Motor test: Brave electric motor scooter from BMW

© Michael Snik

Maastricht

You think the electric BMW CE 04 is beautiful or ugly. There is no middle ground for this new scooter with its daring design.

Michael Snik

The seat looks like an ironing board is the first thing I hear from a colleague when I park the scooter near our editorial office. Another commented: it looks like a big Dyson vacuum which is ugly. The third colleague is wildly excited about the design. In short, the somewhat futuristic CE 04 evokes very different reactions. But taste is very personal, and it is immediately clear that the BMW is an eye-catcher. I also notice that when I’m standing at traffic lights. A Ducati rider next to me shakes his head disapprovingly as he fiddles with the throttle on his hundred-horsepower hypermotard. When the light turns green, he makes an unsuccessful attempt to outrun the BMW. The German effortlessly wins the traffic light sprint from the tough Italian.

Maneuver

Scooters are great for weaving smoothly through city traffic. Their short wheelbase is therefore ideal, it makes them manoeuvrable. CE 04 does not have this. Because of the long wheelbase, you can turn less tightly between the stationary cars, I quickly notice. The BMW is therefore not very useful in a busy city where you want to maneuver smoothly. That wheelbase also ensures that you are much more stable. It’s nice if you have to drive kilometers. The ones that get it work better than I expected beforehand. BMW itself states that with the CE 04 you should be able to drive around 130 kilometers with a full battery. Such figures in the brochures are always much lower in practice. The importer frankly admits that 130 kilometers is a somewhat ‘optimistic’ claim. But with half an hour of fast charging along the motorway, I should easily be able to reach the more than a hundred kilometers home in the most sporty state, is the advice I get.

Spending

I decide to give it a go and put the engine in eco mode after a few kilometers as I enter the A4. I immediately feel that I have much less power and immediately ‘stick’ the scooter at a safe distance behind a truck that has a suction effect on the BMW. I trudge home at a speed of less than ninety kilometers per hour. I drive on the highway for about an hour. When I finally park at home after 110 kilometers, I can still drive just over ten kilometers according to the extensive display on the CE 04. So the stated distance is achievable, but don’t ask how.

The long wheelbase of 1,675 mm ensures that the 230 kilo motor scooter lies on the road like a stone, which I notice on the motorway. The batteries are located at the bottom of the scooter, so you are pressed even closer to the asphalt. Under the flat, long, hard saddle, you have enough space to store a large bag or your helmet. The small electric motor is located further back. Eye-catchers are also the monoshock and the closed wheels.

The remarkably shaped saddle is not really comfortable. You cannot keep this up for more than an hour. But with a somewhat sportier driving behavior, your battery is also empty.

Driving modes

The BMW CE 04 produces 42 hp and reaches a top speed of over 120 km/h, which is more than enough to keep up with traffic. The performance of this silent electric scooter is comparable to a 400cc petrol variant. The scooter has different driving modes: eco, rain, road and the sporty dynamics. If you use the most sporty position, which is also an option, you hardly need to brake when you turn off the gas. So quickly the speed is reduced by regenerating, which of course also generates energy.

To upload

Loading is relatively smooth. The BMW needs more than four hours on a normal socket to be fully charged again. With the optional fast charger, it only takes 1 hour and 40 minutes. You can also ‘fill up’ at public charging stations, but that causes a bit more problems than I expected. Because along the highway it is better to avoid the many Fastned charging points, because those connections do not fit the CE 04. With the BMW, you have to look for charging stations that use a ‘type 2’ or Mennekes plug and at Fastned they have now almost increased of everywhere. Incidentally, there are still plenty of charging stations in towns and villages where you can fill this new scooter from BMW to 80 percent in just over an hour.

The electric BMW CE 04 is for sale from 13,300 euros.

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