2020 Cake Kalk&: A Different Take On Dual Sport Motorcycle Riding
The level of innovation in the electric motorcycle sector is impressive, and the 2020 Cake Kalk& (yes, it has an ampersand in its name) is head-turning. The “&” differentiates the dual-sport model from the off-road only Kalk OR.The 2020 Cake Kalk& is a hybrid of a bicycle and motorcycle, with components that aren’t motorcycle-spec, though heavier duty than you would see on a bicycle.
Looking at the motor, it’s fairly straightforward. It has the massive maximum torque number we expect from an electric powerplant—186 ft/lbs. Yes, that’s more than the Triumph Rocket III. Of course, that needs to be padded down to be usable, but it’s there. Even with that staggering peak torque number, the claimed maximum speed is listed as 56+ mph, so probably not quite 60 mph.As expected, range on the 2020 Cake Kalk& is highly dependent upon performance. The most powerful option is the Excel mode. Designed for competition and high-speed riding, you’ll get no more than an hour from a charge of the 2.6 kWh, 50 Ah lithium-ion battery.For fast trail riding, you dial in the Excite mode. Cake claims between one and two hours between charges. If you want three to four hours of riding, the Explore mode keeps the power down and limits the Calk& to 28 mph, which may be enough in some terrain.In our experience, range claims are typically “enthusiastic,” even if not intentionally. However, that doesn’t mean the Cake claims are not accurate. Cake says that it takes 2.5 hours to take the battery from a zero-charge back up to 100 percent, and that is using a standard outlet.The frame a visually striking part of the 2020 Cake Kalk&, especially the spare rear end. It’s a light chassis, weighing in at 174 pounds, with 37 pounds being the battery. The lack of weight is due in part to lighter-duty wheels and suspension components.That’s not to say that Cake scrimped on the suspension. The shock and fork are from Öhlins. However, the inverted fork is a 38mm unit with eight inches of travel, with the linkage-assisted piggyback-reservoir shock controlling the rear wheel movement. Oddly, the air-spring fork is fully adjustable, and there are no adjustments for the shock.Cake made an odd choice on the 2020 Kalk& wheels. Both wheels are 19 inches in diameter. That is a non-standard size that locks you into the specially made GMD Trail Savers tires. Further, the tires are 3.00 width and have an observed-trials style block tread pattern. We do notice different tire—more dirt-track style—on the action photographs of the Kalk& provided by Cake. Clearly, a change was made at some point before final production.The seat height of 35.8 inches will be challenging for newer or shorter riders, though the 174-pound weight minimizes that. The 11.8 inches of ground clearance will allow using the 2020 Cake Kalk& in authentic off-road environments. The wheelbase is just 51.6 inches with 25 degrees of rake—all numbers that point to agility.There’s a dash that gives you the essentials—speed, odometer, tripmeter, battery status, and power usage.The 2020 Cake Kalk& is sold on the Cake website and shipped directly to you. Financing is part of the equation, with monthly payments starting at $715.All you’ll need is $14,000 for the indisputably unique 2020 Cake Kalk& dual sport motorcycle. That is $3601 more expensive than a 2020 KTM 500 EXC-F. To be sure, you pay for the privilege of being on the cutting edge of electric motorcycle development.
Our first segment introduces you to the new Arch 1s. This latest, slightly more sporting American V-twin, adds to the original KRGT1 coming from the boutique manufacturer based in Hawthorne, Southern California. Senior Editor Nic de Sena rode through Malibu with Gard Hollinger, who co-founded Arch Motorcycle with his friend, Keanu Reeves. The 1s is a unique ride for sure, and Nic explains what makes the bike really stand out.
For the entertaining story behind Arch Motorcycle from Gard Hollinger himself, you must listen to his podcast episode on Motos & Friends HERE
The guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—visit your local dealer or suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In our second segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with multiple Emmy award-winning writer, Producer, Director, and actor, Thom Beers. the former Chairman & CEO of Fremantle Media North America, responsible for American Idol and America’s Got Talent.
Thom’s fertile imagination led to most of the really big reality TV shows such as ‘Deadliest Catch’ (now in its 17th season!), and many others. Of course for us in the motorcycle world, you’ll be interested to hear the genesis and story of how he started the first real fabrication reality show ‘Monster Garage’, that showcased Jesse James, and then how that led to ‘Biker Build Off’ and the ‘Zombie Choppers’ movie.
You’d imagine that most of Thom’s time is spent sitting behind a desk and on his phone. Not so. His intense stories of capturing much of the content for these shows make for some hair-raising listening.