have your cake and eat it too
Our Newest Electric Motorcycle Obsession Just Won One of the Biggest Awards in Design
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Strange as the idea would have seemed just a decade ago, there are plenty of companies these days building electric motorcycles. Few of them, however, are whipping up production bikes with designs quite as revolutionary as the ones coming out of Swedish motorcycle maker Cake. But as LeVar Burton used to say, you don’t have to take my word for it. Last year, the jury behind the prestigious Red Dot Award — one of the biggest honors in the design world — honored the Cake Kalk with a crimson spot; now, they’ve given the company the award again for the utilitarian Ösa.
The Ösa, which Gear Patrol’s Outdoor & Fitness editor (and motorcycle nerd) Steve Mazzucchi describes as the bike “we’re kinda obsessed with,” has an electric powertrain and minimalist styling, just like its Kalk sibling, but they diverge quickly from there. The battery is mounted as low as possible, to make room for a long “uni-bar” beneath the seat, which Cake says was inspired by a workbench. This simple metal form is designed to make it easy to clamp accessories — bags, racks, baskets, tools, etc. — directly and firmly to it. The company says users can whip up more than 1,000 different combinations by mixing and matching said accessories.
In addition, the big battery pack offers multiple charging outlets, so users can use it as a power station. (A 1.5-kWh battery comes standard, though power users — no pun intended — may want to upgrade to the 2.5-kWh version.)
Good design is rarely cheap, of course. If you’d like to add this Red Dot Award winner to your life, be prepared to spend at least $8,500 for the full-size Ösa+ that tops out at 60 mph. (There’s also a $6,500 scooter version called the Ösa Lite that looks similar but tops out at 30 mph.) Still, even at that price, you’d be hard to find another bike that combines the Cake Ösa’s style, versatility and eco-friendliness.
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