Light weight, decent range, highway-legal, short re-charge time, cheap price
by Harry Fisher, on August 3, 2022, 17:00
The increasing importance and relevance of electric drive for motorcycles is bringing a revolution to motorcycling as we know it. What it is also doing is shifting the balance of power from the major manufacturers to independent start-ups, who are driving the development of electric motorcycles in such a way that everyone else has to follow their lead.
The Projected Price Shocked Everyone
For the time being, electric motorcycles are expensive to buy. When the Sondors Metacycle was announced in 2021, everyone was shocked when they were told the price would be $5,000. This, for a practical, not unattractive electric motorcycle with a top speed of 80mph and 80-mile range. With a Harley Davidson Livewire One costing over $20,000 and the Zero SR/S retailing at over $18,000, the Sondor was, and is, a bargain.
Hub-Mounted Electric Motor
Sondors chose a rear hub-mounted electric motor for the Metacycle, as opposed to the more common mid-mounted motor driving the rear wheel via belt or chain. Despite having a penalty in terms of performance due to increased unsprung weight, the hub-mounted motor was chosen because it is a less expensive option and contributes largely to the purchase price, not to mention simpler to install. The motor is IP67 dust and water resistance rated, making the Metacycle as practical as a conventional petrol-powered motorcycle.
While Sondors claims an 80-mile range, this is only achievable when the motor is driving in ECO mode. This mode restricts top speed to 62mph. However, independent reviewers have recorded a real-world range of around 60 miles in ECO mode at an average speed over mixed riding conditions (low- and high-speed riding) of 45mph. Sondor offers an auxiliary battery pack that fits in the blank space of the frame, giving extended range.
It’s Not That Heavy
Electric cars and motorcycles are often overly heavy due to the weight of the batteries. The Sondors Metacycle weighs a very light 200 pounds, achieved by constructing the chassis out of a single piece of aluminum. This means that it can look reassuringly chunky and strong without adding weight. The battery accounts for 54 pounds of that weight. Even though it is lightweight, a reverse gear is fitted for even easier maneuverability.
Light Weight = Easy To Steal
Being so light, it would be no problem for thieves to simply lift the Metacycle and stick it in a van or a pickup and drive away. To combat this, potential customers are demanding not only a high-decibel alarm to be fitted but also a GPS transponder whose signal could be picked up by an app on your smartphone so you could track where the motorcycle is being taken.
Plug-In Or Swap The Battery
The Sondors Metacycle will recharge to 100-percent in only four hours (or 80-percent in two hours) from any normal household wall socket with the included charging cable. Alternatively, the battery can be easily removed for charging indoors or to be swapped for a ready-charged battery from a battery bank. While these are not common as yet, expect them to become more popular as electric motorcycles are adopted by more and more riders.
It is Highway Legal
While many owners buy electric motorcycles for urban commuting, this can often include a spell on a highway. Luckily, the Sondors Metacycle is fast enough to be highway legal and also fast enough to be highway safe, which is possibly even more important.
Don’t Worry About That Ugly Cable
That thick cable that runs from the battery to the motor is definitely ugly and coloring it orange doesn’t help, but it has to be that color by law as it carries more than 60 volts. However, don’t worry too much about the appearance as Sondors says it will be hidden within the swing arm on production examples.
Top-Spec Suspension and Brakes
The Sondors Metacycle has inverted front forks, a monoshock rear suspension unit, and has ByBre disc brake calipers front and rear. These are a lower-cost version of the famous Brembo brake calipers and endow the Metacycle with the braking power to match the performance.
Take Your Phone For a Ride
The top panel of the frame, between the rider and handlebar, incorporates a compartment for your smartphone, with wireless charging capability and a clear lid so you can use the phone’s navigation app while on the move.
Is SONDORS Metacycle a good buy?
Definitely. It is the cheapest fully road-legal electric motorcycle on the market at the moment.
Has SONDORS Metacycle been delivered?
Deliveries for the Sondors Metacycle are commencing as of Q4 2022.
How fast is the SONDORS Metacycle?
It has a top speed of 80mph.
Is SONDORS Metacycle street legal?
The Sondors Metacylce is only street legal but also highway legal.