Cake Kalk INK, Cake Kalk INK, Cake Kalk INK…say that three times fast. This Beetlejuice of electric motorcycles is the epitome of the growing “not a motorcycle” segment of the motorcycle industry, which is straddling the divide that sees bicycles on the other side of it.
This is of course nothing new for the Swedish company Cake, which has been working on its e-mopeds since 2016. Now, we have the latest iteration of the Kalk series, the Cake Kalk INK, which tackles perhaps the biggest criticism of the Kalk line: its price tag.
Coming with a price of $9,500 MSRP, the Cake Kalk INK still isn’t as cheap as many would like, but it does fit in the pricing scheme of being just above high-end e-bikes and just under pricing of potent electric dirt bikes.
For that money, you get a 2.6 kWh battery pack and an 11 kW motor that is good for a top speed over 50 mph. Cake says that this combination is good for three hours of trail/enduro riding, and can be recharged to 80% in 1.5 hrs off a normal plug.
With the battery installed (yes, it can easily be removed), the bike is just under 150 lbs ready-to-ride, and the form factor is close to a full-sized dirt bike.
This is where machines like the Cake Kalk INK begin to bridge a gap between e-bike and electric dirt bike.
Light and easy to handle like a robust downhill mountain bike, but sized like a dirt bike (with the torque to match), machines like the Cake Kalk lineup take the best of both realms and create something slightly different.
The design reminds us of the path set by the early machines from Zero Motorcycles, which used a lot of theory and parts from the bicycle industry to make their electric motorcycles.
The Cake design might be simple, like Zero’s, but it is certain more robust, and takes inspiration from the motorcycle industry in the areas where its most important, like the chassis, wheels, and suspension (which is where Zero got it wrong).
While we haven’t swung a leg over the Cake Kalk INK itself, we have spent some seat time on the Kalk& and we were impressed with the machine. It is very minimalist, as you would expect from a conclave of Scandinavians, but offers a fun and pure ride through the dirt and city streets (the Kalk& is DOT-legal, while the INK is not, FYI).
With e-mobility a hot topic for the two-wheeled community, there is a growing proposition to have something available that requires less effort than an e-bike, but is still have the flexibility that is lost on a motorcycle. These e-mopeds, as they are often called, like Cake’s, seem to fit the bill quite well.
Now with the Cake Kalk INK, the Swedes have a better offering for your wallet, though we suspect the price tag will still keep the model out of reach for many.
At near half the price though, we could be seeing the beginning of a transportation revolution. The question will be though, how long will it take for us to reach that pricing point with this technology.
If you can, we recommend swinging a leg over a Cake Kalk bike (another tongue twister) and seeing what the fuss is all about. We think you will be surprised what this form-factor can mean for urban-dwellers and trail-riders alike.