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BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04: “Maybe it will polarize, but it will definitely stand out.”

This is a slightly adapted version of a BMW Motorrad press release.

With the BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04, the BMW Group presents a near-series version of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link at #NEXTGen 2020. As a link between the analog and digital worlds, the BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 is both a means of transport and a means of communication for the urban commuter. With its electric drive, trailblazing design and innovative connectivity solutions, it sets out to redefine the scooter segment.

The electrically-powered Definition CE 04 was developed and adapted to meet the everyday needs and requirements of the customer. True to the motto "Plugged to life," it combines the customer’s analog world with the digital one. In conjunction with the corresponding intelligent rider equipment, it creates a holistic, highly emotional and newly-conceived mobility experience.

Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad, explains: "Electric mobility is a central drive system for the BMW Group and we are consistently relying on this technology in our sustainability strategy. Electric drives are also a current topic for BMW Motorrad, especially for the urban environment. Since 2013, we have been a pioneer in this area with the BMW C evolution scooter. The BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 is the logical continuation of the electromobility strategy for urban conurbations and provides a concrete preview of what a contemporary production vehicle could look like, with which we will take two-wheel electric mobility in metropolitan areas to a new level, both technically and visually." Innovative architecture and trailblazing design. The segment-defining design of the Definition CE 04 stands for a new, urban aesthetic. While the BMW Motorrad Concept Link in 2017 still seemed like a vision far from the future, the Definition CE 04 in 2020 transfers the radical design of the Concept Link to production readiness with almost unchanged design.

Alexander Buckan, Head of Vehicle Design BMW Motorrad, says, "We have managed to transfer many innovative elements and details of the concept into the series. The technical realities of electric drive – such as the flat energy packs in the underfloor and the compact drive train – allow us to create a highly distinctive design which defines a new, urban aesthetic and which differentiates itself clearly from conventional styling. A design that follows the basic needs for simple functionality, clear aesthetics and the digital reality today’s users live in. The new architecture has led to a visual revolution and has produced many new design themes. Maybe it will polarize, but it will definitely stand out."

Visually, the BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 clearly breaks with the look of scooters as we know them. Instead, an elongated, low vehicle body and the diagonally rising front end create a silhouette that is as modern as it is clear. The generous, calm surface design with sharply defined edges blends perfectly into modern, urban surroundings. The flat battery in the underbody provides new freedoms, such as the new storage solution, which is illuminated and can be folded open from the side. It gives the rider easy access for storing a helmet and other equipment. In addition, the low position of the flat battery provides a favorable centre of gravity, which ensures playful handling and dynamic riding fun.

Clear lines, generous surfaces and distinctive design underline the modern impression of the proportions. This is further enhanced by the use of two colors: beneath the modern surface finish in Mineral White metallic, a matte black area forms the core of the vehicle, the technical heart. It stretches from the front to the rear and, in addition to the tires and front lights, also integrating the drive unit and the suspension elements. The BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 deliberately stages the bike’s technology as part of the design. That is why the side panels don’t completely cover the vehicle’s side section at the rear. Instead they stretch across parts of the vehicle’s side like little wings allowing views of the drive unit, cooling ribs, single-sided swing arm, spring strut and toothed belt.

The design of the lights is as reduced as it is modern, and the two U-shaped LED front lights are characterized by minimalist design. Their clear-cut layout and the slim contours accentuate the modern and trailblazing visual appeal of the front section. The rear lights have been integrated into the rear side panels in the form of two C-shaped light elements. Practice-oriented design and ergonomics. “A scooter is not a 'fun bike' which is taken for ride in the mountains in fine weather, but a practical, everyday vehicle for driving from home to the office or meeting friends in the evening - simply a vehicle for every day in the city," says Buckan. "That’s why we dealt intensively with the design of the drive and energy storage system in order to make it meet the needs of the actual user: The urban target group mainly rides short distances of approx. 12 km per day. Long-distance comfort is therefore less important than variable ergonomics and easy accessibility. In this way we were able to create a 'floating' seat bench seat, which allows you to glide comfortably onto the vehicle even from behind. It also offers improved ergonomics for single riders, regardless of leg length and height."

Both with regard to design and digital use, the BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 always focuses on practical and user-friendly solutions. BMW Motorrad sees great potential in the interaction between vehicle and rider equipment in terms of safety, comfort and emotional experience. The rider is connected to his environment through his smartphone via the BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04. Its 10.25 inch display is the largest in the scooter segment to date and acts as an interface between the digital and analogue worlds of the rider. Rider equipment as part of vehicle communication. The designers have also broken new ground in terms of rider equipment: "We deliberately wanted to create a fashionable look that is urban yet highly functional rather than classic motorcycle clothing. We want to develop products with which you can get off the vehicle and go about your everyday business hassle-free. At the same time, the rider equipment offers the protection you are used to from BMW Motorrad and even becomes part of the vehicle communication to the outside world", explains Julia Lein, Head of Rider Equipment Design at BMW Motorrad.

At the heart of the rider equipment developed exclusively for the Definition CE 04 is a casually cut warm parka suitable for everyday use. Black riding jeans, stylish sneakers and a white open-face helmet complete the look. The parka's broken white tone offers a high degree of wearing comfort thanks to its wide cut. The high collar and large hood provide an even higher cool factor. Details such as the positioning of the zippers or the discreet print emphasize the urban look, which allows you to go from your scooter directly to the office in style. The high-tech material of the parkas is waterproof, robust and breathable. The flexible protectors incorporated into the parka provide the safety riders expect from BMW Motorrad. Innovative features such as the integrated light guides in the sleeves and hood ensure greater visibility in traffic and can be switched on and changed in color via sensors in the sleeve. To ensure the rider is always fully charged up, the inside pocket of the parka has an inductive charging field for a smartphone.

The unobtrusive graphic design of the BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 showcases the new concept to optimum effect. However, completely different design versions are possible here. Gerald Höller, graphic designer at BMW Motorrad Design explains: "Thanks to the new architecture, we have created something completely new with this vehicle - and in the future we want to use graphics and colors to emphasize this even further. We see the CE 04 Definition almost as a moving screen with which a customer can express his personality - from modern elegant to urban.” BMW Motorrad e-mobility. Following the BMW Group's sustainability strategy, BMW Motorrad also aspires to consistently pursue electromobility.

With the 2011 Concept e, BMW Motorrad already showed what electromobility can look like in the urban environment. This was followed by the first prototype of the 2012 BMW C evolution in London, presented during the Summer Olympics. BMW Motorrad was the first-ever manufacturer in the premium segment to launch the series-production vehicle C Evolution in 2014, which made the daily commute to work on two wheels purely electric.

But that was just the beginning. For the successor model, designers and developers were given a free hand. The result is a completely new architecture and iconic design. With the BMW Motorrad Concept Link, the brand has already shown what the future of emission-free, urban single-track mobility can look like. The BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 now continues BMW Motorrad's electromobility strategy for urban conurbations and thus provides a concrete preview of what a contemporary production vehicle could look like.

About the Author - Wes Fleming

Wes was a rock star for 25 years, but walked away and took up motorcycles. His mother still hasn’t forgiven him. He discovered BMWs thanks to a friend in 2001 and has been riding trendy, not-so-trendy, and sidecar-equipped BMWs ever since... a KTM ... and soon an Indian.

He spends most of his time in Central Virginia.