Making the Bike Mine
All of us make our bikes our own. I’m no exception. So here’s what I’ve changed so far based on where/what/how I plan to use my bike which is to ride from my home to forest trails along the coast.
I was not a fan of the ant type antenna rear view mirrors so I just installed under bar rear view mirrors. Instead of seeing my elbows in them I can actually see who is behind and beside me. I also added 1.5″ blind side mirrors. Oh and safety wire is just an old habit that has served me well. I was going to buy Scott grips but I do like the CAKE OEM grips so I am using them.
Because I will avoid freeways (due to the 60 MPH or less speed and range penalty at that speed) I need Google Maps to tell me how to get to the trails I plan to ride. I use a Quadlock on my Sur Ron and it has served me well. The black pouch on the front of the handlebars is a Giant Loop ZigZag Handlebar bag. It holds my took kit and spare tube.
I also prefer handlebars that are higher then the OEM bars that come on the bike. So I replaced mine with ProTaper 3″ rise 800mm wide bars. For me they place me in a comfortable position whether I’m seated or standing on the pegs. I also added a clock since I’m horrible keeping track of time. The bar is a USB battery housing for an 18650 cell so that I have a USB charging station for my phone. I simply unscrew the end cap on the right to remove the battery and its electronic parts when I wash my bike or change the battery. It’s just as easy to charge the battery on my bike with the micro USB port as well.
Apparently Cake felt that the Kalk line of bike are ‘too performance oriented’ to warrant a USB charge plug, so I just figured out my own.
And yes since I ride alone I always have a first aid kit, ALWAYS. It’s waterproof and muck proof too. No matter how muddy or dirty it gets on the outside, what’s on the inside is what counts. And yes I’ve had to use them in the past for not only myself, but others too.
I also like the ability to carry snacks or other stuff on my bike. I’m not a fan of backpacks since having raced I know the hazards of having anything on my back other then a quality back protector. So I use a small dual sport ‘tank bag’ that lashes to the frame and is waterproof.
Emily from CAKE sent me a photos of a lockable license plate holder another owner uses to hold small items. I installed one and keep my registration, insurance paperwork, some cash and a mask in it. Very handy, thanks Em!
Because the rear brake is so sensitive I loosened my foot brake lever to its maximum slack. Because the spring is not strong enough the pedal was rattling against the limiting screw and it drove me nuts. So I just fabricated a rubber grommet to stop the racket. (Tinkering and fabricating puts me into a happy place. LOL)
Really Cake, a self-retracting kick stand? First off it’s the ONLY motorcycle kickstand I’ve ever owned that self-retracts AND has no lever extension to use to lower the kickstand. Then again none of my dirt bikes even had a kick stand.
So I made my own solution. I’m 5-8 with a 30” inseam and when I dismount my bikes I have always used my left heel to lower the kickstand before getting off the bike. The issue with the Cake is the kickstand is really close to the swing arm and in motorcycle boots it’s damn near impossible to ‘feel’ the kickstand to lower it.
I resolved the self-retracting issue thanks to Josh Fisher of FFH lights. He has a KTM that has/had the same self-retracting kickstand so he sent me YouTube link on how others have resolved the issue. The configuration on the KTMs is the same as on the Kalk&
The kickstand has a curved bracket that is tensioned by a collar attached to the kickstand pivot. When the kickstand is extended, tension is placed on the spring by the bracket which makes the kickstand self-retract when it is lifted off of the ground.
You can see the arm that wraps around the kickstand pivot point collar in the following photos.
The very simple solution is to remove the pivot collar, bypassing the spring tension which self retracts the kick stand.
With the pivot collar removed the kickstand no longer retracts as soon the stand tip is not in contact with the ground. I’m sure Cake along with other bike makers do this to save themselves liability for numbskulls riding off with their kickstands down. As a young adult my own father had this happen with his Indian motorcycle because he forgot to lift the kickstand. His kickstand got caught in a railroad track and off he flew. He said he had to fly 20 feet to learn his lesson. All of us Kitaoka’s seem to learn best the hard way.
Adding a Kickstand lever
On my street bikes the kickstands always had a little ball or lever attached to the kickstand shaft so that you could use your foot while seated to extend the kickstand down without having to actually place your foot on the rod of the kickstand. Since the Kalk& does not have one of those I fabricated my own. Using flat aluminum bar stock I simply measured how much of a ‘nib’ I wanted to rest my foot on and cut an appropriate piece of ½” x 5mm flat bar, bent it 90 degrees and cut a slot into it with my Dremel for a hose clamp strap.
Using a 1” stainless steel hose clamp I then attached it to my kickstand at a point that suited my position preference.
Now the kickstand no longer auto retracts and I have a small nib I use to lower the kickstand too. Problems solved!
Because the bike is so well put together and the items I upgraded on my Sur Ron do NOT need to be upgraded on this bike, (the forks, the shock, the brake pads, the rims and spokes, the torture seat) the only items that I have changed are those that offer me more convenience rather than performance.
I do know that when I wear out the tires I will replace them with Shinko 244s which I have been using on my Sur Ron for 4800 miles. For me they are the right balance between fire roads, loose dirt and pavement. But other than that this bike is so well assembled that it’s just a joy to own and ride.