When I last left off in my chronicles of life with the CAKE ösa +, I was waiting for a new charger box, larger battery, and side stand package. They all showed up, and the new charger box was exactly what I needed to get back out on the road. It’s working exactly as it should, as of the time of writing—and it’s done that since day one.
The side stand—much like the center stand that comes installed on the bike—is a robust, painted black metal unit. Since it uses some of the same mounting points as the center stand, you have to first remove the center stand before installing the side stand. Although the ösa + is very lightweight as compared to most other bikes, that means you’ll still either require an extra set of hands, or else an external stand to park the bike on while you’re working on it.
Earlier in my review process, this side stand wasn’t listed on the CAKE website as an available accessory. However, as of October 10, 2022, it’s currently listed at a price of $135. (The company notes that it will only fit vehicles with VINs higher than YW2C2M105LT000147, so that’s something to be aware of if you have an earlier VIN on yours.)
As with many things CAKE, there’s a handy video on the company’s YouTube channel to walk you through the installation process. You may find that it doesn’t match up exactly with your experience (we had to install the support bracket and spring in a slightly different order than is shown in the video), but it did at least put us on the right path.
One other important thing to know about this side stand is that it’s an auto-retracting one. Presumably, that’s meant to prevent you from accidentally riding off with your side stand down, and possibly crashing and/or causing yourself an injury. Since the ösa + comes from the factory with a center stand (and not a side stand), there’s no automatic shutoff of the motor when the side stand is down.
Also, the spring that helps the side stand spring up into its folded position on the CAKE is very robust—so you’ll want to wear strong boots if you ride with the side stand instead of the center stand. When you’re parking, you’ll need to hold the side stand in place with your boot until you physically lower the bike onto it, and the bike’s weight is able to hold the side stand in place. If you wear softer shoes (or boots), you could end up with bruises, because that side stand structure isn’t messing around.
While it’s unlike most side stands on bikes I’ve ridden in the past, I got used to it pretty quickly—but like I said, I always wear some pretty stiff boots just to keep things simple and easy.
The Saddle and the Preload
As I mentioned previously, the saddle on the ösa + has no padding to speak of. It’s best compared to a very basic bicycle saddle. You know that particular pain you get when you ride a bicycle if you haven’t ridden one in a long time? The one where, if you keep riding the bicycle, it’ll go away and/or you’ll get used to it and it won’t matter anymore? This motorbike gives you that. I’ve never had that experience with a motorbike before.
Adjusting the preload helps a little bit with the questionable road quality in my area. I still wouldn’t say that it’s good, particularly if you plan to spend lots of time in the saddle—but it’s at least a little better. Having weight in the rear basket (conveniently over the drive wheel) also helps with comfort over bumps.
Gallery: Life With CAKE ösa + : Magnetic Design
You will absolutely get attention wherever you go if you ride a CAKE ösa +, and much like the design itself, whether that’s a good thing or not depends entirely on your feelings, as a human. If you love chatting with random people, then this could very much be the bike for you. On the other hand, if you don’t, then you need to face up to the fact that this design draws all kinds of people to it, wherever you may ride.
So far, everyone who’s flagged me down to talk about it loves the design. Phrases like “it’s so cool” and “it’s so different” are fairly commonplace. Somewhere in the conversation, people usually want to know a few other things, in no particular order. Is it electric? Where did I get it? That’s not from around here, is it? How much does it cost? Sometimes, they’ll want to know if it’s a motorcycle, moped, or what—and maybe they’ll also want to know about top speed and/or range, but not always.
No matter the order in which people’s questions come, though—that unalloyed joy at a design that they clearly find striking instantly melts away when I tell them the price. In 2022, the U.S. price for the CAKE ösa + starts at $10,470, and that’s before you start speccing it with options like the baskets and cargo nets that I have on this review unit. You can also get a passenger seat, different racks, more clamps, or all kinds of other options that could make your life easier on this utility bike—but like all accessories on all bikes, it’ll cost you.
What about a bigger battery? That’s one of the main differences between the ösa + and the ösa + :work. The regular ösa + comes with a 50 amp-hour, 2.6 kilowatt-hour battery, offering an estimated range of 84 kilometers (or 52 miles). The ösa + :work, on the other hand, bumps the battery up to a 75 Ah, 3.75 kWh unit, with a claimed range of 125 km (or 78 miles). That larger, longer-range battery is also a significant reason why the ösa + :work starts at a base MSRP of $12,370, before any add-ons.
Passers-by absolutely adore the design, but even if I tell them that it can go 56 mph and that it’s licensed as a motorcycle, they’re generally not thrilled about those dollars. Here’s one example: At a farmer’s market stop one day, I had multiple people asking questions about it. One gentleman who had previously been particularly enthusiastic said, upon hearing the price, “well, I’m glad you’re out here saving the planet” before hurriedly walking away.
The CAKE ösa + that I received for review came with a pair of robust metal baskets, mounting hardware, and cargo nets. The big basket on the back came pre-installed, as you can see in my unboxing piece. The front basket and its bracket came in their own little box, which was packed inside the main bike box. The two cargo nets also came packaged inside that bigger box, ready to be opened up and used.
The big basket is extremely sturdy, and can handle multiple big shopping bags (and a whole bunch of groceries) with ease. At first, I didn’t even put the front basket on the bike, because I simply didn’t need it. Eventually, though, I installed the front basket—and it was extremely simple. Be aware that the process does involve moving the headlight to a different position, so you may have to re-aim it if you find that it’s angled too steeply at the ground.
Bungees—both the cargo nets that CAKE sells and others you may have—attach securely through any of the decorative (and functional) holes in the baskets. It’s easy to secure any items you want and rest easy, knowing that they’re not going anywhere in these baskets until you want them to.
For my purposes, the baskets are key—most of my errands involve carrying stuff from one place to another, whether it’s going to get groceries, take packages to the post office, or some other thing. Obviously, everyone’s needs in an everyday bike are different—but if your needs are within a certain distance and you can just stick it on the charger so it’s ready when you need it, this bike is mostly pretty OK at everyday tasks.