‘When Polaris offered Total Motorcycle the opportunity to review the 2020 Polaris Slingshot R, we couldn’t help but invite some friends to ride along with us! With our Compilation of 13 Slingshot Passenger Reactions see what they have to say about their day on the open road, experiencing the thrill and image of the 2020 Polaris Slingshot R! Passengers tell all about why the Slingshot really turned their heads.’
Compilation of 13 Slingshot Passenger Reactions – Slingshot R Long Term TMW Review
|Review Model||2020 Polaris Slingshot R|
|Review Dates||October 14, 2020 – November 5, 2020|
|Price Point||Starting at $30,999 US MSRP|
|Reviewers||Eric and Carrie Leaverton|
‘The others had always wanted to experience the feel of the wind in their hair’
Sharing the adventure!
Eric and I are a husband and wife team but prefer to ride separate motorcycles. With the exception of our teenage children, we spend very little time riding with passengers. Special thanks to Polaris, TMW was given a rare opportunity to have possession of the unique and exciting 2020 Slingshot R for a few weeks.
In case you haven’t read our previous article, the Slingshot is a 3 wheeled vehicle. It’s classified as a motorcycle but is set up somewhere between a side by side and a car. It looks fast and edgy like a formula one car. It gives the impression that when parked for the night, it’s locked up in the lair of a superhero or supervillain straight out a comic book.
You can understand our sentiment when Eric and I couldn’t help but invite others to join in on the fun. We inquired with our friends and local motorcycle community to see who was interested in the Slingshot and received more responses than we could accommodate! We selected a total of 13 passengers of various ages and backgrounds with one thing in common, we can’t wait for you to see the 13 slingshot passenger reactions! A need for a little wind in their hair. Read on to see what draws their attention to the Slingshot R and how they felt about their experience as a passenger for a day. They are all real people – not paid actors.
Slingshot Passenger Planning
The girls and I took Slingshot rides in the beautiful Fall mornings while the kids and grandkids were in school. Eric and the boys rode in the evenings after their workday. All rides started in the city, through traffic, up the twisty canyon roads, and some time on the freeway too. Our destinations were scenic and included ski lodges, reservoirs and scenic by-ways, all the favorite jaunts for local motorcycle enthusiasts. All passengers got to ride more than an hour, so they really got a good chance to experience the Slingshot. Added benefit of getting away from the pandemic protocols for a bit. It is my opinion that a helmet is an excellent face mask and wind therapy is good for the soul!
All passengers who didn’t already have a full face helmet of their own were equipped with a Polaris Slingshot full face helmet in the appropriate size. They dressed for the occasion as it can get chilly in our neck of the woods this time of year. We outfitted their helmets with a microphone feeding into a dashcam viewing Eric or I and our passenger.
Before heading out we asked our passengers to make observations like: ‘Tell us your first impression?’ What things about the ride stand out to you?’ Do you feel safe? ‘How does the suspension feel over bumps?’ ‘ Is your seat comfortable?’ ‘Do you feel buffeted by the wind?’. ‘Tell us what you liked, what you didn’t like, what was amazing and what could be improved?’ Check out our video on YouTube to see what they saw and hear their comments. This is something you don’t want to miss. Their reactions were amazing! I can’t tell you just how much fun Eric and I had reviewing the raw footage. I’m sore from all the giggling!
What turned their heads?
The majority of our passengers were no stranger to either motorcycle riding, side by side vehicles or convertible cars. The others had always wanted to experience the feel of the wind in their hair. We asked them all ‘Why the Slingshot?’ ‘What turned your head and made you sign up for this?’ We were impressed with the many different answers we received….
One couple was making plans to take up motorcycling but were hesitant as motorcycle riders are often injured or killed because other motorists simply didn’t see them on the road. Not going to be a problem with the Slingshot, you can see that artwork coming from a distance!
Another couple used to ride together on a touring motorcycle until one of them suffered a back injury. Even after recovery, motorcycle posture for extended periods just isn’t an option anymore. Both couples may consider a purchase in the future, one gal even put one on her Christmas list while on camera, I hope Santa was listening!
Other’s stated that you just don’t pass up opportunities like this. One friend stated the following: ‘I learned a long time ago that life is way more fun when you DO things instead of watch them – it’s something I push for myself and my kids’
“Real People – Not Paid Actors”
The Biggest Reason
The biggest repeated comment we heard was this, and Polaris will be excited to hear it…. ‘This looks way more fun than a sportscar! and ‘I (either) don’t know how or prefer not to drive a manual transmission! Which, was the whole idea behind the 2020 launch of the Polaris Slingshot automatic transmission. Their current advertising campaign focuses on Adventurous Spirit, Standout Attitude and Sociability. Those 3 key points are generating grins all around here at Total Motorcycle as they perfectly state that Slingshot experience we have all seen so far. The faces of adults and children alike just light up when they see the Slingshot. They tap each other and point in our direction, they smile and wave, give thumbs up and hang loose hand gestures. It’s almost impossible to pump gas without a compliment as it’s rare to see a Slingshot sitting still.
Depending on the height of the passenger, feedback about the Wind Deflector varied. Taller passengers mentioned buffeting from the top edge of the Wind Deflector. Shorter passengers had no buffeting, but noticed their entire line of sight was through the Deflector. Their view of the road was not very good.
It’s not a windshield exactly. It is a plastic tinted structure mounted where a windshield would go. It definitely provides protection from both the wind and road debris, making it easy to take long trips in the Slingshot without feeling fatigue. Eric and I and the majority of our passengers all feel like we could comfortably ride in the Slingshot for as long as we can comfortably wear a full face helmet. None of our passengers felt unsafe or uneasy in the cockpit. You can pick different height and tint level Deflectors as an upgrade to your unit. Our press unit has the taller tinted deflector, which is the one we would have picked if choosing one for personal use.
‘I learned a long time ago that life is way more fun when you DO things instead of watch them – it’s something I push for myself and my kids’
The Unique Design
At a halfway point, we told our passengers that the question on Total Motorcycle right now is, ‘Is this a motorcycle or isn’t it?’ The very first response I received was ‘It feels like a motorcycle, but comfy like a car. I feel like Polaris definitely accomplished what they were going for.’
What it’s like in the cockpit
The cockpit has sporty looking yet surprisingly comfortable seats with ample leg room. You can definitely feel the curves and the bass bumps of the Rockford Fosgate speakers on either side of the footwells. You won’t get any complaints from me about that, but more about the stereo later. At some point in my adulthood, I made a promise to myself that I love myself enough to never have to ride with a bunch of things next to my legs. This remains true in the Slingshot, even though I suppose I could ride as a passenger with several bags of groceries at my feet if need be. A grocery run will feature in a later episode. Promise!
Are there bumps ahead?
The 3 wheeled design is a different feel as far as bumpy roads go. Imagine an unavoidable piece of debris in the middle of the road. In a car, drivers will straddle said debris without giving it an extra thought. A Slingshot has two wheels in front and an enormous rear wheel in the center, 20″ wide to be exact. This takes a little extra thought and care when debris comes along. #1, the Slingshot is absolutely nimble and capable, if you have room in the lane or a clear lane next to you, a swerve is absolutely manageable. #2, there is a learning curve and straddling an object is still feasible with a little practice.
Mind you, there are 3 lanes of travel to hit bumps, so you feel them. When going over large bumps such as railroad tracks or uneasy road construction surfaces, that rear suspension has you covered, so well even sometimes I feel like I’m 5 years old and want to turn around and do it again.
You can see that artwork coming from a distance!
How to Hold On
The sleek design of the Polaris Sling Shot R doesn’t offer any doors or above the head ‘oh crap’ mounted handles like you would look for in most types of vehicles. Instead, there are side rails and comfortable side arm rests you can brace yourself with as needed. I have not had one need to grab one yet. The bolstered seats combined with the in depth cockpit and seatbelts have me and my passengers feeling cozy and safe.
Mounting and Dismounting
The Slingshot sits so low to the ground you can about reach your hand out and touch the asphalt if you wanted to. I suppose the same would be true if compared to a small sports car without doors. When I’m in the Slingshot, I always feel like the ground is still at a safe distance and have never experiences any debris making it’s way into the cockpit. Most of our passengers did comment about how close the asphalt was. I was pleasantly surprised that stepping into as well as stepping out of the Slingshot takes only minimal effort and surpasses that of entry or exit of a small sports car. Our passengers agreed.
Comfort and Accessibility
As I stated above, the Slingshot is classified as a motorcycle. With that in mind, no heat or air conditioning vents. During our Fall review, Utah temperatures ranged from 19 degrees to 70 Fahrenheit. So we planned our rides accordingly. Thanks to the roomy compartments behind the seats we had all the room we needed. Room for purses, water bottles, phone charging cables, microphone cords cameras batteries, extra gloves, heat packs and layers of clothes.
Cold and Hot
I took along a fleece lap blanket for my girls to take the edge off of the morning chill and it was a welcome accessory for them all. The cockpit is low enough that the lap blanket stayed perfectly into place with no risk of losing it in the wind. My adrenaline keeps me warm and I rarely complain of getting cold. I did notice on more than one occasion my feet did take a bit of a chill while piloting the Slingshot on cool mornings, even when wearing wool socks.. I attribute that to the large footwells. The coldest it got for me was 27 high in the mountains one morning and the warmest was about 72 while on our trip to Zion National Park.
We didn’t have an opportunity to test our Slingshot in extreme summer heat. I would assume it would be about the same as a motorcycle. A friend of mine participated in a Slingshot test drive event while attending Sturgis 2020 and she stated that it felt hotter than it did on her motorcycle. One note: there is an air vent on the passenger side only under the glove compartment that can be opened or closed. It is pretty well concealed but is a viable option for additional air flow for the passenger. Heated/Cooled seats are an available upgrade.
‘This looks way more fun than a sportscar!’
With a little help from our friends – 13 Slingshot Passenger Reactions
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the preparation for the episodes of our Slingshot Review so far and we have more to come. But, we have to say this passenger episode was particularly fun. Eric and I really enjoyed taking our friends out and sharing our passion for the ride.
A big thanks to our readers, the YouTube and Facebook followers and our Patreon Supporters for joining Total Motorcycle for our Slingshot journey so far. Also we want to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to Polaris and The Brand Amp for allowing TMW this amazing and rare opportunity to live a Slingshot Lifestyle for three weeks. And for allowing us to share it with our friends and motorcycle community. We couldn’t have done this special episode without our friends. Thank you to Angie, Stacy, Heidi, Wendy, Tracie, Sarah, Dale, Matt and Quin for putting your trust in us and providing honest, unbiased feedback to share.