“Practical” is not a word that comes to mind often when thinking about motorcycles. For the most part, they’re just play-things built to go fast through corners, rack up highway miles or kick up a bunch of dirt. The Osa+ from Swedish electric motorcycle maker Cake doesn’t fit that traditional mold — which is part of what makes it so damn interesting.
From the way it handles to the way it looks, the Cake Osa+ defies expectations. It doesn’t look like a traditional motorcycle, nor does it really look like a scooter. So what is it, exactly?
What is the Cake Osa+?
I was asked that question constantly while riding the for a couple of days in Brooklyn and Manhattan. People seemed pretty satisfied with my response, muffled through a motorcycle helmet, of “an electric motorcycle from Sweden.” But Cake provides a more colorful description in their promotional copy: a “workbench on wheels.”
A key function the bike provides is its modularity. Like a workbench, it’s a platform designed to conform to your needs. The simple top tube on the frame (set at just 31.5″, making it a great motorcycle for short riders) allows riders to adjust the bike easily for a variety of different use cases. Need to ride one-up? Add a seat. Haul gear & groceries regularly? Slip a basket on the back or the front.
Whether the appearance resulting from all that modularity is a good thing or a bad thing comes down to personal preference. I found myself enamored with the bike’s simplicity, stark white highlights and general futuristic vibe. Plenty of others, however, feel differently.
Outside of the pure aesthetics, the Cake Osa+ design has two potential downsides. Accessories being easy to clip on and off a frame also means they will be easy to steal.
This is something Cake is working on. When I asked about it, they told me they have a security kit in development that will include locking clamps. In the meantime, you’ll likely want to store this in a garage if you live in a city.
I’m also not sure how that clean Osa+ look will hold up after a year or so of riding. A lot of Osa+’s add-ons are white: white seat, white basket, white handlebar grips. Those were already looking a little tired on the press bike I was riding, and I’d expect them to show even more wear a bit sooner for others. If you’re into the look of a well-worn white sneaker, that may not be an issue.
The Cake Osa+ doesn’t have a key
Looks, of course, don’t tell the whole story. The real fun with this bike begins when you start it up. Rather than relying on a physical key, the startup sequence for the Osa+ requires you to hit a button on the battery, switch on the bike using what would be your ignition switch on an ICE motorcycle, turn on the monochrome TFT screen and then dial