Sondors Metacycle begins shipping first $5,000 electric motorcycles

When the SONDORS Metacycle was unveiled in Los Angeles in early 2021, its highway-ready performance and low initial price of US$5,000 sent shockwaves through the internet. After navigating a roller coaster of design changes, production delays and price hikes, the bike is finally gearing up to ship to early reservation holders this month.

The Metacycle is produced by SONDORS, a company that has largely focused on building affordable e-bikes (and the occasional foray into three-wheeled electric cars that are still waiting to see production).

The first customers to make a reservation were charged $5,000 for the 130 km/h (80 mph) electric motorcycle, with delivery originally promised for late 2021. That price was well under half the cost of most electric motorcycles produced by industry leaders such as under the name Zero Motorcycles.

We’ve all seen what the past 18 months has done for supply chains and delivery times in almost every major industry, so it will come as no surprise to many to hear that initial delivery times have passed. But early customers are now receiving emails announcing that shipment of the first Metacycle units begins this month.

As SONDORS explained:

The first round of Metacycle is on its way and will arrive in Los Angeles very soon. Metacycle orders will begin shipping this month as scheduled. All orders will be fulfilled based on the order our team receives the individual colorways (Naked Silver, Supermassive, and Arctic). Our logistics team will then process your order based on the order of your original purchase. First come. First served.

Based on previous updates, it looks like the first batch of Metacycle electric motorcycles are still either on a container ship or on their way to SONDORS logistics centers on the west coast.

As shipments begin this month, the company expects it will likely take some time for all of these bikes to be delivered to customers.

As SONDORS continued:

Please note that due to current volume restrictions experienced by our shipping partners and premium delivery service providers, deliveries will begin in June and continue over the following months until all orders are be executed.

This white glove delivery service was originally mentioned at the bike’s unveiling and was always expected to incur an additional charge on top of the original $5,000 purchase price (and not included in the current $6,000 price that was increased earlier this year).

SONDORS has now announced a $700 fee for the white glove delivery service, although it’s not entirely clear what the service includes. Generally, these white glove delivery services cover the unpacking and installation of the product as well as the removal of all packaging and waste.

The $700 fee apparently includes a discount for early bird holders, as the company explained in a recent email to early customers:

Once your Metacycle arrives at the SONDORS Logistics Center in Los Angeles and has passed final inspection, you will be emailed specific white glove delivery details for your order.

In the meantime, please use the link below to make your final payment. The remaining $700 total charge includes shipping and premium delivery service at a substantial discount in honor of our early adopters.

In true SONDORS form, we have done our best to absorb increased expenses caused by fuel hikes, escalating shipping costs, and overall inflation experienced throughout this project.

It’s surely an exciting day for early booking holders, although the Metacycle process has been fraught with surprises from the start. After initially bringing forward the delivery schedule while claiming the production process was ahead of schedule, deliveries were later repeatedly delayed as the bike underwent design changes to meet the homologation requirements of the NHTSA.

Since then, the bike has also increased in weight, and some features have been removed in future production runs of the bike, such as ABS braking on Metacycles produced after the first batch.

While news of delays and changes has become a bit of a running punchline in customer-run online communities, early reservation holders are still largely eager to finally receive their Metacycles.

Once first deliveries begin, the bike will join a small but growing group of affordable electric motorcycles capable of minimum highway speeds. Electric motorcycles like the currently available $6,000 Kollter ES1 and the upcoming NIU RQi are expanding the envelope beyond small, urban-oriented electric motorcycles and filling the gap left between city electric motorcycles and flagship bikes like those made by Zero, LiveWire and Energica.

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