Innovation

Cake Wants to Make an Electric Motorbike for Everyone

A new electric-motorcycle company is raising the off-road standard

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Photo: Elisabeth Toll

When Stefan Ytterborn first tried to build an electric-motorcycle, he used some of the popular DIY bike kits available on the market. But it wasn’t long before he realized he’d have to go rogue. The off-the-shelf hub motor was clunky; motorcycle parts were too heavy and bike parts too weak. “I recognized that if I was really going to be honest with myself, I would need to start from scratch,” Ytterborn says.

In early 2018, Ytterborn launched his own electric-motorcycle company, Cake, with the limited-edition Kalk. The bike had only five standard parts. Everything else, from the rims and tires to the fork, was designed in-house. Cake now has two models: the Kalk OR (above) for off-roading, and the street-legal Kalk&. Both bikes are built from plastic and aluminum and are powered by a supremely quiet electric drivetrain located under the seat. Best of all, they can rip around roads and trails for up to three hours before they need recharging.

Photo: Elisabeth Toll

“If you look at traditional motocross bikes, the design is macho, it’s aggressive, it’s loud,” says Gonzalez, Cake’s head of design. Kalk bikes are built to be inclusive: they’re quiet, easy to operate, and easy to repair.

Photo: Elisabeth Toll

Ytterborn says Cake’s mission is to encourage responsible exploration. “It might sound patronizing or maybe even political,” he says, but users and organizations need to meet halfway to find transportation solutions that benefit everyone and don’t harm the planet.

Photo: Elisabeth Toll

Ytterborn launched Cake with his two sons, Karl (left) and Nils, in 2018.