Hi, my name is Joe. The people in the Polaris Slingshot community refer to me as “Slingking” (my forum moniker.) I’ve been following the Polaris Slingshot since the first concept pictures were released in 2013. The Polaris Slingshot was released in 2015.
I currently live in Oregon but I purchased the Polaris Slingshot in Illinois because Polaris Industries struggled (to say the least) with their delivery tactics. Moreover, my friend Jim Hutchinson (from Indiana), offered to custom paint my Polaris Slingshot for free if I purchased it from his dealer in Illinois. How could I lose with a free paint job and an epic road trip? The way I saw it, it was a win- win. The pick up day finally came in May of 2015. It was 10 months after placing the initial deposit.
This is the chronological story of my journey. My route was approximately 2300 miles across the country.
After my plane landed in Indiana, I was picked up at the airport in a Polaris Slingshot by Jim Hutchinson. As we rode away, I looked to my right as there seemed to be a car seemingly pacing us. I figured someone was taking a photo. To my surprise (and dismay) it was an ugly girl waiting to lift her shirt and flash her breasts at us. She smiled showing all six of her teeth before lifting her shirt. When she lifted her shirt, her breasts fell down inside the car below the window so thankfully, I couldn’t see them anyway. I guess she gets credit for effort. She actually stuck her tongue out like this.
I tried to get Jim’s attention to show him what was going on, but he missed it (thankfully for him.)
An hour later Jim introduced me to my custom painted Polaris Slingshot.
I drove my new Polaris Slingshot all day alongside many other members of the Polaris Slingshot community. It’s really a sight to see multiple Slingshot’s owning the road. Everyone was so awesome to talk with and hang out with. I was able to take a closer look and check out everyone’s custom personal touches to their Slingshots, from rear fenders to halo lights to aftermarket tops and more.
I couldn’t peel my eyes away from my custom black pearl paint (Polaris copied me for 2016.)
This picture is of the legend Jim Hutchinson (left.) The man responsible for the beautiful paint.
Driving the Polaris Slingshot was instant celebrity status. As we drove through a small town, it was like we were in a parade. At a stop sign, an elderly woman (probably in her 70’s) stood up off the bench and shouted “Take me with you!” It was so cute, so I said, hop in sweetheart. Guess what happened next?…..SHE DID. It was a brief moment for us, but it made her day.
Later as we were parked, three small kids came up with their parents to drool over our Slingshots. Two boys and a girl. I immediately offered the kids a seat in the passenger side to which they were ecstatic about. The first boy was asking me questions about how it sounded, so I let him hit the big red start button. He was extremely excited as the Slingshot rumbled to life. Minutes later the little girl said, (in a difficult to understand voice) “I wanna stawt the caw too.” After letting her push the start button, she put her finger tips in her mouth, as if to express her shyness losing out to her excitement. It felt great to give them such a memory. Then her Mother came by and I also offered her a seat in the Slingshot. She so kindly braced herself with my passenger mirror and corner of the windshield to get in (grumble.)
After that, I noticed the kids became grab happy and they were rubbing the dust around on my brand new paint, creating clean circles with their paw prints. My stomach dropped a little but I didn’t have the heart to yuk their yum by freaking out as it was all over fairly quickly.
Here is a picture of the Polaris Slingshots (sans their owners) who met up with me that day in Indiana.
The next day, Jim Hutchinson and I met up with Mike Davis. Mike Davis is known for having the first Alpha Powersports turbo charged Polaris Slingshot. Riding with him did not disappoint.
(Mike Davis middle)
Mike Davis (left) Joe (right)
The Orange Polaris Slingshot to in the right side of the below photo is Mike’s, which has the Alpha Powersports turbo. When it accelerates, those left behind are left for dead.
Here, we ran into a Morgan 3 wheeler.
We survived “suicide road” and we left plenty of Slingshot rubber to mark our victory.
Afterward, we visited this cool hand built old bridge.
To close out the day we parked our Slingshots in the grass outside this local bar.
After racking up approximately 500 miles that day, Jim and I gave my Slingshot it’s first oil change and service before I started my trek home the next morning.
Upon my departure from Indiana
I immediately rode in some light rain, so thankfully, I brought my full face helmet, and I was wearing it for the first time in the Slingshot. It was a modular helmet and when I lifted the chin bar, I was just tall enough (5’7″) that the wind coming over the windscreen shook my head side to side. I imagine I felt somewhat like this guy.
My first stop on my way home would be Salina Kansas to meet up with some long time friends. I realized pretty quickly that sunburns are inescapable if you’re not prepared.
My first close call was while traveling about 75-80mph on the highway. The car in front of me swerved into the center lane to avoid what looked to be several big piles of deer meat turned into highway hamburger. I first aimed to straddle it by placing the drivers seat above the slop to avoid hitting the centered rear tire. However, one of the deer pieces looked too tall to clear the lower front body panel. I decided to put it straight down the middle. After the rear tire slopped over the greasy meat I could actually SMELL the warm blood in the air. YUK! I checked closely at the next stop, but there was no evidence of damage or deer DNA.
Just before I arrived in Salina KS. I had my second close call. My friend had sent me a text message, asking me to pull over and wait out a storm. Rather than follow his advice, I pulled over and put my full face helmet back on in addition to my rain gear. I was determined to ride through it, rather than pull over. The sky quickly turned into a nightmare with a really cool light show. The clouds looked very scary. They were moving faster and they were moving toward me, closer to the ground than I’d ever seen before. It felt like a dark demon in the sky was going to lick the top of my helmet like an ice cream cone. I was actually scared and kicking myself for not listening to my friend when he said “unlike Oregon, our weather here is no joke.” He WASN’T KIDDING. The wind was crazy (since there’s nothing in Kansas to block it.) I had to be completely on my game. Otherwise, the wind would blow the Slingshot across lanes of traffic. I made it through with the dirtiest Polaris Slingshot that I had ever seen.
The next morning, I decided to let my friend drive it…..I almost couldn’t peel him out of it. I think he’s going to buy one. We ended up at this little place called the Kansas motorcycle museum where I found this rare old reverse trike. It was a very cool ancestor to the Slingshot.
Kansas was prettier than I thought. Not too many curves to speak of but still pretty country in my eyes.
Here we are outside the KS motorcycle museum.
Although I didn’t do much Slingshot driving, I enjoyed the time spent with my friends in Kansas. A friend of mine jokingly offered the slogan, “Kansas, not as boring as you thought.”
If you visit Kansas, here are a few things you can do.
You can visit Fort Larned National Historic site…..
You can stand next to the world’s largest Czech egg. Why anyone would need to baffles me, but you can do it.
You can have an IPA at a local brewery, then go into the middle of nowhere and taunt bull snakes.
While you’re out there, there are lots of places to shoot guns.
Lastly, while you’re in the middle of nowhere you may stumble across large quantities of good old fashion weed.
Don’t pick any though. It’s still illegal to possess in Kansas.
The next day, I would begin my journey to Denver Colorado, where I would stay with another friend from the Slingshot community. I had roughly 1400 trouble free miles averaging about 24mpg (at 80+ mph) on the interstate.
While on my way to Colorado from Kansas I was drinking my morning coffee.
I wasn’t foot to the wood, but I was moving at a decent clip. As I neared the end of my coffee, I placed the cup in the cup holder.
I looked up and saw a Kansas State Trooper sitting in the median of the highway. I looked down and saw about 96mph on the speedo and immediately took my foot out of it. As I did, the coffee cup came flying out of the cup holder due to the turbulence in the cabin and it decided to spin like a pinwheel, spraying the last couple ounces of coffee all over everything in the Slingshot. So here I was 20+mph over the limit, flailing around to catch a cup so that it doesn’t blow out for what would likely be a second traffic citation. I looked back and sure enough, the trooper sped out of the median and was coming after me. I finally caught the cup and I tossed it in the glove box and I took a deep breath in preparation for receiving a good ass chewing, at the very least.
Moments later, the Kansas state trooper had a shit eating grin on his face as he passed me. He was recording me with his IPhone, as he gave me the thumbs up. Whew, what a relief. How lucky was that?
Finally, I had made it to Colorado. It was beautiful out. I was rolling through the streets in a half helmet, sunglasses, T-shirt and jeans. I felt a bit of relief after making it through Kansas by what felt like the skin of my teeth.
Off in the distance, I saw what appeared to be a cloud formation that might drizzle on me ever so slightly. I figured the windscreen would just divert most of it over me since I was going 75mph. I made it under the cloud, and as expected, there was a little drizzle. Then out of nowhere, SMACK!! I felt like a rock had hit me in the lower lip. Then BAM, square in the nose, WHACK in the ear. Within seconds, I found myself in a hailstorm at 75mph. I was steering with my left arm while half assed blocking one side of my face with my right forearm. I slowed way down and couldn’t muster enough mental or physical toughness to go over 30mph. Even at that speed, it made me feel like I was badly losing a gunfight. No shoulder to pull over, no underpasses to hide me. I just had to do it. It sucked. My advice….If it looks like it might be anything adverse weather wise, prepare for it. It could have been much worse.
As I finally made it out of the hail, lightning started to touch down closer to me than I’d ever seen in Oregon. It was beautiful, yet a bit intimidating. I’ve also experienced what many people complained about with Polaris’ factory suspension. It’s great when the road is smooth, but it can be a nightmare on different road surfaces. One road surface in particular will shake your eyes in their sockets. Your vision will be as if you’re constantly looking in a vibrating mirror.
Due to the lightning, the rain, and difficulty locating my friend’s home, I decided to stop at the local GM dealer and ask for directions. Many of the sales staff were enamored with the Slingshot and they began asking me all of the typical questions. “Is it fast?…What engine does it have?…Is it fun to drive?…Etc etc…”
After receiving good directions, one of the employees asked me if I could “light it up” on the way out. I decided to oblige. In a disgusting display of showboating, I blazed passed 3 C7 Stingray Corvettes, boiling the rear tire only to have to slow down for the driveway. That’s when my Shoe Multitec helmet happily Humpty Dumptied itself out of the passenger side, and launched into the main road. So much for looking cool. With my head hung low, I drove up next to my helmet with the Slingshot. I scooped it up and left without making eye contact with anyone.
Long story short, I made it to my friends house in Colorado.
He has a beautiful place, near beautiful winding roads.
After spending the night, I spent the next day driving through Utah.
If you’ve never experienced it, it’s a worthwhile drive trough the desert.
2015 miles, in the year 2015. Good times. Shortly after taking the above photo, I finally made it to Ontario Oregon where I met with more members of the Slingshot community.
They were both great guys. We then met up with one more Slingshot owner and we chewed the fat for a couple of hours.
After the visit, I subsequently made it home. After contemplating my recent experiences, I realized I had something very special. Not just the Polaris Slingshot, but a very unique community of people who are drawn to it. I then decided to take my experience a step further with a video blog (vlog) which I will post here shortly. I’ve also reviewed a few accessories and published the videos for the benefit of the community. It was then I realized that I enjoy doing honest product reviews. It is now my intent to test and review every power sports product I purchase. Not just the vehicle, but the gear and accessories as well. I will do this for any of my cars, motorcycles, off road vehicles and more. My reviews will be for the enthusiast from an actual enthusiast. A regular Joe so to speak. Not just fluff from the product manufacturer.
I figure the Polaris Slingshot is a good place to start. Keep your eyes on this page for future updates. They’ll be coming very soon.
Post Script……This is what getting gas looks like in the Polaris Slingshot. It always draws a crowd.