Motorcycles

Sondors takes $5,000 Metacycle for cruise along the Pacific Coast Highway

Sondors takes $5,000 Metacycle...
Thanks to a couple of wrong turns and stopping to answer questions about the Metacycle, the test ride took 2.5 hours to complete
Thanks to a couple of wrong turns and stopping to answer questions about the Metacycle, the test ride took 2.5 hours to complete
View 9 Images
Thanks to a couple of wrong turns and stopping to answer questions about the Metacycle, the test ride took 2.5 hours to complete
1/9
Thanks to a couple of wrong turns and stopping to answer questions about the Metacycle, the test ride took 2.5 hours to complete
The cast aluminum exo-frame gives the Metacycle a striking look
2/9
The cast aluminum exo-frame gives the Metacycle a striking look
The Metacycle is home to a 4-kWh Li-ion battery pack that can be juiced up in four hours using a 110-V AC charger, or one hour via the optional Level 2 charger
3/9
The Metacycle is home to a 4-kWh Li-ion battery pack that can be juiced up in four hours using a 110-V AC charger, or one hour via the optional Level 2 charger
The PMAC rear hub motor produces up to 130 lb.ft of torque at the wheel
4/9
The PMAC rear hub motor produces up to 130 lb.ft of torque at the wheel
The Metacycle has a curb weight of 200 lb
5/9
The Metacycle has a curb weight of 200 lb
The LED headlight incorporates turn signals
6/9
The LED headlight incorporates turn signals
The Metacycle sports a digital display front and center
7/9
The Metacycle sports a digital display front and center
Riders can pop a smartphone into the cubby to the top of the exo-frame, which has a see-through lid and wireless charging capabilities
8/9
Riders can pop a smartphone into the cubby to the top of the exo-frame, which has a see-through lid and wireless charging capabilities
The Metacycle has a seat height of 31 inches
9/9
The Metacycle has a seat height of 31 inches
View gallery - 9 images

Last month, California-based ebike maker Sondors revealed that a budget-friendly electric motorcycle was in development. The company has since taken the Metacycle on a road trip from Irvine to Long Beach, which gives more insight into the real-world range we can expect from the striking e-moto.

At launch, Sondors revealed that the Metacycle's 8-kW rear hub motor could produce up to 130 lb.ft (176 Nm) of peak torque at the wheel and get the electric motorcycle up to 80 mph (128 km/h). The 4-kWh Li-ion battery pack was also reckoned to be good for more than 80 miles (128 km) per charge, and could be removed for charging indoors.

The company has since confirmed that the 80-mile range was determined after real-world testing at an average of 40 mph (64 km/h) in mixed city and suburban traffic, and that a 4-kWh battery was considered a "sweet spot for range, weight and cost." The recent road trip offers a little more on what we can expect from the US$5,000 Metacycle.

The test rider clocked up a total of 48 miles at an average speed of 45 mph (72.4 km/h), though the video below does suggest faster speeds were reached along the way. At the end of the outing, Sondors says that the bike's battery charge stood at 20 percent – which would indicate a mixed city and highway range of just under 60 miles. Though the company does maintain that typical riders should still be able to reach 80 miles per charge.

SONDORS Metacycle Coastal Cruise

The trip up the Californian coast is reported to have taken the team 2.5 hours to complete, thanks to "a couple of wrong turns and stopping to answer questions from numerous curious bystanders."

Additional information nuggets include a four-hour recharge time when plugged into a 110-V AC outlet, or one hour via the optional Level 2 charger, the compression and rebound on the upside-down forks and the rear suspension are adjustable, there's front and rear hand-actuated single-disc braking, it rides on Michelin Road 5 tires, and the novel head- and tail-lights with integrated signal lamps are LED.

The Metacycle is expected to be available in Europe and the UK, as well as the US, and has a development cycle of 18 months. It's up for pre-order now in three color options for a deposit of $100, with the final price tag being $5,000 and an estimated shipping window of Q4 2021.

"The Sondors approach to manufacturing and scaling the product is unique to Sondors and to the way Storm Sondors does business," the company told us. "In particular, the Metacycle was engineered for manufacturing, with emphasis on ease of assembly and maintenance. As a result, Sondors is able to produce the Metacycle in an inexpensive manner, while still maintaining a premium look and feel. Much of this is due to the unique cast aluminum exo-frame of the Metacycle. "

Product page: Sondors Metacycle

View gallery - 9 images
8 comments
Michael son of Lester
On the plus side, the price point of this bike is nice and the performance of the bike is also good. But on the negative side is the range. For city dwellers, this is a great bike. But, being in a rural setting like I am, the range is an important factor. The nearest mid-sized city to me is thirty-eight miles away and the terrain isn't flat. This means the odds are high that I would be halfway home and the battery would die.
Signguy
While the price is good, it doesn't look like it balances very well; the rider doesn’t look comfortable.
GoodLife03
As soon as I read Pacific Coast Highway, I immediately remembered day long day trips - 300 miles plus!
I was like: "Oh goody! Finally a long range electric bike!" - Wrong! -> Baited :-)
BarryH
Is it just me - or does it look insecure not having a 'tank' to hold on too with your knees? I think I would be making a plug to go between my knees so I can hang on - and not have my knees tending to flap around like this rider appears to.
George
Certainly futuristic I can understand getting asked questions about the Metacycle, but getting lost (?!) Stick a phone in that 'top cubbyhole' with a navi-app on, job done ! Especially on a 'maiden voyage' :-) Should say I have a FoldXS here in UK and am happy with it's performance/price/specs.
Bob809
BarryH February 10, 2021 06:13 PM - I wonder if they left that space where the fuel tank is on a fossil bike for another battery, for the longer range bike they may sell if they can sell enough of this one. Looks like that would work, maybe the same battery again, so 160 mile claimed range. That would also be more appealing to others looking for that little bit extra range (Michael son of Lester).
Leo.G
This bike looks very twitchy in the front end when turning, maybe a little more weight over the front end (like where a fuel tank would normally be). Of course suspension may not be set up correctly for the weight of the rider.

I don't understand why the pilot (rider) insists on sitting so close to the edge of the lane line?
I rode into the city of Sydney 5 days per week for 15 years for work. Sitting so close to the cars restricted their view and they were more inclined to try and kill me by jumping into my lane. I always sit to the right of the oil line (we drive/ride on the left in Australia) which runs down the middle of the road in city areas where there's lots of stop/start traffic and found it to be the best place to sit in traffic and have enough room to swerve if needed (every car driver should be considered as someone out to kill you (nothing personal, they just don't pay attention)).

I also have a problem with the lack of noise these new electric bikes output. I survived riding into Sydney every day of the working week because I rode a large, loud motor bike and the motorists knew I was there, they could hear me (fact, if they hear you they don't try to hit you).
I also fitted twin air horns for the ones too blind or too deaf to realise I was right beside them.

Not sure loud vehicles or horns would help now with so many motorists wearing studio headphones and bouncing around (dancing) listening to their favourite tunes.
BJB
Let’s see, their motorcycle (Sondors) goes about 80 miles and costs $5000.00.

The arial rider’s Grizzly goes about 75 miles a charge, is all wheel drive and costs $3000.00.

Sorry sondors, I’m getting the grizzly!!