My Cursory Teardown of the KALK&
In the past I have measured the quality of engineering and manufacturing of motorcycles by saying “It’s Honda Quality” as my highest compliment. The only bikes I have no experience working on are KTMs, Husqvarna and Suzukis. I’m both sad and excited to have changed my saying to “It’s CAKE quality.” Yep it’s really that good. But unfortunately now people will say “Mark, food is not love….” Oh well. Here are my reasons for changing to CAKE quality….
At first I examined the brakes and spokes:
I rode my bike in my neighborhood to bed in the pads. The front brakes have the same feeling, power and modulation as my former Brembo racing brakes. Incredible! I do feel that the rear brake is too strong for the bike. It’s very easy to lock up the rear wheel with just slight pressure on the foot pedal. I adjusted the rear foot pedal to give me the maximum amount of play, but it did not help with the power of the brake.
I then decided to remove the plastic panels on the bike. BTW one of the things people bitch about is “Oh there’s too much plastic on that IKEA bike thingy.” Always from people who never intend to buy one, ride one, or have even seen one in person. Really too much plastic? Have you looked at an ICE motocross bike lately you imbecile….? Were you the one horrified that Glock handguns were made of plastic? Get real.
Hum…who has more plastic? H8TRs gotta hate.
“I don’t like it because it’s not what I have.” They’re idiots too.
So I removed the plastic panels that protect the actual frame rails…
Since I have never seen welds like this before I asked a friend who is a metal fabricator to look at them. Here is what he said – “Those are crazy huge welds. Looks like many passes of tig welds on alum. And then sanded down. I have not seen welds this large; probably using larger fill rods too.”
He was impressed to say the least. Me too!
I also wanted to see the battery and the area where it resides.
UPDATE August 2 2020 – CAKE sent me as well as other owners guide rods that make installation of the battery much easier then before. You can read about those alignment rods here.
I took a look at the engine and surrounding area.
The bash/skid plate is 6.22mm in thickness. Very beefy and well done and covers the entire engine.
I read somewhere that someone was bitching about the cover for the rear Ohlins shock was attached ‘with cheap Velcro’ and they lost theirs. Well, the type used is the 3M industrial type, no fuzzy side, instead with interlocking channels. I’ve used this for other projects. Pressing down makes a positive connection with an audible ‘snap.’ And believe me once it’s connected it’s tough to remove. The ONLY way it would come off would be the adhesive that holds it to the plastic cover, but I’ve never had it happen with 3M products.
A friend mentioned that his rims were a weird size so I panicked and checked mine. Whew yep mine are 19ers. And I think mine are the older type like the 24″ KALK OR rims. On the CAKE site the &s show different rims, more like moto style with raised sides and centers. But in speaking to Zack he informed me that the rims I have are the new updated versions. Lighter than the ones on his demo bike and more durable.
Ever had the situation that the closer you look, the better it gets?! (conversely why do you think bars are dimly lit by candlelight…..don’t look TOO CLOSE) Well the closer I examine my KALK& the more impressive it gets.
So as I was examining my front rotor I noticed this small ‘disk thing’ on the inner portion of the rotor. I felt it and it spun. As I wondered what this was I noticed an electronic sensor on the caliper mounting point. AH HA I thought to myself, this must be the speedometer sensor! In my entire two wheel life whenever I changed the sprockets on my bikes it F’d up the speedometer. Zack told me it is indeed the speedometer sensor. And my friend Josh told me KTMs have the same setup. My only question now is if I change to a 21er in the future how much will it affect the speedometer setting?
OK so my protocol (and track rules) from racing days is to safety wire critical bolts and when that isn’t possible, to mark them. Well guess what? I didn’t do that myself, CAKE did it here. Just another example of attention to details.
A small but nice item is to have a steering lock which the KALK& includes.