The three-wheel roadster has become a regular sight on the motorcycle scene, even though a large number of owners never had the urge to sit the in the saddle. An interesting twist to this, for the longest time a motorcycle license was required to drive a Slingshot.
However, that irony may no longer be case, depending on where would-be Slingshot owners live.
Three more states have reclassified their licensing requirements, allowing drivers to operate the vehicle with a valid state driver’s license rather than the previously required motorcycle endorsement or license. With the addition of these three states, a total of 33 states have aligned in reclassifying its licensing requirements.
Why this allowance for Slingshots and not other three-wheeled vehicles such as trikes?
The argument from Polaris has been around the unique three-wheeled configuration and characteristics of the vehicle. Calling the Slingshot a three-wheeled roadster, or ‘autocycle’, Polaris claims the reclassification because of what’s missing. The Slingshot does not feature handlebars or a throttle, but rather offers a distinct ride via a steering wheel, five-speed manual transmission, and side-by-side bucket seats.
“We are proactively educating state officials about the characteristics and unique attributes of the Slingshot. As we do this, they are realizing the licensing requirements for the roadster share more similarities to a car rather than a motorcycle,” said Rachael Elia, Slingshot Marketing Manager. “Our goal is to gain a unified classification across the country to provide more opportunities and driving freedom for consumers looking for the ultimate thrill experience that the bold three-wheeled roadster offers.”
They’ve obviously done a great job. Today, 33 states, including the District of Columbia, require only a driver’s license to operate the Slingshot. The remaining states require a motorcycle endorsement, but efforts are underway to reclassify the vehicle to gain full conformity throughout the United States.