In the middle of 2014, Polaris announced the debut of the Slingshot, a three-wheeled autocycle that instantly challenged everyone’s definition of “motorcycle.” The company was and remains adamant that the Slingshot is a three-wheeled motorcycle. Many two-wheeled riders beg to differ. Whatever your stance, however, it’s undeniable that the Slingshot has become a mainstay of the new motorcycle market.
Thanks to its three-wheel setup and many vehicle regulations that make no distinction between two- and three-wheeled machines, the Slingshot offers an open-air riding experience with many of the comforts of a sports car. It blends bucket seats, a steering wheel, power steering, seatbelts, and the front-end aesthetic of an automobile with features typically reserved for motorcycles including a single rear wheel, belt final drive, and aluminum swingarm. Since the Slingshot first came to market, Polaris has developed a number of variants.
The latest Slingshots are powered by 1,997cc ProStar 2.0L four-cylinder engines, have automatic or manual transmission options, are suspended by dual shocks at the rear and a double wishbone setup at the front. Riders are encouraged to go further by adding sound systems, performance upgrades, and lighting enhancements, among countless other accessory improvements. It’s a versatile machine with unique appeal for riders who have never thrown a leg over a two-wheel motorcycle and will likely be a segment standard for a long time to come.