No Polaris Slingshot in Texas, None in Europe, Either

Polaris Slingshot 1 photo
Photo: Polaris
It looks like the Slingshot is the hottest trike of the moment, but despite the fact the Polaris and most of the states consider it a motorcycle, Texas law begs to differ. The whole thing is caused by the way Texas law defines a motorcycle. And yes, since it’s about the law itself, the prospects of a quick change are not looking too good.
The Texas Transportation Code defines a motorcycle as “a motor vehicle, other than a tractor, that is equipped with a rider’s saddle and designed to have when propelled not more than three wheels on the ground.”

However, when regulating the use of helmets in vehicles, the same code describes a motorcycle as “a motor vehicle designed to propel itself with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and having a saddle for the use of the rider. The term does not include a tractor or a three-wheeled vehicle equipped with a cab or occupant compartment, seat, and seat belt and designed to contain the operator in the cab or occupant compartment.”

Reading the two definitions is pretty much self-explanatory, and does not qualify the Slingshot as a motorcycle. Polaris has the possibility to appeal the ruling and try to convince the Texas authorities that the role of the second definition is only to make it clear that a helmet is not needed when operating tractors and similar vehicles. But until things are sorted out, there will be no Slingshot fun in Texas.

Sources report that the State of Texas initially approved the sales of Slingshots homologated motorcycles. Still, the initial 4th of November decision was overruled, and the Polaris dealers have been informed on the 10th of November that they can’t in fact sell these machines.

No information as to when will this change was apparently offered, but we can expect that Polaris will muster all the legal efforts available to convince the State of Texas law-making bodies to act in a favorable way.

Europe still has to wait for the Polaris Slingshot

We’ve been invited for a test ride with the Slingshot at SEMA this year by a person who is close to Polaris. Unfortunately the SEMA was colliding with the EICMA 2014 so we asked whether the Slingshot will be there.

After initially receiving news from Polaris that Indian’s presence at EICMA will only be marginal, we learned that the new trike will not be present, either. Even more, the message mentioned that there were no plans for an European presence for the foreseeable future. We went on further and added that we could do a more extensive coverage for the Slingshot, with pro photos and live action footage, but all we got was that we will be informed when the Slingshot would be ready to cross the pond.

Until then, it appears like the Texans could enjoy it way earlier than the Europeans. Still, once it arrives in Europe, the Slingshot will have to cope with the rather low interest the customers currently show for reverse trikes. The old continent seems to favor two-wheelers and if anything, traditional trikes.
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