BMW CE 04 (2022 - on) Review

Highlights

  • 10.25in full-colour TFT dash with mobile connectivity
  • Serious rival to petrol-powered alternatives
  • Luggage space large enough for a full face helmet

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Power: 42 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.7 in / 780 mm)
Weight: High (509 lbs / 231 kg)

Prices

New £11,700
Used £11,000 - £11,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

BMW must be applauded for daring to produce such a dramatic electric bike. The CE 04 not only looks amazing, but works and provides real competition to the combustion engine. Money no object, I’d recommend the CE 04 over any petrol-powered equivalent and it's available in dealers from March 2022.

The BMW is more fun than a traditional maxi scooter - thanks to its rapid, silent acceleration - and the slim design makes it easier to commute through clogged urban traffic. It also comes with a reverse gear, and is packed with style and tech. It’s a masterpiece of style and engineering.

But £11,700 is a hefty price to pay for the equivalent of a 400cc scooter, and you really need the fast charger, which is an extra £850, and the Dynamic Package, which is £380. That said, £137 per month on PCP is less eye-watering and it will be cheap to run - especially if you can charge up at work.

A front view of the BMW CE 04

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Weight is down compared to the older C-Evolution scooter, which at 275kg desperately needed a diet. In fact, the CE 04 has trimmed down to a respectable 231kg but is still 25-30kg heavier than a conventional petrol equivalent.

BMW has cleverly placed all those kilos low in the chassis, with the battery cells running horizontally mere inches above the road, which enables the CE 04 to feel much lighter than its on-paper weight suggests.

It flows, almost swings, through traffic. Narrower than a conventional scooter, especially at the rear, it’s easy to carve through rush hour traffic in perfect silence. The ride from the Showa suspension is a little firm, but the seat is comfier than it looks.

Riding the 2022 BMW CE 04

The twin discs do an excellent job of stopping the CE 04, with the back brake lever on the left bar. I sometimes found myself using the strong engine braking in Eco mode more than the actual brakes, though.

The CE 04 is A2 compliant and can be restricted further for A1 licence holders. The 780mm seat is higher than BMW’s own C400X, but its thinness makes the CE 04 accessible for short riders, and a reverse gear comes as standard, which allows you to slowly crawl backwards. Those with small hands would benefit from span-adjustable levers. 

Three riding modes come as standard along with ABS and traction control. Opt for the additional £380 Dynamic package and your CE 04 receives an additional riding mode, plus adaptive headlights and more advanced rider aids including lean-sensitive ABS and traction control.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The BMW CE 04 is as practical and usable as it is stylish. Technology and know-how have been shared across BMW platforms, with the CE-04 adopting modified, smaller versions of the car battery cells as used in the iX range - ensuring reliability and safety.

If you’re yet to ride an electric motorcycle, the initial sensation can feel a little like Bambi on Ice. This dissipates within a few hundred meters on the CE 04 though and once the full colour TFT dash shows you're 'ready', you simply twist the throttle and go – like a silent conventional modern scooter.

The CE 04’s instantly accessible torque is not to be underestimated. Acceleration from a standstill is brisk to say the least, and out of town the CE 04 is happy to whizz up to an indicated 60mph without hesitation.

Cornering on the 2022 BMW CE 04

This is a surprisingly quick commuter, though rapid acceleration and aggressive riding will reduce the claimed 80-mile range. Maximum output is just shy of 42bhp at 4900rpm; with a claimed top speed of 120kph/75mph. Nought to 31mph is achievable in 2.6 seconds and you'll see 0-60mph in 9.1 seconds.

The all-important 100% charging time is four hours and 20 mins from a regular household socket or an hour and 40 minutes with an optional £850 fast charger. A 20% - 80% charge takes just 45 minutes with the fast charger or one hour 40 minutes from a regular household socket.

There is no lag or clutch delay, no build-up of revs. Instead there is instant torque and acceleration (peak torque is as just 1500rpm). As well as the three riding modes, our test scoot also had the optional Dynamic mode fitted.

2022 BMW CE 04 switchgear

Each mode has a different throttle response and engine brake strategy, which regenerates energy back to the battery. Eco, for example, is very soft, with maximum battery recuperation and strong engine braking, while Road delivers full acceleration and dramatically reduced engine braking and regeneration.

Dynamic mode gives enough oomph to embarrass most motorists from the lights, the traction control activating from time to time over slippery white lines and cats-eyes.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Being so new, it's very hard to comment on the reliability of the CE 04. That said, BMW boast a strong dealer network and impressive warranty cover. They have already heavily invested in this technology in their four-wheeled division and have previously produced electric motorcycles.

Owners' reviews of the previous BMW C Evolution electric two-wheeler show nothing but praise, with an average of five stars awarded for reliability. 

Inner workings of the BMW CE 04

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

There is a hefty price to pay for BMW CE 04 ownership. It's £11,700 for the base model or £13,930 for our highly spec'd test bike. That's more than double petrol equivalents, such as the £5850 Yamaha XMAX 300, and £6799 Suzuki Burgman 400.

A static view of the 2022 BMW CE 04

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

BMW has led the way with the production of electric bikes - launching the C-Evolution back in 2014. They've now taken another significant leap forward with the dramatic CE 04 by letting the designers run wild - unconstrained by the conventions of traditional engine placement or exhaust routing. They've come up with something very special.

Love or hate it, it’s hard to argue that the CE 04 makes a very bold statement and boasts an impressive equipment list to boot. 

BMW CE 04 colour TFT dash

Under the fixed seat is enough storage for a full-face helmet, which is neatly accessed from the side like a large pannier. Upfront there’s also an additional splash-proof storage compartment for a mobile phone, cooled by a separate electric fan to prevent overheating.

The ignition and storage compartments are all keyless and lock automatically as you leave the bike. And the 10.25in TFT full-colour dash has connectivity, as well as integrated map navigation.

Specs

Engine size -
Engine type Air-cooled lithium-ion high voltage battery
Frame type Tubular steel frame
Fuel capacity -
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 231kg
Front suspension 35mm Showa non-adjustable forks
Rear suspension Preload-adjustable monoshock
Front brake 2 x 265mm discs with four-piston calipers
Rear brake 265mm disc with single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 15
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 15

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax -
Annual service cost -
New price £11,700
Used price £11,000 - £11,500
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Three years

Top speed & performance

Max power 42 bhp
Max torque 45.8 ft-lb
Top speed 75 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

2022: BMW CE 04 launched.

Other versions

There is only one version of the BMW CE 04 available.

Owners' reviews for the BMW CE 04 (2022 - on)

2 owners have reviewed their BMW CE 04 (2022 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW CE 04 (2022 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
4 out of 5 The best electric commuter (from a shortlist of 1)
07 November 2022 by Richard A

Year: 2022

Once one gets over the cost there is so much to like about the bike. It is fast and quiet and surprisingly nimble. However, BMW have let themselves down with some of the smaller details. My biggest gripe is the top box. I went with BMW's product as a) this is all the dealer offered and b) the key is integrated into the alarm fob. However, despite it being an expensive extra for an expensive bike the bracket sits largely over the rear of the seat, making it uncomfortable / impossible to have a pillion. There are after-market bracket solutions for nearly £300, however, I should not have to buy this simply because BMW were too lazy to create a proper solution for this bike. The wheel design also makes security lock usage hard - and given commuter scooter theft rates, this is a problem.BMW hasn't considered UK usage as there isn't scope to have weather protection leg covers and the screen is far too small to do anything useful.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

A pleasure to commute on this bike.

Engine 5 out of 5

Excellent performance. Remarkably quick acceleration.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

So far so good. However, the bike remains very new.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

As an electric bike running costs (power and maintenance) are low. Insurance is pricey.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Great user interface and low riding sound means that bluetooth audio works well.For a commuter: screen is useless, top box bracket pathetic, and lack of fixings for leg covers thoughtless.

Buying experience: Purchased from a dealer. Easy process but a long wait.

5 out of 5 Best Moped EVER!
11 October 2022 by MotoMaxAdv

Version: Fully loaded

Year: 2022

Unquestionably the best moped / commuter I have ever owned and surprisingly, up there is the top 10 motorcycles I have ever ridden. Silky smooth, eye-wateringly fast (for a moped), spacious, and comfortable.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Superb! The long wheel base makes it very stable on the move, the low center of gravity makes it easy to park. Two up it’s spacious and comfortable for urban and extra urban rides. Brakes are sharp and not lacking at all. It drops into roundabouts and corner very well and has a massive smile factor when you ride it. An added bonus is I can chat to my pillion like we are on bicycles as there is no engine noise!

Engine 5 out of 5

Linier power and LOADS of it. Get ready to smoke sports bikes at the lights! If you like vibrations and noise on your morning commute, this isn’t for you ;-)

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Build quality is very good although not quite up there with the rest of BMW’s range. Some plastic coverings around the yoke and below the front end of the seat don’t fit perfectly (being picky). No problems after 800km, time will tell on reliability…

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Cheap as chips to run. Unlike an electric car, I don’t feel guilty plugging it in at work or friends houses as it is so cheap to charge. It will hardly go through brake pads as well due to the electric breaking. Shame BMW require a yearly service. Clearly it only needs a quick check every couple of years. I assume they have done this to reassure their dealer network that they wont loose out with electric vehicles.

Equipment 5 out of 5

This moped puts top end motorcycles to shame with it’s massive TFT screen, connectivity, cooled phone charging compartment (with space above it for your wallet too!), central locking and underseat storage. The OEM Vario topbox placement is the only joke. BMW have mounted it over the rear third of the seat making carrying a pillion squeeze when fitted?

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