Cake's ultra-modular electric bush bike takes aim at poachers
Cake, creator of super-sleek, very Swedish electric mopeds and motorcycles, is getting more serious about stopping African poachers in their tracks. It has followed up its gnarly poacher-hunting Kalk AP with an even more versatile, stealthy anti-poacher bike, the Ösa AP. Part field workbench, part electric dirt bike, part two-wheel pickup truck and part power station, the modular Ösa promises to be the ultimate ebike hauler for backcountry supply.
Cake kicked off its anti-poaching initiative a year ago when it partnered up with the Southern African Wildlife College and Goal Zero to introduce the Kalk AP. The idea was to give the rangers doing the anti-poaching work a rugged but quiet off-road bike on which they could pursue poachers without tipping them off via a loud, rumbling gas engine. Further, by adding on portable power and solar charging, the bikes were said to be equipped to ride deep into the bush without the need for refueling supply by even louder, more conspicuous helicopters or diesel trucks. Later in 2021, the bikes pushed off on their first patrols, looking as determined and no-nonsense as the rangers at the helm.
We admittedly don't have much experience running anti-poaching missions in the African wilds, but given the description of remote operations and refueling runs, we imagine such efforts entail bringing along some serious supplies. And a big, ol' storage bench of a bike seems like an obvious choice for doing that work.
Cake describes the Ösa as a workbench, tow truck and transporter, and makes it easy to tack on all kinds of mounts and carriers. The long, flat body includes a modular clamp-on system that opens up more than 1,000 possible configurations with available baskets, racks, bags, tools and accessories. The more than 300 lb (136 kg) of payload serve to carry the rider and cargo.
The Ösa AP seems like the perfect field transporter for carrying needed supplies, whether traveling along with the Kalk AP-riding rangers or making trips back and forth into the bush from the nearest base of operations. Unlike the Kalk AP, which comes with a separate power station for powering external devices and equipment, the Ösa's low, centered battery pack is already a power station, complete with 5- and 12-V outlets. Park it at camp, and it becomes an off-grid electrical supply. Cake also offers a power converter so that the 2.5-kWh battery can run larger tools.
Cake introduced the new Ösa AP at the 2022 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show this week. In addition to supplying it to African rangers, it is offering the model to consumers in two configurations. The US$10,000 13.5-hp Ösa+ AP is billed as the electric motorcycle of the pair, carrying a top speed of 56 mph (90 km/h) and a range up to 52 miles (84 km). The $8,500 5.4-hp Ösa Flex AP e-moped variant offers slightly more range, up to 57 miles (92 km), but only half the top speed. Cake says that both are street legal in the US and Europe; the Ösa+ registers in as a 125cc equivalent, the Ösa Flex a 50cc equivalent. Deliveries are slated to begin in May.
As part of this week's announcement, Cake is also now offering its original anti-poacher electric bush bike, the Kalk AP, as a standalone $11,500 bike. Previously, the model was only available as a $25,000 buy one/give one package. Three percent of the proceeds of any AP bike sale go directly to the Southern African Wildlife College.
While the AP initiative is definitely interesting, we do wonder if those limited ranges will hold rangers back when they're traveling so deep into the bush they previously needed choppered-in fuel supplies for gas bikes. Cake does package solar panels with the Kalk AP for in-field charging, but that sounds like a very slow way of powering up for the next 50-mile ride.
But we suppose that will be up to Cake and the rangers to work out. Cake stresses that it's an evolving project and it plans to work closely with its partners to tweak the hardware and meet their needs.
Outside the bush, the AP bikes look like pretty fun rides for anyone with an extra $10,000 or so burning a hole in their pocket.