Personalizing my Kalk& – Update September 20 2020

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.

I have installed the new display onto my bike.

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.

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  1. Hey Mark, great info on the Kalk. Two questions, what bar model did you install and did you need shims? More comfy now? I have the Kalk Ink SL and the ride position is a little low for my liking. And second, what are those red-ended tubes you use? For the first-aid kit do you just velcro it in under the seat, and what do you carry in it? Very slick install and I want to do the same. Thanks for all the work on the site.

    1. Hey Michael, thanks for stopping by. Yes the bars I installed make the bike much more comfortable for my riding position. Just FYI I’m 5-8 with a 30″ inseam. If you find MTB bars they ‘normally‘ come in a 31.8mm center width, so no shims are necessary. I could not find those so I bought ICE motocross bars which did require a shim. Here is the information on those items:

      3” rise handlebars Pro Taper Evo Handlebars 1-1/8″ $80.99
      Lowrider Handlebar Shim Alloy 28.6mm to 31.8mm $13.99

      And my goodness you have the honor of being the first person EVER to ask about a first aid kit! Wow. So I’m going to assume that you are either a Boy Scout or have experienced crashing or if you’re like me both! LOL. Yes I’ve crashed a few times in my two wheel life, so what I carry is based on actual experience…unfortunately.

      The tube I use is from Tap Plastics
      Tap Plastics Tube-Pak and Cap 3×24 $13.60
      Cut it to size (I ‘think’ it was four inches, but measure it yourself and include the end caps in our overall measurement) using a serrated bread knife or saw.
      The Velcro to hold the tube is simply threaded through the top rail under the seat. You will see it once you remove the seat. I used a piece of self adhesive Velcro to keep the 2″ stuff from moving on the rail. You’ll easily see what I mean when you do the install.
      First Aid Patch
      Bausweety Medic Cross Tactical Patch 2 Pieces $6.98
      Two come in that set. I used one on my Sur Ron Light Bee for the First Aid kit I have on that bike.

      So for what’s inside that is very individual. Most if not all of the falls I’ve had and helped others with are abrasions of varying degrees. I carry Band Aids in my pocket for small cuts and scraps. But for larger things I have non stick gauze and vet wrap in the kit. Here is the vet wrap I use.
      Self Adhesive Bandage Wrap, Cohesive Tape $16.99
      The vet wrap comes wound around a core. I simply unroll what I think I’ll need on the road and then re roll the vet wrap around itself so that it is smaller and fits easily into the tube without taking up too much space. Think of vet wrap as ace bandage but better.
      Then something some folks don’t think about but again I’ve experienced it. Bee or wasp stings! During a road race a bee flew into my leathers at the beginning of my race and stung me on the clavicle. It distracted me the rest of the race! So I carry these now.
      Sting-Kill First Aid Anesthetic Swabs, Instant Pain + Itch Relief $17.47

      Of course alcohol patch wipes, Neosporin, moleskin for blistering, a pair of latex gloves, an old school box cutter and a cut off microfiber towel. The towel is used as a ice pack because I always carry ice water with me to drink. Soaking the little towel in ice water helps relieve pain on an abrasion or severe bruise. I also carry some pain drugs like Advil or Ibuprofen but I NEVER give that to a stranger. I use those just for me since I’m never sure if someone is allergic to any of those OTC medications.

      Hope this all helps and a big congrats on your purchase! Ride safe and often.

      1. yes to the crashes 😉 Thanks so much for the info, it really helps as I start getting used to my bike and tuning it to my liking. Will see you on a Bay Area trail one of these days. And BTW, I saw the same tube you posted for your temporary registration, and then the first-aid kit, and I like the approach.

        Cheers, M

        1. Did they give you one of those temp red license plate pieces of paper? With the 2020 registration sticker?

  2. and one more thing, can’t decide yet if I hate the self-retracting kickstand, first time I extended it I thought it was installed incorrectly. I don’t quite see the advantage — yet. We shall see.

    1. I’m certain they did it to prevent user error…and future litigation against stupidity. Like my dad told me when he forgot to put his side stand up as a young man, “It only took once to learn.”

      The side stand is a bit longer than other bikes I’ve owned. So I tend to sit on my bike with the side stand down, then lean over to the right to put it up. I have to lean much more than I have with other bikes. It’s all fun and games until you are not on a flat surface, or inseam challenged like me with a 36″ seat height bike. The Sur Ron has a magnetic switch that prevents the bike from starting if the kickstand is down. I like that feature much better than a self retracting kick stand.

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