As one of the most unique designs on the market today, the Polaris Slingshot has certainly made a name for itself in the short time its been around. This unique three-wheeled motorcycle is a fun way to get around and turn heads at the same time. If you are the proud owner of this powerful yet sleek ride, you need to know the basics of Slingshot maintenance to keep your vehicle in top condition. Let's take a look at the top elements of Slingshot maintenance.
Know when to call in the pros
The most important part of Slingshot maintenance is knowing your own comfort level with certain tasks. While some people are more mechanically inclined and totally comfortable taking a DIY approach, other people prefer to leave some tasks to the professionals rather than do it themselves. There is no right or wrong way to go about maintenance as long as you are keeping up with maintenance in general. If you want to do easier things yourself like change the air filters or check tire tread, but leave oil changes to the pros, you should do what feels most comfortable for you as an owner.
Inspect for signs of damage/possible repairs
Part of your maintenance should involve checking for damages or making note of any repairs you need to take care of in a timely manner. If you have a dent in the body of the frame, scratches on the hub caps, or a mechanical issue you have noticed such as alignment issues when braking or a shuttering in general, make a note of this important things so you can fix them before doing bigger damage to your ride. It is important to note that since the Slingshot is a specialized vehicle unlike any other on the market, your owner's manual will advise you to have any major repairs performed by the dealership when possible since there are specialized tools/techniques used for this unique vehicle. Also, due to the nature of the ride and how low it is to the ground, the vehicle will need to be elevated on a lift so keep this in mind when deciding when to call in the pros for assistance. You can also buy jacks and elevate the vehicle yourself if you are comfortable taking the DIY approach.
Care for the tires
One of the most important elements of Slingshot maintenance is caring for the tires. This is something that is easy to take care of, yet some owners let it slide out of laziness. It is important to regularly check your tire pressure on all three wheels to make sure they are not over or under-inflated. Your owner's manual will tell you the suggested psi for your tires and you should make every effort to stay within this guideline. You should also inspect your tires for any signs of tread thinning or tire damage to assess when it's time to replace the tires.
The fluids of any vehicle help keep things running nice and smooth. Neglecting this aspect of care can lead to serious malfunctions which are costly to fix. They are also easy to check so there is no excuse for letting your levels get low. You want to check fluids such as oil levels, hydraulic clutch fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant. It is important to note that while you can check your oil and coolant from the top of the hood, you will need a jack to check the transmission and hydraulic clutch fluids. Always consult your owner's manual for these tasks since the manual will actually walk through step by step on how to perform these necessary maintenance routines.
Clean/change air filters
The air filter helps keep the vehicle running the right way while helping to keep things clean. It is suggested to change the air filter in your Slingshot after every 15,000 miles or so to avoid any issues. This is a relativity simple process of removing the old filter, cleaning the air box, and installing the new filter in place of the old one. If you haven't hit the 15,000-mile mark but the filter is dirty, you can simply clean it instead of replacing it, provided there are no tears or holes in the filter. In most cases, you can simply shake the dirt or dust off to get more life out of the filter.
Inspect the drive belt condition
The drive belt is crucial to the way your ride handles and performs so it should never be overlooked as part of your maintenance routine. Polaris suggests adjusting the drive belt tension after the first 2,500 miles and completely replacing both belt and the accompanying sprockets after 30,000 miles. It is important to look for any tears or fraying edges in the belt, missing teeth, or hook wear to make prompt repairs. While not every sign of damage will require immediate replacement of the belt, it will still alert you that you need to closely monitor this area for future wear and tear indicating the repair is now a necessity. In fact, the owner's manual goes over in more detail the different signs of wear and whether or not you need to immediately replace the belt based on those signs.
Clean the drive belt
Even without damage, a drive belt can lose some of its performance and power when it is dirty. Cleaning the drive belt should be part of your routine maintenance task to make sure the belt minimizes driveline noise while maximizing belt and sprocket life span. Make sure you never work on the belt when it's hot from use to avoid injuries. To clean the belt, use a mild soap and water to wipe down the belt and clean the sprockets and teeth with a nylon bristled brush. Make sure you rinse thoroughly with water and dry completely before operating the vehicle.