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Discussion Starter #1
First let me say that I am a fan of the Slingshot (SS) and placed an order for one the day after I saw it announced on July 27 2014.

I hope it succeeds in a big way, but there are at least 2 reasons why it might fail, both of which have been briefly discussed in other threads.

I'd like this thread to be a place to discuss them and others in depth and a possible place for future owners to find solutions to 'keeping the SS alive' if it does fail as a long term product line. I'm sure this sort of thing exists for the other failed trikes out there (like the Morgan for instance).

Two reasons the SS may fail are:

1. The SS may be popular enough for government to notice it and the fact that it is not really a motorcycle. This may be some of the reason why certain states have not approved the SS so far.

2. In trying to fit the SS into the motorcycle category, Polaris may have made a few technical blunders which will cause reliability problems in the future, just as others have on other 'failed' trikes.

Feel free to add to this list, discuss them and possible solutions or to disagree with any or all of them.

As a courtesy to me and others, please reframe from discussions of whether red or grey is faster and other off topic items. Thank you.
 

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I cannot refute Otter's statements. I have been concerned that Polaris may have taken some shortcuts on quality and research due to the list price of the SS. I hope I am proven wrong. When I first saw the SS, I figured it would be in the mid-30K range. What sold me was the Polaris makes quality watercraft and snow vehicles so I am taken a chance.
 
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What do you think the shortcut is?

The main thing I'm worried about is the belt drive system and the fact that the tires are proprietary. My paranoid side tells me the tires are only proprietary to take the responsibility off of Polaris if something breaks under a load with a sticky tire being your only modification.
I think they'll get past the legal language.

I'm not sure any of this will make it fail, but it's what I see as problematic.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ok, but...elio. and rex...all are motorcycle....
Yes, they have successfully used the 3 wheel 'loophole' but one is sold in such small numbers as to be almost invisible and the other does not even exist (yet).

Also, someone posted some state MC law that seemed to say that if you produce under 300 per year, different rules apply. I'm wondering if that is how Morgan and T-Rex get a 'pass'.

Anyone know what the actual rational is for exempting MCs from some of the regulations? Some of them are obvious like seatbelts, airbags, bumpers, etc, just not practical in this application. They WOULD be possible for the SS though.

And what about the insurance exemption? No requirement for that in FL and many other states. That is a huge thing for government to ignore.

Possible rational is that a MC has such small mass that it can't do as much harm. The SS has almost as much mass as a small car. It's pushing the limits if that was the thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Watercraft is the one area that Polaris has already failed. They have not made any watercraft for 10 years.
Interesting! I did not know that, the SS is my first Polaris purchase.

It does illustrate the fact that a big company WILL walk away from an investment as big as the SS represents if the market does not work for them for ANY reason.

It could happen to us SS buyers. But owning a unique orphan like the SS could be cool too :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What do you think the shortcut is?

The main thing I'm worried about is the belt drive system and the fact that the tires are proprietary. My paranoid side tells me the tires are only proprietary to take the responsibility off of Polaris if something breaks under a load with a sticky tire being your only modification.
I think they'll get past the legal language.

I'm not sure any of this will make it fail, but it's what I see as problematic.
Bingo!

There is some crafty thinking going on at Polaris and I think that's part of it.
 

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Otter, the world "may" end tomorrow also but I don't spend time worrying about it. If I'm cruising down the interstate in my SL and a tire falls off, my spouse will never have to work again. I don't understand all the concern that the SS will fail, you started this on another tread and I couldn't figure it out there either. Guess I'm just too naive to the ways of business.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I cannot refute Otter's statements. I have been concerned that Polaris may have taken some shortcuts on quality and research due to the list price of the SS. I hope I am proven wrong. When I first saw the SS, I figured it would be in the mid-30K range. What sold me was the Polaris makes quality watercraft and snow vehicles so I am taken a chance.
I don't think economics was the reason for the shortcuts. I would blame Gov. Regulations for that.

I think some of us are impressed with the low price of the SS only because of what other trikes have sold for. This thing has a tiny fraction of the engineering and development costs of even the least expensive cars that sell as low as $15K. The only justification for the SL model selling for $24K is lower volume.

If I were Polaris and wanted to take a chance in this market, I would have priced it at $15K and been looking for a market 10X what it will have now. I think they F'd this up too.

I would have used a different final drive too, but that's a different subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Otter, the world "may" end tomorrow also but I don't spend time worrying about it. If I'm cruising down the interstate in my SL and a tire falls off, my spouse will never have to work again. I don't understand all the concern that the SS will fail, you started this on another tread and I couldn't figure it out there either. Guess I'm just too naive to the ways of business.
Business / Schmissness, I don't give a rat's ass about that. I'm talking about the future of what I hope will be one of my favorite toys and the group of people like me.

Your idea of what to worry about and reasons why not to are the strangest thing I ever read and makes me wonder what YOUR motives are.

You don't worry about a wheel falling off your SS, so why do you worry so much about my critical look at the SS?
 

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I hope that Polaris is just testing the market to determine how they will sell. However, using an engine that I was informed has been discontinued by Chev, tires that are questionable, and damn, no CD player and GPS in the media console. Looks like taking shortcuts to me.
 

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I don't care if it fails, I'm going to have one, it's unique and it's going to be fun to drive. If the frames brakes in half, fix it. If the belt breaks, replace it. People have been working on or modifying vehicles scents the model T. I WILL have one and drive it. Even if I have to fab parts myself. Live a little and don't be so negative!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't care if it fails, I'm going to have one, it's unique and it's going to be fun to drive. If the frames brakes in half, fix it. If the belt breaks, replace it. People have been working on or modifying vehicles scents the model T. I WILL have one and drive it. Even if I have to fab parts myself. Live a little and don't be so negative!
Your post is almost a carbon copy of one I made days ago Shatneyman. Your post is not negative and neither was mine or anyone else's so far.

Except for NF's that is :D
 

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It's a niche market. But, based upon the number of higher priced reverse trikes out there, and the majority of them homebuilt's, a production trike as Polaris is offering can be a home run.... in a niche market. This unit can't be built and offered for 10k, or 15k. If they sell one year's worth and the market collapses, they will lose huge on the investment of bringing this to market.
But, look at the UTV market. Many of these are higher priced, and the numbers of them out in customers hands constantly getting upgraded and modified is amazing to me.

It's not a bike, it's not a car, it's not for everyone. The demographic that it spikes an interest in will vary across the board, and I'm sure Polaris is okay with that. And I'm sure they looked at the T-rex, Scorpions, Spyders, and one-off's as test vehicles in a market that has not become prime time. And, with it's release, all the aforementioned vehicles will be watching nervously to see if the the Slingshot takes over and virtually eliminates their share of the niche market.

These are some of the HUGE items that make this vehicle a player, and open up a broader market spectrum.
- 2.4 DOHC proven engine
- Electronic Stability Control
- ABS Brakes
- Electronic power assisted steering

What does surprise me, constantly in every market, is how many people want a _____, for 3/4 of it's retail price, and yet complain that it doesn't have the latest stereo, gps navigation, led lights, backup camera, etc. I see this in skiboats all the time. In my opinion, the stereo should be the last thing that concerns you if you going out skiing.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I hope that Polaris is just testing the market to determine how they will sell. However, using an engine that I was informed has been discontinued by Chev, tires that are questionable, and damn, no CD player and GPS in the media console. Looks like taking shortcuts to me.
Polaris and the engineers that work there are not stupid. The engine is a non issue from any standpoint. They either have an agreement in place to obtain the LE5/9 in whatever quantities they need in the future or have identified a drop in replacement that will be available.

Except for being overpriced (an $80 tire selling for $280) what's questionable about it? I think there are very good technical reasons for that tire choice beyond just profit too.

Is making a premium sound system an option taking a shortcut for Ford, GM, BMW, etc? Polaris is getting $2000.00 from me for an option that I don't even want! Pretty smart in some ways. Just dumb in others.
 

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Polaris didn't cut any corners. Its a Very nice unit for 24k. If they wanted to cut corners it would have been released three months ago. Tires... well that was done to brand it and Kenda is small enough to say yes. Most oems don't put good tires on vehicles. Im not worried soon Indiana and Texas will be resolved and if any other states have problems im sure it will get worked out as well.
 

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Of course Polaris is not stupid, just not appearing to use all of their faculties and resources available to them that could have been included in the SS. There are many available manufacturers out there that could have provided better quality products (i.e. engines, entertainment systems such as BOSS, etc). In reading many forum remarks, many folks are buying the base model so as to get the aftermarket products which may or may not be better but my bet would be on better. Regardless, Polaris overall is great, however, at this point I do not have a lot of confidence in that section call the "Slingshot Team".
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Another pesky random thought.

What if Polaris management really doesn't 'get' what they have in the SS? What if they really are stupid?

What if they thought this was a very limited market niche but one big enough to score a respectable profit but - It turns out to be a blockbuster.

And what if there really WERE a limited number of LE5s available and they didn't make any contingency plans for bigger than expected success?
Same thing applies if the shortage was bevel drives or any other sole source part on it...

Maybe we are all waiting for Polaris to correct their lack of vision for the SS and they didn't want to admit it.

Hey, it's just a theory.
 
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