The Polaris Slingshot is the latest “motorcycle” to get a recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and this one affects 10,658 vehicles in total.
The issue concerns the Slingshot’s seatbelt, which may not lock when the vehicle is involved in a crash – especially a crash that involves a sizable lateral impact.
For those keeping track, this is the second time that Polaris has had issues with the design on the Slingshot’s seatbelts, having recalled the system previously earlier this year because of poor anchoring welds.
So, once again Polaris Industries is recalling the Polaris Slingshot S, Slingshot SL, Slingshot GT LE, and Slingshot SLR, this time from the 2017, 2018, and 2019 model years.
President Trump’s trade war is about to see another player in the motorcycle industry jump ship from American soil, and this time it is heavyweight Polaris Industries. According to a report by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Polaris is considering moving some of its production capacity to Europe, eyeing a production facility in Poland that would build units for the European market. The move is a direct response to the retaliatory tariffs imposed by the European Union on motorcycle imports, which itself was a response to the Trump Administration’s taxing of steel and aluminum imports.
I had to scroll back through our coverage to make sure it wasn’t my imagination, but it does seem like the Polaris Slingshot gets more than its fair share of safety recalls with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Well today, add another one to the list, as Polaris is recalling certain 2017-2018 Polaris Slingshot, Slingshot SL, Slingshot SLR, Slingshot SL Icon, and Slingshot GT LE
Potentially affecting 4,342 vehicles, the brake pedal on these Slingshot models may have been installed incorrectly, which could cause the brake pedal to separate from the brake master cylinder.
If that were to happen, the rider/driver (your state’s laws may vary) would lose braking ability, which is an obvious safety hazard.
The Fortune 500 is a list of America’s largest companies, and is a constant barometer on the state of the American business landscape. In its 64 years of existence, the Fortune 500 has been an exclusive club, and its newest inductee is one from the powersports industry: Polaris Industries.
Ranked at #496 on the list, the addition of Polaris means that the influence (and decline) of the US motorcycle and powersports landscape will be seen on a much larger national stage.
Mostly it is just a cool milestone for Polaris, and proud bragging point for the company’s executives at the next country club gathering.
Here’s one you don’t usually see on a motorcycle new site, as Polaris is recalling over 24,000 Slingshot autocycles for issues with their seatbelt and seat design and manufacturing.
This recall is a big one, as it applies to seemingly all Polaris Slingshots sold between 2015 and 2018, for a tally of 24,235 vehicles affected by this recall notice. In its recall documents, Polaris estimates that roughly 1 in 100 vehicles exhibit the problem.
What’s at issue is that the driver and passenger seats might have a seat belt and seat back anchoring bracket that may have been improperly welded.
Additionally, there may have been a difference in the seat assembly at the factory, which may prevent the proper latching of the seat slider, which would allow the driver’s seat to move unexpectedly.
Strangely enough, we have talked about trade wars several times before, here on Asphalt & Rubber, as the Trump administration has been keen to use this tool in its toolbox, often with effects that reach into the motorcycle industry. The first time around, we talked about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) affected the motorcycle industry, namely Harley-Davidson, and how the United States’ withdrawal from the agreement would likely be a negative effect for US motorcyclists. We have also had to talk about how fighting over beef imports could lead to possible tariffs on small-displacement European motorcycles in the United States, a tariff that would seriously hurt Piaggio/Vespa scooter sales and KTM dirt bike sales.
Episode 61 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is out, and in it we talk about riding some motorcycles…and driving some motorcycles. We also talk about new motorcycles, recalled motorcycles, and how to fuel motorcycles in our coming Mad Max future.
For the past month, we have been riding the 2017 MV Agusta Brutale 800, so we rant and rave about how great that bike is, and how I think it might be the best street bike on the market.
We also discuss my recent trip to SoCal to drive the Polaris Slingshot, and how Polaris has created the autocycle category in 40 states now.
Our attention then turns to Harley-Davidson’s new batch of motorcycles, and discuss where the American brand is headed. We also talk about BMW Motorrad’s plethora of recalls in the recent weeks.
The show ends with us talking about Bosch’s synthetic fuel strategy, which could have interesting implications…especially if fuel prices increase over the coming years.
There’s a little something for everyone in this show. We think you’ll like it.
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.
This past week was the first time I have ever driven a motorcycle. I have ridden quite a few motorcycles in my time, just never one with three wheels, a seatbelt, and steering wheel. It felt very weird…like riding a scooter. The Polaris Slingshot is not a motorcycle though. Three years after its initial debut, the Slingshot is now considered an autocycle in 40 states and counting. As an autocycle, the Polaris Slingshot is held to the same standards as a motorbike, but these 40 states do away with the requirement for the rider, I mean driver, to have a motorcycle endorsement on their license. Armed with a normal driver’s license and a helmet (where applicable), there are no boundaries to driving a Slingshot. This opens interesting doors for Polaris, which is good, because the Slingshot is an interesting machine. Let me explain.
Hello from Los Angeles, where today I will be “riding” the Polaris Slingshot three-wheeled “motorcycle” (it says so right next to the driver’s seat).
Polaris’s three-wheeled car-type thing is a bit of mystery when it comes to definitions and legal distinctions – though we are fond of the autocycle designation – but it competes with motorcycles on the dollars-for-grins category, so here we are.
Polaris has a fun route planned up the California coast line for us today, so we should have a good opportunity to see if you should empty out your garage full of bikes, and fit this Miata-sized three-wheeler into your stable.
Per our new review format, we will be giving you a live assessment of the 2018 Polaris Slingshot models right here in this article (down in the comments section), and there we will try to answer any questions you might have.
So, here is your chance to learn what it’s like to “ride” this interesting vehicle from Polaris, before even my own proper reviews are posted. As always, if I don’t know an answer, I will try to get a response from the Polaris personnel. So, pepper away.
You can follow our thoughts on the bike live via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Reuters continues to dish on Ducati’s possible divestiture from the Volkswagen Group, with news that several bids have been placed on the Italian motorcycle brand. Reuters says that amongst the bidders are several key brands like, Polaris, Bajaj, and Royal Enfield’s owners Eicher Motors. Noticeably absent from the list of potential buyers however was the much talked-about Harley-Davidson, a name that the same Reuters reporters first offered as Ducati’s potential future owner. Now Reuters offers us another name as the likely front-runner, pointing to Italy’s Benetton family (as in, the United Colors of Benetton), which has reportedly submitted a bid of $1.2 billion, through its investment arm Edizione Holding.
Polaris is recalling a batch of its 2017 Slingshot models, for an issue that affects the linkage between the steering and the front suspension, which may have been insufficiently tightened, and could reduce steering and suspension performance as a result.
The recall affects the Slingshot, Slingshot SL, and Slingshot SLR models, with 254 units in total getting recalled.