Three-wheels that two-wheeled riders can get exited about

By Genevieve Schmitt, Photos by Rene Bruce

I finally got my opportunity to ride this infamous three-wheeler that has onlookers everywhere doing a doubletake. Women Riders Now reviewed BRPs Can-Am Spyderroadster in 2007 when the unusual three-wheeler first hit the market. WRN contributor Perri Capell test rode the Spyder then. Now, two model years later, with improved handling and more options, Im getting my chance to feel firsthand what all the fuss is about.

Women Riders Now E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all things motorcycle! Latest gear, bikes and products reviews. Travel ideas, great product giveaways, and more.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S
Test riding the Spyder RS-S in Arizona.

When I review motorcycles for Women Riders Now, I assess the vehicle with women in mind. With that said, to the ladies considering a three-wheeler, take a look at the Spyder. I believe female riders will love this machine, and judging by the sales figures, women do. Can-Am reports 21 percent of its sales are to women. Thats nearly 1 in 4 buyers, a significant and notable statistic.

Can-Am offers three Spyder models: the RS, the first model to debut in 2008 considered the entry into the Spyder family; the RS-S, the model I tested that is a custom version of the RS featuring semi-automatic transmission; and new for 2010 the RT, the tourer available in three versions: the base model; the RT Audio and Convenience version; and the RT-S, the top of the line model.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Tour Version
The touring version of the Spyder, the RT.

Ive ridden trikes, three-wheeled motorcycles with two wheels in back and one in front. The Spyder roadster in no way handles like a trike, or a motorcycle for that matter. With its two wheels in front and one in back, Can-Am is calling the Spyder a roadster creating a whole new category of on-road vehicles.

Walking up to my test unit, which is outfitted with a long list of Can-Am accessories designed specifically for this model, the press representative tells me to throw out everything I know about motorcycles and trikes and start with a clean slate mentally. To start, there is no hand brake lever or a clutch lever. Hmmm, this ought to be interesting. He tells me to mount the Spyder by grabbing the handlebars and while stepping with my left foot on the foot peg swing my right leg over the seat. Its easier this way so riders not limber enough to lift their leg up and over the seat from a standing position can easily get on the vehicle. Seat height, so important for women when it comes to a motorcycle, is not an issue with the Spyder since the 29 inch height to the top of the seat is accessible regardless of the riders height.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Mounting
Demonstrating how to get on the Spyder.

Three wheels mean you dont have to have your feet on the ground to balance the 700-pound vehicle. In fact, when riding the three-wheeler youre not supposed to put your feet on the ground when stopping or moving because you might accidentally roll and catch your feet on the footpeg. Since Im used to riding trikes, I have no problem with this directive, however most motorcyclists will have to consciously tell themselves to not put their feet down until it becomes second nature.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Seating Position
Ready to ride with feet starting on the pegs as I roll on the throttle. You also get a sense of the upright seating position.

The RS-S with its 990cc V-twin engine comes standard with SE5 transmission, a 5-speed semi-automatic transmission, meaning no clutch to engage manually and no downshifting. The semi-automatic transmission downshifts for you. (On the RS version you have to manually downshift.) Women who cant grasp the clutch/throttle action on a motorcycle will greatly appreciate the semi-automatic feature of the RS-S.

I upshift manually by pressing my left thumb on a lever on the handgrip that even short fingers can access. Very easy to do as the revs of the engine audibly signal you its time to upshift, like upshifting in a manual transmission automobile. There is no fumbling of the gear shifter with your foot, no skipping a gear accidentally, no wondering if the gear actually engaged, just smooth transitions from one gear to the next via that hand shifter. And a number on the digital dash lets you know what gear youre in should you lose count. Power is sent to the rear wheel via a Kevlar reinforced belt drive.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Dash
Among the indicators on the part analog/part digital dash is a gear indicator seen here on the bottom center of the digital gauge.

When you press on the brake, the engine automatically downshifts for you through the gears as the revs slow. I hear a noticeable clunking noise every time the engine downshifts from one gear to the next. The clunking seems overly loud, but I guess that’s a good thing to let me know the transmission is downshifting.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Controls
The gear shifter is identified with a plus sign.
Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S cornering
I downshift manually to climb this hill, but find the Spyder slightly sluggish as the 700-pound machine makes its way up the grade.

The transmission is called semi-automatic and not full automatic because if you want to manually downshift, you have that option. I use my left forefinger to press on the back of the shift lever toward me each time I switch a gear. Manually downshifting comes in handy when I’m climbing a hill and I need the engine in a lower gear to gain momentum and speed. It works quite easily, and again reminds me of downshifting in an automatic transmission automobile.

Braking is probably the biggest feature to get used to on the Spyder in that there is no hand lever brake like on a motorcycle. The only brake is a right-sided foot brake that, when pressed, actuates a fully integrated three-way ABS braking system. I press down hard with my toes to bring the Spyder to a stop. While some decent pressure is needed to press down on the brake pedal, when engaged the Spyder comes to a halt rather sharply thanks to the 4 piston calipers clamping down on each wheel’s 260mm disc. Two times I had to brake fast approaching an intersection due to a changing green light trying to keep up with my motorcycle-riding buddies. I never felt like I’d be thrown from the vehicle coming to halt that fast. In fact, I did sense the ABS coming into play as the vehicle came to a quick and firm stop. Sensors monitor each wheel independently and adjust to whatever wheel is at risk of locking up.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Footpeg
My test model’s foot peg and foot brake (including parking brake on the opposite side) are outfitted with custom billet ones, $94.99 for each for the brake pegs, and $229.99 a pair for the rider pegs and passenger pegs. Stock ones are rubberized.

Another neat feature to have on the Spyder that allows virtually anybody to ride it, regardless of size or strength, is the reverse gear, a transmission-based reverse (versus a separate motorized reverse found on some trikes) which is in place of a sixth gear. Too bad BRP couldn’t have kept the sixth gear and reverse. More on that later. You simply put the gear in neutral; this ensures the vehicle is not moving; then press the “R” button on the left hand controls and simultaneously shift down into reverse. Twist the throttle to move the bike backward. Speed is limited to 12 mph (about 20 km/h). Forgetting I had reverse available to me, I attempted to put my feet down to push the vehicle around, but realized with the wide profile of the Spyder I barely touched the ground so I couldn’t do it. Thanks goodness for that reverse gear, which is easy to use once you get used to it.

The parking brake, located on the left side behind the footpeg, is engaged and disengaged by pressing down on it hard with your foot. If you forget to disengage it, a light flashes on the dash when starting the vehicle.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Parking Brake
Some pressure is needed to step down on the parking brake; my foot kept slipping off the smooth-surfaced billet peg and when doing so my shin bashed into the footpeg several times. Maybe that wouldn’t happen with the stock rubber brake pedal.
Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Action Shot
While the riding position is ergonomically just right, I had to get used to the more aggressive stance.

The riding position is one I’m not used to as a cruiser rider, that is, having to lean forward to the flat-ish handlebars, my feet positioned behind me. If I were to tour on the Spyder I’d prefer the more upright seating position that’s available on the touring version of the Spyder, the RT. I could install the 1 inch aftermarket riser that sells for $44.99 to bring the bars higher, not closer. Or I could buy aftermarket bars from Helibars, which bring the bars closer. Sportbike riders may like this riding position, but for me, the aggressive stance of the RS-S lends itself to short day rides and zipping around town. The stock seat on the RS-S is comfortable enough for any length of ride, and the generous 7.1 gallon fuel capacity and 30-35 mph average fuel range will tempt you to take the Spyder out for long jaunts.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Seat
The RS-S features a special edition seat with color matched stitching (in this case white) and textured thigh area so your legs stayed gripped to the seat. This photo also shows the black side panel trim for my knees to rest, a $109.99 custom part added to the vehicle I was testing.

How Does it Ride?

I press my thumb once to click into first gear and twist the throttle and the 990cc Rotax V-Twin moves me forward quicker than I expect. With the large-feeling 700-pound vehicle beneath me, I expected the 990cc engine to respond slower, but throttle response is quick and precise partly due to multi-point fuel injection with 57mm-diameter throttle bodies.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Rear
BRP marketing notes claim 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. I didn’t test that, but I could see how that is possible.

This three-wheeler is nimble, precise and downright quick, qualities I think surprise those who ride it…and what distinguishes it from most trikes. With that said, I could not keep up with my two riding buddies, my husband on his Harley-Davidson Road King, and my photographer on his Honda 600cc sportbike, coming off the line, but out on the highway in cruising mode it was easy to stay side by side as most of the Spyder’s torque is felt in the mid-range of the powerband. Peak torque is 77 foot-pounds at 6250 rpm. And riding between a cruiser and a sportbike, the Spyder feels more sportbike-ish achieving 106 horsepower at 8500 rpm, according to BRP marketing notes. Redline is at 9500 rpm. Riding between 70 to 75mph, I felt the need for a sixth gear as the engine revved high. It would have been nice to have a sixth gear overdrive to slow the revs down while maintaining speed, but like I mentioned earlier, sixth gear was sacrificed for that reverse gear.

How does it corner? Thanks to the “dynamic power steering” feature on the Spyder that adjusts the amount of steering effort required based on acceleration speed and steering angle, the Spyder corners quite easily with absolutely no feeling that the wheels will come off the ground. No muscling of the handlebars like a rider must do on a trike, as most are not equipped with power steering. The Spyder is loaded with features — specials systems — listed by acronyms, VSS, SCS and TCS, that explain how the three-wheeler is engineered in terms of stability and traction control. If you want to learn more, visit Spyder’s Web site listed at the end of this article.

I liken the cornering to how it feels to drive a Porsche sports car. Back in the 1980s, I had the pleasure of piloting a friend’s classic Porsche 911 (haven’t driven one since) and recall how the vehicle felt like it was hugging the road requiring minimal steering effort as the vehicle snakes from one lane to the next and making its way through corners. I remember it distinctly because it was so different than your average automobile. That’s how the Spyder felt to me when moving in and out of traffic.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Turning Radius
A decent turning radius allows me to turn the Spyder sharply and the “Vehicle Stability System” reduces the risk of losing control.

The Spyder is built on its own proprietary chassis, the SST Spyder (Surrounding Spar Technology), with a swing arm in the rear anchored by a monoshock providing 5.67 inches of travel. Front suspension is essentially a Double A-Arm, arms that come out from the center of the chassis to each of the front wheels forming an A. They each have built into them an anti-roll bar that assists in keeping the tires firmly on the ground.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Tire Size
The coil shocks in front provide 5.67 inches of travel. Front tire size is 154/65R14.
Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Suspension
The cam in the rear shock is adjustable that I’d leave up to a trained technician to adjust. Rear tire size is 225/50R15.

I was pleased with the very smooth ride; quite frankly I didn’t know what to expect. I was used to front end wobble or “head shake” as it called, as well as “bump transfer” from front to rear tires, both so prominent on trikes. On the Spyder, if you hit a bump with one of the 165mm front tires it’s unlikely you’ll roll over it again on the rear tire as it rolls on a different track positioned between the two front tires. If the rear tire hits a bump that the front ones missed, the Spyder’s generous rear suspension travel eats up most of the vibration.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Exhaust
Clear view of the swingarm, shock, 2-into-1 exhaust, and 260mm brake disc with single piston caliper.

There’s not much to dislike about the Spyder as its well engineered and ergonomically dialed in for a variety of sized riders. And you can’t really compare it to another on-road vehicle as there is nothing else like it, a fact BRP capitalizes on in its marketing.

If I had to be picky, the gauges overload you with too much information. In addition to the digital speedometer, there is a large analog speedometer on the left and a full analog tachometer on the right. Directly underneath the digital speedometer readout is the temperature in a font size nearly as big as the mph. When glancing down at the dash, you’ll have to realize 95 degrees doesn’t mean 95 mph. Not sure why the temperature number is that large, and quite frankly, I’ve yet to find an onboard temperature sensor on any motorcycle (not that the Spyder’s a motorcycle) that’s accurate as engine heat compromises the readout.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Control Panel
Here’s my shot of the dash again with the analog speedo to the left of the digital one and the large 95F temperature reading below the 0 indicating speed.

Then there were numbers I had no idea what they were until I asked. HRT and HR kept popping up when I turned on the vehicle. Hours running per trip (how long the vehicle’s been running for that trip), and hours on the unit (for servicing purposes) are statistics I have no need to keep track of. Although here’s a plus: because BRP is a Canadian company, a toggle switch on the unit gives it the ability to register speed in kilometers per hour or miles per hour, a nice feature if you decide to ride into Canada, or vice versa.

Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Storage
A generous 11.62-gallon storage area is accessible by lifting the front hood. I never understand why storage is measured in gallons or liters. I’m not going to store liquid in there. An oversized backpack and extra riding gear can easily fit. At night, the front headlight beam reflects off the inside of the white hood illuminating the area so you can see inside.
Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Accessories
Dress up your Spyder: my test unit has the custom handgrips (fancy higher end rubber) for $34.99; Phantom Black 6-spoke wheels for $549.99 a pair; and an ultra sport windshield for $144.99 that looks cool but doesn’t block the wind much at all.
Review Can-Am Spyder RS-S Passenger handrails
Passengers are treated to a generous seat and sturdy rubberized handrails.

The Spyder has a lot of tangible and well as intrinsic value for the pricey $18,799 retail cost of owning one of these high-end semi-automatic beauties. I don’t feel you’re sacrificing anything in terms of an open-air ride with this vehicle. Notice I never once called the Spyder a motorcycle, because it is not. It’s a new concept offering many qualities of the ride of a motorcycle, while providing many new ones unique to its own class of being a roadster.

Specs At A Glance: 2010 Can-Am Spyder RS-S

Displacement: 990cc V-Twin

Seat Height: 29 inches

Fuel Capacity: 7.1 gallons

Dry Weight: 699 pounds

Colors: RS-S comes only in Pearl White

Price: RS-S starts at $18,799 (RS starts at $16,499)

WRN Recommendation:
Unlike a trike, the Spyder is a stand-alone vehicle in terms of what it offers. A trike is traditionally meant for riders who need that third wheel for whatever reason. A Spyder, in my opinion, is a vehicle born out of excitement as opposed to filling any need. Demo rides are being offered all over the country. Get on one and experience the difference.

Related Articles:
Review: Air Ride Suspension Spyder Hauling Trailer
Review: Spyder Roadster: Three-Wheeler of a Different Kind
Product: Ergo Handlebars for the Can-Am Spyder
Features: 200 Spyders All in One Place! You Gotta See these Photos!


44 thoughts on THREE WHEELER REVIEW: Can-Am Spyder RS-S

  1. I know this is an old article so I hope “womenridersnow” has been educated to the fact that this *is* a motorcycle. I need a motorcycle endorsement, motorcycle insurance and plate to be legal in my state! I ride an F3S and an RTS.

    1. Thanks for your comments. This is an old review; sorry the date is not indicated to say so. Back when I reviewed this in 2008, it is a fact that the motorcycle industry did not know what to call theses new three-wheeled vehicles. So the article is correct. They were a new category of vehicle, a roadster and the DOT, DMV, etc. still had not decided what to classify it. Hence the reference in my article.

  2. I’ve ridden motorcycles since I was 15. This year at 61 (and three shoulder surgeries later) I traded for a Can-Am Spyder RT Limited. 1330cc, 6 speeds, and reverse! I am in love and should have done it sooner. Now I can even feel safe to ride a passenger. I’m gonna start saving for my next one!

  3. Hello. I took the Can-Am course and passed. Two years later I’m ready to buy one. I remember the instructor saying you didn’t really need to upshift on the Can-Am RT Limited. Is this true or did I hear him wrong? If I do need to upshift can you tell me when and how I would do this?

    1. The current model Can-Am Spyder RT Limited has a semi-automatic transmission, meaning it is an automatic but offers the option to shift by using a paddleshifter with your left finger and thumb. You would use this to shift at the same time you would normally shift a manual transmission. When the engine is revving faster than necessary, you shift up. Consult the bike’s owners manual for the shift points and ask the dealer reps all the questions you have about it.Good luck!

  4. At 4 feet 6 inches tall, I ride the Can-Am Spyder RT Limited and I love it! I had the setback TriAxis handlebars installed, priced at $1,000, and worth every penny as it brings the handlebars into perfect position for this short gal. I rode a Yamaha Virago 1100 for 10 years prior that had been shortened up with 11-inch shocks and modifications. I was tip-toe on it and had my share of falling over with ruts in roads at stops. No more! I love my bike and ride it all the time. Mine is a 2014 with the 1330 motor and it is so powerful. I often teased my Harley-riding hubby to get the heck out of my way when pulling out from stop signs as my bike is faster than his big bike. Cornering is a bit different than two wheels but once you get the hang of it, it is so much more fun as the bike handles beautifully. With the RT you have lots of storage with comes in handy on my long distance rides. I encourage anyone who is on the shorter side to give this wonderful machine a try. It is perfect for us little gals!

  5. My question is not about the height from the ground, but the length of my arms. I’m 5-foot-2 so my arms are short. Will I be able to reach the handles without leaning forward too much?

    1. Chris,There are lot more factors than strictly arm length that go into whether you can reach the handlebars or not. It’s really not a straight out measurement thing as there are other factors to consider, like how long is your torso. The best thing to do, the thing I recommend all the time, but most especially if you’re of shorter stature, is to sit on the motorcycle, or three-wheeler to see if it fits. That is the only way you’ll know. If there are no dealers by you, then find out what Can-Am’s rally schedule is and get to one of the events. You’ll be able to talk to factory representatives and find out how you can modify the handlebars, possible with different risers, to make the Spyder fit you.

  6. I am 77 years young have been riding 65 years. I am a GWRRA member. I have two cycle love affairs, Gold Wings, and since February, now the Can-Am Spyder. I am looking forward to 1200-mile days again. I thought I was be done with long trips but not anymore. Canada here we come.

  7. Hi – enjoyed your article. I’m a 5-foot tall (short – LOL) woman and I really want to ride but have yet to find something that I would be comfortable on. Would I be to short for this bike?

    1. Donna,Height is not an issue riding a three-wheeler because you don’t have to be able to put both feet down because balance is not an issue. You stop when you want to stop with both feet on the pegs; and vice versa when taking off from a stop. That’s why three-wheelers are so popular. Virtually anyone can ride them.

  8. Thank you for the article. You have written it so anyone can understand and relate. I myself have a Piaggio MP3, also a three-wheel vehicle (see picture) which I think gives you more the “motor experience” then the Can-Am.But my wife thinks the Can-Am is more sportive as a vehicle and made her choice for that. Another plus, on a Piaggio, the cornering is really scaring when you have never driven a motor. The cornering with a Can-Am is more “car-like” (probably because the front wheels are more spaced).After reading your article i am surely going to take a testdrive on the Can-Am.Thanks for sharing.

  9. Your article was great! I had a Honda Shadow 500 when I was 45 and loved it. But I was always afraid of dropping it. I didn’t but the fear is always there. I knew if I dropped it I couldn’t pick it up. Well now I’m a 62-year-old women who has wanted a trike for years but heard to must about them tipping. So with my brothers help and research he came up with the Spyder. I purchase the Can-Am RT S today. I will be picking it up in a week in NY. I test drove and love it! I use to call myself an old lady and now that I have the Spyder I’m thinking I’m a Cougar, but not looking for young men. Just feeling full of life because I found a three-wheeler that works for me! Thank you BRP for your brilliant designs.

  10. My husband has always wanted me to have my own motorcycle so we could ride together. Three years ago he purchased me a Harley Dyna Super Glide. I got my permit and learned how to ride, however I could never get over my fear of dropping the bike, so we traded it in and got two ATVs (which we love)! One of my clients stopped by my office a few weeks ago to show me their new Can Am and I fell in love with it. I thought now this is something I could ride. When I told my husband about it he said no way! He’s a diehard Harley man. He decided to do research on them and read tons of reviews and was very impressed with the safety features and how well they’re made. Off we went to test drive one, needless to say we came home with a brand new 2014 Spyder RS-S! We’ve had it for one week and have already put 500 miles on it! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I’m looking forward to the many adventures riding with my husband!

  11. I received my Spyder as a birthday gift four months ago and love it. I just started riding when I turned 40 and was so worried about dropping my sportbike while I was out by myself that I almost never rode.I cannot stay off of my RS-S. I absolutely love to ride and now do not worry at all about dropping my ride.Great write up – definitely a great ride for women and beginners. The Spyder is a lot of fun!

  12. Great article! Lots of good info about the Spyders. I love to ride, but haven’t had the chance in the last couple of years, so I’m looking at different options rather than two wheels. Thank you!

  13. I’ve had my Spyder for nine months and have put 2,000 miles on it. I love it! I ride on the freeway, back roads, etc., and ride it all the time. I ride it even when my husband is doing other things and can’t join me on his Harley trike. My husband got a trike, because he had a heart attack and since he’s now on blood thinners the cardiologist told him if he took a little tumble he would bleed to death internally and needed to get on three wheels or give up riding. This weekend, my husband is getting rid of his Harley and getting a Can-Am too! He rode mine to for a quick errand once or twice, and he eats my dust taking off at stop lights, and so he too has fallen in love. I’m thrilled we both be “scooting and motoring around on Can-Ams!

  14. I thought this article was great! Thumbs up!. My husband and I are in our 40s/50s and just learning how to ride. This article has convinced me more to go out and test drive this vehicle. Thanks so much for the information. Hopefully we will be riding by August..

  15. Just bought the Can Am Spyder ST Limited. Easy riding, comfortable and best for me as a senior rider. Love it!

  16. I found this review to be very interesting. I currently have a Yamaha that I purchased after having passed a Riders Edge course and obtaining my license. At this point however, I still feel quite a bit of fear about riding and ultimately laying the bike over. It is frustrating my husband who rides a Harley and wants me to join in the fun. My debate at this point is either to give up and sell the Yamaha or trade it in on a Can-Am. This helps me to lean towards trying one out before I totally throw in the towel.

  17. I traded my sporty for a 2013 Spyder SE5 Techno and must admit I do miss it. But I also must admit I’m totally having fun with the Spyder. What an awesome bike; great comfort and speed and a little more relaxing when traveling long distances. Enjoyed the reading this site.

  18. I have had my Spyder for just over a year and I’m really enjoying the ride. I have no problem keeping up with any other bikes. I can pass Harleys on Hwy 395 going up Sherman grade and going into Yosemite. And when it’s time to come down that mountain road the Spyder holds back real well in 3rd gear or 4th, no problem! Very comfortable riding. Only thing that I would like to add is lights and a back rest. Looking forward to many many rides!

  19. Thank you for such a detailed write up. I’ve had a Sportster for a few years but never gained the confidence in myself to ride it much for fear of the balancing and dropping it. I’ve been looking at Can-Am RS-S with my husband for us to get for me. I know I will have the confidence to ride this machine! Thanks again for the great write up!

  20. Thanks for the info. Love mine too. Looking for a group to ride with in my new home.

  21. I am an American who owns an RT Spyder touring model. I bought this off of an American while stationed in Germany. Loved it on the Autobahn. Being a female 5 feet 5 inches, my biggest fear was laying down a taller bike. I love my Spyder. I don’t have to worry about laying down the bike, love the storage in the “frunk” (front trunk, or boot as the Aussies call it). I often get yelled at to get a real bike from the locals but those who ride with me through Australia are impressed that I can keep up not only with the Harley Road Kings, but the sportbiikes as well. It may be ugly but my bike earns respect. We went on a 1,300km ride throughout New South Wales and I was in the best shape after the long haul. I have Givi hard saddlebags on it, added LED lights to the front fender wells, and have the Helibar lifters. Am very glad to have the Spyder…semi automatic is a bit different, but now I wouldn’t trade it for a more expensive Harley trike.

  22. I bought a Roadster in 2010. I love my “bike.” I was very scared of riding alone. I feel so safe on this bike. I take off with my Harley-riding husband and a few more friends as often as possible and I have never regretted buying this bike.

  23. What a great article! I’ve just moved from cruiser (after I couldn’t touch the ground from sportbikes) to a Spyder and absolutely love it. Biggest surprise was how physical it is to lean into the bend, after all, the machine doesn’t lean! On our roads (maintenance is a word which has too many syllables for our state), its stability is wonderful. Thanks again.

  24. Great review, just bought one. Not even in the garage yet. The review is helping me deal with my emotional swings of excitement and buyers remorse.Thanks.

  25. Yes, I agree with the review being very informative. I have this exact bike minus the upgraded pegs. I kept nodding my head as I was reading on. I love riding in the open air on my motorcycle. I also feel that the Spyder opens up to those females interested in riding yet fear the danger. I totally feel comfortable and safe behind this 700 pound machine I call SPYDIE.

  26. Very informative, hit all the key points I was looking for as I determine if I want to proceed with buying one of these bikes. Thanks.

  27. This was a well written review covering all aspects. I got a Spyder in May 2010 and love it.

  28. I was in a serious motorcycle accident last year. I wasn’t ready to get back on two wheels but after seeing the Spyder at a local meet spot, I was intrigued. I took one for a test ride and decided to give it a shot. While the handling is, as mentioned, completely different than two wheels, it also affords a great deal of stability (i.e., not falling over at off-balance stops or low siding on gravel) and that is something very important to me at this stage in the game. It allows me to still enjoy the open road with the throttle in my hand, wind in my face, and 1000cc between my legs. I’ve got 1k miles so far and look to quadruple that in the next two months…with great anticipation!

    1. Glad to hear you have the wind in your face again Tyler…and knees in the breeze as they say. You’ve been such an advocate for women touring on motorcycles. Best wishes with your new ride.

  29. I was pleasantly surprised to see an article on the Can-Am. I own a 09 SM5 Spyder, and love it. I have never driven a motorcycle before, and had absolutely no problems learning how to drive the Spyder. Shifting is no problem, and I haven’t even driven a standard transmission in a car in years. The three wheels makes it much more stable than anything on two wheels. I would recommend the Sypder.

  30. As a beginner rider, I chose the Spyder semi automatic. The shifting is VERY easy to do and is perfect for a beginner, espesially as you don’t have to worry about using a clutch or wondering if you have it in the right gear. You can enjoy the riding experience fully and it has the get up and go you need. I have no trouble keeping up with any motorcycle and I love the way people stop to ask questions. I’ve even had a lady jump out of her car and ask to take a picture of my Spyder at a stop light. Mine is a 2009 but would love to have the touring model with all the bells and whistles, but price is prohibitive for most people.

  31. This machine looks like the jet skis that we use on the water. Did they take the body of this water vehicle, put wheels on it and call it a motorcycle??

  32. My husband and I are interested in a Spyder RT-S and ave never owned a motorcycle. Would you recommend this open air vehicle for beginners. Costs have been in the range of approximately $24,000 for a 2010. Have you heard when the 2011 models will be out.

    1. Because shifting is involved, I wouldn’t recommend this for beginners. It’s important to learn how to ride a three-wheeler. Visit our sister site, for information on training sites.

  33. Well written gave a lot of information I had been looking for. How does a passenger affect the ride? Maybe my next ride. Sounds a little safer with the three wheels if you have to pull over on the gravel, but no more lane splitting.

    1. I rode my 6-foot-3 200-pound husband on the back in the parking lot. Just withe the short turns around the lot, I didn’t feel his weight affected the ride, or the power.

Scroll to Top