BMW CE-02: An Electric Not-Quite-A-Motorcycle

BMW wants young, hip riders to buy into its brand, and to that end, we now have the CE-02 electric motorcycle. Errr, maybe not quite a motorcycle. The marketeers themselves call it a “eParkourer” and say it isn’t quite an e-motorcycle or e-scooter.

So what is it?

It’s a battery bike, but scaled down from the CE-04. It’s made for urban hooliganism or A to B transport, but it’s not meant to replace a full-sized two-wheeled EV. It’s available in some markets in a 15 hp version, but also a 4 hp version in some markets that have “AM” driving licences for younger users. In other words, roughly equivalent to the 14-year-old scooter licences that some North American jurisdictions have. Indeed, BMW’s marketing seems to be skewed in some places towards that user base.

Of course, it uses a twist-and-go throttle, with no user-shifted gearbox. But while it’s not a full-on motorbike, even the kid-oriented version can travel 45 km/h, with a 45-km range, while the 15 hp variant can travel 95 km/h, with a range of 90 km. That’s more than enough for a lot of urban users.

The CE 02 is BMW’s modern, electric take on attracting the same buyers who previously paid for the Grom or the Ruckus. Photo: BMW

Plugged into a standard wall socket, charge time for the 15 hp version is just under three hours, going from 20 percent to 80 percent. It’s just under an hour and a half for the 4 hp version. Buyers can also opt for the Highline options package, which reduces charge time for the big-battery version by about half, thanks to a 1.5 kW quickcharger.

That Highline options package also includes a Flash ride mode, to offer aggressive power delivery. Otherwise, riders get Flow mode (which is sort of an easy-riding power delivery mode) and Surf (with a bit more jam, but not as much as Flash mode).

The chassis itself is nothing trick, a tube steel arrangement that’s faintly reminiscent of the Honda Ruckus, if you squint from a distance. Of course, there’s a big battery and an electric motor in the middle, where the Ruckus has nothing but the rider’s legs. Think of the CE-02 as maybe a Grom and a Ruckus mashed together, powered by electricity.

The externally-excited, air-cooled motor has max torque of 40.5 lb-ft, and uses a belt drive to put power to the rear wheel. BMW doesn’t say who built the motor.

Up front, there’s a USD fork with 117 mm of travel; in back, the single-sided swingarm connects to a monoshock with only 56 mm of travel. There’s a relatively beefy (considering the size of the bike) front disc brake, with 239 mm diameter and ABS as standard (not for the 220 mm disc in rear, though). The wheels are 14 inches in diameter, with cast aluminum construction.

All in, the bike weighs 132 kg, with a seat height of 75 cm. BMW might say it isn’t a motorcycle, but add up the capability, weight and other dimensions, most people will be considering it as such. And like a full-on bike, BMW offers such accessories as top cases, sidebags, a cockpit fairing and more. Find more details at BMW’s Canadian website here. Canadian pricing starts at $10,095…

Join the conversation!