As a child, graduating from a tricycle was an exciting step. Now, a local motorcycle shop is hoping to bring people a similar joy.

Thanks to its sleek design and exceptional handling, the Polaris Slingshot reverse trike is becoming increasingly popular among both veteran and novice bikers.

While most trike motorcycles have two wheels in the back and one in the front, the Slingshot has changed things up, boasting two wheels in the wide-set front and one central wheel in the back. This gives the Slingshot a unique look while eliminating body roll, Cupi’s Motor Mall salesman Howard Stanton said.

“This thing is like a Corvette and a Jeep had a baby,” he said. “When people look in the rearview mirror they don’t see a trike, they see a Dodge Viper.”

Stanton, an avid gearhead himself, said there are many advantages of a Slingshot over a traditional motorcycle, including a lack of weight fatigue.

“You don’t feel tired when you get done driving one of these things,” he said. “You just feel like you got done driving a car.”

Its added balance and traction means that the Slingshot is substantially more safe than a traditional motorcycle, which Stanton believes has added to its popularity.

“You don’t have to worry about gravel, you don’t worry about your feet slipping, you just get to enjoy it,” he said.

He also pointed out the Slingshot’s two side-by-side bucket seats.

“One great thing is that you and I can hop in this to go get breakfast without looking funny” Stanton said. “You can’t do that on a bike.”

While driving a Slingshot feels like driving a motorcycle, they are classified as autocycles, meaning that drivers are not required to have a motorcycle license to climb behind the wheel.

With a peak horsepower north of 170, the Slingshot easily accelerates its roughly 1,700-pound body to 60 mph in just six seconds, topping out at 130 mph thanks to its 2.4 liter dual overhead engine.

“It’s just pure driving fun,” Stanton said. “It’s the closest you can get to being on a motorcycle without actually driving one.”

Because of it’s light weight, all Slingshots are equipped with a five-speed manual transmission.

While the Slingshots were first released in 2014, they have seen a substantial increase in popularity in the Pekin area over the last few months. So much so that Stanton started a club for those that drive them, which has over 150 members and is the only of its kind in Illinois. The club meets once a month for food and driving pleasure.

Anybody interested in purchasing a Slingshot from a dealer will likely find themselves at Cupi’s, as they are the only retailer in the area.

The Slingshot is priced competitively with other trikes, running roughly $21,000 for a standard edition and $28,000 for a limited edition.