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With the Polaris Slingshot being a brand new product, I decided to join the forum to read what others are saying, and to share my own perspective.
While I appreciate cars, motorcycles, and off-road vehicles, I'm not your typical gear head that cares to wrench on a vehicle to squeeze out extra performance, or be the one reciting the technical manual at the local watering holes. I do like performance. I do like style. I do like unique. And I do like to have fun.
With that said, I first saw the SS at International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach Ca. a few weeks ago. At first sight, I thought it was very cool, ultra futuristic looking, and clearly something you could have fun in. After spending about an hour looking it over, climbing in and out, and talking to a Rep from Polaris corporate offices, I was sold. With no idea how many were being shipped or how many people were already waiting, I started calling around to authorized dealers listed on the SS website. All of them had multiple deposits, and no idea when they would be receiving shipments. The sad news was that every dealership in Southern Ca. is charging a premium to be one of the first recipients. Rather than throw down a deposit with no guarantees that I would get one, I resigned myself to the idea that I would have to wait until demand died down a little. To my surprise, when the first one arrived at Temecula Motorsports, the first guy in line backed out, and they called me. I was at the dealership within an hour doing paperwork, and pleased to say, got the first one delivered to the area. While I did have to pay a premium, it wasn't as steep as all the other dealers I called. I ended up paying MSRP plus $2200 for "setup and freight". I figure the setup and freight were the premium since setup consists of bolting on mirrors, which incidentally, I had to remove and reinstall when I got home so they were positioned correctly.
My first impression when I saw my SS at the dealership was WOW, this thing is cool. From the bat mobile or X-wing fighter front profile to the styled cockpit, rear wing, and low profile tires, this thing looks like fun. This thing looks like it is doing 70mph just sitting there. Not being able to test drive one in advance, I only had You Tube videos and this forum as my measuring stick on what I was about to experience. I hopped in, made myself comfortable, got familiar with the interior, and fired it up. I have to admit, I was hoping for a little beefier sound when the engine came to life, but I understand emissions. Next was putting it in gear and beginning the inaugural cruise. The clutch was very comfortable and it shifted into gear with ease. Again, not being a gear head, I rely on how the vehicle feels initially to establish comfort level. I found that releasing the clutch (even after not driving manual transmission for a long time) was very forgiving, and the vehicle responded well. The first sort of surprise I got was upon acceleration. I wasn't expecting so much noise from the rear of the vehicle. I now know that it is belt whine, and that is "normal". Through research, I found out that the SS is shipped with the belt a little tight, and as it breaks in, the belt will stretch a little, and hum will go away. One of the service techs and I checked the tension of the belt to make sure it wasn't too tight. While at the upper end of the acceptable specifications, it was within tolerance levels. After leaving the dealership, I headed for the closest winding road to see if this new toy was a keeper. I went straight to Highway 74 (Ortega Highway), and man that was fun!! The SS handled the hills and turns like a champ. Although I didn't really push the SS, I did stretch a little to see how it would handle in the turns. It was a unique feeling at first. The front tires felt glued to the road pulling me through the turns while the rear tire was pushing yet feeling like it was being pulled at the same time. Odd explanation I know, but can't think of another way to express it. The rear end feels light, and as though it is going to break loose at any moment, but it stays planted most of the time.
With my first trip complete, and after surviving Ortega Highway, it was time to go show the vehicle to a few friends. I've had many really nice cars and motorcycles, but the looks and attention the SS is getting is beyond compare. In Southern Ca., there are $100k cars everywhere that barely generate a glance, but this vehicle priced in the mid 20's turns all heads. Men, Women, and Children are going out of their way to take a look. It is my estimation that the fist accident reported will be one where somebody was trying to drive next to the SS and take a picture at the same time. At every stoplight, parking lot, and local gathering spot, a crowd forms, and the questions start. Usually, what is that? Who makes it? Is it a car or motorcycle? What engine does it have? How much does it cost? And then the big question...... Can I take a picture? Not gonna lie, the attention is kind of cool.
Like any first year production vehicles, I expect that there will be some bugs to work out. Unfortunately, I've had to take mine in a couple times already. The other unfortunate thing is, other than some online certification training, the local dealerships haven't had any hands on experience with the SS. As a result, the trips to the dealership have been an exercise in learning, with me helping/learning with them. The first trip to the dealership was because the LED brake light in the tail fin wasn't working. The technician and I ultimately removed enough plastic to determine that the tail light hadn't been plugged in before being shipped from the factory. As a side note, the other unit shipped to this dealership had the same issue so it wasn't unique to mine. Next trip to the dealership was for two things. First there is a squeak or plastic against plastic rubbing in the steering column. After the tech and I disassembled the column, it appears as though the housing where the horn mechanism is located, is somehow rubbing against the steering wheel. There is no adjustment so the dealership had to open an inquiry with Polaris via the Ask Polaris process. I'm waiting for feedback. The other issue on the second visit was related to the hood latches. The SS has 4 hood latches, and unfortunately, when the hood is shut, the latches aren't engaging. I found this out going down the freeway at 65+ mph and the hood got air under it causing it to open at speed. Fortunately, I was able to react and grab the hood just as it started to rise, and held onto it until I could get to the side of the road. Again, the Technician didn't know how to address the issue. There isn't really anyway to adjust the latch so you just have to make sure to go to all 4 latch points, and make sure you press them until they click. Via the Ask Polaris process, they said they hadn't heard of this issue, but after reading through this forum, I've seen other examples of the same thing. Still waiting for a resolution on that one too. The third trip to the dealership was related to leaking fluid. It appears as though I have an intermittent coolant leak. Unfortunately, it leaked when I got to the dealership so they saw that it was dripping, but couldn't recreate it. Through the diagnostic process, they did find that most of the contact points on the coolant lines hadn't been tightened or torqued so the line was moving around a lot. We couldn't see where anything was leaking though. The net result was them giving me a bottle of coolant to carry with me, and another Ask Polaris inquiry. Not comfortable with driving around knowing that the vehicle could and probably will overheat, I spent time looking at every possible point of failure, and located the leak at the top of the coolant return line at point where the aluminum return line goes into standard hose. Either the hose is cracked or the spring clamp is bad. Can't see it so I have both parts on order.
I have a couple more points of criticism before giving my overall impression. First, I noticed that the plastic body panels are picking up light surface scratches very easily. I would recommend not using any type of cloth to polish the vehicle unless it is already completely dust free or you will start to see scratches in the clear coat. Unfortunately, having to go check the latches on the hood to make sure it is closed at all 4 points requires you to put your hands on the hood leaving hand and finger prints, which need to be wiped down to keep the vehicle shining. Next, the radio/backup camera screen unit is just sitting in the hole and not secured to anything. Likewise, I don't see a place to secure it. While it doesn't move around, it is also not very secure. I guess this will be another Ask Polaris inquiry. I'm really not trying to sound like a diva, but the edges of the fenders and body panels are very rough to the touch. I can't tell if it is just paint overspray collecting at the edges, or if the plastic was painted before being smoothed out. This one isn't really a big deal as the vehicle still looks plenty cool as is. Lastly, as a 6'1" guy, I would like the windshield to be about an inch higher to reduce wind buffeting, and I'm sure there will be plenty of aftermarket options to address this.
If you are still with me after the multi chapter rant, then let me summarize what I think. This motorcycle is very cool from nose to tail. It looks awesome. It is very comfortable. It drives awesome. It has plenty of power. It is very forgiving when you over steer or over accelerate. Even with traction control on, it is easy to break the rear tire loose, but the front brings everything right back, and makes you feel like you are in control. Overall, I am happy I made the purchase, not so thrilled about the premium I had to pay, frustrated that I'm having some minor service issues, but after a week of driving it nonstop, I'm still trying to find reasons to go somewhere just so I can drive it more. I look forward to reading about other SS owner experience, and wait with anticipation to see what aftermarket goodies come out to enhance what is already a pretty cool, head turning, and unique vehicle.
 

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Great write up,QC.dose seem to be a problem.Can i ask what is your date of manufacture is?Thanks.P.s.leaking coolant will really piss me off!
 

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If you are still with me after the multi chapter rant, then let me summarize what I think.
Thanks for the review. The above line made me laugh. :)
 

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Thanks for the review!

This reinforces that polaris is rushing these things off the line and things are a little sloppy because of it. This is the first time I have heard about the paint being fragile. I would be a little worried if a cloth can damage it.
 

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Yes. they drove it into their garage. Only thing I saw that needed to be installed was the mirrors and the panel for the battery compartment. Dealer told me they have a long list of check list to go through before it could be sold. My dealer told me the setup fee would be around $400-$500.
If the dealer had actually performed the $500-predelivery inspection, wouldn't loose hoses and a non-functioning brake light been identified? Seems to me that all they did for $500 was incorrectly slap on the mirrors. I'm so accustomed to the buy-it-and-drive-it quality that I've experienced from Honda and Yamaha. This report makes me nervous. There's nothing more frustrating than for someone else to do their job poorly, and the consequences of their actions are now MY PROBLEM, not theirs. I can picture some young tattooed 22-year-old working on the Spirit Lake assembly line, distracted, hungover, and not passionate about the very product he's being compensated to produce, running his mouth and bragging about last night's adventure with "this chick". And the consequences of his actions (or inactions) will fall onto unsuspecting patrons such as ourselves who have just forked over $25-K. I usually don't rant like this, but I truely feel this way, and I'm betting I'm in good company with this viewpoint. Products that are marked "Made in Japan" are of consistently high quality, difficult to surpass. Why? Because in Japan, if you're a slacker, you not only dishonor yourself, but you bring shame and dishonor to your parents as well. This work ethic results in finished products that are exactly that... FINISHED. Every nut, bolt, screw, connector, seal, etc. has been check, rechecked and then inspected. Not a $500 pseudo-inspection. I'm an American and really want to buy American. But if I do "the right thing" and buy American, will I suffer the consequences? Guess I'm about to find out.

image.jpg
 

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Thanks for the write-up. Good to get more first hand experiences with this vehicle. I agree with you that $2200 is a steep premium when there are many dealers not charging any additional markup - freight or setup.
 

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As one with a little experience with both Indian and Victory motorcycles, it comes as no surprise that the clear coat on the Slingshot is easily scratched.

A little disheartening to hear about a tail light making it to the dealer, and then to the customer unplugged.
 

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If the dealer had actually performed the $500-predelivery inspection, wouldn't loose hoses and a non-functioning brake light been identified? Seems to me that all they did for $500 was incorrectly slap on the mirrors. I'm so accustomed to the buy-it-and-drive-it quality that I've experienced from Honda and Yamaha. This report makes me nervous. There's nothing more frustrating than for someone else to not doing their job correctly, and the consequences of their actions are now MY PROBLEM, not theirs. I can picture some young tattooed 22-year-old working on the Spirit Lake assembly line, distracted, hungover, and not passionate about the very product he's being compensated to produce, running his mouth and bragging about last night's adventure with "this chick". And the consequences of his actions (or inactions) will fall onto unsuspecting patrons such as ourselves who have just forked over $25-K. I usually don't rant like this, but I truely feel this way, and I'm betting I'm in good company with this viewpoint. Products that are marked "Made in Japan" are of consistently high quality, difficult to surpass. Why? Because in Japan, if you're a slacker, you not only dishonor yourself, but you bring shame and dishonor to your parents as well. This work ethic results in finished products that are exactly that... FINISHED. Every nut, bolt, screw, connector, seal, etc. has been check, rechecked and then inspected. Not a $500 pseudo-inspection. I'm an American and really want to buy American. But if I do "the right thing" and buy American, will I suffer the consequences? Guess I'm about to find out.
My mind's eye cannot fathom what 'this chick' would look like in Spring Lake, Iowa! :)

That said, I saw both and SL and Base at my local dealer today. And yes, the edges of the panels were noticeable. To me, it looked like a less than perfect paint job where extra paint collects at the edges. Perhaps it's where the plastic comes out of the molds. It's noticeable, but not that big a deal - again, $20K vehicle.

I'm expecting to wrap my panels so should be a moot point. I can see how it would bug some people.
 

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A substandard paint job would never cause an engine failure. But being stranded by a coolant leak would really suck! Makes me wonder "what else has been overlooked?"
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Great write up,QC.dose seem to be a problem.Can i ask what is your date of manufacture is?Thanks.P.s.leaking coolant will really piss me off!
Manufacture date is 11/2014. Leaking fluid and loose parts piss me off too. Not a sign of a tight quality control process.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the write-up. Good to get more first hand experiences with this vehicle. I agree with you that $2200 is a steep premium when there are many dealers not charging any additional markup - freight or setup.
I had hoped to avoid the premium. Unfortunately, the dealers choosing customer satisfaction over greed are not located in Southern Ca. I got mine for the lowest price anywhere within a 200 mile radius. The large mega dealer, Bert's MegaMall is charging $10k premium, and people are lining up to pay it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Leaking fluid , I can't wait to hear the fix for it or why it was leaking in the first place .
I found the leak. The coolant return line is an aluminum tube that runs along the bottom of the engine, up the back of the engine and along the firewall. Just before it returns to the thermostat, it transitions to a regular rubber coolant line. It is leaking at the connection. Can't tell if the rubber coolant line is cracked, if the spring clamp is misaligned, or if the connection worked its way loose because the solid part of the line wasn't secured when it left the factory. Regardless of the cause, I am requiring that the rubber coolant line and spring clamp be replaced. Parts are on order. Let's see how long they take to arrive. image.jpg
 
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