Meta family, I got the chance of riding and giving my impressions on the Sondors Metacycle, thanks to an anonymous owner, who was so gracious to lend me his time, and his pretty cool moded Meta. What do you think about it, pretty interesting mods he’s done so far.
You’ve already seen a video or two surfacing on the internet of owners riding their Metacycle, so, today, I’m not just going to bore you with another one of those, I’m going to offer you a more focused review of the Metacycle, so, not to draw out this entry, I promise to minimize the fluff. So..
Here’s what we’ll discuss today:
• We’re going to look at the lock and unlock procedure because it would definitely have been more straight forward with, I don’t know, “A MANUAL…”
• We’re going to Test the alarm and security system for loudness and for efficiency
• We’ll address the battery removal and charging issue
• We’ll cover the perceived AND GPS recorded, 0-60 performance in regular and in Sport modes
• We’ll talk about the strange behavior of the Metacycle while in Sport mode
• We’ll touch on how long exactly the Metacycle sustains peak power
• What the true top speed is,
• Whether it has Regen braking or no?
• Ride comfort and suspension, and whether it is adjustable
• What the Metacycle actually sounds like,
• Phone fit in the wireless charging compartment (yea… this one’s a bit of a bummer for me)
And then, we’ll go over my final thoughts as to what I liked and what I didn’t like about the Sondors Metacycle.
So get comfortable, grab a snack or pop me over to the corner if you’re at work, and let’s get this started. You ready? Let’s do this.
Okay, so locking and unlocking the Metacycle for the owner at first was definitely a hassle to figure out without a manual, but after a few times turning it on, we actually got the hang of it. And then you realize it’s so easy to get, a child could do it. I had the benefit of the owner explaining it to me visually, so I’ll do the same here for you.
First, you tap the unlock button to unlock it, then, as long as you’re close to it, you press the power button above the phone compartment on the bike itself to engage it. Now, to disengage it, you press that button again. And then to lock the bike in place, you simply hit the lock button on the key fob.
Now, the Metacycle senses when the key fob is in proximity, as well as when it’s not, so when you move far enough away from the Meta, and, by the way, not very far, then the Metacycle locks itself automatically. To engage the Meta, as in, to be able to set it to drive or reverse, you will have to press the button on the bike itself, or you won’t be able to ride it. If there is an auto-start feature on the key fob, well, we haven’t been able to find it.
Now, let’s talk about the alarm and security on the Metacycle.
While I liked the security lock mechanics built into the motor of the Metacycle, I wasn’t thrilled, however to realize how low the alarm sound itself was. I was expecting a bit more of a kick than what it gave. But let’s talk about those mechanics I mentioned earlier.
So, when the alarm is engaged, (you can engage the alarm on the key fob) the Metacycle will screech on sufficient contact, and if you attempt to move the Metacycle out of place, the motor will counter the motion and keep it from being displaced, like so.
I thought that was a cool feature they worked into the motor.
The alarm, however… I mean it sounded uninvasive, shallow, and hardly startling; I mean, you’d be hard pressed to hear something like this from inside a Starbucks in a loud metropolitan area on a busy day. Honestly disappointed at that. It’s actually quite alarming…
But let’s move on to the battery.
I didn’t test it for myself and took the word of the owner for a fact, it’s not hard to test it for oneself, but the battery charge time is about low charge to 80% in a good couple of hours, so it’s pretty true to Sondors’s claims. But, contrary to said claims, it is just NOT advisable to remove it. Well, Sondors says it still is, but it’s not, not the way it was marketed to be. And the way it is removable right now, even though Sondors says it is, with the provided tools, it is honestly NOT advisable. And that is because the screw holes are not durable, and so the more you attempt to unscrew the battery loose to charge it away from your Metacycle, the looser AND less secure it will become, each time you put it back in, which in itself renders this entire procedure more and more dangerous as time goes. And quite frankly, it’s a bummer that the new way to remove and charge is just not nearly as user-friendly as it was originally advertised. So, what to do here? Honestly, if you live on a higher floor in an apartment, then you’d have to figure out a new charging routine or workaround that accommodates charging the battery while it’s IN your Metacycle. And that’s quite the drawback for many.
Now, before we take the Metacycle out for a spin, I wanna talk about the handling and weight. Sondors built the Metacycle bars like an eBike, so the handlebars are narrower, and do feel that in the way the bike handles. While it’s not the weightiest of machines to ride, the thin frame is rather weighty, since it was sand casted to save costs, which also explains the rough finish and undulations, especially in the interior linings, since it’s essentially like lower precision mold compared to lighter, higher resolution, injection molding, which would have actually kept the Metacycle at the former promised 200lbs weight.
Alright, now let’s take it out on the road for a ride and test how quick it goes, and I’ll talk about how it.
We opted best to trust GPS and Gyroscope speed test apps better than the Metacycle’s reading itself. So whatever speed we end up with in between the GPS and the odometer is the sweet spot we’ll go by. GPS may be a bit on the latent side, while the odometer will most likely be a certain percentage optimistic over the true speed. Also, sorry but the Metacycle odometer was hardly visible in the sun, so I’ll be placing the reading on the screen in post-edit.
So, The Metacycle should be doing 0-60 in about 8-9 seconds (not too far from what Sondors advertised). But it doesn’t. On take-off, you start noticing around the 40 miles per hour mark or so, that the initial torque boost starts to die out, and while it continues accelerating, it hauls much slower from that point on. So, just as most electric vehicles, there’s software limitation on the motor performance.
By the time you reach 60 miles per hour after long drawing out through the high 50s, it’s then already been past 8-9 seconds, and on to more like over 10 seconds.
Now, the 0-60 test definitely yielded different outcomes for me than and the owner. While he reliably got 10-11 seconds over enough tests, and I got more like 13-16. He’s around 150 pounds, and I’m around 250 pounds, so there’s a whole 100 lb difference at play here.
If Sondors had never promised 0-60 in 6 seconds, then I would be fine with the average quickness of the Metacycle, but they did… and that is their lie and their mistake.
Let’s discuss initial torque on the Metacycle.
So, the initial torque is software-limited, so when you go full throttle, there’s about 400 or so milliseconds of gradual increase – which, while it will definitely be felt by experienced riders, will not at all be a problem for casuals coming from a scooter, or out-right little to no riding experience. My guess on why they engineered it that way is that this would stop accidentally dropping your Metacycle at launch, which, while it would be very unlikely for seasoned riders, is a safety consideration, nonetheless. Welcome to some, not to others.
Moving on to top sustained speed, both of us riders at our different body sizes, drag and weight saw a top speed of 75 mph in Sport mode. In normal drive mode, top speed is capped at 65 mph. Once the Meta gets to that speed, it wouldn’t go any faster. For me, it sustained that top speed of 75 mph for a good 10 seconds before settling gradually to low 70s, still at full throttle. And now’s a good time to talk about the fact that Sport mode has a strange feature that, while it unlocks the most torque out of your Meta, is initially a bit hit-or-miss trying to catch when it will turn itself off, whether you’re at lower, 40mph, or when you’re close to max speed. Neither the owner or I were able to put an exact time or pattern of deactivation on it, but for me, the last time I tested it, it stayed on for about a minute or so, then I saw it turn off abruptly, dropping the sustained performance instantly. Good to note that it turned off while I was at max 75 mph speed, during my last sustained speed test.
I was closing in on a stop sign, so I decided to release the throttle in advance before braking, speaking of which, let’s move on to the question of whether the Metacycle has Regen braking or not.
So the quick answer is No. No matter what that slight drag was that I felt was, we have information from a Sondors employee about there being no regen braking on any Metacycle as of this week. So… Even if there’s resistance in the motor when the throttle is released, it’s not regenerating any charge back to it. So, there’s that.
But essentially the moment you release the throttle, it feels like you deployed a kid-size parachute with holes punched in, so while you feel some drag, it’s not strong – at least nowhere near as strong as, say, an electric car.
The brakes on the Metacycle are not as conventional as a regular motorcycle. Hmm, Let me explain. See, the Metacycle is built like a scooter or a bicycle. So the rear brake is on the left handle instead of a brake pedal, while the front brake is on the right handle.
The brakes are quite noisy as though they aren’t well lubricated. I spoke to the owner about it, and he agreed and, said as a matter of fact, he had already considered changing out the brake fluid for something thicker, to dampen that noise.
The seat is okay at best for short commutes on less-than-poor roads, but after a few minutes on a trip, I found myself adjusting, trying to find comfort. After about 30 minutes on the road, you do start to feel ready to get off for a quick standing break. The seat feels narrow and could use more padding and width. So third-party modders, keep that in mind and thank me later, better yet, give me 7% royalty in perpetuity on sales.
Sondors did say they plan on offering passenger pegs, for the Metacycle, but with the size of the bike and the seat losing some real estate to that slant design, I just don’t see how a second person could safely AND comfortably fit behind a rider. With the padding wearing thinner and thinner as it nears the rear edge of the body, it gets less and less comfortable to sit.
Nonetheless, I just don’t think it’s possible for two to ride the Metacycle.
Suspension is stiff and a rider my weight and height would benefit from more compression dampening for better-extended comfort while riding. Sitting on the Meta sinks down the seat and shocks proportional to your weight, The owner at under a hundred and fifty pounds says his rides feel stiff and rugged, and I at over 250 lbs feel that there’s no longer enough dampening left for me on rough roads. So I’d say the sweet spot would be a rider between a hundred and fifty to a hundred and 180 pounds.
Suspension is not adjustable as an available feature with the Metacycle, but I’m sure owners with time and experience will tweak it to their liking.
I always wondered, but never found this question answered anywhere. What does the Metacycle actually sound like? I attempted to capture this, and don’t mind the wind noise, but here goes.
So yea, nothing too spectacular there, There are other electric motorcycles that have a cool wheezing sound to the motor, but Sondors obviously did not have that R&D budget in mind when building this budget-friendly bike. Eh… All good.
So, let’s talk about the phone charger compartment a bit because I noticed something I didn’t expect with it. I didn’t get to record this, but I tried putting my phone inside and closing it, but it wouldn’t even fit in. I own an iPhone 13 Pro Max as of the time of this entry, with a case on that I wouldn’t really consider bulky at all. And… yea, it just didn’t make it in the accepted phone size to keep in that compartment for Sondors. I’m a bit disappointed in that, but it’s no biggie. I’ll be slotting that in my MetaRack  from metarack.io. If you don’t know about the MetaRack, it’s a brand-new bag built for the void of the Metacycle, only 300 of those are being manufactured and shipped, and preorders have started and will end once that limit has been reached. A down payment of a hundred dollars secures one for you, more information about that in my review I’ll post a link to it on the top right corner. But, yeah, I was very, very surprised that my use case and my phone out of all the other ones, didn’t fit in.
I could go on and on, but you know I’ll cover anything I may have missed here in another entry, just say the word in the comment section, but for now, I’ll give my honest, much much better informed, take the Metacycle.
If you’re looking for sport bike specs, torque, top speed, handling, seat positioning, positioning, and shocks, this is not it.
If however, you’re simply wanting to take a fun cruise by the shore, do quick errands or a decent commute to work and back, this is plenty of power, range, and cool factor to cover either of those scenarios.
You’re not carrying this on the highway and attempting to overtake other vehicles. While the Metacycle is highway-legal, you don’t want to get anyone aggro, riding on this because you simply will not be able to outpace tailgaters.
Though absolutely No bike is ever really safe, the Metacycle, being an EV with relatively no audible noise to alert drivers of your presence on a busy highway, you want to take extra safety precautions, and render yourself extra visible through your choice of gear.
But at the same time, again, being an EV, you get to hear things you never could before – like the sound of a car coming from behind, and to be more spatially aware, since it’s a silent ride.
The seating is by far my biggest complaint about the Metacycle. And the suspension, not far behind, is my next one. I’m on the taller and weightier end of the spectrum, at 6 foot 3 and just over 250 pounds, big-boned and can’t do much about it, and riding the Metacycle, if I have to be honest, is definitely not the most comfortable of rides. It’ll make you want to take breaks often to avoid a bad back. The larger you are, the thinner it seems for you as a rider, and there simply isn’t enough seat real estate to comfortably… I’m just gonna say it as it is… rest those royal cheeks on.
Both I and the owner, who’s been a faithful rider since the early 90s, agree that from our perspective and experience, The Metacycle’s tuning is just not the best. Some things need a bit more travel, others need some tightening or some lubrication. But as a package, it’s definitely appealing.
Is the Metacycle worth the price tag of $5000 dollars ($5700 dollars to be exact with the not-so-white glove delivery fee) it was preordered for? YEA! Is it worth it at the new, upped price of $6500 dollars (or around $7000 – $7200 dollars with the delivery fee?) YEA!! You get a lot more thrill from the Sondors Metacycle than that eBike at the same price in your neighbor’s garage parked beside his Porsche Taycan.
This might sound off to some, but follow me, I promise it’ll make sense. So… The Sondors Metacycle is by far one of the best looking AND performing electric SCOOTERS today. Yes, because of its looks, most people have the Metacycle in the wrong category when it comes to what it’s supposed to replace in your collection, and where it was meant to fit in the market. The Sondors may have done a poor marketing job making it seem like it’s the future of motorcycles – it’s a scooter, with a really futuristic, cool motorcycle frame on it.
All in all, after riding this Metacycle, I can absolutely tell you that it is well worth the wait and that if you preordered yours, without any false expectations, and forfeiting the obviously overestimated claims from Sondors, you will be very very satisfied with your purchase.
The bike is just a head-turner and a conversation starter. I mean, in the short 3 hours I had with it, I must have sold a handful of onlookers to Sondors for free, just answering their questions.
If you have more questions unanswered or if I missed anything good to note, I’ll be doing a follow-up review, so now’s the time to slap those questions in the comment section while they’re fresh on your mind.
I hope you enjoyed today’s review, if you did, a sub to this channel would be super appreciated.
Thanks for watching, look out for my next review entry of the Metacycle head-to-head with the Ryvid Anthem, and until next time, this has been Trevor with MetaReady, signing out.