This looks fascinatingly funky.
The concept of electric motorcycles is nothing new, but it really is taking a long time to take off in the mainstream. Still, new ideas are released constantly, and sometimes the results are truly odd. BMW is no stranger to pushing boundaries, nor is it unfamiliar with making motorcycles cool, as its new M 1000 RR recently proved in a drift battle with the M3 sedan. But as cool as making smoke and noise can be, there are simpler and more laidback ways to have fun on two wheels. BMW's latest way of proving this is an electric motorcycle called the Concept CE 02.
BMW Motorrad, the company's motorcycle division, says that this is neither a motorcycle nor a scooter but "an exciting and highly emotional mobility offer."
BMW Motorrad design boss Edgar Heinrich says that it's something completely new: "The Concept CE 02 features new proportions and modern forms of single-track mobility in an urban environment [...] Straightforward use was important, but above all the emotional component was crucial, as well as riding fun."
It's meant to appeal to those aged 16 and over who have never ridden a motorbike before but are open to new experiences, and its funky design is sure to do just that. A square, black headlight with four LEDs features in front while the taillight is made up of two small, translucent LED leaves fixed to the left and right of the rear seat. A color screen on the handlebars provides simple functions, while the overall design ethos of simplicity is brought home with a single-sided swingarm.
The black/silver compact e-vehicle weighs just 265 pounds and offers 11 kilowatts of output or about 15 horsepower. Top speed is a respectable 55 mph, and range is 55 miles too, but this is meant to be something fun and joyful, not just a device for transport. There are "stickers, tapes, and other forms of customization" that will help it embody "youthful freedom and a carefree spirit - rather like a skateboard on two wheels," explains BMW's Alexander Buckan.
With no foot controls, numerous sitting positions are possible. At the front of the seat, a pair of crossed-over gasoline-colored elastic bands help to tuck in smaller items while the brackets near the footrests enable further storage. As depicted, you can even attach an actual skateboard and use that as the footrest.
Riding gear is also part of the concept, with a neon orange/white women's jacket and a gasoline/white men's jacket. We may pass on the fashion, but we love the bike.