What I’d like to see added improved or changed – Updated 10-20-2020

The two M6 bolts that hold the kickstand to the bike tend to back out and loosen no matter if I use Locktite or not. So I have removed the OEM M6 bolts and replaced them with 30mm long M6 units. I have modified the back of the mounting so that I could install two nylock nuts. Now the bolts do not back out. I have noticed during demo videos of the & the riders often have to struggle to get the kickstand to work properly. I feel it’s common to all Cake Kalk street bikes.

30mm replaces the 15mm M6 bolts
The fuel line hose is just to protect the threads on the kickstand bolt since I removed the self retracting collar.

September 7 2020

I wanted to update this section. Further down in this post I mention that while riding the bike adjusting for power or regen levels without having the bike shutdown was not possible. After watching Tucker Neary’s ride video about the Kalk OR I noticed that he switched his power or regen levels while riding. And the bike did not shut down forward motion.

So I did my own test with the new PIN display and while riding I completely let off the throttle and was able to adjust both power and regen levels without having the bike shut down as I changed the levels. This is a welcome easter egg since I had mentioned further down in this post that having the bike stall out when changing the power or regen levels was frustrating.

Kickstand

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 foot 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!

Display has been upgraded Click here for my new display review

  1. I would really like to have the selection choice of MPH or kPH as the default when the bike is activated. Currently the system defaults to kPH and even after switching it to MPH once the ignition is turned off I have to reselect MPH whenever I ride the bike.
  2. I’d also love to have a USB charge port integrated into the display console. This is a dual sport bike, limited to 58 MPH so riding to off-road areas means I have to avoid freeways. So using Google Maps on my cell phone is necessary and being able to plug in would be wonderful. I have figured out a workaround, but would still like a built in USB port. Apparently the OSA models have built in USB ports because they are ‘utility vehicles.’ Um the & is NOT a racing bike, so please make it more rider friendly for how it will actually be utilized.
  3. The display is under illuminated. It washes out in bright sunlight
  4. The display cannot be swiveled or adjusted for angle and would greatly benefit from that simple feature. I may just resolve this myself by fabricating an adjustable bracket.

UPDATE August 10 2020

CAKE has informed me that a new display is being sent to all & owners that resolves Items 1 and 3 above. 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.

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, all of which must be 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 my actual impressions.

EV Station Charging Cable

Because this bike is used on road to get to off road areas I really hope that Cake devises an EV charging cable that can be utilized to charge the bike at EV charge stations! There are numerous EV charging stations here in the Bay Area with more on the way. Sure I’d love 200 miles of range without charging, but come on, I’m pragmatic too. Not having to use guerrilla warfare tactics searching for a public 110v outlet and lugging my charger around is kinda realistic for a dual sport don’t you think? I can wish…. To me ALL EV street legal bikes should come with EV station charging cables or the ability to plug directly into EV charging stations. I understand that off road only bikes are ‘trucked or trailered’ to off road areas. But the Kalk& and INK SL are dual sport bikes, those that ‘should have’ the ability to be ridden to off road trails and then used on the trail. I didn’t purchase the bike as a street only vehicle or an off road only vehicle. Had I planned on doing that Zero and KTM make those ‘only’ types of bikes.

When I worked for Sony Playstation we had brilliant hardware, but I always felt our documentation was sub par. To me Cake falls into that same category. So here are a few of the issues I have found during initial ownership.

  • During a recent range test ride I noticed that the yellow engine light was occasionally blinking. No error codes, and the bike was not acting unusual. Just the lower third light filling and then going dim. No where in the documentation is the indicator explained.

I understand what the directional light and high beam light is for. But not the engine light or what it indicates if it illuminates.

  • While actually riding if I change the power mode by pressing the button the bike loses all power until I turn off the key or remove the kill switch magnet and restart the bike. So in order to get the bike moving again, you must be completely stopped. Zack had explained this to me when I rode the demo bike. But be aware that this can be very disconcerting if you are not aware that this happens. It may be a safety ‘feature’ but to me the inability to switch between power modes is more of a safety issue. I have been riding on level 2 mode most of the time on the street. But there are times when the speed limit is above the bike’s ability in level 2 to keep up with traffic. And BTW level 2 does NOT allow full top speed. That can only be accomplished in power mode 3.
  • There is some confusion between what is on their website and what exists on the bike. One example is the rear shock of the KALK& which is an Ohlins TTX22. I have installed that shock on my Sur Ron Light Bee and it has high and low speed compression damping and rebound adjustments in addition to the spring itself. Yet on their site no mention of adjustments is listed.

High and low speed compression adjustments. Ohins high speed compression (the black lever) only has 3 adjustments on the TTX22 line. I have found that a great feature as it gives the right amount of adjustment levels for me.
Rebound adjustment

I have written to Ohlins regarding the pressures in the upper and lower chambers on the front forks. Once I receive their answer I will post them here.

Update August 25 2020

Ohlins never responded to my online question, sad. So after reviewing the Ohlins front fork settings with my former RC51 tuner (The largest Ohlins dealer in the world and former Erion Racing Crew Chief) about the settings he recommends that only the upper chamber of the forks (the main chamber) be adjusted for pressure. NOT the lower ramp up chamber. So I will maintain mine at 250 PSI as stated in the manual. Of course everyone can do what they want, but he has forgotten more about suspension tuning then most people will amass in their lifetimes. Thanks Dan!

Countries outside of the US must have vertical motorcycle plates. I fabricated my own bracket anticipating my CA license plate. Cake may want to consider doing something similar since it is now illegal to drill into a CA license plate other than the holes that exist in the official plates.

  • I noticed a curious sticker on the back fender of my bike “Recco” Advanced Rescue Technology with what appears to be a WiFi logo.

  • I looked it up on the web since there is no mention of this in the Cake literature. Turns out Recco makes non battery powered SAR (search and rescue) devices to find skiers buried in an avalanche among other applications! The device is advertised to last the entire life of the bike. I will be asking Cake about this feature.  While I’m on that subject I am a bit disappointed in Cake’s documentation of the bike. I’m accustomed to a shop manual that details every bit of my bike. To date most of the material is what I consider to be cursory rather than very detailed. I hope they produce a true shop manual in the future.

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