You know what, this is a brilliant bit of innovative thinking from Cake. Not insurance industry related, but well worth your reading time. And yes, we still aren’t buying into the brand-name-in-block-capitals idea.
CAKE, the Swedish leader in premium electric off-road motorbikes, announced today the launch of Kalk AP (Anti-Poaching), a special edition Kalk that has been redefined and optimized for rangers working to protect wildlife in the harsh conditions of the African bush. The Kalk AP is a critical component of CAKE’s recently launched initiative, the Electric Bush Bike Anti-Poaching Act, which aims to help organizations in Africa combat the devastating effects of poaching on the continent’s most endangered species.
The Kalk AP has been developed in tandem with staff at the Southern African Wildlife College to ensure the motorbikes can successfully serve rangers in their work. Later this year, the CAKE Kalk AP will enter field operations when the SAWC begins formally testing and utilizing the motorcycles with the associated Goal Zero solar kits as part of its educational curriculum and training.
“Solar power, new technology, and a new category of vehicles that help save endangered species in Africa. This is a perfect example of purpose meeting sustainability,” commented founder and CEO of CAKE, Stefan Ytterborn. “We are extremely honored to be able to work with our partners on this initiative and to contribute to developing the means to help curb poaching in the region.”
The Kalk AP is available for purchase as part of a ‘buy-one-give-one’ charity campaign that funds the initiative. CAKE and Goal Zero will also donate their profit margin from these sales directly to the SAWC. When a customer purchases a Kalk AP, an identical twin is made and delivered to an anti-poaching unit active in one of the 25 national parks where the Southern African Wildlife College manages anti-poaching teams.
Additionally, purchasing a Kalk AP also covers the donation of a solar panel and power station kit from Goal Zero that enables the twin bike to operate in the African bush independent from the electric power grid on an ongoing, self-sufficient mission to protect wildlife. All twin bikes are also connected via the CAKE connectivity platform, meaning that a customer can stay connected to the sibling bike that is in the bush. The customer will receive continuous updates on where it is, what is happening, and what good it has achieved. CAKE will also receive these notifications and will share ongoing achievements in various channels.
Customers looking to support the Electric Bush Bike Anti-Poaching Act by purchasing a Kalk AP can do so by reserving a model for $1000 at www.ridecake.com. The total cost of a Kalk AP, the donation of a Kalk AP, and the solar panel / solar kit is $25,000 with delivery starting September 2021.
Yep, it’s water-resistant too
The Kalk AP weighs just 176lbs / 80kgs and uses a 50A / 2.6kWh battery to deliver a peak motor output of 11kW and 3+ hours of ride time. This powerful system results in 42nM of torque at the hub, 280nM of torque on the wheel, and propels the bike to top speeds over 56mph / 90kph. The bike features CAKE’s three ride modes and three braking modes while also using the same gearing as the Kalk OR / Kalk INK with an 80T rear sprocket and 12T front sprocket.
Furthermore, the software has been adjusted to enable the bike to deal with higher temperatures, and specific heat driving characteristics have also been modified—for example, achieving high speeds may not be as necessary as torque at low speeds. Like all CAKE models, the battery is removable and can be charged while on the bike or separately.
The robust and specifically developed front and rear suspension cater to low maintenance without sacrificing performance. A sealed motor means the bike is fully submersible and resistant to the harsh, dusty conditions rangers encounter.
IE Comment; What we like about this bike is its sheer versatility. Think mountain rescue assistance, utility infrastructure maintenance and site visits, Policing or public sector patrols, then there’s the whole rural parcel and food delivery market. There si a huge potential market here for micro payment, PAYG cover, with smartphone app login to track user details and rider risk profile.
It is also a great cause if your insurance brand is looking to do something positive to end animal prisons – known as zoos to many people – and protect animals in the wild, where they belong.
The bike features a high front fender to deal with mud and clear obstacles. It utilizes CAKE’s 18 x 1.85” rims and 3.5” Continental TKC80 off-road tires on both wheels. This setup is a different wheel and tire configuration than other Kalk models, enabling the Kalk AP to disperse weight and decrease ground pressure—an absolute must in muddy conditions.
Kalk AP utilizes a 2100 lumen removable clamp on headlight for powerful illumination, and all plastic components on the bike are made from recycled, fiber-reinforced Trifilon, a biodegradable polymer.
CAKE Connect is a prominent feature of the bike, providing navigation, communication, and location identification. This feature will also help the teams better understand what adjustments they will need to make to optimize performance and efficiency while in the field.
Background on the Initiative and Partnership with SAWC
Poaching has devastating consequences for all wildlife all over Africa. In some instances, it is the primary reason why many species face the risk of extinction. Contrary to general perception, one of the strongest motivations for poaching is poverty and the need for food among local inhabitants. Areas with widespread poaching are often large, remote, and lacking roads, making patrolling by car virtually impossible.
Recently, anti-poaching teams have started using dirt bikes for patrolling. However, these bush bikes run on gasoline, and, depending on the location, the fuel used to power these bikes must be brought in by truck or via helicopter. Although the motorcycle approach has proven highly successful, the roaring combustion engines unfortunately alert poachers miles away, decreasing the chances of catching them. By utilizing CAKEs electric off-road motorcycles, the goal is to increase efficiency in catching poachers without forewarning them of an approach.
The Southern African Wildlife College is situated just 10 km west of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. It is the perfect campus setting to provide working examples for students to learn conservation theory and best practices in and out of the classroom. As part of its ‘learning by doing’ curriculum, the SAWC establishes a cycle of innovation and development. The curriculum and various training programs are continuously evolving, allowing the SAWC to address current conservation training needs while shaping the future conservation landscape.
As a center of specialization in conservation education, training, and skills development, the SAWC’s approach is rooted in science, partnerships, and applied learning. The SAWC’s Applied Learning Unit supports the SAWC’s efforts by facilitating monitoring, evaluation, research, and application in all departments, enabling the SAWC to maintain focus on real issues faced by students and practitioners in their work. For these reasons, the SAWC keeps up to date with relevant new techniques and has, for example, recently pioneered and seen great success with the use of free-running pack hounds in the battle against rhinoceros poaching in the Greater Kruger National Park.
“This partnership to test new technologies for innovative conservation solutions is extremely exciting. We are very proud to be partnering with CAKE and Goal Zero to test these electric off-road bikes given the impact that this could have on countering poaching across Africa,” said the SAWC’s CEO, Theresa Sowry.