2024 BMW CE-02

The CE-02 is everything you expect from BMW Motorrad, but small and cute
The CE-02 is everything you expect from BMW Motorrad, but small and cute

by Nathan Leipsig | July 10, 2024


Driving downtown in a major urban center is rarely enjoyable. There’s a reason why press launch events for cars and bikes are pretty much exclusively hosted in the middle of nowhere — so you can actually, you know, experience the thing. No one wants to experience the new so-and-so whatever-wagon sitting at a red light, in traffic. With the new 2024 BMW CE-02, BMW Motorrad very deliberately bucked that trend and hosted an event on busy Queen Street East in downtown Toronto. That’s exactly where this electric bike makes sense.

Despite electric scooters being widely viewed as a menace to the public, and even being legally prohibited in Toronto (true story), they are everywhere because they make so much sense to so many people. For getting around the increasingly congested urban centre [You say ‘urban centre,’ I say urban clusterf–k. —Ed.] that is Toronto, they’re almost unparalleled. They offer so much freedom. BMW’s caught wind of this, and the CE-02 is designed to blend the legitimacy of a proper, plated motorcycle that can actually handle itself safely on the road, and the unmatchable flexibility of one of those diabolical little scooters.

BMW Motorrad pitches it as neither an electric scooter or a motorcycle, but rather an eParkourer … which is a tad cringey as a marketing move, but I see what they’re trying to convey. The CE-02 can skate around anywhere and make the city a playground, unencumbered by limitation. To their credit, they’re right, it is a fantastic little urban commuter vehicle.

Weighing only 290 pounds, it’s a welterweight, even among small starter bikes. Even better than that, it carries its feathers low in its chassis, so it feels even lighter still, almost like a toy. Despite this, it’s not built like a toy, it’s a BMW bike through and through, with a comfortable riding position, sound ergonomics, and impeccable build quality. Its quirky styling looks terrific, too, blending streetfighter aesthetics with a modest dose of futurism.

I was going to say it doesn’t ride like a toy, either, but it kind of does. To call it a toy sort of delegitimizes what BMW’s done here, because it feels like a fully realized, safe, and legitimate product. It can handle broken pavement and streetcar tracks without breaking a sweat, it’s stable all the way up to the modest 90 km/h its 15-horsepower motor is capable of, and it has niceties like anti-lock brakes, heated grips, and an integrated phone holder.

On the other hand, it’s so easy to ride it’s silly. It’s almost cheating, like you’ve unlocked a secret “easy mode” that mostly exists to flatter you. As of this writing, I’m a very novice rider with less than 10 hours of seat time, and I was able to feel totally comfortable with it in approximately eight seconds of riding. Power is super easy to modulate, benefitting from eerily perfect throttle response, and it’s quick off the line with instant electric torque. Once you get over not having a clutch, shifter, and foot brake to play with, it feels organic and the subterranean centre-of-gravity makes handling stupid easy. And hilariously fun if you’re playing with it. I won’t pretend it’s the most classically engaging thing in the world, but for its mission statement of effortless mobility, the CE-02 is incredible. It’s so freeing in its ease of use and stealthy operation. It takes all the work out of riding, but unlike an electric car, it’s still fun because you’re still, you know, riding.

BMW indicates the CE-02 is capable of approximately 85 kilometers on a full charge, so within its urban warrior use-case, it’s pretty free from range anxiety. It’s not a road trip bike, but you’re not taking the CE-02 out of town to carve up some twisties, either. You can and should enjoy the 02 in town. It offers plenty of range to get to the office and back, run some errands on the way home — or ride through Twyn Rivers just for the hell of it. On a common level-one charger, it’ll go from a realistic 20 to 80 per cent charge in under two hours, with a full 0-100 charge taking a modest six hours.

Pricing starts at a pretty reasonable $10,095, going up to $12,495 with the optional heated grips and funky livery on the one I rode. Sure, it’s more substantial than those rinky-dink scooters terrorizing bike lanes, but you’re not beholden to the bike lane on the CE-02. I like this so much because its everything you’d expect from a BMW Motorrad, but small and cute, like BMW is loosening their ties. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better inner-city commuter than the funky little 2024 BMW CE-02.


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About Nathan Leipsig

Deputy Editor Nathan is a passionate enthusiast with a penchant for finding 80s and 90s European vehicles. He can typically be found messing about on his E28 5-series or on Kijiji looking for the next project. Current Toys: '23 Miata Club 6MT, '86 535i, '99 Beetle TDI 5MT