Trip of a lifetime comes on the unique Slingshot


When Bruce Koch is here for the winter, local residents are captivated by his Slingshot.

It’s not a car. It’s not a motorcycle. It’s a Slingshot.

Oregon resident Bruce Koch, 77, who spends winters in Indian River Colony Club (IRCC), is planning on driving a three-wheeled motorcycle-like Slingshot on the trip of a lifetime.

But first, he flew back here June 10 to attend the Special Forces convention in Jacksonville, and then he will drive the Slingshot cross country to his home in Oregon. 

He spoke during a break in driving between Salt Lake City and Boise, Idaho on the trip out.

“I’m taking my Slingshot back to Oregon but I’m going to make a round trip out of it,’’ he said.

And what a trip it will be, with planned stops in “Biltmore Mansion in N.C., Mammoth Cave, Ky., Ozarks, Pikes Peak, Colo., Black Hills, S.D., Glacier National Park in Montana, Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyo., Sun Valley, Idaho, and on to Oregon.”

The Slingshot is manufactured by Polaris Industries, has a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, side-by-side bucket seats, and does not lean. It has no roof, doors or side windows. The steering wheel, gear shift, and brake, clutch and throttle pedals have a conventional layout. The Slingshot weighs 1,743 pounds and is powered by a 2.4 liter inline four-cylinder engine formerly used by GM in the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars.

 “I just got the machine a year ago. It’s lot’s of fun. It has two wheels in front. This particular style of motorcycle is like driving a small sports car. There’s a couple of them around Melbourne. I have two cats and they can’t ride on a slingshot, obviously, so that’s why I made the first trip,’’ said.

This is Koch’s sixth winter at IRCC, which he visited by chance when his son moved to Florida.

“I stopped by to see an old friend and I ended up buying a place not long after that,’’ he said.

Koch was looking forward to the Slingshot portion of the journey, planned with no support vehicle.

 “I’ll be 78 by the time I complete the trip in July. I’ll be on my own. I’ve been single for many years. It’s kind of a bucket list thing,’’ he said.