Cake has crafted the Swedish version of electrical motorbike design beginning within the filth.
The Stockholm based mostly mobility startup’s debut, the Kalk OR, is a 150 pound, battery powered two-wheeler engineered for agile off-road using and accessible in a street-legal model.
On look, Cake’s Kalk has a minimalist stance and doesn’t evoke “motorbike” in any standard sense.
That was intentional, in line with the corporate’s CEO, Stefan Ytterborn — a design aficionado and serial founder — who was extra of a mountain biker and skier than a motorcyclist, earlier than launching Cake with is 2 sons Karl and Nils.
“I wasn’t a bike geek…I truly discovered how one can trip a bike,” he defined on his foray into the enterprise.
Ytterborn has labored in design growth his total profession, leaving Sweden for Milan in his early days, creating product strains for IKEA within the ’90s and founding a number of design oriented corporations over time.
His final enterprise — outside sporting gear enterprise POC — provided Olympic gold medalist Bode miller and the U.S. Ski Team with helmets and optics earlier than it was acquired by Investcorp in 2015 for a reported $65 million.
Ytterborn’s present firm shares some similarities with POC, specifically creating merchandise for pure ahead movement within the outdoor.
The route for Cake — in line with its founder — was to design a bike from a clear slate, harnessing the benefits of what voltage energy may provide to the shape.
“I used to be stoked by the concept of what an electrical drive-train may convey,” Ytterborn instructed TechCrunch . “But then I began realizing no one is basically optimizing the efficiency of the electrical drive-train. Everyone’s attempting to mimic what the combustion motorbike does,” he stated.
One of the primary issues Ytterborn took from that view was engineering a lighter platform with a greater energy to weight ratio.
A distinguishing attribute of most e-moto choices, together with the few oriented towards off-road use, is they’re heavier than fuel bikes. Even one of many lightest selections on the market for avenue and filth use, Zero’s FX, weighs almost 100 kilos greater than Cake’s Kalk OR.
The $13,000 Swedish e-motorcycle has a 2.6kWh battery, expenses to 80% in an hour and a half utilizing a regular outlet, and affords as much as three-hours of off street trip time, in line with Cake. The Kalk has 30 ft-lbs of torque and a high pace of 50 miles per hour.
The avenue authorized model, the Kalk&, has related specs with a combined metropolis/freeway vary of 53 miles. Both have functionality for fast battery swaps and a second battery goes for $3,000.
Cake launched an extra mannequin in 2020, the $8,500 Ösa+, which the corporate characterizes as an city utility moped with off-road capabilities.
As a startup, Cake has raised $20 million in VC, together with a $14 million Series A financing spherical led by e.ventures and Creandum in 2019.
The U.S. is a first-rate marketplace for the corporate. Cake has a subsidiary in Park City, Utah, a U.S. consultant — Zach Clayton — and is poised to open a gross sales retailer in New York City this quarter.
The firm has bought 300 bikes within the U.S. this yr and America makes up 60% of its gross sales market, in line with its CEO.
On the place the Cake suits into motorbike market, “We’re way more Patagonia than Kawasaki,” stated Ytterborn,
He described Cake as one thing developed for a removed from static mobility world, the place all the pieces about how folks transfer from A to B is being redefined, together with the idea of the motorbike.
That entails creating one thing that captures the exhilaration of using off-road for an eco-conscious market phase, postpone by the noise and fumes of fuel motocross bikes.
“What actually obtained me going was the instinct that we may flip the market the other way up [with Kalk],” stated Ytterborn.
“It’s silent, it doesn’t disturb, it doesn’t pollute and is the other of what non-motorcycle folks affiliate with bikes,” he stated.
The U.S. motorbike market may use some contemporary concepts, because it’s been in fairly dangerous form for the reason that final recession, significantly with younger people. New gross sales dropped by roughly 50% in 2008 — with sharp declines in possession by everybody below 40 — and have by no means recovered.
At least one of many large fuel manufactures — Harley Davidson — and a number of other EV startups, corresponding to Zero, are providing e-motorcycles as a technique to convert fuel riders to electrical and entice a youthful technology to motorcycling.
It’s notable that Harley Davidson acquired a youth electrical scooter maker, Stacyc, in 2019 and has dedicated to supply e-scooters and e-mountain bikes as a part of its EV pivot. The technique is to make use of these platforms to create a brand new bridge for younger folks to bikes within the on-demand mobility world.
HD’s strikes may present some perception on the place Cake would possibly slot in that area. On one hand, the startup’s fashions may turn into premium electrical bikes for the eco-friendly, Outside Magazine and motion sports activities crowd. On the opposite, Cake may fill a brand new phase on the mobility product line — someplace between e-scooters, e-bikes and conventional bikes.
“We need to set up a brand new class the place folks with an lively way of life, whether or not they’re motorbike folks or not, can proceed with sustainability, accountability and respect,” stated CEO Stefan Ytterborn.
One problem for this thesis might be Cake’s value and efficiency factors in comparison with the competitors. Zero Motorcycle’s FX, whereas heavier than the $13,000 Kalk, begins at $8,995 and has a high pace of 85 miles per hour.
The lacking hyperlinks to grading Harley-Davidson’s EV pivot