BMW stops US sales of gasoline motorcycles, leaving only electrics


BMW Motorrad has issued a “stop sale” notice for all of its internal combustion engine motorcycles in the US. The notice covers both new and used models, and specifically lists the BMW CE 04, an electric motorbike, as the only model still for sale from the company’s dealers.

The issue appears to be related to the fuel system in BMW’s motorcycles, and is likely to be a problem that has spanned several generations of the bikes based on the stop sale notice covering all model years.

The BMW CE 04 is the company’s only electric model currently for sale in North America. The 31 kW (42 hp) bike is best classified as a maxi-scooter, though it takes on a futuristic design and lacks the typical deep step-through frame of most scooters. It began production roughly two years ago, when there was little in the US electric scooter market to compete with its 75 mph (121 km/h) performance. Now similarly capable electric scooters have begun to enter the market, though few can match BMW’s design chops.

The CE 04 will soon be joined by BMWs next electric motorbike, the BMW CE 02, though that model is not yet available in North American dealerships.

A statement from BMW sent to its US dealers was shared by WebBikeWorld, providing more details on the still uncertain issue facing BMW’s internal combustion engine models.

BMW of North America is dedicated to providing vehicles to our customers that meet their expectations. To ensure that our vehicles are of the highest industry standards, BMW performs ongoing testing and evaluation.

Following a recent quality analysis, BMW is pursuing measures to further evaluate the material used in a component of its motorcycle evaporative system, which may not have been produced to material specifications.

As a result, BMW of North America is issuing a temporary, voluntary stop sale for all new and pre-owned BMW motorcycle models in dealer inventory, except for the CE 04.

This temporary stop sale is not safety related and BMW owners may continue to ride their motorcycles as normal.

The stop sale is described as temporary, though no timeline has been provided for when BMW may decide to reinstate sales of its internal combustion engine motorcycles. The notice is also described as voluntary, meaning the company is not currently compelled to stop sales by a governing agency at this time, but has chosen to do so of its own volition.

Electrek’s Take

There are still a number of details missing, but it looks like there’s potentially an issue with BMW’s emissions compliance based on faulty manufacturing. That is supported by the fact that BMW claims it is not a safety issue.

If true, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time an emissions issue has rocked a major German automaker. Though to be fair, American companies aren’t immune from such emissions issues either.

In fact, the thread that binds all of these companies seems to be running vehicles on fossil fuel-powered combustion engines. By comparison, electric vehicles with their simplified, cleaner, and safer fuel source are not only immune to such emissions concerns, but also save millions of lives by reducing airborne particulate, carcinogens, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Sure, there’s a battery fire here or there. But despite the disproportionate coverage in most of the media, gasoline-powered cars and motorcycles are the cause of magnitudes higher vehicle fire numbers.

Perhaps BMW is taking the best approach after all by issuing this stop sale on internal combustion bikes. They might just need to remove the word “temporary.”

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