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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I had the pleasure of picking up my Slingshot LE a few days ago - it was a 7-hour / 500 mile trip home through flat highways, mountains and even the miserable traffic of Atlanta GA. In any case, I enjoyed driving the bike, the great handling even in 90+ degree temperatures or driving through thunderstorms on rain slick highways, regardless - the Slingshot handled perfect.

I’ve been on bikes since I was 14 and pretty much owned everything out there at one time or another- Now in my later years, I’ve become somewhat picky as my past employment for 40+ years of pioneering, designing, and flying; hobby, aerial and military drones (www.rotory.com) makes me a bit more critical, so hopefully my bike is as near perfect mechanical-wise as it could be.

My last bike’s were a Can Am; RT & RTS Tour - I was looking for a 3-wheel bike to replace these but it had to be better! Well, I can happily say; the Slingshot was everything and more than I expected, even the Harley guys who hate everything have to look at this bike when it goes by, which by the way, I was not ready for the entourage of lookers and cell phone images I was about to witness - my good looking Slingshot might have been one of the contributing issues to the Atlanta traffic when I drove through. Anyhow, what is not to love, the SS LE has great looks – plenty of power – comfortable - smooth – vibration-less, everything is perfect except for that damn noisy “90 degree drive” this problem took all those positives and shed a dark cloud on the whole platform.

I’m sure I don’t have to go into detail on this problem – there is thousands of posts on Forums and Google to confirm the Slingshot has a major problem. Let me just start off by saying; if you hear a noise coming out of a mechanical device, (transmission – diff – engine, pump, etc.) “there is something eating it alive” and sooner or later, it will fail. One has to question why Polaris made the decision to go ahead and release the bike with this drive problem.

While the dealers continue to tell customers; it’s just the belt braking in - we all know the sound of the belt – The noise we’re taking about here is mechanical in nature and clearly sounds off under load or when coasting. There’s a lot happening in this drive transferring mechanical load from one direction to another, plus the radial load of the belt being pulled back causing other loading issues.

One thing is for certain, there is no way the Polaris technicians just over-looked this problem, they heard it and they knew it would be a problem long before us mortals even seen the machine. If it was a decision of not wanting to push back release deadlines, or the fact they already ordered thousands of units, we’ll never know. In any case, Polaris decided to install them and here we are today with a major drive-line problem.

As my research confirmed that everyone has this problem, as guys pull the plugs on the 90 degree drives and change the oil in the gearbox, they are finding metal filings, chunks of metal, darkened lubrication and occasional failed bearings, it all but confirms the 90 degree drive design is failed and Polaris needs to step up to the plate and design and replace these failing units we all own. For myself, I can’t think of one car or motorcycle that has a mechanical whine or gear clatter noise so why should we accept this as normal in the Slingshot. If you bought a car and the diff made this racket, you would drive it straight to the dealer, in fact every differential that ever made noise in my cars eventually failed. Anyway you look at it – It’s “Broke” and needs to be fixed.

Regretfully, unless we all have to stand together and make enough noise, Polaris will not fix our problem. While I’m sure some bikes will last past the warranty period, this still puts us all in a bad position when we try to sell our bikes in the future with this problem branded on our foreheads and known by the entire industry.

Another major problem is the failing bearing syndrome on the rear axle, this problem as well has taken the joy and confidence of any "out of town" ventures without the worry of a break-downs resulting in roll-backs, living in a motel and or leaving your bike with an un-experenced Polaris ATV dealer on the road.

Anyhow, I’m putting thread this up so we can have discussion and hopefully make a statement to Polaris that we need to get the problem resolved. Please share your thoughts!

Regards

Mike

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You are very late to this party.....lots of past posts on the subject ...many quieted down as their angle drives did......however this particular statement is simply untrue....
As my research confirmed that everyone has this problem
I would suggest you take your complaint directly to Polaris as it will do you no good here ....

1-800-765-2747

Call with your VIN# and make sure to get a case # that relates to your call........

Oh....and your dealer needs to fix your bumper alignment ......

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You are a little late to the ball game on this one. I agree with your point that I wish it was quieter, but I highly doubt they are going to do anything to fix it. A couple quick things to note...

1. It will get quieter over time
2. Make sure your belt isn't too tight
3. Change the fluid out (very easy and not expensive to do)
4. Put an exhaust on our turn up the stereo

It is not like they were trying to hide it from us when we all purchased. We knew it was loud and people have talked about it to great lengths on the forum.

I heard of a guy that had his angle drive switched out and it did the same thing. Do you really think Polaris will go back to the drawing board, remake the design of this part, and warranty everyone's SS? Not gonna happen.
 

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Can we get a tally of failed units?....
Will say that time will tell but mine appears to be getting better as the miles are added. At 3200 did change the gear oil. Mine was OK....

I would be more worried if I was hearing about failed units but so far it's been bearings... That I do agree may be the weak link... Members are actively looking for higher quality replacements when the time does come.
I for one love innovation and trying something new... It's a risk I'm OK with.
 

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The guy means well and for the most part he's correct. If the supplier took the trouble to set the pinion depth, angle and preload correctly, we'd have nice quiet rides.
Then all we'd have to do is come up with a way to have a sexy exhaust note and get rid of the Honda fart can/ Milk truck sound.
 

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Of course the OP has a point, and any reasonable redress of grievance should be pursued. However, there are other WAY more expensive 3-wheelers out there if one wanted a more refined machine. The SS is a (relatively) inexpensive 3-wheeler that is awesome to ride. The joy factor for most of us trumps the multitude of issues this first-year attempt by Polaris has while trying to engage this potential market....I'm sure at a significant financial risk. I'm not saying to ignore the issues, ONLY to keep them in perspective. As usual, just my opinion.
 

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I haven't had the gear box noise to the point that some complain about it. Mine is either quiet and a non issue or I just don't know any better or not that sensitive to it. On the other hand, I've had the rear axle bearing fail and totally expect to fail again in another 2-3000 miles. That should be rectified.
 

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I haven't had the gear box noise to the point that some complain about it. Mine is either quiet and a non issue or I just don't know any better or not that sensitive to it. On the other hand, I've had the rear axle bearing fail and totally expect to fail again in another 2-3000 miles. That should be rectified.
Did your dealer show you the failed bearing?
 

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Mine has not failed, it whines put works just fine. The sound dropped off as it got some miles and is no longer annoying after changing to purple.
 

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I had a leaky bearing for about 1,000 miles and it stopped. I changed the fluid. Mine is quiet as ever, I don't notice it, or I have the stereo on. I am certainly not taking it in because I have no problems with it at the moment and I'm having too much fun. 9,600+ miles as of today. I think @1poser has well over 10k miles. Not sure what problems he's had that are drive related if any.

I have heard some drives that are significantly louder than mine, so much so that I could hear one from an SS that was in front of me. Guess it's hit or miss.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I assure you every SS has the same problem - The numbers are too great to even think this is an isolated issue to a few bikes. - The early Victory's had a terrible clunky transmission and so many guys complained they fixed the issues. There no reason we should hear the gear box at all, as I mentioned, if you can hear it, its broke!
 

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I put black duct tape over the holes around the seat belts and the holes in the holes in the cup holders. May be just me but I think it helped.I'm sure some will have conflicting feed back.Stay tuned.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
One call to Polaris would be a waste. The field and forum is where the real R&D is accomplished. I'm not trying to convince anyone there is a problem - if you are good with it then keep on riding. That goofy noise is driving me nuts. Why is it every other belt drive bike is quiet except for the SS.
 

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Welcome to the wonderful world of Polaris, if you find time take a visit to the RZR forum then you might want to reevaluate the degree of concern. Voltage regulators, fuel pumps, shocks, transmissions, dirt ingestion, wheel bearings, multiple wiring issues and yes everything is "normal". RZR Forum is just shy of 70,000 members.
 

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Why is it every other belt drive bike is quiet except for the SS.
Mechanically the two are not the same at all. This is basically a one sided car differential, whereas most belt drives are just chain replacements on two inline gears. They have none of the same physics properties, stresses, or geometry.
 
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