Update July 15 2020

I will be moving all CAKE posts to my new website: https://cakekalk.com/

Hooligan night riding is a blast! At 10pm there was not a soul out so I took the opportunity to ride up and down stairs along with other places where you’re not suppose to be. No arrests, no citations, no property or body damage so it was a very fun first night ride! LOL

I like to test what accessories work for me until I settle on what I want to keep and use.

Presidents evaluate their first 100 days, for me it’s the first 100 miles.

Headset Loosened

At 75 miles indicated on the CAKE display (which tends to be optimistic compared to my GPS app. It’s the same with my Sur Ron too) I noticed a bit of play as I was heading out for a range test as I came to a stop. Just a slight bit of play but I noticed it. So instead of continuing, I turned around and went back home. Sure enough the headset had loosened even though I had checked and cinched it down when I was assembling the bike. It was no big deal, but I was glad to be in tune with the bike to notice it right away. The manual mentions paying attention to the headset:

Range Testing

I am still in the process of range testing. I know what CAKE advertises for range, but like all EVs range depends on so many factors. Dual sport EVs are different than dirt only because the maintained speeds tend to be much higher than riding off road riding. My Sur Ron is never held at 40+ MPH for any length of time, if at all. I don’t ride WallE on the street much, primarily off road and on bike paths to get to off road areas near my home. But Sofia is different, I’m riding on public roads where 40 MPH is the average speed. With all EVs maintaining high speed sucks juice from the battery much quicker than on and off throttle common in off road conditions.

Many of the videos I’ve seen are guys riding in NYC or in off road areas. Not a real combination of what my plans are for this bike. So a real combination of riding to an off road area and then back home on public roads is what a dual sport means to me.

So as I stated above after snugging down my headset I continued to embark on my range testing.

The Average MPH and the time I was out includes the time I was adjusting my headset.

At the end of 24.7 miles my display showed one bar of five remaining , which I equate to 20% The readout on the actual battery showed 27% remaining. One of the things I dislike is in order to read the percentage remaining on the battery, the seat must be removed. Granted it’s only two screws, but it’s still inconvenient.

The other issue that is not explained anywhere I can find in CAKE’s documentation is what happens as I start to approach a depleted battery? Right now I tend to turn around when my display bar level shows 2 to 3 bars remaining. With my Sur Ron the performance goes from Sport to EP mode, a marked difference so I KNOW it’s time to head back. And I can press the little button on my battery to see what charge level remains. Granted that battery percentage indicator may not be that accurate, but it gives me a better idea than bars remaining.

Not knowing what happens as I approach a depleted battery does not instill confidence on how far to travel. I hope CAKE offers some information about this in the future.

Charging Times – My results

This is my charger. I was informed it is the most recent version.

CAKE along with media outlets advertise that the KALK& charges to 80% in 1.5 hours and 100% in 2.5 hours. In their manual there is no mention of the 1.5 to 80%, but mentions the 100% in 2.5 hours.

Here is what I found:

Upon returning from my 24.7 mile ride I showed 27% remaining on the battery’s indicator. As a point of reference my battery was NOT completely depleted as I began timing the charge.

At 1:30 hours the battery indicator showed 78% charge, close to the claimed 80%.
At 2:30 hours the battery indicator shows 96%

This is where it gets a bit confusing. The battery indicator showed 100% but it was not until 3:46 that the charger actually shut off indicating the battery was truly fully charged. So in my mind CAKE’s claim that the battery can be COMPLETELY charged from dead in 2.5 hours is very optimistic….just like all other EV makers. LOL

The 3 hours and 46 minutes is when the battery charger actually turned off. The battery indicator showed 100% well before then.
I guess this is my battery’s serial number.

My Thoughts

The amount of time it takes to charge my battery to 80 or 100% is not that big of a deal to me. I did want to test it since the length of time seemed ‘longer‘ than I had expected based on the marketing material. But the part that does concern me is how I can gauge how much juice is left. As an example having 27% left on the battery indicator, how careful should I be going home? Sure on this particular trip I did a WFO test and achieved 59 MPH GPS measured, but I was only three miles from home with 1 bar left. So I felt safe doing it and still making it to my driveway. I exclusively ride in level 2 with regen at 2.  I only go to level 3 on my way home and when I’m close – just for shits and giggles. I’m really hoping CAKE sends me some guidance on this when I send them a question about what I’ve found. As always more to follow…

4 Comments

  1. It sounds like there should be a “low fuel” light on the dash and a more accurate display. I can’t stand there 4 and 5 increment battery indicators. 20-25% increments are too rough, especially considering that I like to operate at between 40 and 80% to prolong the health and capacity of my batteries. Range is difficult to gauge, but with modern electronics it is relatively trivial to accurately monitor power consumption. The actual power available will depend on discharge rate and temperature, but those variables can easily be factored for. These refinements require extensive product development that is common for cars that sell 100K units a year, but unlikely on niche market products like the Cake. We are more likely to see evolution on the Sur Ron especially with Segway marketing the bike so heavily.

    • Eli I agree I’d appreciate a more informative charge level indicator. I can appreciate that so many variables come into play with EV range but bars is a pretty crude measurement scale on this bike.

  2. Hi Mark, great write ups on the Cake bike, thank you for taking the time to document your experience in so much detail. Regarding the charging time, not sure if you are aware, but with the battery going to 100% indicated charge, but the charger is still charging, what may be happening is that the charging system is “balancing” the charge between individual cells in the battery once the charge gets to 100%. This is common practice with EV’s and is used to optimize the performance of the battery and to extend battery life. So, technically, the battery takes x amount of time to get to 100% charge, then the rest of the time is spent balancing the cells, which may not be technically considered charging time (and marketing will always tout the shorter time).

    I own an Alta e-dirt bike and that’s the way ours charge. According to Alta owners who are much more knowledgeable then me it is ok to ride the bike once it reaches 100% charge/before it finishes balancing, but it is better for the long term life of the battery to allow it to complete the balancing portion of the charge.

    I usually let mine charge/balance completely but on occasion I have stopped the charger in mid charge at whatever level it is at and everything seems to be just fine so far (this practice is not unusual with Alta owners from what I have been reading).

    I wonder what Cake’s recommendation is regarding stopping the charging mid cycle, or after 100% but not fully completed (balanced)?

    Anyway, thanks again for the write ups, I’m looking forward to learning more about the Cake bikes, hope you do some more posts. -Eddie

    • Eddie I cannot express enough just how thankful I am for your explanations. I am an electronics dunce and don’t purport to be anything but that when posting here. So thank you that makes perfect sense to me now. One of the primary reasons I’m taking the time to document what I have experienced is the Cake community is pretty much non existent as far as I can tell. I am amassing an entire list of questions to send to Cake Utah and your point about ceasing the charge cycle before 100% will be part of that list.

      Thanks again, much appreciated!


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