In real life, I’m the not-so-proud owner of a certified clunker that shimmies violently at speeds over 70mph, and has a finicky A/C that pees water onto the floor. So, no, I don’t take leisurely cruises for pleasure.
But garaging my jalopy for a week while testing out a Slingshot SL—a three-wheel motorcycle that’s more muscle-car dragster than crotch rocket or hog—made a routine Target run feel like a Mario Kart speed race.
With its bold, angular design, low stance (it has just 5″ of ground clearance), growling 2.4-liter DOHC engine, and exposed wheels (18″ front, 20″ back), the Slingshot earned scores of slack-jawed stares, enthusiastic waves, and impulsive outbursts—”Sick ride!”—from those drivers and passersby who didn’t have their heads glued to their phones.
When parked or even at stoplights, I fielded rapid-fire questions like: “What the hell is that?” “How much?” And “Did you just get divorced?”
On the highway, a punch of the gas pedal paired with the open-air cockpit gave me the best blowout hairdo I’ve ever had. That wouldn’t be the case had I been wearing a helmet, but in New Jersey, the Slingshot’s NJDOT classification doesn’t require a motorcycle helmet or a license. Although I did have a helmet that I slipped on when the temperature dipped into the low 60s—not ideal Slingshot weather. Even at just 25mph, the windchill was nearly enough to turn my exposed melon into a giant ice nugget.
Clearly, the Slingshot isn’t a must-own for soccer dads with a kid or two (although, with some elbow grease, a small child might fit in one of the behind-the-seat storage cubbies).
Still, it’d be cool to have on standby for summertime jaunts around the hood—or a world-record lap around Bowser’s Castle.
The Slingshot SL weighs in at 1,749lbs, boasts a 2.4-liter DOHC engine, and has a fuel capacity of 9.8 gallons. Price starts at $24,499.
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