VOG Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While I haven't taken any long trips on the Spyder RT yet, the digital odometer just passed the 1,500 mile mark...so I felt it was time for an updated review.

I'll state again, the Spyder is NOT a motorcycle and is ridden in a completely different manner. In fact, it takes a few hundred miles to start getting the feel of riding on three wheels...especially when two of the three wheels are located in the front.

I'm finding it helpful to use Can-Am's description and calling the Spyder a Roadster as it's best described as being a combination of a motorcycle and a convertible. It does take a while to get used to as the rider leans into a turn, but the bike does not.

Just last week, I finally had the Garmin Zumo 660 and the XM Satellite Radio installed and while they did not arrive with the Spyder, I'm glad they are installed. I'm to understand from the Dealer that due to the amount of "plastic" on the bike, it's a time consuming process. I'm glad that I worked on a flat fee for the installation as I'm sure that if I was billed the actual hours, the bill would have had Sticker Shock in bold print. The Dealer wasn't upset about it as my RT was the first one they sold and there's a learning curve.



It's taken me a while to dial in just the right suspension settings. The rear is an adjustable air shock that is controlled by a switch that's within easy reach of the rider and can be controlled on the fly. The air bladder (I think that's what it's called) has a shrader valve that's easily accessible under the seat. This area is very easy to access as the gas cap is also located under the seat. The pressure is preset at 30psi and can be tweaked up or down with the rocker switch. From talking to others, I've learned that the maximum pressure is around 90psi and (for my weight) was advised to bump it up to 70psi. I did and it truly changed the ride for the better.

The front shocks have five settings and is preset to the middle (# 3) setting. Personally, I really didn't like the factory setting as it felt like it wallowed at highway speeds. By shifting it up to #4, the wallowing seems to have disappeared.

Allow me to state that this is a large machine. I remember the first time that BHayes saw it, he said something like, "Holy Crap, that thing is huge!" (Correct me if I'm wrong Bobby).





While there's no lane splitting on a Spyder, it can fit alongside a Vision at a stoplight.

With the large size and the rear trunk area, I was a bit concerned how it would ride through the South Florida wind gusts that we often experience in this neck of the woods.

When the shocks were set at the factory settings, I wasn't thrilled with the way it handled in side winds. However, once the settings were adjusted, it's like day and night. I'm happy with the Spyder RT's handling characteristics. I'm sure that there's a learning curve in feeling comfortable on a Roadster.

While the seat is soft and has what appears to be deep foam, either the seat or my rear end needed a break-in period. I'll reserve my opinion on the long ride comfort of the seat until I take an all day trip.

I've placed an order for a Utopica backrest and should have it within the next few days. Since I'm vertically challenged, I'm hoping that it will not only push me forward a bit, like the other Utopia's I've owned, it will provide some additional lower back support. Yes, I'm not getting any younger...and neither is my back.

Mileage? Well, if you want high mileage, get a Smart Car! So far I've yet to reach the 30 MPG mark and seeing that I live in the flatlands, I'm a bit surprised at this. The tank holds 6.6 gallons of fuel and the analog gas gauge leaves a bit to be desired. During the first few tanks the gauge would jump around like a tachometer. This has gotten better and possibly the mechanism needed a break-in period of its own.

The low fuel indicator comes on when approximately two gallons is remaining and usually when I've logged around 110 - 120 miles off a full tank. Yes, I wish there was a longer range for this vehicle. The best explanation for the mileage I've received is from Fred Rau who stated that there's a lot of rubber on the road that creates a higher drag than a typical touring motorcycle. That combined with the large envelope of space results in a lower MPG rating that most touring bikes. (At the least, that's the jest of what he told me).

The audio system is very similar to a 2010 Vision. I've been told that it's manufactured by the same company that makes the Vision's audio system. Surprisingly, the AM radio is good. The FM is a bit better, the XM is next and of course, the iPod delivers the clearest sound quality. I'll reserve a full review of the audio system for a separate post as my fingers are getting tired! I will state that it's clear enough to listen to talk radio at 70 mph. Also, here's a trick that I also used on my Vision...

When riding without a passenger, use the Fader to send all the sound to the front speakers. This setting seems to make the audio clearer for the rider. While some riders will state that this adjustment will adversely affect the rider hearing the "surround" effect of the rear speakers, to me, when wearing a 3/4 helmet, my ears are completely covered and I can't tell a difference when the rear speakers are activated. Just my two cents.

I've been told (by my Passenger) that the comfort is very good. The rear seat is elevated for a nice view and the seat is canted rearward, which gives the passenger some nice space and allows for her (in my case) to easily lean back and enjoy the ride Ryde. The seat seems to provide more space than my previous Vision.



A nice touch are the Passenger Floorboards as they are easily adjustable around four inches. Just use the included hex wrench to losen the bolts and it ratchets to multiple positions. When a Passenger is not riding, when they are lowered, they can be used as rearward foot rests for an alternate riding position.



Since I'm not that tall, I can use the front air deflectors as a footrest. Taller riders may not have this luxury.







So, that's the update. My overall impression is that the Spyder RT cannot be evaluated over a short period and the more I ride her, the better I like her.

Beep Beep!



And, for convenience purposes, here's the Spyder RTriding ryding video I posted a few weeks ago:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,189 Posts
Nice review Andy, glad you're enjoying the ride!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,236 Posts
Andy said:
It's taken me a while to dial in just the right suspension settings. The rear is an adjustable air shock that is controlled by a switch that's within easy reach of the rider and can be controlled on the fly. The air bladder (I think that's what it's called) has a shrader valve that's easily accessible under the seat. This area is very easy to access as the gas cap is also located under the seat. The pressure is preset at 30psi and can be tweaked up or down with the rocker switch. From talking to others, I've learned that the maximum pressure is around 90psi and (for my weight) was advised to bump it up to 70psi. I did and it truly changed the ride for the better.
Andy,
Good review, but I am not grasping this paragraph. If the air shock can be controlled by a rocker switch why would you need to access the valve under the seat?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
dsjr70 said:
Andy said:
It's taken me a while to dial in just the right suspension settings. The rear is an adjustable air shock that is controlled by a switch that's within easy reach of the rider and can be controlled on the fly. The air bladder (I think that's what it's called) has a shrader valve that's easily accessible under the seat. This area is very easy to access as the gas cap is also located under the seat. The pressure is preset at 30psi and can be tweaked up or down with the rocker switch. From talking to others, I've learned that the maximum pressure is around 90psi and (for my weight) was advised to bump it up to 70psi. I did and it truly changed the ride for the better.
Andy,
Good review, but I am not grasping this paragraph. If the air shock can be controlled by a rocker switch why would you need to access the valve under the seat?
My fault...allow me to explain.

The valve under the seat allows the rider to up the rear suspension's air pressure. This is done when the bike is parked.

When you're riding, there's a rocker panel switch on the console that allows you to tweak the pressure up or down. When you touch the rocker switch, it shows a bar gauge on the LCD and you can bump the pressure up or down a bit to make it a bit softer or more firm. This allows you to tweak the rear shock air pressure on the fly to adjust for the type of roads you're riding.

Does that make sense?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,236 Posts
So you are just relocating the air through a bladder type system? There is no actual air compressor to raise it from (lets say) 30lbs to 90lbs.... Correct?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
dsjr70 said:
So you are just relocating the air through a bladder type system? There is no actual air compressor to raise it from (lets say) 30lbs to 90lbs.... Correct?
I don't think I'm equipped to explain this one properly. The next time we meetup, I'll show it to you and hopefully you'll help me explain this feature.

All I can tell you is that on the fly, I can change the feel of the rear shock!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
i saw one in person at the Chicago IMS a few weekends ago. I can say I was rather impressed with it's size as well. Of course they had the trailer hooked as well which once again suprised me with it's size.

With it's lights on and the radio blaring it was an impressive vehicle if I was in that market.

I'd be a little turned off by the limited range, but than again it is a completely different vehicle than conventional 'motorcycles'.

The most important thing for things like this is that the owner seems to be enjoying it, which when the day is all done, is what matters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts

Andy,
I watched your video.. nice job as always, my friend!

So, it looks a bit hard to turn.. does it take some muscle or did you seem to have an easier time of it than it looks??
Also, I see it has the standard clutch.. I almost expected these things to have an automatic..
Finally, how solid and safe do you feel? Is there alot of room in those trunks and bags?
Thanks Andy!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BellesAZ said:
Andy,
I watched your video.. nice job as always, my friend!

So, it looks a bit hard to turn.. does it take some muscle or did you seem to have an easier time of it than it looks??
Also, I see it has the standard clutch.. I almost expected these things to have an automatic..
Finally, how solid and safe do you feel? Is there alot of room in those trunks and bags?
Thanks Andy!
Thanks!

It really isn't difficult to turn. The steering is a type of Variable Assist and tightens up as the speed increases. Coming off two wheels, it does take some practice to get used to steering as opposed to leaning the bike. The riding characteristics are similar to a snowmobile...but easier.

For the transmission, I opted for the 5-speed manual. They do offer a five speed clutch-less semi-automatic that uses fingertip controls on the left grip to up/downshift. The downshifting is optional as unless you intentionally downshift, it will automatically do so as you slow down.

It's a very solid feel. In terms of safety, due to the large mass of the Spyder RT, it almost gives you an artificial sense of security. The rider needs to remember that he/she is still on an open air vehicle. Calling it a Roadster seems appropriate and it's best described as a cross between a motorcycle and a convertible.

Storage is good. The front trunk (or Frunk) is very large as rear trunk is deeper than it looks. The right side can hold a 3/4 helmet. I have the fitted luggage and am looking forward to filling up the bags and heading on a road trip.

Also, there's a factory matching trailer that seems well designed. I didn't get one as I don't have the storage space. It can hold to sets of golf clubs! Using it does not violate the factory warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Andy said:
BellesAZ said:
Andy,
I watched your video.. nice job as always, my friend!

So, it looks a bit hard to turn.. does it take some muscle or did you seem to have an easier time of it than it looks??
Also, I see it has the standard clutch.. I almost expected these things to have an automatic..
Finally, how solid and safe do you feel? Is there alot of room in those trunks and bags?
Thanks Andy!
Thanks!

It really isn't difficult to turn. The steering is a type of Variable Assist and tightens up as the speed increases. Coming off two wheels, it does take some practice to get used to steering as opposed to leaning the bike. The riding characteristics are similar to a snowmobile...but easier.

For the transmission, I opted for the 5-speed manual. They do offer a five speed clutch-less semi-automatic that uses fingertip controls on the left grip to up/downshift. The downshifting is optional as unless you intentionally downshift, it will automatically do so as you slow down.

It's a very solid feel. In terms of safety, due to the large mass of the Spyder RT, it almost gives you an artificial sense of security. The rider needs to remember that he/she is still on an open air vehicle. Calling it a Roadster seems appropriate and it's best described as a cross between a motorcycle and a convertible.

Storage is good. The front trunk (or Frunk) is very large as rear trunk is deeper than it looks. The right side can hold a 3/4 helmet. I have the fitted luggage and am looking forward to filling up the bags and heading on a road trip.

Also, there's a factory matching trailer that seems well designed. I didn't get one as I don't have the storage space. It can hold to sets of golf clubs! Using it does not violate the factory warranty.
Thank you Andy. By golly, it does have a front trunk. Never noticed that before! Yeah, I'd say you could do a nice roadtrip with all that space. It looks comfortable to sit on too.
What is the cost for one? hehehe
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top