BMW Motorrad’s foray into the electric city commute scene is characterized by the unconventional yet distinctive CE 02. This all-electric motorbike, often referred to as the ‘eParkourer,’ has raised eyebrows and piqued interests, as it challenges conventional design norms and ventures into unexplored territory.
Under the minimalistic exterior of the CE 02 lies a robust steel double-loop frame that houses a 15bhp air-cooled, synchronous motor. The powertrain delivers an impressive torque of 54.91Nm from a standstill, creating a ride that is zippy yet silent, ideal for urban commuters. However, the question arises, “Is 15bhp enough to deliver the thrilling ride that motorcyclists crave, even in the confines of city commuting?” Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad, believes that “The CE 02 is not about outright power. It’s about creating a new relationship between the rider, the machine, and the urban environment.”
This electric steed derives its energy from a pair of 1.96kWh air-cooled, lithium-ion batteries. Although the CE 02’s 90km range seems limited, the design ethos places it as a purpose-built city commuter. Yet, one might question, “Are our cities prepared for this shift towards electric commuting, given the current charging infrastructure?” While there is room for debate, BMW attempts to mitigate this by including a 1.5kW fast charger, cutting down the full charge time to a reasonable 3.5 hours.
The CE 02’s visual presence reflects its urban ethos. With a low seat height of 29.5 inches and a 132kg frame, the bike welcomes a broad spectrum of riders, promoting inclusivity. Alexander Buckan, Head of Vehicle Design BMW Motorrad, argues that “Inclusivity and user-friendliness were guiding principles in the design of the CE 02. It’s a bike that belongs in the city and reflects the diversity of its inhabitants.”
Information and connectivity are conveyed through a 3.5-inch color TFT, a size that may prompt queries about visibility and usability. However, the bike’s design elements, including the iconic disc wheels, the hovering seat, and the Cosmic Black paintwork, make it stand out in the urban landscape. An optional Highline package is available for those who want to elevate their ride’s style quotient and tech capabilities.
The CE 02 bears a heavy price tag of $7,599, positioning it at the premium end of the electric two-wheeler market. While this might deter price-conscious customers, the brand is banking on the blend of sustainable technology, design innovation, and BMW Motorrad’s legacy to justify the cost.
The BMW Motorrad CE 02 is not just a city commuter; it’s a statement—a call for change in urban mobility. It’s not without its fair share of queries and challenges, but that’s what innovation often invites. It’s now for the riders to answer if they are ready to hop on this electric revolution and be, in BMW’s words, #PluggedToLife.