Polaris Slingshot

Texas might be known for the independent spirit of its people and for long stretches of high-speed open road, but prospective buyers of the Polaris Slingshot need to look elsewhere for their three-wheeled thrills. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles says that the sporty models cannot be registered there because they don’t meet the definition of a motorcycle.

According to dealer letters posted on Slingshot Forums, Polaris had already received approval from the state over the summer to sell the Slingshot in Texas. However, on November 4, the company was advised by the DMV that the vehicles couldn’t be registered. Under the Texas guidelines, a motorcycle is defined as a vehicle with a “saddle” seat, meaning that it is positioned between occupants’ legs. However, people sit side-by-side inside the Slingshot like a traditional car.

According to the letter, Polaris is working to find solutions “as quickly and efficiently as possible,” but the company doesn’t know when that could be. It claims to be in contact with the “upper levels” of the DMV to rectify things.

Understandably, people in the Lone Star State ready to buy one of these sporty three-wheelers are upset at the news. According to forum members, the DMV’s decision is especially confusing because other vehicles with similar layouts, like the Campagna Motors T-Rex and Morgan Three-Wheeler, are already registered in Texas. It makes the exception for the Slingshot that much more strange.

The Slingshot was unveiled in July with a base price of $19,999. It boasts a General-Motors-sourced 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder making 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, and power goes to the belt-driven rear wheel through a five-speed manual. It’s styling mixes a little KTM X-Bow with the dipping sides reminiscent of a Triumph TR-3. Hopefully, Texans get a chance to enjoy them soon.

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