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Hello Slingshot Members - When it comes to 3-Wheel forward trike motorcycles; the Polaris Slingshot and BRP Spyder is the logical choice. While there are definite differences between machines and owners, there is also a lot of similarities. Since I own both machines, I felt it would make an interesting thread to show the bikes visually side by side, not so much to compare features and looks, but just general information to show that each machine has its own unique features and followers.



I’ve Ridden Spyder’s - since their inception early in 2008 when I went to a dealer in Richmond Va and talked the owner into selling me his one demo bike. Years later, when BRP released the first RT models, I ran down to the dealer and fell in love with a big blue RTS which I rode up until a year ago when I bought my Slingshot. Anticipating the release of the Slingshot was just as exciting as it was waiting for my first Spyder. I was fortunate to find a special LE model Slingshot in Savanah Ga. AS most of you guys know - the LE is a very limited edition which Polaris only built one or two machines for each of their dedicated Spyder dealers owners. The LE model offered special features and paint to commemorate the release of the line from Polaris. I’ve now ridden my Slingshot for over a year now and have really enjoyed using it for local jots and even a few long distance hauls. The bike is very comfortable, fun to ride and the storage behind each seats works for trips. Best of all - she gets pretty good mileage and plenty of looks.



Since I’ve owned my Slingshot - I also kept my eye on the Spyder forums, when I heard here was going to be a new “F3-T” Spyder model which is a mix of half sport and half touring bike, it re-peaked my interest and I started following the machine.





When I finally decided to pull the Spyder trigger - I ended up with a auto-shift F3-T. In the short period I’ve owned her, I’m totally impressed with bike. The styling is super, the new grille and chrome inlets and the bags that don’t really look like bags are beautiful. For the first time ever, I can own a touring bike that doesn't look like one. So far, I’ve added the full windshield, floorboards and the passenger backrest for additional safety.
On the F3-T’s BRP lowered the seat for better leg room and posture. At 6’2” I was always a bit cramped on my Spyder RTS even with forward pegs. I like the open engine look and having the big fuel tank in front of me makes me feel like I’m riding two wheels again. The F3-T is a good combination of a every day bike, yet something you can head out on a trip and take a few things with you.



A Few Improvements - While I’m not trying to distract from the all the good stuff - I feel the F3-T has a bit of excessive roll moment in turns. BRP also needs to include an “Idler pulley” to help prevent belt vibrations at different rpm and speeds. (I should have an after-market pulley installed in a few weeks). Another complaint is the excessive rattling noise from the engine, coming from owning a Honda Rune and a few totally silent 6 cyl. Goldwings, the noise bothers me. I sort of cured the noise problem by getting rid of my Nazi helmet with open ears and went to my full face helmet which muffles the noise to an acceptable level.

The Spyder SE-6 Tranny - Regretfully, the new SE-6 auto-shift tranny still needs some improvement to get rid of the “Klunky” downshifting. It appears the Rotax clutch needs a higher pressure pump to more quickly de-activate when shifting. This problem is evident during downshifts when you can feel the bike momentarily “speed up” which tells us the clutch cannot disengage fast enough to keep up with the electronic throttle and shifter to properly sync to the lower gear. With regard to “up-shifting”, the SE6 is on the money since there is numerous opportunities for the rider to shift at different throttle settings and speeds making it as smooth and quiet as a standard shift.






Getting back to the overview - I’m not going to provide any real technical details, but rather just a “show and tell” with some images. What I like about BRP and Polaris is that each manufacture set off and designed their own bikes from the ground up using their own design.
As most of you guys know - Polaris had problems on their release since the DMV did not have a classification for the Slingshot. The reason being, the law states a motorcycle must have a “Saddle Seat” like the Spyder, so many states could not sell the bikes for months until they re-classified them.



Slingshot Stance - One thing for sure, when you walk up to the Slingshot its a big bike, it’s stands a full 7 inches wider than the new C7 Corvette, so she likes to corner. Unlike the Spyder at under 1000 lbs, the Slings a heavyweight at around 1800 lbs, She is also around 12 feet in length. Rather then the fore and aft “saddle” seating like the Spyder, the Slingshot is a “side by side” bike. If you ride two up, its great because you can now easily turn and talk to your partner without the need of a headset.



Design - One feature that is drastically different when you compare the Spyder to the Slingshot is the Slingshot riders are only around 6 inches off the road, so when you go around tight corner, you have little sensation of the bike trying to throw you off since you’re sitting on a bucket seat on the deck. The BRP Spyder is moving in this same direction with the new F3 design where the rider is now positioned lower for less side G’s.

PowerTrain - Another difference between bikes is their power trains - BRP is fortunate to have their own dependable and powerful Rotax engine line. Their new bikes are now 3 cylinders which provides additional torque at lower rpm’s to provide good power range when they moved from a 5 speed to the new 6 speed tranny.





SlingShot Engine - On the Slingshot, Polaris decided that rather than use their existing engine line, they would power the Sling with an automotive engine, so they choose an inline 4 cylinder Eco-Tech GM engine which was used in a number vehicles but primarily designed for the Pontiac Solstice. The engine is dead quiet and very dependable and the price of parts, upgrades, and performance stuff is a fraction when compared to the cost of motorcycle parts.



How Quick - The Slingshot is not that quick by motorcycle standards, but the stock 170 hp engine will push it 0-60 at right a around 5-6 seconds which is comparable to the F3 Spyder. If this is not enough power for a Sling owner, he can add an in-expensive commonly found turbo upgrade ($500 and Up) which up’s the Slingshot to 275-300 h.p. or more. I was reading up where they use this same engine in a highly modified version and pull 500-750 hp from this little inline four. Anyhow, the turbo upgrade gets the Sling 0-60 to around the 4+ sec range. Of course the limiting factor is the single tire, where the turbo really works best is for passing power when the tire is firmly on the ground and you poke it. The Slingshots GM power plant is matched up to a Mazda 5 speed manual transmission which is shaft driven to a 90 degree (noisy) helical gearbox built by Polaris.



Comparable Price - All In all, which ever you choose, they are both about the same money, you can buy a new Slingshot for $20K or a fully decked out model with upgraded wheels, bluetooth radio, backup camera, cruise and custom painted colors for $25,000. I paid just about $25K for my new F3-T with a radio option.

Rider Safety - The one important advantage of the Slingshot over the Spyder is safety, unlike the Spyder where your sitting on a saddle and can be ejected or hit by another vehicle or fixed object, with the Slingshot your in a surrounding steel cage with a roll bar, seat belts and a helmet. Most important, you have a engine block in front of you In the event of a collision giving you a much better chance of survival. As we all know to well - these days with texting cell phones and cars coming in your lane riding a motorcycle riding has become more dangerous - so be carful out there!





In conclusion - I’m really enjoying both bikes. There’s no doubt the Spyder feels more like a motor cycle than the Slingshot, but with the cab completely exposed, no windows and the tone of a motorcycle exhaust in the Slingshot I still get a rush. If maybe someone is thinking of a second machine the Spyder F3-T (tour) or S (sport) might make a good choice.

Here's a video I put together on the Slingshot with some drone aerials - Enjoy!


Regards - Mike Mas
www.rotory.com









 

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The SS tranny is an Aisin Seiki. They are 1/3 owned by Toyota. I am only 6'1'' and although I am a bit shorter than you must have longer legs. While my SS was in for some work I did a demo ride on an F3 Spyder to kill some time. Definitely nowhere near enough room to stretch out on it and still not impressed with the cornering even though it has been lowered quite a bit from the last one I took a spin on years ago. Like you I loved the 6 cyl motors in my Honda Valk's. Incredible engines.
 

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Well written by someone that has true experience owning both and obviously enjoying both. By the way both are sweet looking rides!
 

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You did not mention transporting. A few years ago I saw someone with a spider loaded in the bed of a pickup.(had a custom lift in the truck bed) The wife said no,advance a few years discuss the slingshot wife said I don't think so (before anyone says anything my wife is my best friend if she won't ride with me I don't want it.) Thanks to Paul renting us a slingshot in maggy valley this June we now owne a slingshot(my wife could not stop smiling) Now I have bought an open stacker to transport the SS behind our camper.
 

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Don't have to check it, its accurate, I put the link on this forum almost a year ago - its a stock turbo upgrade shows up on Ebay often. It includes headers and all the goodies.

Check this link they show up every now and then for the eco-4

: chevy ecotech turbo kit | eBay
I'm aware of the turbo junk on eBay, but I've never heard of any one actually installing one on a SS. As you must know, the quality kits used by the smart owners on this forum are at least 10x that price.
 

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Nice write up man. I too own both and enjoy them. Well actually I bought the spyder for my wife when I had my zx10r. Nice footage also what type of camera set up are you using?
 

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Transporting the SS is a pain in the ass - she's way too wide for most trailers (and mine) but there is some good devices to pull here backwards.

Thanks
There are plenty of trailers, including ones made for the SS specifically. From my understanding loading is the biggest issue. You need longer ramps. If I'm not mistaken Polaris warns against pulling the SS...towing should be via flatbed.


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I don't understand why people keep trying to compare the slingshot to a spider. Just because they have three wheels? My daughter is on the spider since they came out in 2008. Two totally different machines. In Corners the spider pushes your body away from the vehicle. I hate that it's like riding a snowmobile. But snowmobiles are more fun to ride.
 

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I don't understand why people keep trying to compare the slingshot to a spider. Just because they have three wheels? My daughter is on the spider since they came out in 2008. Two totally different machines. In Corners the spider pushes your body away from the vehicle. I hate that it's like riding a snowmobile. But snowmobiles are more fun to ride.
They are 2 totally different machines.


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