This summer has definitely been an eventful one. What was going to be a simple summer filled with scheduled car reviews, took a turn towards a path to 2 wheels. I was given the chance to review the 2018 Polaris Slingshot SLR and this was not one I would want to miss out on. If you aren’t sure what the Polaris Slingshot is, it is a 3 wheeled motorcycle or also referred to an as autocycle. There are a few types of these you may see zipping by on the road. The Slingshot has two wheels in the front and one in the back. When it comes to driving one, it is manual transmission and it is driven with a steering wheel like a car. So far sounds fun huh, but before you get yourself to a dealer to buy one, you need to know how the law views this fun machine. And that is where our journey begins….

Ready to Ride or Some Leg Work, Depending on Your State

The Polaris Slingshot is a vehicle that one would love to get behind the wheel of, but you’ll need to make sure you are ready legally to drive one. You see depending on where you live, your Department of Motor Vehicles may say you’ll need more than your car license to use one. This is definitely the case in New York State. In New York, you need a M class to use a Slingshot in the state (why is beyond me since it really drives like a car!). And this was the journey I had to quickly take if I was going to be able to review the Slingshot legally. I quickly headed to my local DMV after reading the manual before taking the written (electronic) test (scored 18 out of 20 right, booyah!), which provided me a motorcycle learner’s permit. Next I found an MSF course in my area, taking (and passing) this course would get me an automatic pass go to M class on my license.

I was able to find one in Newburgh and during one grueling 98-99 degree weekend on a hot black top in a long-sleeved shirt, I was able to go through and pass the course. We went through 14 exercises over two days, which included a mix of classroom information and a lot of on-hand maneuvers. You can literally go from never ridden a motorcycle before to being able to effectively (but still a newbie) maneuver a motorcycle on straightaways, turns, cornering, and learning a very important function “the friction zone!”. After a grueling two days in the heat I passed the evaluation test and was able to get my Class M! Now it was time to prepare for the Slingshot!

A Long Ride from Long Island, NY

Now time for the ride! In the weeks leading up to the pick up date of the Slingshot, I acquired a motorcycle helmet, and some gloves. Technically I picked up a whole other item as well, but I’ll save that for another post. Normally when I review cars it is arranged to be drop off somewhere neutral, but with this one they couldn’t do that (honestly I don’t know why it couldn’t be brought into the city, but it’s in the past now). The only place there was one stored for in Staten Island, NY. I live in Orange County, NY so that trek was long! Once I finally made it, I had to drive back from Staten Island to Orange, talk about a lengthy break in period! I figured I’d make a day of it, so I made a few stops. I had another press appointment in the city so I stopped there first. The ride to the city was fun but slow as there was heavy traffic. This however let me get a feel for the controls of the Slingshot along the way. The SLR version had plenty of tech that you might not see on a motorcycle but would in a car. There is Bluetooth connection for your phone, radio, and navigation.

Once I arrived in the city, it was immediate confirmation that the Slingshot grabs attention! Every red light you could just feel and see the fingers pointing, the eyes glazing, and the curiosity peeked of those around you. When I parked outside of the press appointment I had, no longer than 5 minutes out of it did I notice people walking up to it and taking pictures. This would be a recurring thing throughout my time with it. If you are riding in a Polaris Slingshot, don’t stop moving haha. If you have somewhere you need to be, keep in motion as the moment you stop, people love to come take pictures and ask questions about it (few brave souls even asked to get in or take a picture in it!).

After a few more stops I hit the highway and head upstate. I will tell you this right off the bat, as fun as it is to ride…drive (so confusing haha, you ride a motorcycle but drive a car…so what would it be for the Slingshot hah) the Slingshot at highways speeds with a helmet on for an extended period time is downright torture! Cruising by at 65-70mph for about an hour plus just didn’t feel good. I was wearing a full face helmet and I don’t know if it was the enclosed pressure or the Slingshot is even lower to the ground than a motorcycle so the wind experience is different. Whatever it was after that hour I was so done with the Slingshot and my helmet!

Made for the Weekend, Not the Work Week

Okay after my dramatic first experience aside, the Slingshot is a really fun vehicle to own. It was perfect to use on a weekend fun ride through the mountains up where I live. It is made for some cool straightaways and whipping it through some mountain curves. Also if you are in town, just cruising by. I will say if you aren’t someone who doesn’t like attention, this isn’t the vehicle you want to be in. You become a mini celeb when you cruise around in the Polaris Slingshot. Every stop sign, red light, or parked position invites attention, pictures taken, and possibility questions asked.

Now while the weekends are perfect for a fun drive anywhere you choose, a weekday commuter vehicle this is not. And that isn’t to say this autocycle has any flaws against in this regards, but I just don’t think this would be something I would want to ride to and from work everyday. For one the helmet issue I mentioned earlier, I couldn’t do that to myself daily. Now when you take the helmet off (yes I had to for some short periods) oh man it felt great and I totally love hitting a highway at speed and was comfortable, though the winds gets to you a little. But yes I couldn’t see this as a daily driver. This is definitely a vehicle you would have in your collection of vehicles owned and you’d break it out for some summer time joy rides.

One Expensive Toy

So you probably have seen them around by now, zipping by on the streets or hanging out any kind of bike or car event and thinking this is something you want to own. Let me be the first to tell you, this isn’t for the budget conscious. Unlike like a decent looking motorcycle which you can get anywhere from $5000-$10,000, the Polaris Slingshot starts out at $19,999 for the Slingshot S model. For the model we reviewed the SLR, that starting price is $28,999. That is a lot of moolah for a vehicle you have to get a separate class for on your license (in some states) and have to wear a helmet to ride (again in some states). At that price it isn’t an impulse buy unless your household income is already up there and you have the cash to spend.

Now if you income allows and you are looking for a fun weekend vehicle, the Polaris Slingshot SLR is something I’d definitely recommend. Fun to drive, decent on gas, and a little more storage (two storage compartments in the back of the seats and one enlarged glovebox) than say a motorcycle would. You’ll definitely be the talk of the town wherever you go and the thrill increases with the wind rush as you get moving. Let us know what you think of the Slingshot and check out our video overview below!

You May Also Like