The long-awaited SONDORS Metacycle electric motorcycle is now ready for production, and we have an exclusive first look for you ahead of the bike’s LA Auto Show unveiling.
The SONDORS Metacycle has drawn huge excitement since its launch back in January of this year.
The bike’s specs of 80 mph (130 km/h) top speed and 80 mile (130 km) range struck a chord with consumers by filling the gap between electric mini motorcycles and high performance flagship electric motorcycles.
But it was the $5,000 purchase price that really turned heads, at the time dramatically undercutting the cost of even the most affordable highway-capable electric motorcycles currently available in the US.
Updates regarding the design of the Metacycle have continued to trickle out all year, but now we’re getting our first look at the latest version of the motorcycle after completing homologation.
As SONDORS founder and CEO Storm Sondors explained to us, the bike is in production-ready form and is “all production designed, but hand assembled for final validation and testing purposes.”
We can see that the bike sports several modifications after undergoing homologation in preparation for production.
One of the first obvious changes is that safety systems including lighting, reflectors and mirrors all seem to have been updated.
The minimalist LED tail light gained the addition of a more traditional motorcycle tail light cluster, adding larger lights and more visible rear turn signals.
Similarly, the headlight gained the addition of larger turn signals spread farther apart, meeting NHTSA requirements necessary for street-legal homologation.
The license plate holder has also been shifted from the bike’s tail to its new rear fender, though SONDORS explained that the white fenders are temporary. All of the full-production models will have matte black fenders on all colorways to better blend in with the tires. The Metacycle will be available in black, white and brushed aluminum colorways.
The rear brake caliper appears to have been updated from the underslung quad-piston setup on the prototype to a more conventionally-mounted dual-piston caliper.
The motor casing also appears to be different from the prototypes, and the spokes appear slightly shorter. That could indicate either a smaller rim size or a larger motor diameter. The latter might be more accurate, as Storm explained to Electrek that the bike’s performance is significantly improved and is “night and day compared to the prototype.”
The battery compartment also appears to have been updated. It looks slightly reshaped, now baring a wider aluminum shelf to support the removable battery. The battery itself also sports a new covered port on the upper left side, likely a charge port. We’ve previously seen how the battery is intended to be easily removable for remote charging off of the motorcycle.
A SONDORS representative also explained to Electrek that the battery compartment’s updated design allows for “better power output and better acceleration/range.” The battery will also come with an included 1,800W fast charger. At that rate, we’d estimate a 20%-80% charge to take just over an hour, while a full charge would take closer to three hours based on the battery’s 4,000 Wh capacity rating.
Based on previous interviews with the SONDORS team and updated information, the removable battery is expected to weigh around 45-50 lb (20-23 kg). Its 4,000 Wh capacity is said to be enough for a maximum city range of 80 miles (130 km).
There will also be an optional Level 2 charger module available to fill the negative space left in the front of the frame. That would allow riders to charge at public charging stations, likely offering an even faster charge. Other accessories that will be available to fill that cavity include a storage compartment or a 3,000Wh auxiliary battery to extend the bike’s range. Riders can of course leave the space empty to retain that futuristic look.
The updated model also gives us our first look at the new thicker seat, answering one of the common complaints about the prototype’s rather thin-looking seat.
We’ve also learned that the first 2,000 units will be part of the Signature Series and will include founder Storm Sondors’ signature.
Anyone hoping to see the new Metacycle in person can check it out at the LA Auto Show from Nov 20-28.
If you’re hoping to meet Storm Sondors himself, you’ll want to stop between 1-3 PM Pacific on Saturday, Nov 27.
The Metacycle is still taking pre-orders at its $5,000 debut price (not including taxes and delivery), though recent messaging from SONDORS indicates that the price is expected to rise soon. [Update: pre-order reservations have actually closed for the current batch of motorcycles, and the company is taking emails ahead of opening a new round of pre-orders.]
The latest official delivery estimate provided by SONDORS came on September 15th of this year, when the delivery timeline was pushed back from Q3 to Q4 of 2021. That means SONDORS has just under six weeks left to meet the current deadline, assuming it doesn’t get pushed back.
We’ve reached out to SONDORS to inquire about any updates to the delivery timeline, and we’ll update as soon as we know more.
It’s great to finally see the Metacycle progress that has been going on behind the scenes.
When the bike was first unveiled, I pointed out that its initial form wouldn’t be street legal in a number of ways. All of those seem to have been addressed now after completing homologation.
Some parts don’t look quite as sleek anymore (those mirrors are a bit more plain-Jane) but that was to be expected. Same goes for the rear fender and license plate holder that wouldn’t have looked as good on the concept bike but are necessary additions to prepare the bike for production.
Which brings me to production – the next hurdle. We don’t have information yet on the production timeline and that’s what I’m most curious about. Has it started? Are bikes on the water yet? To meet a delivery goal of the end of the year, there will almost certainly need to be containers getting loaded or shipped any day now, especially considering the ongoing congestion at west coast ports. I doubt SONDORS would air freight the first bikes to expedite them. That’d be incredibly costly, and is in fact part of what led to Boosted’s downfall when they began air-shipping Rev scooters to the US to save time and try to meet deadlines.
So while it’s great to get a closer look at the Metacycle, now I’m hungry for even more. I want to know when I can actually throw a leg over this awesome looking bike, as do the many, many reservation holders that keep filling my inbox with the exact same question.
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