Written by Theo Koenig – January 27, 2021
Reviewed by Kfir Kedem
SONDORS, the company known for its e-bike, is launching an electric motorcycle for $5000 with a 130km range.
SONDORS was founded in Southern California in 2015. They started in a somewhat unconventional manner with most of the company’s financing coming mostly from crowdsourcing campaigns. At the time of their launch, SONDORS’ big splash was the $1000 e-bike. Since then, the company has added several further models of e-bikes and also expanded into the automotive sector with a soon-to-be announced electric vehicle. With all models included, the company has sold over 100,000 units of e-bikes in over 45 countries.
One of the interesting talking points is the battery. The Metacycle can be charged on a standard home 110V AC plug or alternatively can be accessorized with level 2 capacity public chargers. Users charging at home can expect a charge time of 4 hours. The attention-grabbing detail is the fact that the battery is fully removable. Customers can slide-out grey box at the bottom of the bike and bring their batteries with them in the event when parking does not offer any charging opportunities.
The empty space where the gas-tank used to belong might seem like a puzzling design choice but is actually an opportunity for customers to customize their Metacycle. Three possible insert accessories are being explored. The first is a hard-case bag that inserts into the engine-less space. Given the fact that that the Metacycle’s only storage space is a transparent phone compartment with wireless charging, this might seem to be the obvious choice. Then again, the next option would be the level 2 charger insert for public stations mentioned above which could also prove useful. Alternatively, customers could opt for a battery range extender, expected to be 3 kWh.
Rather than compete with the established members of the electric motorcycle industry, SONORS will hope to target a new audience altogether. The narrow frame is the first hint at the fact that the Metacycle caters more towards motorized bicycle users rather than electric motorcycle fans. The bike sits at roughly 80 cm off the ground, making it a relatively low ride. This, coupled with the low maximum speed and very limited horsepower, might appear too modest for the clients of the established brands such as Energica or Zero Motorcycles. However, considering that the Metacycle will cost roughly one-fifth of what a Zero or e-Harley motorcycle would, this would be like comparing apples and oranges. Afterall, SONDORS is a company known for its e-bikes.
Auto Trendy’s take:
SONDORS’ branding with the Metacycle seems like an astute and calculated move into the commuter-vehicle sector. The battery offers decent commuting range, and the motorcycle has a sufficiently high top-speed that makes it ideal for getting around cities and short stretches of highways. Especially considering their experience in the department of e-bicycles, SONDORS will be well placed to understand the demand for a market focused on practicality but with an element of fun and thrill. The company’s strategies with e-bikes have been to quickly saturate a specific market, before expanding into further locations. Their strategy seems to be similar to Honda’s when they initially released their affordable 50cc bikes to the American market and identified a niche but untapped market. We predict the same thing with the Metacycle and expect to see this motorcycle in the streets of Europe and the US by the end of the year.