Cake Kalk OR Evaluation: Radical, Accountable Electrical Grime Bike
- Wonderful construct high quality
- A lot energy
- Gentle weight
- No app
- Restricted tire selection
If Ikea and Tesla had a child, it might be the Cake Kalk OR. Easy, but dripping with the most recent expertise, and flush with design components.
Analogies apart, I had the chance to tear the Cake Kalk OR by way of a moist Oregon countryside for a day, and located this little electrical dust bike has a persona all it’s personal.
Cake is probably not a reputation you’ve heard of. Hailing from Sweden, Cake burst onto the motorbike scene with a really totally different ethos. It desires to hurry up the journey to a zero emission society with pleasure and duty.
Pleasure is a should for something motorsports-related, however duty? Along with Cake’s 4 bike lineup with the Kalk OR, Kalk&, and upcoming Osa+ and Osa lite, Cake provides solar panels by way of a collaboration with SunPower. Providing photo voltaic panels is actually accountable, however extra notably, it’s totally different. Constructing out a brand new class of tremendous gentle electrical motorcycles is one factor, however the logistics of providing a gasoline supply is an entire different can worms, and harking back to one other all-electric brand, Tesla.
The off-road solely bike that launched Cake, the Kalk OR, is a cross between a downhill mountain bike and a motocross dust bike. It defines a brand new motorbike phase that Cake calls Gentle Electrical Offroad, or L.E.O.s.
It attracts loads of consideration. Inside minutes of sitting my butt on the bike, passerby stopped to speak about specs and get a better have a look at a motorcycle that’s so clearly totally different.
Cake has put thought into each ingredient on the Calk OR. It might’ve been simpler to supply a tire already in manufacturing, however Cake needed the one a part of this bike that touches the earth to be one in every of it’s most considerate. Cake designed the Path Saver tires to supply grip within the dust whereas retaining the path intact.
My preliminary impression was that these eco-tires weren’t going to chop it within the muddy Oregon winter I used to be about to topic them to. Nonetheless, after some slight massaging of air stress and getting used to the huge quantities of torque, I discovered the tires to be succesful in very slippery circumstances.
The tires are helped by the Kalk OR’s minimal weight. With aluminum wheels, swingarm, and body, plus carbon fiber physique panels, the Kalk OR is available in at a hair over 152 kilos. To place that in context, a 250cc dust bike normally is available in between 240-270 kilos, whereas most downhill mountain bicycles are 30-40 kilos.
The Kalk OR appears like a mud bike that’s meant to be tossed round like a rag doll. Whilst I thrashed this Swedish fish by way of mud, the stakes by no means felt too excessive. Even for those who’re swinging the again finish round, making an attempt to drag off your longest drift to this point, the bike’s gentle weight and lack of momentum allows you to muscle by way of what’s sometimes a high-side inducing misstep.
That stated, discovering bother, and the enjoyable that comes with it, continues to be straightforward when you’ve this a lot energy. The Kalk OR packs an 11kW electrical motor. That interprets to about 14 horsepower, which isn’t quite a bit in comparison with 250cc motocross machines, which have round 45 to 50 horsepower.
However electrical motors aren’t about horsepower. They’re about torque. The Kalk OR’s motor places out a mind-bending 280 Nm of torque, which interprets to 206 lb-ft. A typical 250cc bike provides 30-35 lb-ft. The Kalk OR makes essentially the most of its 14hp, utilizing torque to rocket you to its prime velocity of fifty miles per hour.
With the entire mud and sliding on my journey, I’d’ve been overwhelmed if it weren’t for the Kalk OR’s a number of energy and braking modes. Simply accessible, and much more simply understood, is the management pad that sits in entrance of the rider.
The Kalk OR has three energy modes:
- Discover mode, which limits the highest velocity to 28mph, dampens throttle response, and limits total energy.
- Excite mode, which removes the velocity limiter whereas upping throttle response and energy.
- Excel mode, which provides you every part the Kalk OR can dish out.
These modes offer you very totally different experiences, virtually as for those who’re getting three bikes in a single. However as you up the facility, your battery vary will inevitably drop from 3-4+ hours in Discover to 1 hour in Excel.
Fortunately, these numbers appear to be conservative estimates. I noticed over 3 hours whereas bouncing between Excite and Excel mode. Nonetheless, keep in mind that vary will fluctuate on account of rider weight, driving type, and terrain.
The bike’s three braking modes won’t be as intuitive to an uninitiated rider. That’s as a result of they don’t have something to do with the bodily brakes, which work nice and deserve an honorable point out, however slightly how a lot the motor helps sluggish you down if you let off the throttle.
Stage three provides the best degree of motor-assisted breaking, whereas degree one eliminates it altogether, making the Kalk OR really feel extra like a mountain bike. Engine braking modes 2 and three additionally assist regenerate some battery life, which is sort of a two-for-one deal on useful engine administration.
Whenever you do cease to cost the Kalk OR, charging from a typical wall outlet is surprisingly fast, with 0-80% taking 1.5 hours and 0-100% clocking in at 2.5 hours. Which means path run within the morning, a relaxed lunch, and one other 4-6 hours of driving in a day, which ought to be sufficient to put on even the heartiest lovers skinny.
Once I noticed that the Kalk OR solely comes with a full Öhlins arrange, my jaw dropped. Öhlins, identified for its top-tier elements, is normally reserved for essentially the most premium trims of essentially the most premium bikes.
As anticipated, the suspension is easy and totally adjustable, letting you dial in no matter driving you intend to throw at it. That is a side of the Kalk OR I’m wholly assured that, except you’re knowledgeable rider, you’ll by no means discover it missing.
It’s nice, however it’s spendy
The Kalk OR represents a transfer in a really pleasant course for the two-wheeled world. The power to dial the facility down makes the Kalk OR viable for riders of various talents, and whereas the dearth of weight makes it straightforward for skilled riders to throw round, it additionally makes it far much less intimidating for newbies.
So, is the Kalk OR dust bike perfection? Not fairly, although my points are minor.
Cake constructed a 24” wheel for the Calk OR, which is an unusual dimension within the motorcycling world. Which means you’re caught with Cake’s proprietary Path Saver tire, whether or not you prefer it or not. At $90 a chunk, they aren’t the most affordable choices, they usually’re solely out there from the producer.
The customized elements don’t come low cost, both. At $13,000, the candy Swedish engineering and premium components make the fee to journey fairly excessive. However, you may consider the Kalk OR as three bikes in a single—and perhaps that’s sufficient to make the distinction for you.
My final challenge is the dearth of an app. I need telemetry and stats, and I need it now. I’ve been assured by the parents at Cake that that is deliberate, however for now, your battery life is relegated to 4 little LED indicators, and firmware upgrades must be dealt with by way of a wired connection.
The Cake Kalk OR is roofed by two 12 months components and labor, excluding regular put on and tear.
The Kalk OR is an excellent gentle bike with face-melting quantities of all-electric torque and essentially the most premium components. All this from an organization who really backs up their claims to be environmentally aware with actionable steps you may take to make a distinction. Is that this essentially the most guilt-free off-road enjoyable you may have? Fairly probably.
Is there a greater various?
The primary various is the Kalk &. The & is the OR’s road-going sibling, which has a barely smaller rear sprocket, a extra commonplace 19” wheel, lights, and a touch.
An alternative choice is the newly introduced Ubco FRX1, which might be out there later this 12 months. The FRX1 is $3,000 lower than the OR, and could possibly be as fast, however doesn’t have the Cake Kalk OR’s unimaginable suspension. I’ll know extra in regards to the FRX1 once I get an opportunity to journey one later this 12 months.
As a result of I do know somebody might be offended if I don’t point out Zero Bikes, none of Zero’s lineup applies to this class of tremendous gentle electrical path bikes. Cake’s lineup in comparison with Zero’s is apples to oranges. Finish of story.
How lengthy will it final?
The standard of this bike is prime notch. Even the ridiculously white seat got here clear with minimal effort after flogging it with mud all day. With such a well-thought-out and easy machine, my greatest guess is that you simply’ll be problem-free for years to return. The strong construct is then backed up with the Kalk OR’s means to improve firmware and swap out batteries.
Must you purchase it?
Sure. Although, for my cash, I’d spend the additional $1,000 and improve to the road authorized Kalk&. The Cake Kalk OR is a enjoyable bike each on and off the path.