BMW’s generation gain: Future-looking CE 02 aims to attract new riders

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More than 37,000 riders from 60 countries piled into Berlin in July for BMW Motorrad Days with a further 5000 attending the Pure&Crafted Festival – but it wasn’t all about big old boxers with the brand pulling the covers off the outlandish CE 02 electric. 

The new 125 motorcycle equivalent (also available in “50cc” trim) is aimed at riders as young as 15 in some markets and the intention to attract fresh faces was abundantly clear at the event, from the hordes of skateboarders, TikTokers and German rappers, to the decision to launch the bike in both the real world and the virtual reality ‘metaverse’ simultaneously. 

“We all started with smaller bikes, and we get bigger bikes during our life,” BMW’s head of marketing Ralf Rodepeter told MCN. “Nobody really starts with a 1300cc or 1800cc. So we are, of course, trying to get new people into the market. 

BMW CE 02 unveiled at press launch event

“We need to get the younger people to our brand. At the moment we are living from quite old BMW GS riders on average, but with the BMW R nine T, 10 years ago, we managed to get the next generation of riders to the brand and we are convinced that the CE 02 will help to get the next generation into motorcycling.”

He added that electric machines like the CE 02 will get ever more important as a means of urban transport for short hops across cities as restrictions such as ULEZ are rolled out.

When questioned whether the £7500 tag is realistic for a young person of 16 he agreed that the price is high, saying: “It’s not really cheap at the moment. Electrified bikes, as with cars, are more expensive than combustion equivalents but that will change in the next couple of years for sure. But if you look at the 125cc combustion bikes, they are around €5000-€6000. So, we are a little bit above, but you need the help of your family to afford that at 16, anyway.” 

BMW CE 02 ridden in urban environment

So, what about traditional bikers? Does BMW’s shift to electric models, young people and commuters leave us existing riders out in the cold? 

Rodepeter said BMW believe the electric market at the moment is limited to city/urban riding due to range – unlike the car world where it’s easy to store batteries. 

“One day, we’ll also have the GS and the touring electric bike. That has a way to go, but we will show our very first electric motorcycle in 2026. By 2030, our target is to have at least 100,000 electrified BMW motorcycles on the roads.” 

Plug-in baby: BMW reveal CBT-friendly CE 02 electric naked

First published 10 July 2023 by Dan Sutherland

Side view of the BMW CE 02

BMW have whipped the covers off a new tech-laden CE 02 electric naked, which can be ridden on a CBT certificate from 16 and is set to arrive in dealers in April 2024.

Designed to be at home on inner city streets, it’s unlikely to net too many planet conscious youngsters, thanks to a starting price of £7450 – more than double the cost of a conventionally fuelled, frugal Honda PCX125 scooter.

Money aside, the CE 02 is powered by an air-cooled lithium-ion battery producing either a 3.92, or 1.96kWh output. This all depends on the bike’s claimed power with options for 5.4bhp, and 14.8bhp. The former allows for a top speed of 28mph – making it legal for 16-year-olds to ride.

A BMW CE 02 with side bag attached

When plugged in at the wall with a 0.9kW charger, BMW say the 11kW version takes five hours and 12 minutes to charge from 0-100%.

Torque is a claimed 40.6lbft, with the bike weighing a manageable 132kg in its full power guise. A low seat of 750mm will also make it accessible for riders of almost any leg length.

The motor is held in place by a tubular steel double loop frame, suspended by 37mm upside down forks and a mono shock – mounted to a cast aluminium single sided swingarm. Rims are both 14-inchers, with both solidly filled, rather a than spoked design – inspired by the BMW CE 04 revealed around two years ago.

BMW CE 02 electric being ridden

Away from the chassis components, the CE 02 is rather clever – filled all the tech a Gen Z rider could ask for. Showcasing your vital information is a 3.5in TFT dash, which can be connected to your smartphone and should also help you cycle through the riding modes. You get two as standard – ‘Flow’ and ‘Surf’ – with a more premium Highline version also getting ‘Flash’ included.

Daft names aside, Flow is designed to be used in slow-speed urban areas with a soft throttle response and medium battery regeneration when off the throttle. Surf offers no battery regen and a more direct throttle response, with Flash also offering sporty dynamics.  

A USB-C socket and keyless entry add to the fun, plus ABS to the front wheel. What’s more, you get traction control, plus Recuperation Stability Control which essentially stops the back wheel locking up during battery recoup under deceleration.

Rear wheel shot of BMW CE 02

Elsewhere, you can also equip an alarm to combat against theft, with LED headlights including the indicators helping you to be seen. To help squeeze in an out of tight parking spaces, there’s a reverse gear too.

To take your CE 02 to the next level, customers can opt for the Highline version which features gold anodised forks, heated grips, a 1.5kW quick charger (for the 11kW version only) and more – which cuts the 0-100% down to 3.5 hours.

You also get a smartphone holder with BMW Connected Ride Control, with additional accessories available for luggage, fairings, foot pegs and more. Go to