Tucker Neary is not only an EV motorcycle enthusiast, but someone I consider to be level headed and fair in his assessment of bikes. Tucker recently released a ride video of the Cake Kalk OR and although it’s the off-road only model of the Kalk, the only real differences between the OR and the & are the wheel diameters, 22 pound weight difference (the & is heavier) the sprocket size, tire tread pattern and the display. Obviously the & has lights and turn signals to make it street legal. Tucker’s video puts the Kalk through what I consider to be a more realistic version of how a dual sport bike would actually be used off road. Even so since Tucker is an off road racer his testing of the bike ‘may be’ more aggressive than the average Joe or Jane who decides to purchase an & but then again maybe not. Since I have yet to ride my & in a wide open single track area I wanted to include his video for the reasons I’ve stated above and to illustrate how the bike handles in a realistic off-road environment.
Having a background in vintage (1969-1973) dirt bike riding/racing I’m not nearly as qualified as Tucker is to compare the Kalk to modern dirt bikes. In his video he mentions the ‘triangle’ of the bike feeling ‘different.’ Basically the triangle is the seat, pegs and handlebar relationship to one another. I had mentioned that the Kalk& feels similar to riding on a Western saddle versus an English saddle (we owned and raced thoroughbreads in my youth). Like a Western saddle the Kalk has more leg room then a modern sport bike which feels like an English style saddle. Tucker mentions that it is also longer in legroom than modern dirt bikes. I resolved the ‘different’ aspect he refers to by swapping out my handlebars for ProTaper 3” risers. And on the street I tend to ‘hang off’ the bike when cornering at speed. It’s just a habit from road racing, by shifting my body thereby lowering my center of gravity when cornering. And BTW the bike handles extremely well on pavement.
The Kalk, the Sur Ron and other EVs are not two wheelers I feel should be compared to traditional motorcycles. It’s just my personal view since this class of two wheel light weight EV is a brand new segment. As humans we tend to force ourselves to compare what we don’t know to something we do know, otherwise we panic or freak out! Sure they have two wheels and a motor like ICE bikes, but I don’t believe that the Kalks are meant to compete with an ICE dual sport, motocross or adventure bike. But those are the only things we know that come close to this new segment. Humans love familiarity and we become uncomfortable when confronted with a new concept. Could I have ever imagined a motorized two wheel motorcycle with 186 foot pounds of INSTANT torque that weighs the same as me or less?! For those old enough to remember life before ATM cards (or even know that ATM stands for Automatic Teller Machines!) we used checks, cash or actual credit cards. ATM cards were never meant to replace credit cards, but created a new means of payment and a way to get cash or deposit checks AT ANY TIME. If you don’t understand my metaphor, then never mind and keep moving along.