As a motorcycle magazine, Bike Nation is here to ride everything that has two wheels and tell our readers all about it. But what happens when something has three wheels and it’s still called a motorcycle? What if something like the Polaris Slingshot comes by? Well, we had a hard time making sense of this machine. Internationally and locally, it is classified as a motorcycle, it has a motorcycle licence plate and it is mandatory to wear a helmet while driving it. But it is anything bit a motorcycle. Don’t ask us, we’re baffled too.
Polaris celebrated 60 years of innovation back in 2014 and introduced the Slingshot, a 3-wheeled roadster designed to provide an entirely new on-road driving and riding experience. It has a fully waterproof interior that will survive a car wash. Bucket seats with three-point belts and forged aluminium roll hoops. To further distance it from the realm of being a motorcycle, it has a steering wheel and a five-speed manual transmission, with reverse.
It is powered by a General Motors Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of 173 horsepower and 225 NM of torque. That’s plenty of power to slide around every single roundabout with an overall dry weight of around 770 kilograms. The power delivery is linear but the drivetrain has a spongy feel to it which I assume has to be due to the setup which has a driveshaft that runs between the transmission and final-drive unit, which connects to the rear wheel via a carbon-fibre-reinforced belt.
The Slingshot has a completely open-air cockpit with an optional windshield available, which is about six inches tall and does a decent job keeping the wind and the bugs out of your face. Tall drivers will have a problem though as I did. Bending down a little helps.
In terms of Safety, the Slingshot comes standard with electronic stability and traction control, 3-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, LED taillights, forged aluminium roll hoops, and 3-point seat belts. The Slingshot can also be personalized with premium accessories like larger tyres with forged aluminium wheels, media console, windscreens and vehicle covers.
Retailing at around AED 105,000, the Slingshot is not cheap but then again, it isn’t a motorcycle, it is almost a car with decent thrill and performance on offer. This is for those winter weekends when all you want to do is drive and need something that offers that wind in your face experience and draws attention, a whole lot of it.