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 around the internet. After navigating a rollercoaster of design changes, production delays and price hikes, the bike is finally preparing to ship to the first reservation holders this month.
The Metacycle is produced by SONDORS, a company that has focused largely on building affordable electric bicycles (and the occasional foray into three-wheeled electric cars that are still waiting to see production).
The first customers to place a reservation were charged $5,000 for the 80 mph (130 km/h) electric motorcycle, with delivery original promised for the end of 2021. That price was well under half of the cost of most electric motorcycles produced by industry leaders such as Zero Motorcycles.
We’ve all see what the past 18 months has done to supply chains and delivery timelines across nearly every major industry, so it won’t surprise many to learn that the original delivery timelines have come and gone. But early customers are now receiving emails announcing that shipping for the first Metacycle units is beginning this month.
As SONDORS explained:
“The first round of Metacycle is on the way, and will be arriving to Los Angeles very soon. Metacycle orders will begin shipping this month as planned. All orders will be filled based on the order in which our team receives the individual colorways (Naked Silver, Supermassive and Arctic). Our logistics team will then process your order based on the order your initial purchase was made. First come. First served.”
Based on previous updates, it appears that the first batch of Metacycle electric motorcycles is still currently either on a container ship or en route to SONDORS’ logistics centers on the west coast.
While shipments are beginning this month, the company expects that getting all of those bikes out to customers will likely take some time.
As SONDORS continued:
“Please note, due to the current volume restraints our shipping partners and white glove delivery service providers are experiencing, deliveries will begin in June and continue throughout subsequent months until all orders are fulfilled.”
That white glove delivery service was originally mentioned when the bike was unveiled and was always expected to carry an additional fee 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, though it isn’t entirely clear what the service includes. Generally, such white glove delivery services cover unboxing and setup of the product, as well as removal of all packaging and refuse.
The $700 charge apparently includes a discount for early reservation holders, as the company explained in a recent email to early customers:
“Once your Metacycle arrives at the SONDORS Los Angeles Logistics Center and has passed the final inspection, you will receive the specific white glove delivery details for your order via email.
In the meantime, please use the link below to make your final payment. The remaining total charge of $700 includes shipping freight and white glove delivery service at a substantial discount in honor of our early adopters.
In true SONDORS form, we have done our best to absorb expenditure increases caused by fuel hikes, escalations in shipping costs, and overall inflation endured throughout the duration of this project.”
This is surely an exciting day for early reservation holders, though the Metacycle process has been fraught with surprises from the outset. After initially moving up the delivery timeline while claiming that the production process was running ahead of schedule, deliveries were then delayed several times as the bike underwent design changes to meet NHTSA homologation requirements.
The bike has since increased in weight as well and some features have been removed on future productions runs of the bike, such as ABS braking on Metacycles produced after the first batch.
While news of delays and changes have become a bit of a running punchline in customer-run online communities, early reservation holders are still largely chomping at the bit to finally receive their Metacycles.
Once the first deliveries begin, the bike will join a small but growing group of affordable electric motorcycles capable of reaching minimum highway speeds. Electric motorcycles like the currently available $6,000 Kollter ES1 and upcoming NIU RQi are expanding the envelope beyond small, urban-oriented electric motorcycles and filling the gap left between city e-motos and flagship bikes like those made by Zero, LiveWire and Energica.
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