At the recent launch of the electric BMW i4 and iX3, the automaker made a fleeting announcement that an electric BMW-branded motorcycle will also land in local showrooms “soon”.
This was all it was prepared to reveal at the time, leaving the rest for us to figure out.
Luckily, BMW currently only has one battery-powered two-wheeler in its global catalogue that is not in concept stage, meaning this is likely the model that will go on sale in South Africa unless the German automaker surprises its fans with a different one in the near future.
This electric motorcycle is called the CE 04, which was built completely from the ground up with an emphasis on modern design and usability in urban environments.
“The BMW CE 04 is our new electric star for the city,” said the manufacturer when it unveiled the scooter in July last year.
“It combines an e-drive with emotion and motorcycling fun. The latest technology, and the best battery cells, which also provide power in the BMW iX. Just like the CE 04, all future new BMW Motorrad models for urban mobility will be pure electric.”
CE 04 specs
BMW’s first electric two-wheeler for the mass market is equipped with an 8.9kWh battery pack powering a 31kW electric motor situated between the rear wheel and power source – which can be reduced to 23kW.
In the more powerful option, the CE 04 sprints from 0-50km/h in 2.6 seconds while top speed is limited to 120km/h in both specifications.
A maximum driving range of 100-130km, depending on the model, further aims to make this BMW the ideal option for individuals who spend most of their time in the urban jungle.
Its public charging times are also relatively short, powering up from 0-100% in one hour and 40 minutes when using a 6.9kW current, but on the more conventional 2.3kW home cable, it takes four hours and 20 minutes to do the deed.
As BMW is known for its exciting driving characteristics, it’s no surprise that attention was pored into how the CE 04 will perform not only in a straight line but also around corners.
The engineering team has increased riding stability through the addition of “automatic stability control” which limits engine torque in relation to rear-wheel slip. Dynamic traction control settings can also be had for an additional cost.
Moreover, three riding modes tailor the motorcycle for everyday driving conditions in the case of “Road” mode, saving power and increasing range in “Eco”, or improving grip with “Rain” – while once again a “Dynamic” drive mode can be optioned, too, “enabling the scooter to accelerate at an even swifter pace,” said BMW.
A powerful braking system with ABS, “directionally stable” suspension, a one-piece tubular steel frame, and 15-inch wheels are also instrumental in achieving the levels of dynamic performance buyers will be satisfied with.
Like its electrified four-wheeled siblings, the CE 04 boasts new-age features that bring heaps of functionality to the rider’s fingertips.
Front and centre sits a 10.25-inch display with integrated navigation and “extensive connectivity as standard”, whereas powerful all-round LED lighting ensures excellent visibility at night.
A ventilated phone charging compartment is also included with a USB-C connection, as well as side and front storage pods with a helmet compartment that can now be opened and closed while seated.
The BMW CE 04 is currently on sale in regions including Europe and North America, at a starting price of US$11,795 (R197,000).
BMW must still confirm the official South African-specific features, pricing, and launch date of the electric motorcycle coming to our showrooms, which are expected to be revealed later in 2022.
BMW CE 04