an electrical scooter makes a ton of sense. EVs have been made for this sort of factor. BMW’s CE 04, particularly, makes a powerful case for itself on this very particular setting (apart from one level, which we’ll save for the top).
The Case For Electrical Mobility
Full disclosure; I’m penning this evaluate after having the CE 04 in my possession for a couple of week, which isn’t almost sufficient time to know each facet of what it’s prefer to reside with such a distinct segment car like this. A complete evaluate this isn’t, nevertheless it does give a style. That stated, my use case was good for the CE 04 (and any EV and/or scooter). I wanted an around-town go-getter for making fast journeys, working errands, getting a chew to eat, or going to the health club. All of these items are a 10-mile spherical journey, door-to-door. Max. My automotive or motorbike has hardly warmed up by the point the journey is over. The CE 04 was made for this, and I ran round city for every week, a number of instances. Moreover, I solely plugged it in to my house 110v wall outlet on the finish (with 30% cost nonetheless exhibiting) simply to see what that was like.
The CE 04 comes customary with three using modes: Eco, Rain, and Highway. Our tester got here with the non-obligatory $500 Consolation Package deal which, amongst different issues, features a heated seat and a Dynamic using mode. You possibly can most likely guess what sort of energy supply the 4 modes delivered, however the true distinction is the regenerative braking. Eco and Dynamic modes each sluggish the scoot down with a fierceness while you let off the throttle. Highway and Rain are someplace within the center and much much less aggressive.
This issues as a result of there’s a small studying curve that comes with the CE 04, however if you happen to’re acquainted with BMWs, no less than the consumer interface can be very acquainted for the reason that buttons and scroll wheel on the left bar are widespread amongst BMW’s different bikes. Me being me, I saved it in Dynamic mode 90% of the time, which gave me confidence that I may leap off the road with a bang and simply depart vehicles behind when the lights turned inexperienced. Conversely, if the sunshine was purple forward and I timed it good, I may let off the throttle and let the regenerative braking actually deliver me to a cease with out ever touching the brakes.
Underneath The Hood
BMW claims 0-30 mph in underneath 2.6 seconds, which is well sufficient to win the stoplight drag race in opposition to fellow motorists. With 42 hp and 45.7 lb-ft at its disposal from its liquid-cooled motor, the CE 04 has its sights set squarely on its 400cc fuel counterparts – therefore the 04 in its identify. The 8.8 kWh air-cooled battery borrows cell expertise from the iX line of electrical vehicles the German model sells, making for environment friendly use of firm assets and tech. The CE 04 is something however gentle, coming in at 527 kilos totally charged (smirk) on the MO scales. That’s actually heavier than any of its fuel counterparts, however as a result of the batteries mainly lie flat on the backside of the body, the burden isn’t as clearly seen. Nevertheless, if you happen to want a little bit additional assist transferring it or getting out of a parking spot, there’s a handy reverse button that corresponds to the quantity of throttle given.
Not like a fuel scooter, you’re not ready for a variator to translate the engine’s intent into ahead movement. The direct drive of the electrical motor means you possibly can twist and go. Regardless of the seat trying flat, it’s truly cushioned pretty properly with a small lip within the again to maintain you from scooching too far rearward, and though it’s not a real step-through design we count on from scooters, the lengthy floorboards give your toes ample room. They even sweep upwards if you’d like the feet-forward place. The non-obligatory heated seat (to go together with the heated grips) that got here with the Consolation Package deal was particularly welcome through the bizarre chilly spell we’ve been having in SoCal recently.
You’re rolling on 15-inch wheels at each ends, however these wheels have a stable face – as in, there aren’t any spokes such as you’re used to seeing on moto wheels. They add some cool fashion factors and certain assist a smidge with aerodynamics, nevertheless it does make me surprise how they’d maintain up in a powerful cross wind…
Nonetheless, you don’t count on Cadillac ranges of suspension journey from a scooter, and the CE 04 doesn’t do a lot to alter that notion. It handles town streets with out a lot jarring to the rider, although some additional suspension journey within the rear can be very welcome. The three.6 inches the shock comes with isn’t as much as the duty. A complete of three 265mm discs (two up entrance, one within the rear) are paired with J.Juan calipers, and as talked about earlier than, if you happen to reap the benefits of the regenerative braking, you’ll hardly want to the touch them. Nevertheless, if you happen to do have to make a panic cease, you should use the hand levers and cease the CE 04 in a short time. The brakes are fairly robust.
Because of the CE’s large 10-inch TFT show, there’s actually no cause why you gained’t know the vital stats. It’s all there in plain sight, and if you happen to’re feeling inclined, it might additionally pair along with your telephone and present navigation on the display. I didn’t decide to do this, although I did decide to reap the benefits of the devoted cubby beneath the bars that’s outfitted with a spring-loaded tray to maintain your telephone in place and cost cable for each iOS and Android telephones. These subsystems are powered by a secondary 12v battery in order to not drain the principle one.
The CE 04’s look is a giant deal for the model and its workforce of designers, because it’s almost the identical as its Motorrad Concept BMW unveiled again in 2017. How typically has an idea made it to manufacturing trying this related to one another? It’s not typically. The futuristic design with a lot of the visible heft targeted on the entrance of the scoot is all there. As you progress again, the floating seat design is essentially saved intact, with the under-seat storage compartment sufficiently big to carry most three-quarter helmets, however only a few full-face helmets – particularly you probably have communicators connected. It’s instances like these that you just discover the empty house between the seat and the storage compartment and need the designers appreciated the sensible advantages utilizing all of that house would have offered as a substitute of holding true to the design aesthetic. However I digress…
Because the eyes proceed to shift rearward, you possibly can’t assist however discover the seemingly bare rear wheel standing out within the open. It helps lend to the visible narrowness of the CE 04, and if you happen to’re so inclined, BMW has accent saddlebags that may occupy house again there. I appreciated the narrowness, as filtering between vehicles and tight areas was straightforward. An enormous steering sweep can also be fairly sensible as a result of the CE 04, and its 66-inch wheelbase, is lengthy. Mix that with 26.5º of rake angle and 4.7 inches of path, and altering instructions shouldn’t be its robust go well with. You’ll be glad to have that reverse button in a car parking zone. Transferring round at sluggish speeds, the entrance requires some muscle and energetic bar inputs to steer. At greater speeds, the CE feels secure, however route adjustments nonetheless want muscle.
No dialogue about an EV is full with out speaking about charging. As talked about on the high of the evaluate, my particular use case for the CE 04 was precisely throughout the capabilities of an electrical. Beginning at 100%, a full week of quick journeys, together with quick jaunts on the freeway – the place the BMW would normally speed up to precisely 79 mph and keep there until in a draft, then it might hit 80 mph – left me with 30% by the top of it. Certainly the regenerative braking round city helped restore a few of that juice, too. I may have simply plugged it into my 110v wall outlet on the finish of every day however didn’t see the necessity.
BMW claims it’ll go 80 miles on a full cost, however as we all know with EVs, mileage claims fluctuate wildly relying on how heavy your proper hand is and the way a lot freeway cruising is concerned. The onboard battery degree indicator does appear to be extraordinarily pessimistic – most likely to scare its rider to cost lengthy earlier than it really must. That stated, BMW claims a very drained battery can be again at 100% in a little bit over 4 hours. The non-obligatory fast charger will slice that to underneath two hours. Contemplating how uncommon it’s for somebody to really trip an EV all the way down to absolute zero every trip, charging from 20%-80% takes 45 minutes with the fast charger, however remains to be a matter of hours with a regular outlet.
The Large Hiccup
Virtually talking, the CE 04 makes whole sense. Electrification of the 400cc scooter class is a great transfer for somebody trying inside that house. The CE 04 will outperform its gas-powered counterparts in a number of totally different classes (besides perhaps storage) and appears infinitely higher doing it. In fact, this comes at a value. Beginning at $11,795, the CE 04 stops making sensible sense for all however the rich. Then once more, you already knew this scooter couldn’t compete on value to its gas-powered brethren.
In an alternate universe, the place EVs may compete on value, it makes numerous sense.
|2022 BMW CE 04 Specs|
|Engine Sort||Liquid-cooled everlasting magnet synchronous motor with floor magnets|
|Max. Horsepower||42 hp (31 kW) at 4,900 rpm (claimed)|
|Max. Torque||47.5 lb-ft (62 Nm) from at 1,500 rpm (claimed)|
|Most velocity||80 mph (electronically restricted)|
|Acceleration 0-31mph||2.6 s (claimed)|
|Vary||81 miles (claimed)|
|Vitality Recuperation||Automated recuperation when coasting and braking|
|Battery||Air-cooled lithium-ion high-voltage battery|
|Battery Voltage||148 V (rated)|
|Charging Fee||2.3 (6.9) kW, built-in charging unit (non-obligatory fast charger)|
|Charging||Charging cable with country-specific plug|
|Charging time at 110 V / 15 A||approx.. 5:30 h for 100%; 80% in approx.. 4:25 h (claimed)|
|Charging time at 220 V / 30 A||approx.. 1:40 h for 100%; 80% in approx.. 1:05 h (claimed)|
|Secondary battery||12 V / 5 Ah, maintenance-free|
|Body||Tubular metal, double craddle|
|Entrance suspension||Telescopic, Ø 35 mm, non adjustable, 4.3” of journey|
|Rear suspension||Single-sided swing arm with straight mounted spring strut, spring pre-load adjustable, 3.6” of journey|
|Wheelbase||65.9 inches (1,675 mm)|
|Castor||4.7 inches (120 mm)|
|Steering head angle||63.5°|
|Wheels||Forged aluminum wheels|
|Rim, entrance||3.50 x 15″|
|Rim, rear||4.50 x 15″|
|Tires, entrance||120/70 R 15|
|Tires, rear||160/60 R 15|
|Brake, entrance||Twin disc brakes, 4-piston fastened calipers, diameter 265 mm|
|Brake, rear||Single disc brake, single-piston floating caliper, diameter 265 mm|
|ABS||BMW Motorrad ABS|
|Size||89.9 inches (2,285 mm)|
|Width (incl. mirrors)||33.7 inches (855 mm)|
|Peak||45.3 inches (1,150 mm)|
|Seat peak, unladen weight||30.7 inches (780 mm)|
|Curb Weight||509 lbs. (231 kg), claimed|
|Permitted whole weight||904 lbs. (410 kg), claimed|
We’re dedicated to discovering, researching, and recommending the very best merchandise. We earn commissions from purchases you make utilizing the retail hyperlinks in our product critiques. Learn more about how this works.
Turn out to be a Bike.com insider. Get the newest motorbike information first by subscribing to our publication here.