[UPDATE, September 28, 2022: CAKE has since sent me a side stand kit for the ösa +, which I plan to write about soon, and will link to this piece once I do. However, as of this date, it is not currently listed on the CAKE website as an available accessory. I've asked for clarification about its availability, and will add that information here once I have it.]
Original piece follows, with model name changed to reflect the ösa + that actually arrived.
If you’ve owned any kind of adult-sized motorbike before, chances are good that you picked it up in person. Buying it new usually means a dealership experience, while buying used usually means you’re meeting a private seller at an agreed-upon location, looking everything over, exchanging money and a title, and likely being on your way with your new machine.
That’s not the case with Swedish electric motorbike maker CAKE, which ships directly to customers. A freight company will show up with a palleted crate containing your bike inside, and they’ll deposit it where you ask them to. After you inspect the box to make sure there’s no damage, you’ll sign to indicate that you’ve received it, and then you can open the box and start getting ready to ride.
Here’s what to expect when a CAKE ösa + shows up at your door. Other CAKE models likely have a similar process, although details will probably vary.
The CAKE ösa + comes inside a sturdy crate made of thick cardboard on the outside, which is screwed to a wooden pallet base. Additional nylon straps with metal clamps are used to keep the cardboard flaps on the upper box portion of the crate closed during transit. Slice those nylon straps, and you can easily open the flaps of the box.
Before you do that, though, there’s a QR code on the outside that will take your smart device to a range of Unboxing instructions. While the ösa series is listed, it appears that the process may have changed over time, since ösa bikes have been available for a couple of years now. (Please note that a CAKE representative has since told me that the online documentation hasn’t caught up with how the shipping process has changed—and an almost fully-assembled bike like I describe here is what customers currently receive as of late August, 2022.)
Inside the crate, the ösa + came with the rear basket already clamped into place behind the saddle. Both wheels were installed, and the only things that weren’t were the two mirrors and the optional front basket. A cardboard box with the front basket and bracket was nestled inside the rear cargo basket, along with two bungee nets to secure my cargo when I take the ösa + out to run errands or do work.
Another box secured to the bottom of the pallet contained a set of tools, keys for the bike, and of course the electric charger needed to power up the bike’s battery, which was already mounted in the appropriate place on the bike.
Freeing The Bike
Removing the bike from the pallet takes a little wiggling, and would certainly be easier with two people, but can be done by one person in a pinch. Once it’s free, you can then take out the box with the tools, charger, and keys inside, as well as free the mirrors from the pallet and screw them into place.
The mirrors are simple and straightforward to install, as long as you have two wrenches. There are two nuts under the rubber boot at the base of the mirror, and you’ll need to hold the bottom one in place while you screw the top one tightly once you’ve positioned the mirrors roughly how you want them.
These mirrors don’t offer terrible visibility, but they’re not as easily adjustable as I’d prefer. It’s very easy to make them either point way too high or way too low, so be sure to sit in the saddle and adjust the mirrors to a position that works for you before you fully tighten the screws into place. It will be difficult to make anything other than very fine adjustments after they’re tightened, unless you want to loosen them again.
The Battery, And Other Things to Know
The battery sits on a little tray down low, and is held in place with a big Velcro strap. There’s also a locking mechanism so you can lock the battery to the frame with one of the keys that comes with your bike. Those keys, incidentally, can also be used to lock the bike frame—there is neither a key nor an electric key fob with this bike.
Instead, CAKE has riders select and use a PIN code to unlock the ability to operate its bikes. You can turn the bike on without it, but the first thing it will ask you after the display activates is for that PIN code—and you won’t be able to go without it. For added security, you can, of course, use a disc or other bike lock of your choice when you get to your destination. CAKE even sells an Abus disc lock (similar to but not the same as this one we previously reviewed)
CAKE includes a battery charger with the ösa +, which comes with electrical plugs made to fit both American and European outlets. After choosing the correct plug for your region, be sure to read the charger box itself to see the order in which to connect it between your bike and the outlet. LEDs indicate when the battery is charging, when it’s full, or when there’s an error.
Like many similar units, there’s a fan inside that you may hear from time to time during the charging process. It’s not super loud, thankfully—although it is definitely audible. If you’re charging this bike in a situation where you share the space with other people, the noise shouldn’t be too disruptive.
Once you’ve checked that the tires are properly inflated, you should nearly be ready to ride after the battery is charged. The ösa + comes with a set of 14-inch spoked wheels, as well as disc brakes with adjustable levels of regenerative braking to help conserve energy.
The CAKE accessories store offers a wide range of parts and accessories, including additional baskets, batteries, skid plates, and even a full-fledged cargo trailer that you can mount to haul serious amounts of items behind your CAKE as you ride. There are also winter and studded tires—which probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the company is based in Sweden. From a surfboard to a mobile workshop, there are a lot of options for ways you can outfit your ösa +.
One last thing to note at setup: Yes, there’s a CAKE smartphone app that’s meant to help you interact with your bike. When I first rode a CAKE ösa + earlier in 2022, we learned about this app. At the time, it was only available for iOS devices, and had not yet been released for Android devices. As of late August, 2022, it is still not available for Android—but CAKE tells me that will hopefully happen by the end of 2022, or Q1 of 2023 at the latest.
If you read my previous CAKE ösa + First Ride Review from May, 2022, then you may be aware of my biggest complaint about that bike: It has no side stand. When I asked a CAKE representative why there was no side stand back in May, they told me that it’s because CAKE wanted to make it easier for people to load things into its baskets while they’re held level.
The center stand is admittedly pretty sturdy. Although mounting the bike while it’s on its center stand takes a little getting used to, it’s the dismount that’s tricky. This is due in large part to the straight rail that goes from stem to stern (where the saddle, basket, and any and all accessories you want to add are probably mounted).
There’s no easy cutout where you can maneuver your second leg as you’re coming off the bike, no matter which side you choose to dismount—and that goes double with a basket on the back. (It’s probably trickier once you have items piled up in the basket, as well—but I’ll find that out for sure when I take it for its first ride.)
To dismount, you need to put a foot on the ground, then swing your second leg over to meet your first on the ground—all while simultaneously holding up the bike and any cargo you’ve loaded in the back, all because there’s no center stand. CAKE seems to have added a grab strap to the ösa + that’s behind the saddle, which isn’t present on the regular ösa + that I previously rode. That could be useful to help hoist it up onto its center stand—or just to grab onto during the dismount. As with the items in the basket, I’ll probably know more about that after my first ride, as well.
Gallery: CAKE ösa + :work Unboxing
With the vast array of accessories that CAKE has made available for this bike, I’m honestly not sure why there’s no optional side stand for sale. My partner and I have three motorbikes between us, which each came from their respective factories with center stands installed. (None of them, incidentally, are very heavy bikes.) Every single one has a side stand in addition to the center stand. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to dismount any bike with a side stand, then pop it up onto the center stand for loading/unloading, easier service, or just because you feel like it.
Small-displacement scooters sometimes only come with a center stand—but they’re also usually step-through machines, so a dismount from a 50cc (or electric equivalent) scooter with a center stand isn’t anywhere near as tricky. Curiously, CAKE's own step-through electric moped equivalent, the Makka, comes with a side stand and no center stand. I’ll be living with this bike for a little while, though, so don’t worry—you'll hear plenty about my experiences with it in the coming weeks.