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Can am Spyder

2007 Can Am Spyder

Thanks to
BRP (Bombardier
Recreational Products)
and RideNow Powersports
for providing
the motorcycle

Can am Spyder
2007 Can Am Spyder
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

2007 Can Am Spyder

Thanks to
BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products)
and RideNow Powersports
for providing the motorcycle

by Kirk Johnson
April 2007

MSRP $14,999

A true street toy with guts

About the Spyder

First, here is a quick note about the manufacturer.  I did not know much about BRP and thought a brief background would be of interest.

BRP manufactures Ski-Doo® and Lynx® snowmobiles, Sea-Doo® watercraft and sport boats, Johnson® and Evinrude® outboard engines and Can-AmTM all-terrain vehicles (ATV or Quad).  They started out in 1930s with the first patent on snowmobiles and have been very successful with recreational vehicles.  They currently employ over 6,200 people worldwide in 80 different countries and have revenues of over $2 billion.  The Can Am Spyder Roadster is the first creation from BRP to be licensed for the street or for the open road.

Engine

Manufacturer··············································BRP-Rotax
Type···························································990 V-Twin
Displacement··············································60.90 Cu In or (998cc)
Cylinder······················································2
Valves per cylinder·····································DOHC 4
Max output··················································106 hp @ 8500 rpm (79 kW @ 8500 rpm)
Max torque·················································77 lb-ft @ 6250 rpm (104.3 Nm @ 6250 rpm)
Compression ratio······································10.8:1
Ignition type················································Electronic ignition with dual output coil
Cooling·······················································Liquid cooled
Injection······················································Multi-point EFI with 57 mm

This three-wheel creation comes in at around 800 pounds with two wheels up front and a center wheel in the rear.  The front suspension configuration is a double A-Arm with an anti-roll bar, and the rear is a single swing-arm with monoshock.  The transmission is a five speed and has a final belt drive to the read wheel.  Fuel capacity is 7.13 Gallons.

1 Body. 4 Brains.

Spyder incorporates some of the most sophisticated electronic management systems on any vehicle today.  In fact, the 1 CAN BUS system integrates several Electronic Control Units (ECUs), making the Spyder one of the most intelligent and innovative power sport vehicles on the planet.

With the VSS, (vehicle stability system), the Y-architecture enables the Spyder to host an innovative stability system. Developed in conjunction with Bosch, the VSS reduces the risk of losing control.  It immediately detects any loss of traction and quickly takes steps to correct it. Integrated in VSS are the functions of SCS (Stability Control System), TCS2 (Traction Control System ) and the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System).  Basically, what all of these systems do is help make sure you do not loose control of the Spyder.  For example, if you do a burnout and start to fish tail, the engine will cut back just enough for the rear wheel to gain traction again.  Also, if you’re going around a corner and start to lift one of the front tires off the ground, the electronics will limit the engine and manage the braking system to limit the tire lift and keep it on the ground. 

The Spyder also has dynamic power steering and incorporates a single brake pedal for all three wheels.  It also has a lockable storage compartment up front.  It comes in two basic colors, Yellow or Grey and has a two-year warranty.

Test Drive

Before I could take this little Spyder for a road trip, I had to drive it around a little track setup with cones.  After one lap around the course, with multiple stops and turns, I realized why it was a prerequisite.  First, because of the two front tires in front, you had clearance issues.  When going through the slalom, you realize you cannot cut the corners like you would with a motorcycle.  If you were to gauge the corners as if on a motorcycle in the real world, you would be climbing curbs.  With the Spyder, this is easier to get used to than with a traditional trike.  On the Spyder, you can see the front tires and compensate for width.  On a traditional trike, you do not see the tires following you and have to guess the width to make sure you clear the curb.  The second thing was the braking.  There is no front brake lever on the handlebars, just the single right foot brake.  This is because of the ABS system.  With this system, you will never have to worry about locking up or skidding any one of the wheels, thus you can maintain control of the Spyder at all times.

Finally, after a couple of boring laps around the track, I got to go play in traffic.  Because of liability issues, and because these are prototype units, a BRP representative had to ride with me on his own Spyder during the test ride.    The first thing we had to do was a brief photo shoot, which of course required some slow drive-bys, allowing Raymond to get some good photo shots. 

I could not resist playing with the Spyder while doing these drive-bys and wanted to test out the computers that check for vehicle stability.  I found a large graveled area where I turned around to start playing.  First, I flew into the turn-around area, cranked the handlebars to the left and slammed on the brakes to try to slide sideways.  It did not work.  The computer system or VSS (vehicle stability system) took over and kept the Spyder controllable by not letting the brakes lock up.

Then, I tried to power out of the gravel area to fishtail around.  That did not work, either.  The VSS system limited power to the drive wheel to keep the Spyder from doing a power slide in the gravel.  Interestingly, it did not shut the power off, just limited it to slip free acceleration.

OK, not to be totally out done by the computer, I stopped in the middle of the road, revved the engine and dropped the clutch at about 5,000 rpm.  Wow, you can easily smoke the rear tire in first and spin it again when you grab second gear.  If you get a little crossed up, the VSS will shut the power down to stop wheel spin.  Then, the Spyder will track straight again.

Finally, pictures taken, we headed out to grab some road time on the 101.  Tied up in traffic, I was unable to really find the rev limiter on the on-ramp.  Obviously, while in traffic, we got a lot of lookers checking out these rides. 

Running down the 101 at 70 to 80 mph, the Spyder runs very smooth.  The problem with this little Spyder is it screams at you to play - you just want to play in traffic!  By this, I mean you have this overwhelming urge to dart in and out of traffic and twist the grip.  The Spyder is totally a toy.  It feels stable at any speed. 

While on the way back to the barn, we took the Scottsdale exit off the 101 and made the U-turn to get back on the frontage road to West World.  While turning left, I pushed the Spyder to the limits.  I could see that the inside tire of the Spyder came up off the ground less then ½ of an inch, then settled back on the ground right away.  The engine never shuts down when the VSS system takes over, it just limits the power to make sure that all wheels are on the payment.  How cool is that!

Summary

The Spyder is a great little toy and is street legal.  Price points are very reasonable.  I can’t imagine this not being a success for the spirited rider in the very near future.  This being the first street legal release from Can am is very amazing.  I am sure you will see more stuff from them in the future.

Ride safe,

Kirk
Phoenixbikers.com
Motorcycletestdrive.com

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without the permission of Kirk at phoenixbikers.com.