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SONDORS unveils affordable 80 mph electric motorcycle

SONDORS has just pulled up the curtain on its first-ever electric motorcycle, the SONDORS Metacycle. The new commuter electric motorcycle may just be the first truly low-cost electric motorcycle capable of both city and highway riding.

[Update: Jan 22: Full Interview with Storm Sondors and Matt Irish is here. Hope you got your questions answered!]

Of course terms like “affordable” and “low-cost” will always be relative.

But to put things in perspective, we live in a world where the $29,799 Harley-Davidson LiveWire is considered largely a commuter electric motorcycle, though with enough power for some impressive drag races as well.

So the SONDORS Metacycle, which will carry a price tag of just $5,000, is comparatively quite cheap.

And despite the low price compared to the rest of the electric motorcycle industry, the SONDORS Metacycle still appears to be a capable, road-worthy bike.

To see the SONDORS Metacycle in action, check out my video below. It includes the key specs for the bike as well as riding footage and analysis.

The Metacycle sports a top speed of 80 mph (130 km/h) thanks to its chunky 8 kW nominal and 14.5 kW peak rear hub motor.

The removable 4,000 Wh battery is rated for a range of 80 miles (130 km).

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but don’t expect to get that range at highway speeds. The max range figure is much more likely calculated at speeds of around 25-30 mph (40-50 km/h), i.e. city speeds.

Even so, the SONDORS Metacycle looks to be designed for exactly that kind of riding. This is a commuter electric motorcycle intended for a mix of city riding and short highway jaunts. This bike is not a roadster or a pleasure cruiser – it’s a commuting tool designed to get people out of boredom boxes on wheels and onto a faster, more efficient, and less expensive form of transportation.

At least that’s the point SONDORS founder Storm Sondors made in a statement provided to Electrek:

The SONDORS Metacycle is the newest extension of our mantra of ‘Electric For Everyone.’ It was a clean sheet of paper design where we considered how to make the best electric motorcycle for people who need an affordable, attractive transportation solution. We didn’t design this bike for enthusiasts, or racers, or people who want a third or fourth toy in the garage. It’s a fun, easy solution for real people who want to enjoy getting on the road every day.

The 200 lb (91 kg) electric motorcycle carries a distinctive aluminum frame with a hollow space right where a gas bike’s fuel tank would normally sit.

It’s an excellent example of the freedom that electric motorcycle designers have to play with traditional motorcycle design without the shackles of designing around old-fashioned engines and fuel tanks.

The inverted front fork looks like it belongs on a higher-dollar bike than this, and the Bybre hydraulic disc brakes, made by respected OEM Brembo, appear up to the task of stopping this lightweight commuter.

With a $5,000 price tag, I didn’t expect to see too many fancy features on the bike. But SONDORS still managed to sneak in a few interesting nuggets, such as a clear-topped box that holds the rider’s phone and wireless charges it.

The bike also features innovative turn signals, with the front signals incorporated into the sides of the halo headlight.

But the lack of bells and whistles is likely what helped SONDORS reach a price point that no other company has approached for a street-legal and highway-capable commuter electric motorcycle.

The hub motor reduces both complexity and cost, while the somewhat lower capacity battery offers decent commuting range while still keeping the price grounded.

The company says the Metacycle’s battery can also be charged at public charging stations, which will help further reduce range anxiety for riders who may have to tackle a high-speed, battery-draining section of highway on their way to work. Anyone charging at home on a standard electrical socket will see a charge time of four hours, though public charging stations should do the job quicker.

Pre-orders for the SONDORS Metacycle are now open, with delivery expected in October of this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if that date gets pushed back a bit, though. SONDORS has a history of delivering on its promises, but not always on time.

Even so, the Metacycle marks a brave new era in the electric motorcycle industry. And so if SONDORS can pull the bike off at this price, I think I can forgive a few production delays.

What do you think of the SONDORS Metacycle? Would an 80 mph (130 km/h) electric motorcycle for $5,000 finally get you to pull the trigger on your first e-moto? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

[Update January 19th: We’ll be talking in-depth with company founder Storm Sondors soon to learn more details about the SONDORS Metacycle. Do you have specific questions you want us to ask? Head down to the comment section below and let us know so we can get your questions answered!]

[Update: Jan 22: Full Interview with Storm Sondors and Matt Irish is here. Hope you got your questions answered!]

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd, and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power, The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide and The Electric Bike Manifesto.

The e-bikes that make up Micah’s current daily drivers are the $999 Lectric XP 2.0, the $1,095 Ride1Up Roadster V2, the $1,199 Rad Power Bikes RadMission, and the $3,299 Priority Current. But it’s a pretty evolving list these days.

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