Paul had told us about his Yamaha FJR1300. Well, now he has changed from two wheels to three, with the purchase of a Can Am Spyder. These are fascinating things, and something that I intend having a test-ride on one day. Paul tells us about his.
It’s not a bike, it’s not a trike, it’s not a car, it is a Can-Am Spyder. Three wheels; a back-to-front trike. Belt drive, V-twin 990cc Rotax motor, fat tyres and you lean forward into corners not sideways; a whole lotta fun that’s for sure.
After three Ulysses AGMs test riding them, (the BRP staff know me by now) finally I had some cash and found a pre-loved 2008 RS model (the base model) at the right price...with the works! So many accessories and most of them genuine BRP brand: the weather shield, highway pegs, sat-nav, small ‘ladies’ tank bag, Givi panniers, sheepskin seat and knee guards, pillion back rest, luggage-rack and a big Hindle muffler which makes it sound like a Harley as it gurgles and barks like a dog.
Purchased from a lady owner in the Blue Mountains with 37,000km (the bike not her!). My test ride up and down the Great Western Highway bends was so much fun, albeit a little “rock n rollin”. It has plenty of power at 104hp and no problem stopping as combined braking with 3 discs operated by one foot-brake. No hand lever brake which really takes getting used to. It has a reverse gear, which is great, and a foot park brake.
I have ridden to Kiama and Bowral and freeway cruising is cool and comfy. I rode to Kiama for a car show and when they saw my Spyder they wanted me to put it on display. The photo was taken at the display.
The twisty bumpy back roads offer a few challenges and more excitement whilst learning how to ride / drive this three wheeler. Lots of fun, and that’s not even doing the speed limit on some occasions. Turn the handle bars with the power steering as you lean forward into corners and you may almost lift a wheel (Glenmore Park bends) but for the many on-board sensors and a computer “Nanny” who takes care of you with traction control, ABS etc. I even had an update done on Nanny’s firmware at Westerns Motorcycles (the only NSW dealer, located in Penrith, where Paul lives. Elwyn) to keep her happy !
Very comfy with the large double seat and has a large ‘boot’ in the front which would hold at least one carton of brew, with ice. No need to keep it balanced at the lights, no need to put the side stand down when parked, no need to think about how and where you park – just reverse it out!
Lots of fantastic plastic to make it look good and cover the ugly bits. Easy to remove for maintenance and easy to keep clean. The mag wheels and fat rear tyre make it a fatal attraction and an attraction it is; everybody looks at this unusual vehicle, and everybody just wants one. Many riders who could not hold a two-wheeled bike up due to health issues are on Spyders, some have added a handlebar brake and some models have the semi-automatic gears which you change at the flick of a button.
I took it to Westerns to get the once over and as usual they were great with explanations, updates and Spyder knowledge; and taking my money! Ray says I am the first Nepean Ulyssian to get one which surprised me. Their workshop is equipped with the latest gear to service and repair these machines. They spent lots to ensure this and even modified their hydraulic stands to lift them up on. BRP are doing a great job with supporting their product, plus they have a staff member regularly participating, in his own time, on the OZSpyderryder internet forum with the latest updated info and answers that we all like to know about.
There are a couple of negatives though. The fuel consumption not so good, giving about 380km per 20-25 litre tank. (My FJR is a bit better).
The cost of parts is crazy expensive! (I am looking at web-sites overseas very seriously for these).
It needs wheel alignments and expensive tyres. It also gets hot around the legs next to exhaust pipe.
There have been a few BRP recalls for fuel-cap, power steering, fuel vapour canister, and rear mudguard loose.
Overall a great ride is this three wheeler, especially with a partner/pillion who gets the Goldwing treatment on the back of the RT touring model. A great machine for us oldies too.

Thanks Paul; good to know you are enjoying the new machine! A good point too about people who might normally struggle to balance a bike, or hold it upright; something like this would be ideal!
Click here to go to the front page. Click your BACK button to return to the previous page.