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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all,

I'm thinking about buying a Slingshot, but tend to investigate the crap out of things before I pull the trigger, so I'm hoping your experience and insights can help finalize my decision one way or the other.

Quick background - I live in Issaquah, WA and just started a new job in Fremont. It's a 25 mile commute, mostly freeway, that can take anywhere from 45-90 minutes depending on traffic and time of day. I've been investigating options to use the HOV lane most days, which will save a significant chunk of time each way, but don't want to ride a 2 wheeler in our weather. I just finished a CanAm 3-wheeler training course and am looking at Spyder RTs, but the Slingshot, in particular the GT, seems like it would be a little more protected in the rain and cold.... that, and it drives like a car, which I'm waaay more comfortable with (I'd never ridden a motorcycle before the CanAm course, but I've been known to race a go-kart or three).

So, the questions -
- Is there anyone out there that daily drives a Slingshot in the Seattle weather, like the rains we've had this past week? Is it livable? What gear do you wear to keep you warm and dry?
- I'm told single rider Slingshots in Washington can legally use the HOV lanes, but I've heard cops may pull them over anyway. If I've got a helmet on and stay close enough to the speed limit (not hard with the morning traffic!), will I be hassled much?
- I see a lot of commentary about how bad the Slingshot handles in the wet (hydroplaning the rear). Does decent rubber solve that? Are freeway speeds reasonably safe in the wet? (Are there aftermarket wings that produce noticeable downforce at speed and help with the hydroplaning?)
- Where's the best dealer in this area? I haven't found a GT in stock anywhere within 500 miles of Seattle, and the dealers around here all list at MSRP, while others on the East coast advertise $4-5k off MSRP. I suppose I could order from another state and have one shipped, but I'd prefer to support local businesses if a reasonable one exists. As I'm only looking for a simple commuter, would it make more sense to buy a SL, then add a roof and taller windshield, rather than shop for GTs?
- Can anyone give me an idea how big the storage boxes behind the seats are? I haven't found dimensions anywhere. Could I fit a full backpack and helmet in one box? Are the boxes lockable?

Many thanks for any help you can provide.

B-
 

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Its good that you are doing your homework. No matter how good the rubber is, that rear wheel will spin if you are not careful with the pedals so thats a hard question to answer. I asume you are not looking at this as a full time commuter? Any good rainsuit will keep you dry, particlarly if you have a tall windshield and roof. I'd suggest you visit a dealer, take a look at storage space to see if it suits you. They do lock. Once you've made up your mind, look for used ones. Several out there now and I suspect you might bargain the price down a bit.
 

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There are some tires that grip in the rain better than others, but since the back end of the SS is so light, you will still need to exercise caution when the roads are wet. At commuter speeds, there are no wings that will assist you with traction. They are "designed" for higher speeds. The storage boxes behind the seats will fit half helmets with visors, for sure, but I don't know about full size helmets as I don't wear one of those. Between both of those storage areas, you can certainly store more than most backpacks can handle, but you would have to split the backpack contents between the two storage areas. AND, those storage areas are NOT waterproof! So, whatever you put in there will need to be in a plastic bag to stay dry in the rain. There are specially made liners that fit right in the storage compartments that are waterproof, so you can purchase those... You may save some money buying a base SS and then adding a windshield and roof. There are a lot of windshield choices and they can run from $450.00 to $1,000 and a top/roof can run around $1,500.00 easily. Just figure those purchases in to your buying equation of base vs GT.
 

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For the little bit of riding in heavy rain that I've done on my trips to Canada, I have taken others' advice and turned off both traction control and electronic stability control. The incidents of Slingshots swapping ends in wet conditions are too numerous to ignore. Now driving through Banff National Park without the nannies engaged is considerably different than Seattle traffic which I avoid in all weather. I'm not sure I would be comfortable with that myself.

As far as law enforcement, if you wear a helmet on the interstates you shouldn't receive any undue attention. I was pulled over this summer in Tri-Cities by a Washington State Trooper who was pretty perturbed that I had removed my helmet coming into town in 104 degree weather. He ended up giving me a ticket for 5 over but no helmet violation. I didn't realize at the time that he didn't write me for the helmet so I didn't get the opportunity to have him clarify that. He was so pissed when I finally pulled over after, apparently several minutes of him following me with his lights on and finally hitting his siren to get my attention that I just yessired and nosirred until he let me go.

It's good that you're analyzing the Slingshot's commuter capabilities for your situation but don't forget about summer and sunny weekends. The fun factor is well worth the price of admission and I recommend pulling the trigger and don't look back!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, all, for the feedback.

@Ulflyer - I actually do intend the SS to be by primary commuter, using my '99 4Runner as backup on only the worst weather days, if it's liveable for that. The ultimate goal here is to reduce my commute time, so the more time I spend in the Runner, the less I'm in the HOV lane saving time.

@BikernDiver - Thank you for the info about the non-waterproof storage boxes. I'm shocked! Such a simple thing to waterproof them.. raise a lip, add a gasket... sounds like they may have been afterthoughts in the design process, and raises a red flag for me (where else did they skimp?).

@SlingLow - Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but the advice is to turn off the nannies in the rain? What do they do that creates a problem? I'd hope they save my butt if I hit a puddle at speed.

As for the cop, I imagine these things get a lot more attention than my old 4Runner does...will have to adjust my driving habits! :)

I totally expect that I'd enjoy the heck out of the thing in nicer weather, but can't justify the expense for a toy. If the commuting excuse justifies the purchase, then the rest will be icing on the cake! The kids are almost out of the house... would be a great excuse to take some roadtrips with the wife, if I can convince her to wear a helmet....

It definitely does sound like I need to get to out to Cliff's to see one in person and hopefully test drive... they only have one in stock at the moment. I just wish my local motorcycle dealer carried these things... 10 minute drive versus 90 to go check one out.

Thanks again. I will post back on my decision once I've seen one in person!

Cheers,
B
 

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WannaB: the storage boxes have a lip around the edge of the door. The top edge comes with a rubber gasket. I picked up a roll of foam at Lowes and run it around the rest . Have only been in hard rain for short period and none got in boxes. You'll prob want a tall windshield as well. Several makers out there but I'm partial to F4 products with hard coating that resists scratching. I'd suggest a top that comes as close to the windshield as possible .
 

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Click on the "Click to expand".

OK, we have a lil experience riding in the rain being in SW Oregon: 1578751946775.jpeg


So, the questions -
- Is there anyone out there that daily drives a Slingshot in the Seattle weather, like the rains we've had this past week? Is it livable? What gear do you wear to keep you warm and dry?
If you ride the SlingShot in the rain you are going to get wet and will want a good rain suit, there is no two ways around it. The last time we drove the Seattle area we found lots of standing water where the SlingShot does not do well where that rear tire can, and will, loose traction quite readily. Be alert, be prepared, and ride defensively with a light foot on both the accellerator and brake is the best advice.

- I'm told single rider Slingshots in Washington can legally use the HOV lanes, but I've heard cops may pull them over anyway. If I've got a helmet on and stay close enough to the speed limit (not hard with the morning traffic!), will I be hassled much?
I have no experience with SOV lanes, otherwise if you are wearing a helmet, I sincerely doubt that law enforcement will hassle you.

- I see a lot of commentary about how bad the Slingshot handles in the wet (hydroplaning the rear). Does decent rubber solve that? Are freeway speeds reasonably safe in the wet? (Are there aftermarket wings that produce noticeable downforce at speed and help with the hydroplaning?)
This depends, tires can, and do, make a difference, but you will need to take each ride as it happens, I sincerely doubt that any wing is going to make any significant difference. Like I said above, it will be the standing water that will be your nemesis.

As I'm only looking for a simple commuter, would it make more sense to buy a SL, then add a roof and taller windshield, rather than shop for GTs?

Be forewarned, this is what happens with the windshield in the rain: 1578751447269.png ,Take my word for it, you will want a windshield in which you can look over.
Speaking strictly from a financial point of view, folks here have found it beneficial to purchase a lower model SlingShot and then modify it as needed, or desired. There are better suited tops other than what comes on the GT where honestly, I would be seeking out a low mileage used SlingShot if we were to purchase one today.


Can anyone give me an idea how big the storage boxes behind the seats are? I haven't found dimensions anywhere. Could I fit a full backpack and helmet in one box? Are the boxes lockable?
Depending on the size of the backpack, maybe it in one side and your helmet in another. There are also several other storage ideas if you search this site.
My one experience with the SlingShot suddenly sneaking out from underneath me was tooling along on the Interstate in the rain at 60-65MPH, things were just fine until I hit a little river of several inches of water crossing the road and before I could even think I was sashaying across both lanes. Luckily I kept the SlingShot on the road. That was before I learned about shutting off the traction control when it gets wet and have not had such an experience since, but still very aware that it can still happen.

Best of luck!

Bill
 

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@SlingLow - Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but the advice is to turn off the nannies in the rain? What do they do that creates a problem? I'd hope they save my butt if I hit a puddle at speed.
That is correct. The theory is that with a 3 wheel platform, and the rear wheel in the center track, when a single wheel hits standing water or hydroplanes it cause the nannies to brake unpredictably causing the driver to lose control. I've seen pics of the results which have ranged from smacking the center divider to plowing through trees on the shoulder. Reports are that it happens VERY quickly, and even reducing speed may not prevent it. You heard from @wjfyfe above, a year-round Oregon rider who has a lifetime of experience driving in poor conditions.
When this happened to him, his comment was 'before I could even think'. I did hit standing water without problems when I had the nannies off but I was also doing 35-45 mph and was paying very close attention for any loss of traction. I also had a brand new General rear tire at the time. Turning off the nannies is not complete prevention, it just puts control firmly in the drivers' hands.
 

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Slinglow: Really good to know. I've been slinging for some time and had no idea. In fact, assumed use of TC was just the opposite. Learn something every day.............Thanks.
 

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Just passing on what I have read and learned from others. I am not the authority on this. I am a fair weather rider in town but have been in serious rain when on trips. As always, 'try this at your own risk'.
 

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To see how water proof the slingshot is the video attached is a guy who took his slingshot threw a car wash and everything was dry.
 

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After getting caught in rain during a night ride and pulling in to a gas station to wait next to a pump for the rain to lighten up, I went back on the Interstate and hit more rain. I had slowed to around 45 mph and shifted over to the second lane from the right to place me with at least a couple lanes on each side. I hit a little ponded water and immediately started to go sideways with my rear-end sliding over into the lane to my left. There wasn't anybody approaching in that lane, but I'm sure the guy coming up behind me in the lane to my right had an unpleasant feeling watching me start to skid around. Fortunately, I managed to recover w/o incident and took the next exit and continued on at an even lower speed in the service road until the rain had stopped and I could get back on the Interstate to get home at a reduced speed. At the time, I had around 30,000 miles on my Slingshot and I had experienced 2 skids on wet roads and one time on a dry road where it felt like the rear-end wanted to go sideways, but didn't (oil?).
I try to avoid driving in rain, but if caught during a ride, I always slow down to as slow a speed as I think is safe considering other traffic. If necessary, I just pull over and look for a covered spot to wait. All of my potential skid experiences have been with the TC ON, so maybe I should try turning it off when driving in rain. I should probably also mention that I was running wider tires ranging from 275 - 295 at that time and don't remember exactly which tire/size I had at the time. Since I installed my Hahn Turbo at just over 35,000 miles, I've run a 305 or 315 wide tire and now have over 56,000 miles on my 2015 Slingshot.
 
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