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BMW Motorrad’s tech-forward flex continues with 2024 CE 02, ConnectedRide Smart Glasses

“BMW” and “technology” are concepts long known to move hand-in-hand towards the future. With Motorrad’s latest high-tech flex, BMW shows it has no plans to sit on its laurels as we hurtle towards a future in which the internal combustion engine may well be nothing but a fond memory.

The CE 02’s big sister, the CE 04, has appeared on this site before and was largely the subject of Chasing the Horizon Episode 127, which featured Shawn McLean of BMW NA. Both bikes are fully electric and while the CE 04 might remind you of that 1980s movie TRON, the CE 02 has a decidedly more contemporary look, coming off like a cross between a scooter and a small motorcycle.

Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design, said, “With the CE 02, we are striving for something new, to be pioneers once again. The CE 02 is an uncomplicated, youthful form of single-track mobility. The reduced design language stands for lightness and fun.” It sports 14-inch solid cast wheels, with black and matte gray coloring giving the bike a simple, classic look with the exposed belt drive giving no illusions this is anything other than a motorcycle—albeit small and electric. A “Highline” package adds gold anodized forks along with other visual cues to set it off from the base model.

As with any other motorcycle, two of the most important factors riders want to know are power and range. The CE 02 isn’t meant to chew up interstate on a cross-country expedition; it’s designed for “urban parkour” riding. The dual 48-volt, 1.96 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion batteries run steady at an 8 horsepower equivalent, with bursts reaching as much as 15 HPE. Torque comes in at 40.6 pound-feet, equivalent or even better than many single-cylinder gas-powered small motorcycles.  Charging can be done via a household outlet (0-100% in 5.5 hours) or a stronger 1.5 kW quick charger (0-100% in ~4 hours), which comes as part of the Highline package. Charging from 20-80%, which is common for urban riders, should take less than three hours no matter the charging process used. Range is estimated at about 56 miles, with a top speed barely shy of 60 MPH. Ride to work in the morning, go out and grab lunch and charge up overnight.

The CE 02 features side cases ranging from 16-60 liters capacity, LED lighting, two ride modes, Bluetooth connectivity and—with the Highline package—heated grips. Arrival date in the USA isn’t known at this time, but is expected some time in 2024. BMW estimates the CE 02’s MSRP will come in at $7,599 plus destination charges.

Moving to the arena of slick, functional and unobtrusive heads-up displays, BMW’s foray into the arena comes in the form of Bluetooth-capable smart glasses that also communicate with their ConnectedRide app and can be controlled using the rider’s Wonder Wheel (which BMW calls the multicontroller). Here’s the spoiler alert up front: They don’t look ridiculous or like VR goggles.

BMW designed the two frame sizes to fit multiple helmet styles and face shapes, setting the expectation they will remain comfortable throughout the lithium-ion battery’s 10-hour stated life before needing recharged. BMW will be supplying two sets of lenses—both certified to block UVA/UVB—with each set, plus a case and charging cable. One pair of lenses is 85% clear and meant to be used behind shaded (or smoke) visors. The other pair of lenses look like sunglass lenses. Either pair of lenses can be precision ground (up to 4 diopters) by an optician using an RX adapter.

Though information is preliminary at this time, BMW’s specs for the smart glasses promise “real-time GPS data transfer from app to Smartglasses,” which is stated to include display of current speed, the speed limit, gear indicator and navigation—which itself can include directional arrows, street names, intersection and/or precise directions dependent on the user settings. BMW intends to start delivering the Smartglasses in the USA in 2023, but did not provide an MSRP at press time.

HUDs have come under some amount of controversial scrutiny, as the technology seems to be advancing in fits and starts, often involving sketchy startups or unproven tech from more solid companies. Seeing BMW jump in gives this writer hope there’s a near-term solution for simple, easy-to-use HUDs, and he’s already got a call into his favorite optician to see about getting the lenses ground to his prescription.