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Why The Slingshot Is Not Your Average Three-Wheeled Motorcycle

Vehicles, and more importantly motorcycles, that blow your mind in terms of design and performance don’t come by very often, which is why the Slingshot stands out among the recent launches in the automotive industry. Motor enthusiasts describe the Slingshot motorcycle as a Batmobile that’s like a hybrid between a motorcycle and a Ferrari. The three-wheeled moto roadster draws its inspiration from original motorcycles’ designs to create something unique: a high-performance two-seater that moves like a Ferrari.

What started off as a project to attract thrill-seeking drivers who have no access to off-road trails (i.e. city dwellers) quickly developed into a well-balanced machine with a lightweight chassis and a single-wheel rear-drive system. Though it resembles a sports car, the Slingshot is actually a reverse trike, with two wheels in the front and a single drive wheel in the rear. It has a steering wheel and twin bucket seats. The driver and passenger wear motorcycle helmets and use seatbelts.

Although it is better known for its four-wheeled off-road vehicles like ATVs, Polaris has been hard at work developing this three-wheeler with a serious appetite for performance. With its open-air performance, the Slingshot might just become your favorite weekend road runner.

In fact, you might not ever feel closer to the road than in this vehicle, which is technically classified as a three-wheeled motorcycle. The open-air cockpit, underpinned by a high-strength steel spaceframe, sits a mere 5 inches above the ground. That’s half the size of your average Philly cheesesteak. And despite Slingshot’s list of performance parts, its most impressive aspect is its featherweight imprint.

The Slingshot’s calling card is its duality, imparting lust or revulsion depending on the onlooker, but always sparking chatter. Why the fuss? Because the Slingshot is flamboyant. And because three-wheeled vehicles have always been side-eyed, viewed as compromised in a world where the good stuff is laser-focused.


Driving a Slingshot is a dual experience: one on the outside and the other on the inside of the vehicle.

The first thing you notice is how many people stop and stare as you go by. Kids wave while adults tend to lower their windows and raise their sunglasses. If you enjoy being the center of attention and having total strangers come up and start conversations, the Slingshot is for you because everyone — seriously, everyone — asks about it.

On the inside, the triangular stance of the Slingshot is stable and responsive. It’s a joy to take on winding country roads or even on the freeway, where it cruises easily at speeds up to 95 mph.

But What Gives the Slingshot its Power?

But what gives the Slingshot its power

However, and this is an important distinction, while most car drivers will feel at home in the Slingshot, it becomes less of a car and more of a motorcycle when you’re driving it. In fact, riding a motorcycle is a constant, hands-on experience. You can’t put it on cruise control and lay back with a soft drink and one finger on the wheel. You have to ride it all the time.

Riding the Slingshot is pretty much the same. With the exception of a small windscreen that deflects most of the air streaming over the hood, you’re basically out in the open, with no doors, no windows, no roof. Almost like a free bird feeling the wind in your hair. As on a motorcycle, you’re living in the moment, feeling both vulnerable and adventurous, and motor enthusiasts will love this feeling.


With ample storage (for a motorcycle), you also have space behind both seats, each large enough to stow a helmet and basic necessities.

slingshot floor mat

You also don’t have to worry about protecting the seats if it rains. The seats of the Slingshot are waterproof. You can also invest in good quality slingshot floor mats that are waterproof, heat resistant, and durable in extreme weather conditions as well.

Slingshot mats from F1Mats promise high-quality premium leather mats that provide 98% floor coverage with 5 layer technology and are heatproof with transmission tunnel heat protection.

These mats are perfect for when you take your slingshot on the freeways since they protect your original carpets from dust, debris, and sand at those high speeds and are super easy to clean.

Slingshots vs. Other Vehicles

The Slingshot is a three-wheel vehicle equipped with a five-speed manual transmission. It handles differently than two-wheel motorcycles and other three and four-wheel vehicles. Operating and handling the Slingshot is different from operating and handling other on-road vehicles.

With a low center of gravity, one rear drive wheel, and two front wheels, the unique handling characteristics of the Slingshot include more stability in turns, vehicle stability at rest, flat cornering, turns in the direction of the wheel, and a quick response to steering changes.

Like all on-road vehicles, the Slingshot can hydroplane and lose traction when encountering a layer of water on the driving surface. Every vehicle has a unique hydroplane speed and response, driven by vehicle weight, tire configuration, and tire condition. The Slingshot may hydroplane at lower speeds and react differently to hydroplaning than most motorcycles and cars.

For a vehicle that runs on three wheels, the slingshot is a rather comfortable vehicle. Perfect for either a quick grocery run or a long drive upstate, it is bound to attract both motorcycle riders looking for something different and car drivers seeking a taste of motorcycle excitement. Whichever your preference, you’re in for a good time on the road because the Polaris Slingshot is definitely the most fun you can have on three wheels.

Protect your Slingshot with customized mats from F1Mats. Check out our Slingshot Mats collection here.

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