Zero emission motorcycles are still in their relative infancy, but with the sale of petrol-powered machines being banned in the UK from 2035, there is no denying that the electric revolution has begun.
If you’re still of the opinion that electric motorcycles are utilitarian machines, great for a cost-efficient commute but not so good on performance or street cred, then you probably haven’t heard of CAKE.
The Swedish technology company has a clear mission to inspire towards a zero-emission society, but it is doing so by producing electric motorcycles and mopeds that are far from boring. CAKE’s head-turning two-wheelers are as stylish as they are a brilliant to ride.
Its four core models – the Kalk off-roader, the Ösa utility machine, the Makka commuter moped and the limited-edition Bukk – boast an award-winning combination of innovative design, a stripped-back aesthetic, lightweight construction and high performance.
CAKE was founded in 2018 by entrepreneur in strategy, design and branding, Stefan Ytterborn. His goal was to create electric motorcycles that would combine fun and excitement with responsibility, developing light, quiet, and clean machines.
The idea grew from a desire to fill a gap that he recognised in the off-road motorcycle market, where traditional manufacturers of fossil-fuel machines were attempting to shoehorn electric power into existing designs.
“The motorcycle industry is stuck with the old,” explains Ytterborn. “They tend to do what they always did, putting an electric drive train on a motorbike which has been developed for the combustion engine.
“But due to the different characteristics of the combustion engine and an electric drive train, there are very different consequences in terms of how the perfect ride actually comes out. And that’s where CAKE show up.”
So began a two-year project to develop a product that would optimise the ride with an e-drive train off-road. “CAKE has developed everything from scratch,” continues Ytterborn. “Sometimes internally and sometimes with established brands of such functionalities.
“Whether that be companies specialising in suspension or brakes. As well as bringing a new level of performance to the drive chain, in terms of what CAKE is doing with regards to battery, motor, controller, battery management system and so forth.”
The result, a lightweight yet torque rich off-roader named the Kalk, was launched in January 2018 to critical acclaim. It won numerous accolades including the 2019 and 2020 Red Dot Design Award, IF Design Award and Automotive Brand Contest Award.
The limited-edition original Kalk sparked the imagination of fun-loving off-road riders the world over, thanks to its unusual looks and nimble, fast and exhilarating ride. It sold out within months of its release, surpassing even Ytterborn’s expectations.
“The launch was far beyond our wildest imagination, including four awards and hundreds of articles being published around the world,” he said. “It was exciting to see how the orders spread around the globe, with the bikes ending up in 15 different countries.”
This success led to a second round of financing that enabled scalable production of the Kalk, which went on sale in early 2019. The company’s first ever street-legal bike, the Kalk&, was introduced later the same year, followed by its second brand-new model, the Ösa.
The Ösa was created to cater for the wide variety of riders seeking eco-friendly and efficient transport capable of carrying the equipment they need for work and play, whether that’s a laptop, power tools, surfboard or pizza delivery rack.
It’s a modular utility commuter vehicle with off-road capabilities and an integrated power station, ideal for people looking for a do-it-all two-wheeler. Another eye-catching machine, the Ösa is built around the concept of a light, yet rigid unibeam structure.
Termed a ‘workbench on wheels’, almost anything can be attached to the frame using a clamp-on system to create over 1,000 configurations. The powerful battery doubles as an integrated power station, enabling the rider to be completely independent, off-the-grid.
“Our ambition with the Ösa was to create a motorbike that would serve as a powerful utility, transportation and exploration tool—a tool that not only carries an abundance of gear, but also serves as a mobile workshop and a rolling power station,” explains Ytterborn.
“Aside from serving the need for clean and efficient urban commuting or last-mile delivery use, the Ösa also allows them to have off-the-grid cinema nights in the woods, backcountry live gigs, dinner parties along at the beach. Whatever comes to mind and wherever.”
It’s clear through its innovative design and forward-thinking concepts that CAKE is promoting a new way of life, where electric transportation enables the opportunity for new adventures rather than limiting travel.
Throughout 2020, CAKE introduced a series of further derivatives of the original Kalk, including an expansion into the off-road racing segment with the launch of the Kalk OR Race and the Kalk INK Race machines.
Both models feature nothing but the highest performing components, engineered to make the utmost of the electric drivetrain. Combining 280Nm of swift and powerful rear wheel torque with super low weight makes these the ultimate racing bikes.
The street legal Kalk INK SL followed in late 2020. Built to be a fast, hassle-free electric motorcycle that is as capable of backcountry free-riding as it is zipping around paved roads in an urban setting, it’s ideal for riders looking to explore both on- and off-road.
Another year later and CAKE launched its next brand-new model, a convenient, nimble moped named the Makka. Designed with the modern urban commuter in mind, it cemented the company’s crossover from off-road machines to road-going two-wheelers.
Featuring category-leading power and range, the Makka retains CAKE’s unique styling and comes in two versions. The Makka Range offers 66km of range with a top speed of 25kph, while the Makka Flex is more powerful, achieving up to 45kph.
“The Makka further defines CAKE’s ambition of making two-wheeled electric vehicles accessible to everyone,” says Ytterborn. “While constantly pushing the envelope of performance, durability and relevancy in line with the company’s mission to inspire towards a zero-emission lifestyle.”
Not one to rest on its laurels, CAKE also launched its :work series, featuring revamped editions of the Kalk, Ösa and Makka. Each model has been tuned and optimized for food and parcel last-mile delivery and mobile workforces across a variety of sectors.
2022 has seen CAKE make a return to its roots with the introduction of the Bukk – a brand-new off-road platform designed for trail and track use. The Bukk’s performance is equivalent to the A2 classification, offering a category-leading power-to-weight ratio.
The newly developed drivetrain, with the 72V battery and 16kW motor, delivers 420Nm of instant electric torque and top speeds of +100kph, with three ride modes giving an array of riding style choices.
Unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle exhibition in November 2022, the initial limited-edition run of 50 machines sold out in days, although CAKE has announced that the next chapter of the Bukk platform will be presented in early 2023.
For Ytterborn, the success of the latest launch proves that CAKE is providing what riders want. “The Bukk launch reminds me very much of the Kalk Limited Edition launch four years ago, with an amazing welcome and excitement from the market,” he says.
“This time the limited edition Bukk sold out in less than a week, with a wide response from around the globe. It represents the boundary-pushing performance ambition of CAKE products. This is a true next-level, off-road electric platform.”
So, where in the UK can you get your hands on one of these uber-cool, highly sought-after motorcycles? You can start by paying a visit to the brand’s pop-up store in Shoreditch, London, where you can see the full range of these exciting models in the metal.
The 100 metre-squared Curtain Road site includes a showroom, full-service centre and demo vehicles. Visitors can take a test ride, while existing CAKE owners can service their bikes and connect with the team. There are plans to open a permanent store later this year.
If you do decide to join the electric revolution and become part of the CAKE family, you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of Devitt motorcycle insurance, which is available to all CAKE owners.
The CAKE Pop Up Store London is now open and is located on 55 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3PT. To contact the store email: email@example.com
For more information on CAKE, visit https://ridecake.com/en-GB