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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks -

I have been lurking for a few days and joined. I am in the market to buy a used Can Am Spyder RS/GS, and would appreciate some input.

THE BACK STORY: I am a 49 year old professionally employed, married guy, no kids. Vary hard working, and now time for a toy. I had wanted a Porsche 911 since reading Road and Track in my bedroom as a 12 year old. I finally bought a near concours 2002 996 Carrera in January 2011, and sold it in May (last month). Great car, ran great, no problems. WAY TOO MUCH GUN!! I drove like a dipstick every time I got in it, and realized it was not for me.

My next thought was to buy a BMW Roadster: wind in my hair, less power. Never something that I really wanted, though....

Then I caught myself looking at the ADV Rider website (again), and the BMW F650 ChainGang site (guilty pleasure for years). My "biking" experience is limited to decades of serious bicycling experience: long road training rides; competing in mountain bike races and biathalons. As for motored bikes, I have ridden minibikes, a Kawasaki KZ 400, and a couple of dirt bikes, all for short rides. Loved them. (I have also owned a quad (rode it alot) and ridden multiple snowmobiles...)

I'd be on a BMW 650GS today, but for my fear of texting soccer moms turning left in front of me, and teens on cell phones.

I love the Spyder. It has more road presence than a bike, and can be lit to emphasize its presence even more. It is three wheeled, and, accordingly, its inherent stability will leave me "inherently upright" and also give me more time to watch for danger in low speed environments, as a newbie. In short, it seems like a safer way to try "biking" and see if I like it, and am not terminally afraid.

QUERY:
What should I buy? My budget (cash, no financing: I show up with a trailer and tow away whatever I buy: old school) is around $12,000-14,000. I'd like a GS/RS, clean, low mileage, well sorted and reliable for that price.

What do I look for? In reading through some of the threads, it seems like some people experienced teething problems with early bikes. Am I okay with a 2008 bike that runs well, and has dealer receipts for the early problems? Or, are there a few variants/years to stay away from?

Any input on criteria for a first Spyder in my price range would be most appreciated.

Thanks-Mawgie
 

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Welcome!!

A Spyder is a great choice for the stability and visibility alone. As far as buying earlier year v. newer model, my thought is that the earlier years have had time to have their quirks found and have a fix issued for them. I've not ridden anything but an '08, but am quite happy with it.

Even if you don't buy from a dealership, if you find one you want from a private owner, the VIN will track whether the recalls have been performed before you bought it or not.

Looking forward to pics when you settle on one and take it home!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the prompt reply, sassapnts.
I agree, as long as the repairs/recalls are well documented, and the bike isn't a lemon, it should be well sorted, reasonable to consider purchasing.

I am a N E W B I E here, but is sure seems to me like the early bikes are holding their value well. They are $11-13,000 all day long on ebay, and ebay is always top dollar.

Bodes well for containing depreciation going forward..............

Thanks again - Mawgie
 

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I am 57 and buying my first "bike" so I don't think age has anything to do with having some fun

Hope you get a good deal
 

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I couldn't help but laugh when I saw your post as my situation is pretty much the complete opposite. I purchased a 2009 Phantom, decked it out with toys and then purchased a 911 Carrera S which now sits next to my Spyder in a too-crowded garage. While I understand your comment about the driving, I found that I wasn't using the Spyder because I didn't want to take it out to the lake, etc. and generally rode it solo. The car allows me to take one other person out and gets much more use and I'm now considering selling the bike. I've put more miles on the Porsche in two months than on the Spyder in a bit over a year.

That said, the Spyder is enormous fun. It handles like a slot car, good acceleration and is overall a great experience. It has (IMHO) the same curb appeal and you'll have all the good times you had in the Porsche.

Hope that helps

Brian
 

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I bought an '09 RS SM5 about a month ago as my first bike, and I love it. I did take the MSF Safety Course first, which forces you to learn on 2 wheels. 3 Wheels then seem MUCH easier (although I'm still reaching for the "front brake" and have to remind myself which way to lean. Funny how your brain gets trained one way). Anyway--I love mine. I found it on craigslist. The ebay prices were consistently higher. Think of it this way--you can check all the major cities on craigslist (stay away from Dallas--way over priced) and have it shipped pretty much anywhere for $500. You can negotiate that into the selling price.
One more thing--if you haven't ridden a bike before, don't be afraid of the manual. It's a blast! Especially if you take a safety course--they will teach you all about the friction zone and how to use it. No offense to the SE5 folks out there, but I love the manual, and the SE's are usually about $2K more on the pre-owned market. You should be able to get a nice '08 or '09 Spyder from between $11k-$12K with reasonable miles in a manual. I would jump in both feet first brother. If you don't like it, it's not like you won't be able to sell it.
Also try cycletrader. There are usually a lot of listings there as well.

Happy hunting!

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Brian, Bob, and ABQ -

Thanks, guys. I am getting my New York State motocycle license training dialed in, and have started talking to local dealers about specific bikes.

There is a groundswell of support for the Spyder RT with an SE5 auto.

I stilll want to spend around 15k for the bike, but am maybe not entirely committed to manual shifting. Maybe an SE5 would be okay......

Thanks for your help.

=Mawgie
 

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I started out looking for an sm5 and ended up with an RS se5 2010 model. After riding it for nearly a year I find I am glad I got what I did. As far as the difference between the RT and RS I think that the RS is a bit more sporty but does not have as comfortable or maybe I should say relaxed seating position. That said there are a lot of folks who prefer the RS more agresive seating. The RT has a lot more storage than the RS does so that may also be a consideration. In the end both are great rigs and you should check them both out and see which one speaks to you. For me it was the RS, but I still would like the RT handle bars!
 

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Go on Cycletrader.com. That will give you a good idea what's out there. Try to buy local if you can. If you're willing to drive a long distance you can find some really great deals. For the price you're willing to pay I would think that an RS, most likely SM5, is going to be your only choice. You might get lucky and find an SE5. Forget about an RT in any flavor. If you find one for the price you quote I would be very suspect. If you buy from an individual you need to bring along someone who knows what to look for. David
 

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I had the same concerns about manual shifting. My dealer was kind enough to let me drive both manual and auto for about 30 minutes each. After just a short time, I knew that manual made more sense and was much more fun to drive. I don't even think about it anymore.

Brian


Brian, Bob, and ABQ -

....

I stilll want to spend around 15k for the bike, but am maybe not entirely committed to manual shifting. Maybe an SE5 would be okay......


=Mawgie
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the responses. They are very helpful.

I have now completed a thorough used vehicle search, and there isn't squat out there. The very few used 2008 GS/RS SM5 bikes out there are all priced within $5,000 of a new bike. That's a great deal for the seller, but for me, not so good.

I am going to get my learner's permit, take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course on a loaner two wheel bike, pass with flying colors (!!!!!), get my NYS Driver's License Motorcycle Endorsement, then start shopping in earnest.

My budget is now in the low $20k range, which should open up some wiggle room on what I can swing.........

I am also now undecided re: SM5 or SE5. I'll drive them both, for sure.


Thanks - Mawgie
 
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