Electric bike and e-motorcycle company SONDORS appears to be riding a new wave of orders for its SONDORS Metacycle electric motorcycle.
Last week the company created a limited discount of $2,500 on its $6,500 electric motorcycle.
The discount, announced as a form of “credit” provided by the company, was said to be available for the next 1,000 customers who put down a $500 deposit.
Those bikes would be slated for Q4 2023 deliveries.
A week after announcing the discount, SONDORS now says that all of the credits have been used up.
The fire sale seems to have created quick demand, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. $4,000 can get you a pretty nice 20 mph (32 km/h) electric bicycle, so a highway-capable electric motorcycle for the same price sounds quite enticing.
But the surprise discount fueled more than just quick demand. It also created significant speculation about the company’s financial standing. After the company filed for an IPO late last year and revealed a less than rosy financial report, SONDORS has since postponed the planned IPO.
The $2,500 Metacycle discount was seen by many as a way to shore up some quick demand, though it would have only resulted in an immediate cash infusion of US $500,000 from the reservation deposits. Once the bikes are produced, that would turn into US $4 million.
The company has long operated on a presale model, where deposits or full presale amounts are used to fund production of each successive round of bikes. The model is commonly used in the electric bicycle industry, but SONDORS has relied on its e-bike roots to bring the model into the e-moto world.
SONDORS has been ramping up deliveries of its Metacycle, which was first unveiled in early 2021. The bike had a rocky rollout after suffering from production delays and surprise design changes.
The Metacycle, despite failing to deliver on some of its loftier original promises, has proven itself to be a capable urban commuter bike that is still fast enough for short jaunts at highway speeds.
The maximum claimed range of 80 miles (130 km) is only achievable at slower city speeds, but mixed ranges of 40-50 miles (64-80 km) with combined city and limited highway riding have been reported by riders. That’s not going to make this into a touring bike, but should be sufficient for most commuters.
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 fun performance that you can’t get from a typical electric bicycle.
The Metacycle became one of the first low-cost light electric motorcycles to hit the market in the US, but will soon face competition from other models.
The CSC RX1E is said to be arriving in the US in April, and the folks at RYVID are surely hoping to take their own significant slice of the light electric motorcycle pie when the RYVID Anthem bike launches sometime later this year.
In the meantime though, the Metacycle is largely the only low-cost light electric motorcycle in town.
I don’t have any other information on SONDORS’ financial situation other than what I’ve reported on, but the rapid pre-sale of 1,000 bikes with a price tag lower than even the promotional launch price doesn’t imply a strong position.
That being said, I’m seriously rooting for SONDORS, and I hope that this can help launch the Metacycle even further. While it’s no sport bike, I will always praise the Metacycle’s innovative design and accessible price. The bike works well, is fun to ride, and has the serious potential to bring commuter/recreational e-motorcycle riding to so many more people than would have been possible before.
So let’s hope this works, because for all its faults, the Metacycle is here. It rides. And we need more things like it.
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