Closer look at motor behind the $5,000 SONDORS Metacycle electric motorcycle

As the SONDORS Metacycle quickly approaches its Q3 2021 shipping date, the manufacturer is sharing with us more detail about the electric motorcycle’s motor and drive modes.

The Metacycle was first unveiled earlier this year and came with a previously unheard-of price of just $5,000.

Those five g’s buy riders an 80 mph (130 km/h) urban electric motorcycle with a claimed range of 80 miles (130 km).

While most electric motorcycles use a mid-mounted motor to drive the rear wheel directly or through a gear reduction, SONDORS decided to go with a rear hub motor for the Metacycle.

Despite the slight performance costs associated with more unsprung weight, the Metacycle’s role as a commuter bike instead of a performance bike means that most riders likely won’t be severely impacted.

Instead, the hub motor design helped drop the overall cost of the bike and usher in what could be the first largely affordable highway-capable electric motorcycle available in the US.

According to SONDORS, the direct-drive hub motor uses a “bespoke designed aluminum casing” and appears to offer a side exit axle for the motor’s phase and sensor wires.

The motor is also IP67 dust and water-resistant, meaning riders won’t have to worry about riding in the rain – at least not any more than any other motorcycle already does.

We’re also learning now about a new ECO mode that will be available and limit the motor to 62 mph (100 km/h). SPORT mode will offer full power and max speed.

The motor is designed to put out a max peak-rated power of 14 kW (20 hp), though ECO mode will presumably limit that power.

Those looking to eek out more range from the bike will likely want to rely on ECO mode when in the city. The Metacycle claims a maximum range of 80 miles (130 km), though that is measured at slower speeds. A real-world range test with mixed high speed and low-speed riding found an extrapolated real-world mixed range of 60 miles (96 km) at an average speed of 45 mph (72 km/h).

SONDORS will also offer an auxiliary battery pack for riders looking to go further. A 3 kWh battery pack will be one of three optional accessories that can be added to the negative space in the frame, in addition to a Level 2 charger accessory and a storage compartment.

While the Metacycle was originally slated for production and delivery in Q4 of this year, SONDORS is actually running ahead of schedule and announced that the first bikes would be available in Q3.

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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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