KALK – the all new electric dirtbike from CAKE
Electric vehicles are becoming an increasingly common sight on our roads, from the self-satisfied hum of a Toyota Prius to the swish of a high-end Tesla. And now if you want to add a dirt bike to that list, you can spend your money on the new CAKE Kalk, a stylish and minimal off-road machine due in the showrooms from summer 2018.
CAKE Kalk – A NEW BREED OF DIRT BIKE?
The confusingly named bike is the brainchild of Swedish entrepeneur Stefan Ytterborn, who was previously the head honcho at POC, a company manufacturing some distinctly styled and effortlessly cool helmets, clothing and sunnies for skiers. snowboarders and cyclists.
Yttereborn’s new company CAKE has developed their all new off road bike as the first offering and the machine fits well with their high-mided mission statement –to contribute to speeding up the transition towards a zero emission society, while enhancing excitement and fun.
OK so one bike’s not going to change the world, but at least they have a clear idea of what they are trying to do, even if achieving it is going to be a long process!
But enough of the eco politics – what’s the bike about? Well, like the ethics it’s all high-end stuff – 6061 alloy frame, carbon fibre bodywork, Ohlins suspension, headset by MTB giant Hope, beautifully crafted components and incredible build quality – even if you never see a Kalk out on the trails, you may see one in a design museum alongside a Starck Lemon squeezer ….
The CAKE Kalk weighs in at a reasonable 68 kilos or 150 pounds, with naturally much of that weight coming from the batteries, however company and stylish they might look.
Performance wise, the bike will top out at an impressive 50 mph, but ride it like that for long and it’s doubtfull how far you will get. Ridden normally at slightly more modest speed and using the tree selectable power modes, the range is said to be around 50 miles or 80km, which is pretty comparable to KTM’s Freeride E.
The comparison to the Austrian bike is inevitable, and although the CAKE bike looks a tad more more stylish and mountain bike like in looks, it’s the price that will be the major sticking point. If you do want to add a Kalk to your collection, you are going to need an eye-watering €14,000 or the same amount in dollars, or just under £12,500.
With the KTM now benefitting from tax advantages in the UK, the price on the Freeride has dropped dramatically from it’s initial price of over £12,000 to a much more affordable £5999 in the dealers in 2018. Without sorting a more attractive tax benefit, then it’s hard to imagine that many Kalks will make it out onto the trails in Great Britain, no matter how eco-friendly the rider….
Of course, even if you were keen to buy the Kalk for the trail, the lack of gear like lights, brake lights and the other necessary components to allow a bike to be road legal and registerable would mean that the bikes use would be restricted to private land use only. Buying yourself a convenient forest may push that €14,000 price tag pale into insignificance!
But before we’re too down on the high price tag, CAKE are keen to point out that the Kalk is the first in a range of planned models, that every single component has had to be individually designed and made from scratch.
In terms of riding experience, anyone that has ridden an electric bike will know that the feeling is like nothing else. Electric motors have instant torque and will rocket off into the distance from the moment you twist the throttle – the fact that the only noise is just a high pitched whine just messes with your head. The Kalk has 15kw of power which equates to about 16 bhp, and with only 70 kilos plus rider to move, that is plenty enough to bring a massive grin to any face.
Add in the fantastic suspension that is adjustable for both compression and rebound, four-pot caliper brakes with 220mm rotors and the environmentally sensitive Trail Saver tyres, the Kalk is one sweet yet responsible package.
Whether we’ll ever get to see the CAKE Kalk in the flesh, let alone take it out on the snotty British trails may be doubtful, but that doesn’t prevent us admiring the engineering and vision of the enterprising Mr Ytterborn. Put €1000 down now and the rest on delivery and you can share his vision …
If you do splash the cash and invest in a Kalk – let us know if it’s as good as it looks!
PREFER PETROL? SO DO WE