Cake launch first road legal electric motorbike
Swedish motorcycle manufacturers Cake have unveiled the Kalk& (Kalk And) – a road legal version of the Kalk OR. The original Kalk OR is billed as a halfway house between a mountain bike and a motorcycle, weighing just 69kg but with a top speed of 46mph.
The Kalk& builds on that adding indicators and lights, while different internal gearing helps it climb all the way to 60mph. Despite being so small, Cake say the Kalk battery is powerful enough for 2 – 3 hours off-roading, which equates to around 50 miles of range.
This should extend the Kalk& to being a useful little commuter machine but really it longs for the dirt, which is what the design is aimed at.
As it’s primarily a trail machine, the geometry is based on enduro and downhill mountain bikes but as it combines the two, there wasn’t a single off-the-shelf component to start with for building the bike.
As such, Cake had to design everything from a blank sheet of paper including the axles, hubs, rims, riding cockpit and suspension, while also building a whole new drivetrain and developing a completely new chassis.
This led to Cake developing what they think is a whole new segment that they’ve dubbed LEO (Light Electric Off-roaders). They did have some help along the way though, with suspension experts Ohlins leaping in to design the forks and rear shock.
Despite presenting a relatively basic aesthetic in an attempt to reduce weight, the Kalk is still packed full of high tech including a power controller with three riding modes and adjustable regenerative braking.
Cake will release the full specs on the bike in March, along with the price, but a current Kalk costs approximately £11,500, so we would expect the Kalk& to be slightly more expensive. If you think this is right up your street, you can book you place in the queue now for £175.
Cake electric motorbikes: The story so far
Swedish off-road electric motorbike manufacturer, Cake, have been busy working on reinventing the dirt bike. Rather than trying to make an electric motorbike that can do everything a petrol one can, they’ve concentrated on the advantages electricity can bring to two-wheeled vehicles.
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The Kalk motorbikes they produce look more like downhill mountain bikes, but the addition of a battery and motor means that riders don’t have to worry about the inconvenience of finding a hill.
The Kalk is very light (69kg including the battery), requires almost no maintenance, gives off no emissions and makes almost no noise. You can even charge them using solar panels supplied by Cake to minimise the environmental impact.
The motor produces 20bhp, which doesn’t sound like much, but that means a power-to-weight ratio of around 130bhp per ton depending on rider weight. The bikes look fast enough to be plenty of fun in the company’s online videos.
The bike also has three different engine braking settings; freewheel, two-stroke or four-stroke to mimic the off-throttle behaviour of a mountain bike or petrol equivalent.
A new category of electric motorbike riding
Cake are putting together the blueprint for off-road electric motorcycle tracks. The circuits will be specifically designed for motorcycles of a battery persuasion, which differ from dedicated motocross and off-road bicycles - with performance similar to 250cc motocross bike and a stance replicating a down hill push bike.
The compact track format will be ideal for electric bikes and could be built on small plots of land or inside big back gardens. According to the firm's website, they could also be built in more extreme locations, such as in warehouses, or on roof tops, with no fear of disturbing the neighbours - due to no engine noise pollution.
The drawings are available on the Cake website and tracks are currently being built around the globe.
A brief history of Cake electric motorbikes
Cake are still a young company. Stefan Ytterborn, Founder of premium snow and cycling gear maker, POC announced his next venture making electric off-road bikes in 2016 and the company raised capital by selling shares the following year.
By March 6, 2018 the company had sold out of their first commercially available model, a limited edition, 50-run of their Kalk and in June of the same year the first bike was delivered to the first customer, Fredrik Moberg.
Limited edition Kalks continue to be delivered to customers around the globe, and a pre-order of the production model can be secured with a deposit of roughly £895. The bike costs around £11,600 in total. Delivery of the Production Series Kalk will begin on 1 January 2019, with free shipping being offered world wide.
Charging a Cake Kalk battery
An 80% charge takes an hour and a half, with a full charge taking two and a half. The battery life depends on the mode you use, but stack up as follows:
- Explore: Limited speed to 45 km/h and a two-hour plus battery range
- Excite: Enduro or active trail riding. one to two hour riding time
- Excel: Track and race mode, maximal torque and speed, riding time up to one hour
Awards won by the Cake Kalk electric bike
Along their journey towards becoming a fully-fledged electric motorbike manufacturer, Cake have picked up several awards including a Grand Award of Design from the Association of Swedish Engineering Industries, the Best of Best Award from the Automotive Brand Contest at the Paris Motor Show, and a Design S award in their native Sweden.
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