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Thread: Texas Reportedly Says No Polaris Slingshots

  1. #1
    One Ring To Rule Them All AirBender's Avatar
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    Post Texas Reportedly Says No Polaris Slingshots

    Well the conflict hinges on the wording used to define a motorcycle in Texas. The Texas Department of Public Safety Motorcycle Operator?s Manual says three-wheelers are defined by certain characteristics, one of them being ?saddle seating,? meaning ?seating in which the rider/passenger straddles the vehicle? or ?If designed for a passenger, the passenger must be seated behind the operator (or in a separate passenger compartment in the case of a motorcycle with sidecar).? ....the full story can be read here ---> http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/3/1953...lingshots.aspx

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    AFAIK, this is an issue that the individual states are within their rights to define. As long as they don't contradict a federal law or statute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brewmeister View Post
    the same thing is going on with the elio when or if it comes out.
    The Elio is very confusing and I've been following it for years and have signed up to buy one if it ever comes about. Three wheels. The company only refers to it as a "vehicle". Their website says it anticipates receiving a 5 star crash rating, [ only cars are tested for this rating ] but they also state that they have successfully lobbied some states to remove the helmet and motorcycle endorsement requirements for their "vehicle". The passenger does ride behind the driver in the Elio.

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    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    I think Texas is right. It's a car in every way except the number of wheels and should have to meet car standards.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    I think Texas is right. It's a car in every way except the number of wheels and should have to meet car standards.
    Agreed. It's a three-wheeled car.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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    I think, in most states it'll be OK as a motorcycle.
    For example- New Jersey's definition of a motorcycle...

    "Motorcycle" includes motorcycles, motor bikes, bicycles with motor attached and all motor-operated vehicles of the bicycle or tricycle type, except motorized bicycles as defined in this section, whether the motive power be a part thereof or attached thereto and having a saddle or seat with driver sitting astride or upon it or a platform on which the driver stands.

    It appears the seat defintition is quite vague and would cover just about anything.

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    Actually, I believe the Feds have the final say here. FMVSS 3 contains their definition of a motorcycle, and the Slingshot fits. And federal law preempts state laws where these safety standards are concerned. That's the same preemption that makes headlight modulators legal in all states despite state regulations.
    Karl
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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kthutchinson View Post
    Actually, I believe the Feds have the final say here. FMVSS 3 contains their definition of a motorcycle, and the Slingshot fits. And federal law preempts state laws where these safety standards are concerned. That's the same preemption that makes headlight modulators legal in all states despite state regulations.
    Well ..... tough to argue with the 'Feds.'

    Dang - still looks like a car to me.

    However, not losing sleep over it. Wouldn't mind seeing one in person, just for curiosity's sake.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    This Texan saw one in a TV spot last night...that is a CAR. Looks like a three wheel version of a Grand Prix car from the 60's
    It looks more car than the Spyder does.
    Looks pretty cool no matter what it's called.

    And on the side mention of modulating headlights...wish they were included in the red/blue on the front only use by First Responders...not a fan
    Steve Henson
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    Quote Originally Posted by kthutchinson View Post
    Actually, I believe the Feds have the final say here. FMVSS 3 contains their definition of a motorcycle, and the Slingshot fits. And federal law preempts state laws where these safety standards are concerned. That's the same preemption that makes headlight modulators legal in all states despite state regulations.
    I may be wrong, but I don't think the Feds decide what is and what is not a motorcycle, that is left up to the states. The Feds do decide what safety equipment is needed once the vehicle is defined as whatever it is.

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    The problem with 50 different definitions is that your legally registered vehicle from state A may be illegal in state B, subjecting you to tickets, fines, or worse.
    Karl
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    Left Coast Rider
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    So, to sum up - we care why?


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    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kthutchinson View Post
    The problem with 50 different definitions is that your legally registered vehicle from state A may be illegal in state B, subjecting you to tickets, fines, or worse.
    Nope. Both because one individual state cannot unduly burden interstate commerce and must give deference to other states' laws (as the Supremes have interpreted the Constitution), one state's vehicle requirements do not apply to, for instance, vehicles properly licensed in other states which come to the state temporarily, as on vacation. Thus, while Texas may under its own law decline to issue Texas licenses for the Slingshot, it must accept out-of-state licensed Slingshots while temporarily in Texas.

    Not to say that zealous cops haven't issued tickets or worse, but only that those efforts are both uncommon and contrary to well-settled law.

    I think cops often get away with violating this stricture regarding radar detectors, which are illegal in several states, because its not worth the motorists' or riders' time and money to fight back. Still, I think the general law should apply in these cases too.
    David Brick
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    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    So, to sum up - we care why?

    This is the BMW MOA forum. It's a caring place.

    On the other hand as Polaris works to have the Slingshot approved it could result in rules changes that could impact people have passing interest in around here like sidecars and traditional trikes might make us care.

    Or it may be just the case we are a bunch of gear heads with unheated garages and too much time on our hands.

    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    Nope. Both because one individual state cannot unduly burden interstate commerce and must give deference to other states' laws (as the Supremes have interpreted the Constitution), one state's vehicle requirements do not apply to, for instance, vehicles properly licensed in other states which come to the state temporarily, as on vacation. Thus, while Texas may under its own law decline to issue Texas licenses for the Slingshot, it must accept out-of-state licensed Slingshots while temporarily in Texas.

    Not to say that zealous cops haven't issued tickets or worse, but only that those efforts are both uncommon and contrary to well-settled law.

    I think cops often get away with violating this stricture regarding radar detectors, which are illegal in several states, because its not worth the motorists' or riders' time and money to fight back. Still, I think the general law should apply in these cases too.
    I'm not talking strictly about registrations. If Texas rules that a particular vehicle is unsafe per se, they can probably ban it from their roadways regardless of what state issued the registration. Citing safety is a common practice in getting such restrictive laws passed.
    Karl
    2007 R1200ST

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