Los Angeles, CA

Look for more electric bikes and electric motorcycles on the streets of Los Angeles

Don Simkovich

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CAKE's showroom in Venice-Marina del ReyCAKE North America

Sales of lightweight electric motorcycles and electric bikes are spiking across the U.S. and a Swedish maker of innovative electric bikes, CAKE, opened its first shop in Los Angeles in October 2022.

Look for e-bikes to boom in popularity. Why?

Reasons include Los Angeles streets remaining traffic heavy and other streets like Rosemead Boulevard have been re-configured to promote bicycle traffic. One of the biggest hurdles for electric motorcycles is range. Gas-powered bikes can get up to a couple of hundred miles on a tank while Motorcycle.com reports that electric bikes still struggle to get half that range.

Upgrades and improvements are being made, though, so expect mileage to increase.

Tackling LA's steep streets

Los Angeles has plenty of streets winding up and down hills like those in Eagle Rock and Silverlake. Electric bikes make pedaling up steeper grades easier when compared to non-electric bikes. Running errands like picking up a few items from the grocery store becomes practical when riding electric bikes or lightweight electric motorcycles.

E-bike sales are expected to outpace electric car and truck sales. Figures from Bicycling.com reveals that 608,000 electric cars and trucks were sold in 2021 and consumers purchased more than 880,000 e-bikes.

The bikes can also make steep recreational roads and fire roads more accessible like the winding streets through Griffith Park and the Henniger Flats road in Eaton Canyon near Pasadena.

The beach communities from the South Bay to Malibu are prime for electric bikes and electric motorcycles, too. CAKE just opened its shop on Lincoln Boulevard in the Venice Beach neighborhood of LA. The site will also serve as the manufacturer’s North American sales and marketing headquarters.

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CAKE offers plenty of commutable bike optionsCAKE North America

A report on Automobilsport.com notes that CAKE’s “proximity to the beach and trendy neighborhoods like Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina del Rey make it an ideal location for new customers to test ride CAKE’s urban commuter bikes, Makka and Ösa.”

The OSA has been in use patrolling with StreetsLA.

What to expect with e-bikes

E-bikes are powered by an in-line electric motor powered by a battery, which takes the place of traditional pedaling. Outdoor lifestyle company REI, with a store in Arcadia, describes three types of e-bikes as:

  • Class 1, the most affordable and the motor starts when the rider is pedaling and will power the bike up to 20 miles per hour
  • Class 2, which are similar to class 1 with the motor topping out at 20 miles per hour
  • Class 3, allows the rider to keep up with traffic, climb better, and are more useful when running errands.

Expect to pay from $ 899 for smaller, foldable electric bikes to $ 1,599 for adult long-range e-bikes. Extra costs include charging batteries and maintenance as needed.

More expensive e-bikes typically have more durable frames.

Electric motorcycles have a wide price range from $ 8,000 to $ 35,000 depending on make and model. The 2022 BMW F 850 GS Adventure retails for around $ 13,500.

Whether for adventure and recreation or moving easily around Los Angeles, electric bikes and electric motorcycles deserve consideration as viable forms of transportation.

CAKE's address is 4112 Lincoln Blvd, Marina Del Rey.

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I interview entrepreneurs, and dig into the news around Southern California, giving a voice to business owners, artists and more. I also co-write the thriller novel series Tom Stone Detective Stories.

Pasadena, CA
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