How to Change the Back Tire of a Slingshot
With its unique design and penchant for power with every ride, the Polaris Slingshot made a bold statement when it was first introduced to the market. Since then, it has continued to excite and excel for those looking for a unique set of wheels. While the three-wheeled design is what sets it apart from traditional two-wheeled motorcycles, it can confuse or intimidate owners when it comes time for a tire change. Let’s take a look at how to change the back tire of a Slingshot the right way.
Consult owner’s manual
The first step in how to change the back tire of a slingshot is to consult the owner’s manual. Since this is such a unique vehicle, changing a tire will be different from what you are used to so you should never go into this task blindly. You should either consult the owner’s manual, find resources online, or talk to your dealership to avoid damaging your vehicle or creating any safety concerns.
Keep up with tire care
It is important to note that the more you keep up with the routine maintenance of the tires, the longer they will last in terms of life span. If you are always riding with your tire pressure too high or too low, it will wear down the tires faster. You should regularly check the tire pressure and inflate to the recommended psi for the model to avoid any issues. A good tip is to check the tire pressure when the tires are cold rather than after a drive because driving increases tire pressure due to the warmth.
You should also regularly inspect the tires and surrounding areas for any damages. If the tires are damaged, you need to change them promptly instead of trying to get a few more miles out of them. Tires give the vehicle the traction it needs to grab the road and without it, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to dangerous or even deadly accidents as a result of poor tires.
Know when to change the tire
Even if you maintain and regularly inspect the tire, the need to change it eventually is inevitable due to driving and wearing down the tread depth. Many people have a hard time telling when the tread is down to its last leg. The good news is that Polaris has set up some tread depth minimums to help you determine if it’s time for a tire change. To measure the tread depth, measure near the center of the tread on the tire for the most accurate reading. If the rear tire tread depth is worn down to the suggested minimum of 4mm, it is time to change it with a new tire.
Choose the right tire type for the vehicle
It is critical to the safety of the vehicle that you use the right tire for the back wheel when making replacements. You should consult your owner’s manual or dealership to make sure you get the right specifications for the tire in terms of type and sizing based on your model or series of Slingshot. If you install the wrong tire to the back wheel, it can lead to a loss of vehicle control, deadly accidents, and damage to your vehicle over time.
Steps to Remove Wheel
Once you have the right wheel replacement for the job, you are ready to remove the wheel. If you aren’t comfortable performing this task on your own, you can call in the pros and let them handle it, but it is a relatively easy task, especially if you are already familiar with this type of upkeep task. If you have ever changed a tire on a car, chances are you will be able to change the back tire on your Slingshot without much trouble, provided you follow the right steps.
To remove the wheel:
- Place the Slingshot on a firm, level surface.
- Put the transmission in gear.
- Engage the vehicle parking brake! This is important for safety reasons.
- Place the right size floor jack under the frame at the side of the vehicle towards the rear of the vehicle.
- Place wheel chocks at the front of both front wheels since you are working on the rear wheel to prevent rolling.
- Elevate the vehicle using the jack until the wheel is slightly off the ground giving you enough room to work on it.
- Remove the wheel nuts and remove the old tire from the vehicle.
Steps to Install Wheel
- Leaving everything set up the way you have it in terms of the transmission in gear, parking brake in place, jack and chocks set up; you can now place the new wheel on the wheel hub.
- Make sure you place it correctly by checking that the valve stem is toward the outside and the rotation arrows on the tire point toward forward rotation.
- Install the wheel nuts and tighten them with your hands. If your vehicle has tapered nut wheels, you want to ensure the tapered end of the nut is placed in the taper on the wheel.
- Using the right tool for the size of your wheel nuts, tighten to the recommended specifications for the vehicle in terms of suggested torque.
- Lower the jack to place the vehicle back on the ground, remove the chocks and jack, take the parking brake off, and you are good to go!