CAKE KALK & (2019 - on) Review
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Cake, the radical Swedish electric bike manufacturer, have brought their road legal model to the UK. Called the Kalk& (pronounced Kalk And) it builds on the off-road only Kalk with the addition of all the usual road going bumpf. What makes it so good? Well the key to this cake, like all others, is just how light it is.
- Related: Best electric bikes of 2020
In fully road legal trim, it weighs just 79kg. Despite this it’s good for 53 miles, can achieve a top speed of 56mph and will recharge from 0-100% in just two and half hours attached to a household plug socket.
Riding it around town is hilarious fun. The power and torque are plenty enough to get something so little moving so quickly, and it’s low weight means you can dart through traffic with wild abandon. You can even ride it on a CBT with L-plates as the electric rules makes it technically A1 compatible. If you’d like to take one for a spin, contact Untitled Motorcycles, London, who very kindly let us test their demo model.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The long travel suspension means it’s incredibly plush when bouncing over pot holes, while brakes are the typical motorcycle style rather than moped (with the front brake on the right lever and rear at your right foot). With the twist and go throttle it’s very easy to learn.
The only complaint from the ride comes from the rear brake, which is a little tasty – great if you love a skid, not so great if you don’t.
The seat height sounds high, but it’s so slim and light that you don’t notice at all. Don’t let the number put you off one bit.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The motor has a peak power of 13.4bhp, which might not sound like much (it’s just over what you can expect from a 125cc four stroke) but the torque gives it plenty of zip from zero.
There are three power modes to choose from (more power means less range, simply) although there’s not a huge amount of difference between them – certainly not on the seat of the pants dyno. The gentlest setting reduces the top speed.
There are also three engine brake settings (none, two stroke and four stroke) but I found the strongest engine braking most natural. Plan ahead and you barely need to touch the brakes.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
There’s no doubting that the Kalk& is both beautifully designed and well put together. The materials are lovely, with a lot of brushed aluminium, smooth surfaces and the cool two tone seat. The original model was an off-roader, so it should take the odd knock without any disasters.
However Cake haven’t been around very long, so it would be total guesswork to suggest how it might hold up over time. There is an agent in the UK now though, so if you do have any problems, they should be easily solved.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
As it’s an electric bike it’s simple to keep running. It requires virtually no maintenance, apart from the obvious stuff such as brakes, chain and tyres. Charging is done on the included charger through a standard home socket, with a typical refill from 0-100% costing around 30p.
The only sticking point of the whole bike is the price – it’s as much as a brand new full-size petrol bike – however how many of those could you stick in a lift and take into the office?
Unlike most other electric bikes that are made from standard motorcycle components, the Kalk& has been designed from the beginning to be lightweight.
To do this, Cake worked with established manufacturers to build items that are halfway between big mountain bikes and little motorcycles. Öhlins for instance have designed fully-adjustable custom suspension front and rear, giving the bike over 200mm of travel, while the wheels are lightweight 19" rims with skinny trials bike rubber.
|Engine type||2.6kWh electric motor|
|Frame type||Aluminium box|
|Front suspension||38mm USD fully adjustable Öhlines (204mm travel)|
|Rear suspension||Öhlins TTX22 fully adjustable (205mm travel)|
|Front brake||220mm disc, four-piston caliper|
|Rear brake||220mm disc, four-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||19 x 3.00|
|Rear tyre size||19 x 3.00|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||-|
|Annual service cost||-|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||13 bhp|
|Max torque||31 ft-lb|
|Top speed||56 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||53 miles|
Model history & versions
2019 - Cake Kalk& launched.
Also available is a Kalk OR, which is an off-road version.
Owners' reviews for the CAKE KALK (2019 - on)
No owners have yet reviewed the CAKE KALK (2019 - on).