BMW’s record of accomplishment with two wheels is every bit as impressive as what it’s done with cars. The people who pay premiums for flat-twin horsepower, shaft drive, an exceptional chassis and superior build quality are equally dedicated to the roundel as their counterparts who ride Harley-Davidson are to black and orange. Some automakers, most notably Hyundai, have begun experimenting with electric scooters as secondary vehicles; in Hyundai’s case, it has a dedicated carrying spot in its host vehicle with a dedicated plug-in charger. BMW being BMW, it’s going all in on a similar concept, only it’s a high-end scooter designed by BMW Motorrad USA, as the U.S. element of its motorcycling operation is known. Due for launch in the first quarter of 2022, the new BMW CE 04 is laden with technology that does a lot to belie its diminutive (509 pounds out of the carton) size and weight.
Look at this rig. Yeah, it’s got a toothed drive belt instead of a shaft running in an enclosed driveline tube, but who cares? It’s also got a for-real swing-arm rear suspension with an integrated shock absorber, plus an adjustable spring. It has drilled disc brakes with full ABS capability. And its liquid-cooled (!) permanent-magnet electric motor whirs out the equivalent of 42 horsepower, giving the CE 04 a claimed 0-62 time of 9.1 seconds. That’s solidly impressive, plus BMW claims the scooter can go from doornail-dead to fully charged in 1:05 at 30 amps. So, bite size and electric power notwithstanding, this is undeniable a for-real BMW bike. MSRP is set at $11,795.