Sinje Gottwald & her Cake Kalk AP electric motorcycle. Image courtesy of Cake

This Woman Just Completed A Solo Unassisted Electric Motorcycle Ride From Spain To South Africa

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In case anyone still has some hesitancy about how today’s electric vehicles fare on road trips, this woman’s recent adventure on her electric motorcycle should put some of those doubts to rest. Sinje Gottwald has just finished a solo ride on her CAKE Kalk AP electric motorcycle some 13,000 kilometers in 124 days, from Spain to South Africa, with no technical or medical support whatsoever to back her up.

We’ve previously written about some of Cake’s electric 2-wheelers, including how its Kalk AP electric motorcycle could be an effective tool against the poaching of wildlife, but this latest news is sure to inspire more EV enthusiasts to take off on demanding road trips. To be sure, we’re still in the early days of longer range electric mobility, whether it’s on two wheels, three wheels, or four, so it’s not as simple as just loading up and heading out, especially in areas where EV charging infrastructure is slim to non-existent. However, if you “know before you go” and are prepared with the right vehicle, the right gear, and the right route, it’s increasingly possible to tackle challenging, even epic, road trips powered by electrons alone.

Sinje Gottwald is no stranger to epic motorcycle trips, as she had already made a name for herself by completing a solo circumnavigation of the globe on a motorcycle, for which she “drew attention for breaking down barriers and normalizing the idea of independent female riders achieving such feats.” And she’s no stranger to Cake’s e-mobility solutions, as she is a B2B account manager for the company, but even so, riding solo from Spain to South Africa on the Kalk AP bike without a support crew is impressive.

Along with her personal belongings, Gottwald brought along two batteries, two chargers, tools, and a bunch of spare parts for the bike (including a controller, display, throttle, chain, and fuses), and she completed the 13,000 kilometer trip in 124 days, with fewer than 140 charges — and without a single flat tire. It seems that not only were her packing and preparations on-point, but that the Kalk AP was an ideal EV for the trip.

“The Kalk was simply amazing! Maintenance was almost zero, adjusting and lubing the chain was basically it. Some minor issues that could be fixed, and I didn’t have a single flat tire. It drew so much attention, wherever I stopped people would come and ask about it, many said it was the first time for them to see an electric motorcycle.”

Image courtesy of Cake

According to Gottwald, the only mechanical issues she had to deal with in 4 months and 13,000 km were as follows:

  • Burned a fuse while riding in deep sand (Morocco) but had a spare and was easily replaced.
  • Loose cable connection on the charger (Morocco), which was fixed by myself.
  • Lost a screw from the sprocket (Guinea), but was found and reattached.
  • Over-tightened screw causing damage (my own fault, fixed in Guinea).
  • Burned fuse on the battery (likely from a faulty power outlet) but a workaround was found to
    continue charging the batteries.
Image courtesy of Cake

Gottwald says that a book about her experience is in the works, but in the meantime you can read more over at the Cake website, you can live vicariously through her Instagram account, or you can consider ordering a Kalk AP of your own.

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Derek Markham

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.

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