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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok. So bit of background. I currently drive an exotic. Call it 570hp and 3000 pounds. I'm selling it to save money for other ventures.

In the interim I am looking for something fast and fun. I initially was going motorcycle, then found the slingshot. Was/am considering an Atom also.

I live in California whose dmv is "challenging"

One of my deciding factors would be the ability to use the slingshot in HOV lane. I know if I go the slingshot route it will get a massive dose of boost and unsure a single 345 wide tire can handle. So looked at 4 wheel conversions.

Hypothetically, I buy a slingshot, add FI and/or engine swap then 4 wheel kit. Is there any precedent or expected precedent that by adding a 4th wheel it will no longer fall into a motorcycle classification?

Need to make a choice as to whether to get a "real" motorcycle, get a sling and get as much power as a 345 R compound rear can handle(still hov safe) or get a sling and up the HP to ludicrous speed with extra rear wheel.

If the 4 wheel conversion is gonna rack me up $500 per incident dmv hassles for HOV violations I would be pretty annoyed. I can imagine cops face when I show him my registration as "motorcycle" sitting in a 4 wheeled, "car" with all the things a "car" has. Best case he laughs and lets me go. Worst case lots of time/effort with dmv not including sunk cost into a 4 wheel conversion.

Anyone have experience or thoughts on this?
 

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You would literally have to re-engineer the entire vehicle. You are better off buying a used C3 ragtop and tossing a Magnusson on it that will blow away the "exotic" you are selling for less than the price to re-engineer the entire SS OR buy a Miata and do the flyin Miata V-8 swap, or better still the Exocet conversion and have a real race car on the street for under 20K Flyin' Miata



you would be hard pressed to be able to make the SS 4 wheel conversion work correctly, and IF for some reason you had the ability, you would be far too smart to even attempt something like that to "save money"
 

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You would literally have to re-engineer the entire vehicle. You are better off buying a used C3 ragtop and tossing a Magnusson on it that will blow away the "exotic" you are selling for less than the price to re-engineer the entire SS OR buy a Miata and do the flyin Miata V-8 swap, or better still the Exocet conversion and have a real race car on the street for under 20K Flyin' Miata



you would be hard pressed to be able to make the SS 4 wheel conversion work correctly, and IF for some reason you had the ability, you would be far too smart to even attempt something like that to "save money"
Ummm, there are 2 companies that have already done the hard work and have 4 wheel conversions available. (or will soon) Bullet Speed is already available and is $10k or $12k for the R-Spec. That would still put you a whole lot less than an atom, and be a whole lot cooler than ANY Miata.
 

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Ummm, there are 2 companies that have already done the hard work and have 4 wheel conversions available. (or will soon) Bullet Speed is already available and is $10k or $12k for the R-Spec. That would still put you a whole lot less than an atom, and be a whole lot cooler than ANY Miata.
The conversions that are out there are not great handlers - an Exocet would easily destroy one on the track
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are likely correct that a 4 wheel conversion would not have the engineering to beat any of it's competition at the track or a canyon run. Sling just wasn't designed to do it from factory.

The draw beyond the uniqueness is ability to use the HOV lane in traffic snarled California.

Am I alone in thinking once it has 4 wheels the hov lane is a nogo? Need to read CA statute.
 

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You are likely correct that a 4 wheel conversion would not have the engineering to beat any of it's competition at the track or a canyon run. Sling just wasn't designed to do it from factory.

The draw beyond the uniqueness is ability to use the HOV lane in traffic snarled California.

Am I alone in thinking once it has 4 wheels the hov lane is a nogo? Need to read CA statute.
Ahh I see. Not sure about CA. in Maryland a motorized vehicle with 4 wheels and over 50cc engine size is a car and can't use the HOV unless it has the correct number of occupants (2 in our case)
 

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Ok. So bit of background. I currently drive an exotic. Call it 570hp and 3000 pounds. I'm selling it to save money for other ventures.

In the interim I am looking for something fast and fun. I initially was going motorcycle, then found the slingshot. Was/am considering an Atom also.

I live in California whose dmv is "challenging"

One of my deciding factors would be the ability to use the slingshot in HOV lane. I know if I go the slingshot route it will get a massive dose of boost and unsure a single 345 wide tire can handle. So looked at 4 wheel conversions.

Hypothetically, I buy a slingshot, add FI and/or engine swap then 4 wheel kit. Is there any precedent or expected precedent that by adding a 4th wheel it will no longer fall into a motorcycle classification?

Need to make a choice as to whether to get a "real" motorcycle, get a sling and get as much power as a 345 R compound rear can handle(still hov safe) or get a sling and up the HP to ludicrous speed with extra rear wheel.

If the 4 wheel conversion is gonna rack me up $500 per incident dmv hassles for HOV violations I would be pretty annoyed. I can imagine cops face when I show him my registration as "motorcycle" sitting in a 4 wheeled, "car" with all the things a "car" has. Best case he laughs and lets me go. Worst case lots of time/effort with dmv not including sunk cost into a 4 wheel conversion.

Anyone have experience or thoughts on this?
Motorcycles legal in HOV lanes, but what about FasTrak?

it appears that California determines if you are driving a car or motorcycle by the type of license plate that they issue. I know I use HOV and toll roads with my SS and as of today I have not received any tickets or fines, but then again I have a motorcycle license plate. So it looks like unless you change your license plate you're probably ok.
 

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Motorcycles legal in HOV lanes, but what about FasTrak?

it appears that California determines if you are driving a car or motorcycle by the type of license plate that they issue. I know I use HOV and toll roads with my SS and as of today I have not received any tickets or fines, but then again I have a motorcycle license plate. So it looks like unless you change your license plate you're probably ok.
just make sure the license plate type does not change with the number of wheels. Safe bet = CALL C.H.P and ask
 

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Found this on the DMV website

A "motorcycle" is generally any motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for the rider, with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and weighing less than 1,500 pounds. Vehicle Code Section 400.

Looks like you might not get a ticket for the HOV violation but you'll probably get a ticket for not registering your SS as a automobile
 

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You are treading dangerous ground here, especially in Nancy Pelosi country.

Lets say you spend $8-12k converting it to 4WD (you will) and The Sunshine State DMV says "Nope, It has 4 wheels".

The next thing they will look at is the model year and say "Nope, it's a 2015/2016 and doesn't have airbags, you aren't registering it in the great state of CA as an automobile friendo".

That is 99.99% of what would happen. Then what do you do?
 

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Just get a motorcycle and HOV or split lanes. At least Nancy lets us split lanes.:)It's defintely a bummer sitting in freeway traffic toasting in the SS on hot day.
 

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Ok. So bit of background. I currently drive an exotic. Call it 570hp and 3000 pounds. I'm selling it to save money for other ventures.

In the interim I am looking for something fast and fun. I initially was going motorcycle, then found the slingshot. Was/am considering an Atom also.

I live in California whose dmv is "challenging"

One of my deciding factors would be the ability to use the slingshot in HOV lane. I know if I go the slingshot route it will get a massive dose of boost and unsure a single 345 wide tire can handle. So looked at 4 wheel conversions.

Hypothetically, I buy a slingshot, add FI and/or engine swap then 4 wheel kit. Is there any precedent or expected precedent that by adding a 4th wheel it will no longer fall into a motorcycle classification?

Need to make a choice as to whether to get a "real" motorcycle, get a sling and get as much power as a 345 R compound rear can handle(still hov safe) or get a sling and up the HP to ludicrous speed with extra rear wheel.

If the 4 wheel conversion is gonna rack me up $500 per incident dmv hassles for HOV violations I would be pretty annoyed. I can imagine cops face when I show him my registration as "motorcycle" sitting in a 4 wheeled, "car" with all the things a "car" has. Best case he laughs and lets me go. Worst case lots of time/effort with dmv not including sunk cost into a 4 wheel conversion.

Anyone have experience or thoughts on this?
Looks like you already found the problem to your solution ;)
 

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The 4 wheel conversions for the slingshot are cool. Since they have been introduced there has been absolutely zero proof that they are legal. The question of the legality of these conversions has been asked over and over without any real answer. It seems as if you just gotta register your Slingshot as stock (with 3 wheels) and hope nobody notices. As far as running in the motorcycle lane, that's lame. Even though Polaris gets around the "law" by calling the Slingshot a 3 wheeled motorcycle, it's not. I love motorcycles and the Slingshot. I would personally feel like a dick driving "not riding" one in the motorcycle lane.
 

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The problem is not Polaris, the problem is draconian laws. Polaris worked within the laws.

The problem is people putting their own spin on laws that don't make sense in an effort to make them make sense.

A bicycle with training wheels is a bicycle despite having four wheels. The same setup on a Harley Davidson motorcycle does not make it a car. Adding a wheel to a Slingshot does not make it a car.

Laws are supposed to be written in plain English to be easily understandable, yet the first year of law school is about understanding English...from there it gets worse, which is part of why laws are so convoluted and judges have excessive power.

Bottom line: It's a motorcycle until a judge or the DOT says it isn't, then it isn't--until the decision is over-ruled, then it is.
 

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The 4 wheel conversions for the slingshot are cool. Since they have been introduced there has been absolutely zero proof that they are legal. The question of the legality of these conversions has been asked over and over without any real answer. It seems as if you just gotta register your Slingshot as stock (with 3 wheels) and hope nobody notices. As far as running in the motorcycle lane, that's lame. Even though Polaris gets around the "law" by calling the Slingshot a 3 wheeled motorcycle, it's not. I love motorcycles and the Slingshot. I would personally feel like a dick driving "not riding" one in the motorcycle lane.
I'm just glad we don't have motorcycle lanes in CA, I'd probably feel like dick while riding my SS in one. On second thought maybe Nancy can include them in her next bill.:)
 

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The problem is not Polaris, the problem is draconian laws. Polaris worked within the laws.

The problem is people putting their own spin on laws that don't make sense in an effort to make them make sense.

A bicycle with training wheels is a bicycle despite having four wheels. The same setup on a Harley Davidson motorcycle does not make it a car. Adding a wheel to a Slingshot does not make it a car.

Laws are supposed to be written in plain English to be easily understandable, yet the first year of law school is about understanding English...from there it gets worse, which is part of why laws are so convoluted and judges have excessive power.

Bottom line: It's a motorcycle until a judge or the DOT says it isn't, then it isn't--until the decision is over-ruled, then it is.
I agree with you about the laws. As far as the Slingshot being a motorcycle, it's not even close. A Harley with training wheels still uses a twist throttle, still shifts with your foot, and you sit on the seat, not in it. The Slingshot is a car minus a roof and a wheel. It has two car seats, seat belts, you sit "in" it not "on" it. It uses a gas pedal, brake pedal and clutch pedal. It has a car engine and transmission. The shifter is the same as a car also. I understand why Polaris calls it a three wheeled motorcycle. It gets them around all the safety standards required for a car. I would bet if they didn't have to call it a three wheeled motorcycle, they wouldn't because it's not a motorcycle lol!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yep. Was just wondering if anyone had precedent in California on this. It's either a 3 wheel sling with a 345 out back or a motorcycle. Right now leaning to motorcycle because I can still do trackdays and also lanesplit/hov.

Does anyone know what sort of power a single 345 rear can handle? Im guessing 350 hp at the wheel would be managable so about 375-400 crank.
 

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I was under the impression that converting the Slingshot to a four-wheel vehicle would require it being registered as a home-built kit-car. I use the term kit-car because with four wheels, it would certainly seem to no longer qualify as a motorcycle.
I would certainly expect a four-wheel Slingshot to be much more capable of handling extra HP, but I wonder what happens to the ABS, TC and Stability Control systems?
 

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different states define "motorcycle" differently. thus reason why some states dont consider SS a motorcycle.

that said. california defines motorcycle as having three wheels on the ground. the 4 wheeled harleys argument is not valid because that is technically illegal in California. same with motorcycle side cars. there are no sidecars with two wheels to make the motorcycle "4 wheels". because that would be illegal.

there are no law limiting number of wheels on a bicycle in california.

4 wheels on a ss would technically considered a kit-car, especially since the drivetrain has been modified.

of course, being one that would probably get the 4wheel conversion in the future, i would eventually apply for the kit registration. but in the meantime, run with the motorcycle reg until then.

in the end, California DMV sees you as a motorcycle. unless DMV does an inspection on your vehicle (which california does not require yearly inspections), they will see you as a motorcycle.

if a cop pulls you over, most they can do is give you a fixit ticket. then you can always put the stock rear back on since Alpha's 4wheel kit is a "bolt-on"

why do you worry about HOV? you plan on using your 4wheeled slingshot as a daily commuter?
 
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