Is motorcycling for everyone? Spoiler: Yes, it is
The excitement of zooming past cars stuck in traffic, enjoying the great outdoors on two-wheels or landing an epic jump at the track - the reasons for riding a motorcycle are as many as there are riders out there. By tradition, the latter have tended to be male. With the advent of a new category of bikes, that is about to change.
Chances are that you’ve heard of the Sustainable Development Goals, an ambitious plan laid out by the United Nations in 2015. It consists of 17 goals and the idea is that companies and individuals, by focusing on a few each, together will achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, by the year 2030. CAKE actively works toward five of these, and the fifth goal on the list deals with gender equality. In the long term, it’s our goal to change the way people view motorcycles and who ride them. A rather ambitious goal, but we believe that the benefits of going electric automatically will bring about changes in attitude and behavior.
Data is scarce, but a 2018 survey performed by the Motorcycle Industry Council showed that close to one in every five motorcycle owners in the United States was female. The reason behind this strangely off-balance gender gap hasn't been thoroughly researched, but at CAKE we believe that we can do quite a lot to lower the bar of entry and entice new riders to join in on the fun.
How can we make motorsport more inclusive?
Close your eyes and think of a motorcycle. Chances are that you picture something akin to a huge slab of metal, heavy and cumbersome, loud, perhaps smelling faintly of gasoline and engine oil. To a few, this is heaven. To many more, it isn’t.
When we hit the drawing board a few years back, designing what eventually would be our very first off road bike Kalk, we deliberately made it our goal to challenge the perception of what a motorcycle is and can be. The result was a sleek, beautiful piece of engineering. Lightweight, so as to be inviting to ride and transport. Silent, due to its electric drivetrain and therefore respectful to others. All this while being robust enough to survive the abuse of even the most fervent of outback riding.
These properties also open up other exciting opportunities when it comes to attracting new riders. Being next to dead silent, motorsport promoters can now easily build tracks closer to (or even in) urban areas as noise pollution is a thing of the past. Riders can also hit the outback and forests knowing that animals and fellow humans won’t be disturbed by a noisy combustion engine revving through the calm surroundings.
Everyone can ride
The nimbleness and high power to weight ratio also make for a different riding experience. Take the Kalk OR as an example. Including the battery, this freeride bike provides great range and plenty of torque - all in a convenient midsize design weighing in at less than 76 kilograms. For reference, that is less than half of what your typical gas guzzling motorcycle weighs. It’s snappy, fast and responsive. Even riders of a very light build can control it. Track architects can create fast, tight courses that take up less physical space. More riders can ride at more locations, closer to where they happen to live.
No previous experience needed
Not overtly into tinkering? An electric motorcycle by default features less moving parts (or parts period, in fact) than its fossil counterpart. Adding to this, CAKE engineering is all about minimalism and creating sleek, modular bikes. In essence, you don’t need to be a devoted greasemonkey to properly maintain, service or even upgrade our bikes. In fact, it’s super easy and even if you prefer to have someone else do it for you, any old bicycle shop in your neighborhood will most likely have the chops to help.
In the end, just as we want our bikes to excite and propel the transition from fossil to electric, we want them to actively encourage rider equality. No matter if you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the phenomenon of motorsport, male or female, young or old - CAKE welcomes you to our world.