As e-bikes grow in popularity, they’re starting to edge into the territory and price category of cheap urban-focused motorcycles. In fact, a few motorcycle companies, including Triumph and Ducati, have branched out to e-bikes to reach more customers. But the reverse is also possible, as e-bike maker Sondors has demonstrated with its Metacycle electric motorcycle.
The Metacycle is the company’s latest electric foray outside of e-bikes
Sondors has been in the e-bike game since 2015 when the LA-based company launched its first model via Kickstarter, Business Insider reports. Today its lineup includes road bikes, folding bikes, and a mountain bike. However, the Sondors Metacycle electric motorcycle isn’t the company’s first foray into EVs.
In 2018 Sondors announced that it was developing a 3-wheeled ‘autocycle’ electric car, Car and Driver reports. As of this writing, the car’s development is still ongoing. However, the company is targeting a $10,000 base price and enough room for a driver and two passengers.
However, while the road-legal version isn’t ready, Roadshow drove a prototype and came away impressed. Admittedly, not all of the autocycle’s features were operational at the time. And it didn’t have the same kind of insulation or fit-and-finish that a full-production version would have. But the base model’s goals—a 75-100-mile range, an 1800-lb curb weight, and a 6.2-second 0-60 mph time—seem “reasonable.” And it’s surprisingly spacious given its dimensions, Business Insider reports.
Getting your hands on the Sondors Metacycle electric motorcycle, though, will likely be noticeably easier. And not just because of its asking price.
What does the Sondors Metacycle offer?
With a starting price of $5000, the Sondors Metacycle undercuts many other electric motorcycles. It’s actually closer in price to some e-bikes in that regard, Jalopnik muses. And it’s not as if the bike is light on features.
The Sondors Metacycle’s look is thanks to a single-piece cast-aluminum frame, which the company claims is an industry-first, Cycle World reports. It along with the aluminum swingarm mean the Metacycle is very light for a motorcycle, with a 200-lb curb weight, Motorcyclist reports. Plus, there’s a transparent-lid wireless charging pad built into the frame.
The Sondors Metacycle has a single rear-hub-mounted electric motor that normally produces 8 kW (11 hp) and 80 lb-ft, RideApart reports. However, the motor’s output goes as high as 14.5 kW (19 hp), Roadshow reports. And Sondors claims the Metacycle can deliver up to 130 lb-ft at the rear wheel. Plus, because it’s hub-mounted, there’s no chain, shaft, or belt to maintain.
The electric motorcycle’s power comes from a removable Level-2-compatible 4-kWh battery pack that delivers up to 80 miles of range. Recharge time on a Level 2 charger is a claimed four hours, and the top speed is 80 mph, The Drive reports.
In addition to the EV hardware and wireless charging pad, the Sondors Metacycle has WP suspension and ByBrke (Brembo’s subsidiary) brakes. The inverted fork has rebound and compression adjustment, Cycle World reports, and the bike has LED lights. It’s unclear, though, if it has regenerative braking.
How does it compare to the electric motorcycle competition?
Sondors claims Metacycle deliveries will begin in Q4 2021. If you’re interested, you can now put down a $100 deposit that’s refundable within 90 days.
Although the Metacycle’s range may seem small, it’s longer than the range of Cake’s cheapest electric motorcycle, the Ösa Lite. And while the Ösa Lite is slightly lighter, it’s also $2500 more expensive.
In fact, at $5000, the Sondors Metacycle undercuts many electric motorcycles. The Zero FX Z7.2, for example, has 11 more miles of range, a slightly higher top speed, and more horsepower. But it starts at $11,295. And while the Kuberg Ranger has off-road capabilities, it starts at $6199, has a lower top speed, and less range.
The Tarform Luna, another US-made minimalist electric bike, has 55 hp, a claimed 120-mile range, regenerative braking, and even blind-spot detection. However, it starts at $24,000. And some similarly-styled bikes, like the upcoming Verge TS, cost even more.
The closest competitor to the Sondors Metacycle will likely be the Segway eBike dirt bike. In $4999 X260 trim it weighs about 80 pounds less than the Metacycle. And while its motor maxes out at 5 kW (7 hp), it delivers up to 184 lb-ft at the rear wheel. But, while the Segway eBike can go off-road, its top speed is just under 47 mph, and the max range is just under 75 miles.
Choosing between them, then, will have to come down to how they ride.
Follow more updates from MotorBiscuit on our Facebook page.