BMW CE 04 | A new benchmark?

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No, it’s not robot in disguise, it’s the new BMW CE 04. If you’re after an electric ‘ped that’ll turn heads for wrong/right (delete as appropriate) reasons, then it could be just the thing for you. As long as you don’t want to go too far. Or too fast.

OK, maybe that’s a little bit unfair. The Germans are claiming that the latest addition to BMW Motorrad’s electromobility strategy is ‘setting a new benchmark in technology and style’. Maybe in a few years, all electric bikes will look like this… although I’m not convinced.

They might have more luck persuading us ‘consumers’ that their benchmark-setting has been done in the technological side of things. I mean they are BMW, after all. And German.

So what’s so benchmark-setting about the new BMW CE 04? Well it’s hard to put your finger on it, to be honest. With a maximum power output of 31kW (42bhp) it’s not bad (for a scooter); but it’s hardly world-leading, is it? It’s also limited to 120km/h (75mph).

And with its 8.9kWh battery you get 130km, 80 miles. Which isn’t really very far is it? But I suppose if you’re only bombing round the metropolis, looking for trendy coffee shops or whole food outlets, it’s probably going to be enough.

You do get three riding modes (“ECO”, “Rain” and “Road”) on the ’04. And you can have a “Dynamic” mode too, if you pay a bit extra for it.

It comes with traction control, ABS, LED lights all round and a USB charging port, but the jewel in the crown has got to be that dash. It’s a whopping 10.25 inch colour screen with phone connectivity and integrated satnav.

The bikes lithium-ion battery can be charged using a normal household socket, a wallbox or a public charging station. From flat to full, charging takes four hours, unless you’ve got a quick charger (optional extra). With the quickie, you can fully charge a flat battery in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

If all you need a bike for is scooting round town, and you never need to do more than 80 miles in one go, the BMW CE 04 makes sense. And whilst £11,700 is a lot of money for what is essentially a scooter, it’s not that much more than the a TMAX or a Forza 750, Yamaha’s and Honda’s maxi-scooters; they’re both around the £10k mark.

I’m not going to go out and buy one, and I don’t think any of my mates are. But I’m sure a few people will. Will you?

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