2012 Can-Am Spyder RT Limited: Three Wheels Across America — RoadRUNNER…

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Can-Am Spyder RT

2012 Can-Am Spyder RT Three Wheels Across

Bombardier Recreational Products loaned us two of their top-of-the-line touring models and a trailer for an cross-country test. 
Starting in St. MO, we followed the Lewis and Clark more than 3,000 to Oregon’s Pacific Coast.

In to fluctuations in weather and 
topography, we a wide variety of riding on the secondary paved roads.

Not Motorcycles!

The Can-Am Spyders, their “Y-shaped” configuration of two in front and one in the back, are obviously not You don’t counter-steer or lean into corners. The steering is to that of an ATV or a snowmobile, where the a is swung in the same direction in the rider intends to go.

Also, the controls are different from a bike: paddle shifters on the change gears (which there are no clutch or gearshift and all braking is accomplished with the right foot. Although the is operated with the right like a standard cycle, it this veteran rider days before running the became a second-nature process.

Although the power-to-weight ratio of the Spyder RT doesn’t make it a burner, the torque-happy Rotax has plenty of grunt. Even two-up and pulling a loaded it accelerates rapidly and overtakes at highway speeds. The integrated ABS system worked flawlessly and rider confidence when the heavily loaded vehicle to a stop. Gas mileage on the Can-Am plus loaded trailer) around 28 mpg.

Jeff, who rode one-up a trailer, but fully loaded, around 35 mpg.

Although the have variable ratio steering, executing smooth through curves is an acquired When cornering at speed, I had a tendency to over-steer and make corrections before exiting a The suspension was initially set too soft, and steering corrections occasionally a back-and-forth rocking motion.

further amplified the over-steering

Part of the handling solution was to the front suspension’s pre-load one and crank the rear suspension up to its maximum setting. In addition, it was more important than on a to look completely through and apply a relatively light to the handlebars. With more I became pretty proficient at corners. However, there was a noticeable “cliff effect” to the at which a curve could be easily.

I usually had to slow a little to even out the handling

Traveling across the Great and through the Columbia River we encountered very strong winds. The Spyder RTs presented a target for those gales to onto and toss around, riding two-up and pulling a That effect, combined the vehicle’s relatively sensitive made riding it in excess of 65 mph a

The problems substantially diminished, as speed was reduced to the 55 to 60 mph range.

a large, heavy vehicle, the RT proved to be adept at negotiating spaces. The relatively tight radius, level platform three wheels, and reverse made parking maneuvers a The only significant OMG moment was a incident on a rain-slicked backroad, but handling issue was solved by a decrease in speed.

The most safety advantage the Spyder has a conventional motorcycle is its three which virtually eliminate the of a low side crash, a tip over, or other challenges to keeping the side down. The Can-Am’s substantial road presence reduces the likelihood of not being by other drivers. I don’t a single incident of another pulling into my lane or some other action suggested its driver didn’t see me.

The also have several systems that promote Besides ABS, there is a Control System (TCS), an Mechanical Parking Brake, Stability System (VSS), Encoded Security System Dynamic Power Steering and the Stability Control System I inadvertently activated the SCS on a curve the inside wheel separated from a rough section of

The Spyder immediately reduced and re-established contact between the and the pavement.

One downside of the three-wheel is dodging road hazards suddenly appear in your Because it’s virtually to straddle or swerve around and other objects without the yellow line (on a two-lane riders usually have to the opposing lane once it is of oncoming traffic or use the road’s

The upright riding position and back support for the rider to lessen road fatigue long hours in the saddle. To off cramping, I periodically stretched out my and rested my boots on the rubber air that direct engine out the side. I doubt those were intended for use as such, but did a fine job of impersonating highway

Other key features include cruise control, heated (for rider and passenger), floorboards, 12V power outlet, and an connection.

A firm, and sometimes ride was the tradeoff for increasing pre-load. The electronically adjustable in its fully extended position, reduced wind noise and buffeting at highway speeds. At speeds, lowering it all the way down was to improve rider airflow on hot days.

Overall, the windscreen and deflectors seem designed to protect riders from air and have limited adjustability to rider airflow in hot weather.

The RT-622 Trailer

Although the trailer is a relatively light 250 and aerodynamically designed, inevitably, has to be some degrading of acceleration, and stopping distance. The performance I experienced, though, was relatively considering the added hauling and overall convenience the trailer for quickly stowing helmets and riding gear.


Overall, the Can-Am Spyder RT is both a fun and highly capable for long-distance touring. And riders get the same open-air experience as a motorcycle. While it’s true that Can-Am handle differently than motorcycles, there are clearly unique advantages to touring on three-wheeled vehicle.

In the final it’s not a question of whether two or three wheels are best, but a of personal preference. The Can-Am RT Limited has much to be recommended

Second Opinion by Jeff

The lure of riding is powerful, and that desire has given us a of choices on what to ride. has conceived and executed a new option opens the world of cycling to a new segment of the population—those who may not wish, or be to execute the challenges that go two wheels. The Can-Am Spyder for a highly able tourer provides long distance commodious storage, plenty of and features, and lots of operating

After 24 days on board, I was uncomfortable or fatigued, never of a place to put something, in love the integrated roller board impressed by the strong throttle and and appreciative of the thoughtful engineering.

If I had to an area that could be it would be the steering. Because the does not lean, and the front remain vertical, higher cornering left me a bit unsure of I felt that adjustment were constantly needed, and cornering aggressively, an edge is too abrupt and sharp made for grip grasping moments.

I did get with time, and doubtlessly continue to do so.

Other minor I could suggest include: the size/visibility of some displays, rider ventilation, add floorboards and pegs, simplify the starting/parking sequence, and locate the gas tank hole externally. Overall, the Spyder is a very capable that should more satisfy the desire to ride for who feel the call.

Our Ten Suggestions for the Can-Am Spyder RT s Even

In summary, we believe the Spyder RTs benefit from the following 10

Add floor boards to improve comfort for the rider.

Add highway which would allow to periodically stretch their

Allow parking brake to be set restarting the engine (and embarrassed by the prolonged beeping

Make setting pre-load on the front suspension easier.

For hot riding, increase airflow to by having directionally movable air

Fill in space around the shaft, which connects to so it’s not possible to lose or other small items in a to access location.

Make icons for turn signals and indicators larger and easier to see in sunlight.

Relocate the gas tank to an externally accessed location. the seat requires a passenger to or is difficult if gear is stowed on the seat.

Because the cruising of a Can-Am pulling a loaded can become a concern in western (where refueling stations are farther apart), increase tank capacity by one half to one gallon.

 Make engagement of an easier one-step procedure.


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