New Kalk& Display

August 21 2020

Cake sent me their new display so I’m posting my evaluation. I’m not certain if I’m the first person to receive it, so some of the things I sight may or may not be indicative of other displays. I’m going to assume that this is what is being sent to all Kalk& owners. But we all know what assumption means…..

I want to state that I have no idea who purchases Kalk&s. From my experience when meeting people on the street who are interested it appears to be people of all ages, but primarily those in the 45+ age bracket who have previously owned ICE motorcycles. I bring this up because most of the people I know in that demographic work on their own bikes. In this example of having to change the display, although it’s a relatively easy job it does take some patience, skill and know how. Oh and the right tools too. The bike is marketed as something that doesn’t require tinkering, yet instead of having a local dealer network to handle labor, it’s up to the owner to do so themselves. Most of those who have owned ICE bikes will be comfortable doing so. The new demographic may not be accustomed to DIY projects. I could be all wet too in that assumption.

And here is where I have found Cake, like my former employer lacks execution in clear and vetted instructions. I’m going to start off with the installation and later move onto the instructions Cake supplies (or does not) to change the display.

This is the video they recommend you follow to replace the keyed display panel with the new PIN code display.

The replacement procedure is straightforward and has a Mark cussing scale of 5/10. The reason is it’s tough to run the wires out through the very small panel located just behind the steering stem. It’s the same opening that houses the new on/off button. I removed the battery which the video recommends giving me more room to work. If I had not done so my cussing rating would be an 8/10.

One of the items in the video explains that one of the connectors does not connect to anything. Before receiving my new display I assumed that the connector they referred to was on the old keyed display. It is not, it is on the new PIN code display.

Odd that the second pin is bent.
As shown in the Cake video.

The following images illustrate the differences between the keyed display and the new PIN code display. It’s narrower than the keyed display and sits above the handlebars rather than below. I personally like the angle and placement of the new display as it makes adjusting the headset much more convenient if the headset loosens. And much easier to view as well.

The old keyed display unit.
Old on the left, new on the right. You can see that the handlebar sits below the display in the new unit.
New display is shorter in height, but wider.

The following series of images illustrate the new versus old display connectors.

New display and power button installed and ready to test.

Speedometer Accuracy

I took my bike out for test rides to determine how the old display differs from the new one. Right off the bat the speedometer is much more accurate then the keyed display. At a GPS measured 40 MPH the new Cake display indicated 43 MPH. Previously my old display would show 48 MPH at a GPS measured 40 MPH. And even as the speed increases or decreases the percentage of the Cake’s speedometer error remains around 7.5% which in my view is very good. Most speedometers increase in error percentage as the speed increases. Kudo Cake!

Battery Life Indicator

When I began my test I was THRILLED thinking “Wow somehow just by replacing the display I have way more battery life/range! Yahoo!!!” LOL Well not so and stupid of me to think so. The battery indicator on my former keyed display went from five bars to four in just three miles. Last night during my test I had five full bars even at 8 miles. It went down to four bars at 10 miles. And down to two bars after 18 miles when I returned home. I did do a top speed run last night to 61 MPH GPS measured for about 100 yards. So the quick drop of bars appears to happen between three and two bars instead of the former five to four bars.

I prefer the new battery meter, it’s smaller than just the bars that march across the top of the display on the keyed unit.

Angle and Illumination

I was disappointed with the keyed display’s position and viewing angle as well as the lack of illumination in moderate to bright sunlight. I’m really happy to state that I feel all of those issues have been resolved with the new display. I chuckled a bit when I asked one of the Cake employees if the illumination had improved on the new unit prior to receiving my display and he stated he had ‘not done any lumen testing’ so he could not say. Wow I must seem like a real prick to have a guy mention lumen measurements! Or maybe he knows I’m a commercial photographer. LOL Besides lumens numbers don’t mean shit to me it’s how the display actually performs in sunlight.

As you can see in direct sunlight the display is well illuminated and easily legible.

Issues I Have Found

I mentioned at the beginning of this post how I view Cake’s instructions to be less then what I’d personally like to see. The instructions of the new PIN display/power button combo that is incorrect in their explanation on how to turn off the bike. The Cake video (which I believe is lifted from their OSA display instructions) instructs us to hold down the top button on the display (the one with the white box outline) for two seconds to turn off the bike. THAT DOES NOT WORK as explained in their video.

In order to ACTUALLY turn off the bike you MUST turn off the power button. The power button has two positions. The first is the off position.

The actual button is flush with the outer bezel of the button housing.
The On position where the button is depressed.

It is here where I discovered an error in this system. After turning off the system by depressing the button, I then pressed it on at which time the headlight and tail light illuminated. The display asked for my PIN code (only when the kill magnet is attached), but I didn’t enter it just to see if the system would shut down. IT DOES NOT. Which means if I forget to turn off the bike, especially in bright daylight when I cannot see the headlight is illuminated, or someone walks by and just presses the button to see what it does, I could possibly return to a dead bike/battery. I let the lights stay on for five minutes hoping that the system would sense no PIN code has been entered and shut the bike down. It did not and remained on.

So I then tried removing the magnet from the kill switch in hopes that I can simply take the magnet with me when leaving the bike to prevent someone from turning on the switch. Nope the lights still illuminate and stay that way regardless of if the magnetic kill switch is on or off the bike.

On the Kalk OR there are three steps to start the bike:

  1. Ensure the battery is connected
  2. The master switch is on
  3. The kill switch magnet is attached.

On a dirt bike it’s unusual to leave it unattended out of sight for an extended period of time. But for a dual sport street bike it can be a common practice. With the OR there are no lights to remain illuminated when the bike’s magnet is removed. Not so with the &.

My personal view is Cake did not fully vet this system before sending it out to me or other Kalk& owners. I’m hoping some sort of firmware update can correct this oversight rather then having the hassle of changing out the system.

Insufficient Instructions

I have mentioned that I find Cake’s documentation lacking and the video of the new display installation is a classic example. In it they state how to change the PIN is in the ‘documentation.’ Yet no documentation was shipped with my display. Nor was a link to the instructions given. The instructions are actually in the OSA support section, not in the Kalk& sections.

From the OSA manual

2.3 How to change the PIN

We advise you to change the PIN to personalize your bike and avoid it from getting stolen. Once the PIN has been changed, write it down and don’t lose it. If you would lose or forget your PIN code has to be reset by the Cake service team.

Your PIN can consist of either 3 or 6 digits. The available digits are 1, 2, or 3. A PIN can for example be “131”, “113”, “132212” or “123321”.

  1. In the “ENTER YOUR PIN” screen, hold button 2 and 3 (middle and lower) simultaneously for 5 seconds
  2. Enter the current PIN (factory default = “123”)
  3. Enter your new PIN
  4. Enter your new PIN again to confirm
  5. Your new PIN is now set, please restart the bike to make sure it works.

In Summary About the PIN display

I very much like not having a key for my bike. The PIN feature is great even though I can only use numbers 123 having the choice of three or six digits is better than just three. The display is brighter, the speedometer is more accurate and the battery indicator is smaller. And having the display above the handlebars just makes sense to me.

My primary concern is the power button function allowing power to remain on regardless of anything other than pressing it ‘off.’ Would not be a big deal if it would shut down after a time or if I can disable it by removing the magnet. Not ideal but better then returning to a potentially dead bike.

And instructions or the lack of ease finding them, I’m not gonna nag. I’ve said enough.

UPDATE August 10 2020

CAKE has informed me that a new display is being sent to all & owners that resolves several issues like setting kph or MPH as the default. Here is a photo of the new display.

As you can see the position of the display is completely different as it is above the handlebar mount rather then below. And there is no longer a key which is replaced by a power button and a PIN code.

Once the power button is depressed (I’m not clear on if the power button stays down, keeping the power on or if it must be depressed each time. It appears it stays active.)

You must then enter a PIN to activate the bike’s boot process. There are only three numbers, 1, 2 & 3. I was very concerned about this until I read that you have a choice of either three or six digits, albeit all of which can only be a combination of the numbers 1, 2, or 3. But a combination of six digits is secure enough for my peace of mind.

The speedometer also can be set to default for either kph or mph, thank goodness. Once my new display arrives and I install it I will report back with my actual experience & impressions.

The installation video can be viewed here.

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