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Hello All - Just joined forum to inquire about the Ca-Am Spyder. A little backround - I have been a motorcycle rider for the past 27 years and am a retired New York State Police motor officer. I am used to large displacement motors and was assigned a Harley FLH TPI at work and my personnal motor is currently a BMW RT1200R. I am retired due to an on-duty CAR wreck that resulted in a fused neck and lower back. My other half and I are looking into the Spyder as a two wheel replacement both for comfort and safety. She is not secure on two wheels and riding is starting to take its toll on me.

So I ask a question of those that have experience with both a "conventional" motorcycle and the Spyder - can I transition safely and comfortably to a three wheel ride or am I certain to crash and burn?! Any input or experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much for any advice. Ride safe. John
 

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Welcome to the site! :)

I can't compare the two but most Spyder owners came from two wheelers. The Spyder does not lean so you have to steer it but that is easy. The RT is like riding a sofa it is sooooo comfortable. No more worries about holding up a heavey bike.

I have the GS/RS model which makes you lean forward a bit and the RT has the more uprght riding poisition. Take a demo ride, hold the handles bars lightly, and get in as many miles as you can. With 27 years of muscle memory on two wheels it many take a few hundered miles to feel completly comfortable.
 

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Welcome, Bimmer!

Like you, I have back problems, and also like you, I came from a motorcycle to the Spyder. I've found it nearly seamless in the transition from one to the other; the two transitionals I've found are the steering instead of leaning, and the combined braking into the foot instead of having a hand brake as well. I'm still grabbing air, but with time they say that we'll get used to it.

My Spyder is a 2008 GS SM5. The lean forward position doesn't give my back any problems at all, which surprised me since I've got lower and middle back issues as well as problems with my neck.

Take a test drive on both types, the RS and the RT, before you make a decision. Seat position may make a difference for you.

I think your wife is really going to like it, and may want one of her own!!
 

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Welcome aboard! Now for the matter at hand...
Spyders don't ride, handle or feel at all like a motorcycle. I'd compare it more to a snowmobile or ATV. They are VERY comfortable and relaxing to ride. Truthfully I don't miss the two-wheeled rides at all! :D
So where are you in NYS?



 

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I rode a decent cross section of bikes before moving to my Spyder including dual sports, standard steet, sport street, and metric cruisers.

The only real difference is cornering. In a corner on the Spyder you lean into and over the inside tire. This motion puts more weight over the tire that may have a desire to lift (although the electronics do an awesome job keeping everything planted - be careful though with not so slow speed U-Turns, I lift an inside tire almost every time if you make the turn at more than 5-10 mph), and it also counteracts the centrifugal force that makes it feel like the bike is trying to toss you off to the outside of the turn. In this sense it's like you're still leaning with the motorcycle, even though the bike itself doesn't lean. The forward angle of your body while this is happening also helps you have enough arm length to steer the bars comfortably.

In all ways I feel that the Spyder is safer, easier, and more comfortable to ride than a conventional motorcycle. I've had mine on sand (not a light dusting, I mean like someone dumped a sand bag out on the road), snow, torrential downpours, and occasionally I try to take it out when it's sunny. As long as you don't get all squiddy with the throttle, it's the most stable open air platform I've ridden. However, if you give it way too much gas, you can do some pretty impressive burn outs and power slides, if you're into that kind of thing.

Regarding comfort, I'm 6'0", 300lbs, and I just rode my 2010 RSS two days ago for 430 miles - half canyon twisties, half super slab. The only discomfort I had was slightly sore shoulders. Nothing a little stretching and 2 ibuprofen couldn't fix. Next day I was out for a quick jaunt around town for 57 miles and it was like I'd never even ridden the 430 miles the day before.

Definitely take one for a test drive. If you can, check out the promotion schedules and see if one of the demo tours in coming close enough to you to attend. On the demo tours you get to ride a lot longer than a simple test drive (my demo tour ride was almost an hour) and there's a little obstacle course to ride through to get a really good feel for how the Spyder handles.
 

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Hello brother ;-),

I've owned these bikes:

1999 Suzuki Katana 750
2008 H-D Super Glide Custom
2008 H-D Street Glide
1997 CBR1100XX Blackbird (current bike)

I'm still in the great debate over buying a Spyder. I took a 2009 RS Spyder SM5 on a demo ride about a month ago. I rode it the first time and disliked it. It made my right shoulder hurt. I decided to give it one more go so I went back and tried it again. This time I loosened up and had no problems with soreness.

My opinion is that the Spyder is not a car and not a motorcycle. It has good power and built in storage space in the front. It's also a great head turner. It really had the feel of riding a 4-wheeler on the road when turning. When driving straight though...not to shabby. I didn't get to ride on the highway.

I love the idea though of not dumping the bike (anything is possible though.) I'm still very much torn, because I feel that this would be a lot safer and I would still be on a motorcycle enjoying the open air. Tough decision for me especially with safety in mind due to an upcoming kiddo on the way. Safety versus that extra payment every month. :eek:

Good luck though.....I would say that a different seat and risers would be in order though if you buy an RS.
 

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You're absolutely right; it's neither motorcycle nor automobile. BRP has always maintained that it's something completely new and different and I'd have to agree... :D
So if you think about it as a step in another direction...

I'd compare it to hunting with a handgun... it's not a rifle and it's not archery but combines elements of both... The ranges are closer and you have to practice more but you STILL get to hear something go "BANG!":cool:



 

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Hopeful and others,

Another thing to keep in mind is that since the Spyder can't tip (unless you do something really dumb or you're really trying) you get to extend your riding season. This may not be as big a deal for Hopeful in TX, but it was a consideration for me that helped me justify the cost.

CO doesn't use salt in the winter, they use sand on top of the snow/ice to give extra traction while the crap is covering the road. In the spring, all the snow/ice melts leaving bags and bags of sand everywhere which mostly ends up in the corners right where a motorcycle doesn't want to encounter sand. Eventually the spring and summer rains wash the sand off to the shoulder, but there are a good couple of months at the beginning and end of the warm season where temps are great but the roads are fowled up due to sand. Buying the Spyder effectively added 3 months to my riding season since sand isn't as big of a concern on the 3 wheeler.

I also found, if you gear up in the snowmobile section of the power sports store, you can stay reasonably warm and comfy down to the teens in temps. BRP doesn't recommend riding on snow, but in my experience, as long as you keep your speeds down (about 1/2 the posted limit) you maintain great control and then it's like you're out riding a snowmobile. This added another month to my riding season.

For me, this means riding in all but December and January. Even then, if we have a surprise warm day, even if it's just one day out of the month, I can get out and enjoy the open air. That alone was worth the price of admission and the loss of banking through corners.
 

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John,
I'm also in the cooler climes in Ontario Canada, a little to your north or west. I rode a 2 wheel bike for decades but was knocked off my bike by health issues and had to stick to 4 wheels for quite a while, which may have been a benefit when changing to the Spyder. My wife actually pointed out an advertisement she saw about a weird 3 wheel motorcycle and we decided to do some on-line research, a closer look and then a test drive. We were fortunate that a local dealer let us take it for an afternoon during the week when they didn't have anything else booked and we spent about 2 1/2 hours riding. We picked up our new RT-S SE5 at the end of June last year and put on almost 11,000 Km before the bad weather rolled in.

As far as handling is concerned it is very different from a 2 wheel motorcycle and it took me some time to become comfortable and confident in my ability to precisely put the machine where I wanted it to go. Before going on our test drive I read a couple of articles about test drives where they spoke about relaxing with the steering rather than tensing up. After the first few miles or riding, and wondering if I could keep it on the road long enough to get back to the dealer, I remembered what they said and I relaxed and let the machine find it's way and the difference was amazing! Suddenly it was a joy to be back on the road with the wind in my face. A word of caution - the machine I test drove and our own when we picked it up both had very mushy handling in sharper bends until I had the front shocks bumped up a setting. As others have mentioned, when you're cornering more aggresively you need to shift your weight to the inside of the corner, but for many curves in the road you ride through with very little difference from a 2 wheeler.

I have a very strong reason to make the most of my Spyder because I can't handle a 2 wheel motorcycle any more, but even so, I have found it to be the most comfortable and relaxing motorcycle that I've ever owned and would recommend it to you if you're willing to take a little time to get used to the differences. Ed
 

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I'm 74 years old with back and hip problems. Two weeks ago after riding my Harley Fat Boy my back and hips were killing me. I told the wife I thought I was going to have to give up bike riding. I was really upset as I have been riding motorcycles since I was 16. I said to myself that I felt the Harley was to heavy to hold up especially when I had to back it up. Not wanting to quit riding altogether, I decided to give the Can-Am RTS-SE5 a try. So I traded in the Harley for the RT. I'm so happy I did. I rode it 70 miles the very first day and not a bit of back or hip pain. It is such fun and so easy to drive I was simply amazed. I wished I would have bought one sooner. I'm sure you will be able to drive one with no problems and you will love it.
 

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Ronandjudy, I understand your back problems being relieved while riding the Spyder. Mine doesn't bother me, either, and boy am I happy!! Glad you found your Spyder, as well as this forum!!
 
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