That Öhlins suspension is some serious frosting.
If you’ve been wondering what the CAKE Kalk OR is like to ride aggressively off-road, you’re not alone. Besides being an interesting and potentially divisive design exercise, this Swedish electric off-roader boasts a particularly nice stock Öhlins suspension that looks very tempting on paper. What’s it like to actually put through its paces, though?
That’s where Tucker Neary comes in, because he’s more than happy to find out what the Kalk OR has got on some of his favorite Colorado mountain trails in this video. It turns out there’s quite a bit more to this bike than its looks—and it’s mostly good news.
He starts out the video with one half-baked CAKE design choice that could definitely be, um, batter. There’s a little plug that’s attached to the right handlebar with a little plastic cord, and you have to push it into place so the bike will turn on and activate. If that plug isn’t present, the bike won’t operate—sort of like a key, except not actually. You’ve probably spotted the problem already, but in case you haven’t … it’s on the right bar, right next to the throttle. Way to mix up the sugar and the salt in your potentially delicious mud pie, CAKE.
That’s a small complaint overall, though—and as Neary starts pushing the thing, he ends up saying that suspension is probably the nicest one he’s dealt with out of the box. He also notes one important thing you can’t tell from photos: the CAKE Kalk OR is pretty close to a full-size dirt bike, unlike Sur-Ron's offerings. Range when riding it aggressively seemed similar to that of the KTM Freeride EX-C, although he wasn’t logging data, so that’s by no means an exact summary.
Two other, more significant problems that Neary noted were: battery placement raising the center of gravity and making it much less narrow than he’d have liked, and the ergonomics taking quite a bit of getting used to, as compared to other bikes he’s ridden. These are things that other riders may, of course, feel differently about, but they’re good pieces of information to have if you’re thinking about giving one a try. If you are contemplating this bike, this video is a half-hour well spent.