If your main gripe against electric motorcycles has been “they’re just too expensive,” well then you’re going to need to start looking for another excuse. That’s because a new credit offered by SONDORS will reduce the effective price of the company’s Metacycle electric motorcycle to just $4,000.
The email rolled into my inbox today like so many others, touting a new announcement from SONDORS. But the bolded “$2,500 credit” certainly got my attention.
Was there a new tax credit for electric motorcycles that I had missed?
Not quite. Instead, SONDORS is offering their own purchase credit for its Metacycle electric motorcycle, at least if you’re prepared to put down a $500 deposit in the next two weeks.
According to the company, “the first 1,000 SONDORS Metacycle orders with $500 down receive $2,500 credit toward their new purchase.”
That would reduce the price of the Metacycle from the current $6,500 to just $4,000.
In order to qualify, the orders have to be placed between today and March 15, 2023.
The bikes are slated for Q4 2023 delivery, which if recent SONDORS’ timeline accuracy is any indication, means that these are 2024 bikes.
It’s not an altogether unprecendented move in the electric motorcycle industry. Zero pulled a similar move recently, offering the equivalent of the expired federal motorcycle tax credit as a discount for new purchases.
But the SONDORS credit is significant for a few reasons.
First of all, without going all “would a rose by any other name smell as sweet” on you, the word “credit” is simply a fancy way of announcing a price drop, which has its own implications.
And this price drop is huge. The bike debuted at $5,000 over two years ago, and that was the promotional pricing. That price point was never expected to last, which was confirmed when it increased to $6,500. That was assumed to be a more sustainable price point for the company. But dropping the price to $4,000 puts the bike at 20% below what even the early adopters paid, and they were basically giving SONDORS an 18+ month interest-free loan.
What could this mean for customers who purchased a Metacycle yesterday for $6,500? Will they be able to cancel their order and claim the new credit by re-ordering? And what about those customers who funded the bike’s development and production?
Lastly, this has serious implications for SONDORS’ bottom line. Why make such a drastic price decrease? Is the demand for Metacycle faltering? Is the company trying to raise some quick cash after postponing an upcoming IPO? Or is there something else in the works?
Top comment by Steve Suttn
Sondors sent this to existing customers. Maybe I am cynical. But I suspect they want existing order holders to cancel their existing orders and put in new orders at the discount. That would buy sonders some time.
There is no way they have delivered enough volume to justify this. It seems shady.
Sonders has delivered at most a couple hundred metacycles.
Regardless the reason, it’s hard to ignore the significant deal this offers. The Metacycle, despite failing to deliver on some of the loftier original promises from its launch presentation, has proven itself to be a capable urban commuter bike that is still punchy enough for short jaunts at highway speeds.
I took the bike on one of its first public review rides (see my video review below) and found it to be a fun and nimble ride. I’d gladly own and ride it as a commuter bike, and I’d recommend it for that use case. My testing showed that the bike felt like the perfect upgrade for someone that comes from an electric bicycle background and is ready to upgrade to a motorcycle.
The scooter-style setup with modest power and acceleration as well as dual hand brake levers makes the bike easy to ride for newcomers to motorcycles. Yet, it still has a fun performance that you can’t get from a typical electric bicycle.
At $4,000, this thing is a steal. But with something of an opaque picture of SONDORS’ current financial footing after the postponed IPO, it’s hard to say whether or not it’s a risky steal.
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