2022 BMW CE 04 Review – First Ride – Motorcycle.com
With no US publications invited to Barcelona for the BMW CE 04 introduction (that we know of), we enlisted Friend of MO Bertand Gahel to give us his thoughts on BMW’s second generation urban electric scooter. He didn’t disappoint. —Ed.
Hardly a week goes by without another headline about some car company phasing out its internal combustion engine development or some new electric car being launched. Large motorcycle OEMs, however, definitely don’t seem overly pressured to replace fuel by electricity. Sure, from Yamaha to Triumph to KTM, everyone regularly mentions some electric project in the works. But in terms of actual production models, when it comes to those big brands, the reality is not even a handful exist. Even more impressive, then, that BMW is now introducing its second generation battery-powered maxi-scooter, the futuristic 2022 CE 04. Just as remarkable is the fact that it’s a genuine redesign vs the first-gen C Evolution.
The way the CE 04 looks is intimately linked to how it’s built. BMW Motorrad design head honcho Edgar Heinrich explains that working on an electric project like the CE 04 has been extraordinarily liberating for himself and his team: “You must understand that the architecture for an ICE-powered motorcycle is pretty much defined: there isn’t a lot you can really move around. But with an electric design, you work with a blank page. The architecture isn’t just completely different, but also quite flexible. We can move big parts around if we want to and those choices give us more design freedom than we’ve had in a very long time. We can be creative and different with style and the engineering will still work. We very much took advantage of that with the CE 04.”
Heinrich isn’t exaggerating: his team obviously got a green light to be unusually creative with styling and, compared with the first-gen C Evolution, everything really did get moved around on the CE 04. The C Evolution – the first battery-powered motorcycle produced by a large OEM – used its massive central battery module as a structural part of the frame and generally looked like a regular gas-powered maxi-scooter. The CE 04 is a completely …….