Gas Station or Wall Outlet?
In order to break out of our accustomed radius and explore, people mount motors. We get behind the wheel of a car and throw a leg over a motorcycle because we want a fast getaway from familiarity, if only for a little while. This pursuit has almost exclusively been facilitated by gas engines in the past but as with most anything, innovation always springs up to challenge the status quo. Electric motorcycle are beginning to gain a small foothold in the market with an even smaller environmental foot print that the classic motorcycle brands have began to take notice of. Harley Davidson has their Livewire electric motorcycle hitting the market in August of this year and Triumph announced an expected 2021 release of their "Project TE-1",the first all electric motorcycle from the brand that is synonymous with old school cool. Another impressive bike in the race is from the Swedish Company Cake that released an electric dirt bike last year and is going street legal with a new model this summer.
The Cake Kalk& is a sleek and modern motorcycle that has the environment, inclusivity and design foremost in mind. The Cake Kalk& builds on the precedent already set by their dirt bike (the KalkOR) with minor changes for city commuters. The design of the Kalk& is strongly influenced by the handling and feel of enduro bikes. The bike is powered by a 2.6 kWh battery and can expect to top out around 62 mph. The range isn't expected to be very stellar based on the battery size but their being swappable could alleviate the issue, and the stock range is sufficient for most big city commuting.
Specs aside, the Kalk's impressiveness comes from the design itself. Founder and CEO Stefan Ytterborn does not come from a motorcycle background but has a spirit for speed as he is an active skier, mountain biker, and surfer. His first encounter with an electric bike gave him the ability to explore nature without disturbing it. Cake motorcycles looks to offer that pleasure to anyone looking for it. The Kalk& is a light and manageable 150 lbs and the electric power means no gear shifts so anyone could pick it up quickly and ride it; a sense of mastery is achieved rather quickly. When it came to the actual manufacturing of the bike, Cake engineered and built all the components themselves; axles, rims, hubs, tires, everything was built from scratch to support the finished product. From the ground up, the Kalk& is built with the hope that people will want to try something new and contribute to moving innovation forward.
The frontier of the unknown will never change, but the means and machines we use to explore it will. Purists may balk at the idea of a motorcycle without a traditional engine but it is far from tradition where innovation can take place and move us forward in different, and more efficient ways. Be it gas or charge that is powering the bike you're on, two wheels and an open road will satisfy your internal combustion looking for the fast get away from familiarity.