Life With CAKE ösa +: Magnetic Design

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When I last stopped in my chronicles of life with the CAKE ösa+, I was expecting a new charger case, larger battery, and side stand assembly. They all showed up and the new charger was just what I needed to get back on the road. It works exactly as it should, at the time of writing – and it has since day one.

The side stand – just like the center stand that is installed on the bike – is a sturdy unit made of black painted metal. Since it uses some of the same mounting points as the center stand, you must first remove the center stand before installing the side stand. Although the ösa+ is very light compared to most other bikes, this means that you will always need either an extra set of hands or an external stand to park the bike while you are working on it.

Earlier in my review process, this side stand was not listed on the CAKE website as an available accessory. However, as of October 10, 2022, it is currently listed at a price of $135. (The company notes that it will only fit vehicles with VINs above YW2C2M105LT000147, so that’s something to be aware of if you have an earlier VIN on yours.)

As with many CAKE things, there’s a how-to video on the company’s YouTube channel to walk you through the setup process. You may find that this isn’t exactly your experience (we had to install the bracket and spring in a slightly different order than shown in the video), but it at least got us on the right track.

Another important thing to know about this side stand is that it is self-retracting. Presumably, this is to prevent you from accidentally driving off with your side stand, and possibly crashing and/or injuring yourself. Since the ösa+ comes factory-fitted with a center stand (not a side stand), there is no automatic engine shutdown when the side stand is lowered.

In addition, the spring that helps the side stand to rise in its folded position on the CAKE is very robust. So you’ll want to wear sturdy boots if you’re riding with the side stand instead of the center stand. When parking, you will need to hold the side stand in place with your boot until you physically lower the bike onto it, and the weight of the bike is able to hold the side stand in place. If you wear softer shoes (or boots), you might end up with some bruising because that side stand structure doesn’t bother.

Although it’s not like most side stands on bikes I’ve ridden in the past, I got used to it pretty quickly, but like I said I still wear fairly stiff boots just to keep things simple and easy.

The saddle and the preload

As I mentioned before, the saddle of the ösa+ has no padding to speak of. It’s better compared to a very basic bike saddle. You know that particular pain you feel when you ride a bike if you haven’t done it in a long time? The one where, if you keep cycling, it will pass and/or you’ll get used to it and it won’t matter anymore? This bike gives you that. I have never had this experience with a motorcycle before.

The preload setting helps a little with the questionable road quality in my area. I still wouldn’t say it’s good, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time in the saddle, but it’s at least a bit better. Having weight in the rear basket (conveniently above the drive wheel) also helps with comfort over bumps.

Captivating design

You’ll absolutely grab attention wherever you go if you ride a CAKE ösa+, and just like the design itself, whether that’s a good thing or not is entirely up to your feelings, as a human. If you like chatting with random people, this might just be the bike for you. On the other hand, if you don’t, you have to admit that this design attracts all kinds of people wherever you go.

So far everyone who has flagged me down to talk about it loves the design. Phrases like “that’s so cool” and “that’s so different” are quite common. Somewhere in the conversation, people usually want to know a few other things, in no particular order. Is it electric? Where did I get it? It’s not from here, is it? How much does it cost? Sometimes they will want to know if it is a motorcycle, moped or something else, and maybe they will also want to know the top speed and/or the range, but not always.

No matter what order people’s questions come in, however, that unmitigated joy of a design they find clearly striking melts away instantly when I tell them the price. In 2022, the US pricing for the CAKE ösa+ starts at $10,470, and that’s before you start specifying it with options like baskets and cargo nets that I have on this review unit. You can also get a passenger seat, different racks, more clamps, or all sorts of other options that might make your life easier on this utility bike, but like all accessories on all bikes, it will cost you.

And a bigger battery? This is one of the main differences between ösa+ and ösa+:work. The standard ösa+ comes with a 50 amp-hour, 2.6 kilowatt-hour battery, providing an estimated range of 84 kilometers (or 52 miles). The ösa+:work, on the other hand, bumps the battery up to a 75Ah, 3.75kWh unit, with a claimed range of 125km (or 78 miles). That larger, longer-range battery is also a big reason why the ösa+:work starts at a base MSRP of $12,370, before any add-ons.

Passers-by absolutely love the design, but even if I tell them it can go 56 mph and is legal as a motorcycle, they usually aren’t thrilled with those dollars. Here’s an example: While stopping at a farmer’s market one day, several people asked about it. A gentleman who had been particularly enthusiastic before said, on hearing the award, “Well, I’m glad you are here to save the planet” before hurrying away.

Baskets

The CAKE ösa+ I received for review came with a pair of sturdy wire baskets, mounting hardware, and cargo nets. The large basket in the back came pre-installed, as you can see in my unboxing article. The front basket and its bracket came in their own little box, which was packed inside the main box of the bike. The two cargo nets were also packed in this larger box, ready to be opened and used.

The large basket is extremely sturdy and can easily hold several large shopping bags (and a whole bunch of groceries). At first I didn’t even put the front basket on the bike, because I just didn’t need it. Eventually, however, I installed the front basket – and it was extremely easy. Be aware that the process involves moving the headlight to a different position, so you may need to re-orient it if you find it is angled too far towards the ground.

The rubber bands – both the cargo nets CAKE sells and others you may have – fasten securely through one of the decorative (and functional) holes in the baskets. It’s easy to secure all the items you want and rest easy knowing they’re not going anywhere in these baskets until you want them to.

For my purposes, shopping carts are essential – most of my errands involve transporting things from one place to another, whether it’s to get groceries, take packages to the post office or something else. Obviously everyone’s needs in an everyday bike are different, but if your needs are some distance away and you can just stick it on the charger so it’s ready when you need it, this bike is generally good enough for everyday tasks.


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