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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since I'm keen to try anything once I recently took advantage of an oportunity to take an extended test ride of a Spyder - What can I say...apart from the fact that I think these abominations should be banned from the road as totally hazardous. As The Bard himself once put it - these things are neither "fish nor fowl". They seem to combine the worst handling features of some road transport types & the benefits of none. Anyone thinking of buying a Spyder ex the real motorcycle world should know in advance that all these pigs have in common with a motorcycle is the fact that you sit on it, hold on to a pair of handlebars...and will most likely be in real need of all your motorcycle protective gear when you have the inevitable "off". The Spyder bumps steers atrociously, cornering is a battle of defying physics & they look as ugly as sin. Engineering design wise they have a huge defect in the steering area - if the designers were smart & interested in safety they should adopt the Piagio 3 wheeler scooter design. Amazingly none of the worlds motorcycle or automobile press have identified the laughable inadequacies of the Spyder which makes me think that the publications that print these tests are too afraid of upsetting the manufacturer & jepardising advertising revenue...or maybe I've missed the point - like perhaps there is a worldwide market for products for the unwise!
 

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Interesting post. Can't tell if it's trolling or an honest opinion (laughs).

I think people, in general, like the Spyder because it IS different. It's a safer option than two wheels. Safer, if using crash stats, is not a fair comparison due to the imbalance in sample size. But even so, I'm guessing there is proportionally more accidents on motorcycles than Spyders. Also, three wheels are more stable. Ever see someone "drop" a Spyder? Nope, because you can't. :)

For me, I know my limitations. I've wrecked my mountain bike far too many times. One especially, I have no recollection of. Very scary. For me to add weight and speed and other traffic to the equation...not smart. Add that third wheel, ABS, and stability control, now I've got something I'm comfortable with, my wife is comfortable with, and my kids love. I'm rather fond of my abomination.

Thanks for obviously strong feelings about the Spyder. You cared enough to sign up and use post one to express your displeasure in the bike. :) Sadly, you were moved by the Spyder the opposite way of many of the board's residents. At least you know know the Spyder is not for you, much the same way I know two wheelers aren't for me.

Take care. Enjoy the forum.
 

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When we bought our Spyder I was somewhat unsure that I would ever really get as used to the handling as with two wheeled motercycles but once I figured it out and quit fighting it I found that it handles quite well. I also would say that it took me longer than one extended test ride to adjust. The spyder handling is addressed extensivly in the owners manual and DVD that comes with the spyder. I have talked with a number of regular "trike" owners and from what I understand the single front and two rear wheels have significient handling and safety issues.

When discussing the looks of the spyder I would agree that both models are unusual looking. Personally I really like the looks but at times find the looks of my 2010 Blue RS spyder wearing just a bit. Where we live there are very few spyders and everywhere we go the Spyder attracts a ton of attention. I have yet to stop anywhere, even just to get gas and not have at least one person want to talk to me about the Spyder. All the feedback we have received so far has been way over the top positive.
 

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Hey honest john I think all your trying to do is twist some nipples, If you dislike this machine so much, Try harley trike I would like to hear what your rant would be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gents - Consider my original post to be an honest attempt at stirring. It was good to see the measured responses. Not sure I'd like to be regarded as a nipple twister though....that's a bit out there for me. Trikes? Same category as sidecars (& Spyders) as far as I'm concerned - mechanical contrivences battling against natural laws of physics. I can see how one could become adept at coping with the Spyders intrinsically flawed/warped handling but the risk of your brain learning one set of rules to cope with the Spyders foilbles (Sp?) and then rapidly unlearning them when you hop back onto your two wheeler are quite significant as I found after my 25km jaunt on a Spyder (which included a near "into a ditch" experience) followed immediately be a ride on my trusty SV650.

PS - I'm not a big fan of TWO wheel HD's either - the cruiser feet forward riding position doesn't allow body English input and the lack of ground clearance is both laughable and dangerous...and one day I will no doubt be old enough, fat enough & sad enough to want to own one!
 

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I wonder if the one you rode had the DPS bug? Maybe the shock settings were too soft?

Aside from the circus miniature Honda Rebel I rode for my MSF course, the Spyder is the only "motorcycle" I've ever ridden. The MSF course, while great, wasn't enough to create motorcycling muscle memory. Controlwise, my RTS SE5 is more like riding a bicycle than motorcycle. During the MSF, I never could master, clutch, shift, front and rear brake coordination. Mountain biking engrained covering the rear brake, which I had to unlearn, and get corrected on every pass during the MSF, because a bicycle's rear brake is obviously the front brake of an MC. I spent more time thinking about controls than riding. The SE5 shifts like the RapidFires on my mountain bike. One brake control controls the ABS equipped brakes. Simple. I can watch the road and scenery and control the bike without much thought. Ridingwise, I don't really know what it compares too. Maybe a four-wheeler, Skidoo, or snow machine? I've never ridden those either, so it's just a guess.

Any how, first hundred miles or so on the Spyder were weird. I felt greasy in corners and counter banked turns. I stiffened the shocks and upped the tire pressure and the squishy went away. Then it just became a matter of trusting myself and the bike. With no MC experience, I had nothing to unlearn to ride it.

@Honest: You don't like Spyders or HDs? What DO you like? I don't think you've said.
 

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Honest John;

I bought my Spyder in July of this year. For the first 3-4 months of ownership, my opinion of the vehical's steering matched yours. The steering was terrible. I felt uncomfortablr driving over 35 MPH as the Spyder would drift all over the road. Then I had the DPS recall accomplished & the rear shock replaced. Now it is a different ride with very comfortable, crisp steering. It will never handle like a 2-wheeler ( I used to own a SV 650 S).
But it does handle safely. I agree with the above rider. I think the unit you tried needs the DPS recall, perhaps more,
Good luck with whatever you ride.
ed mcmillan
 

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I hadn't rode on two wheels in 30 years, bought the Spyder GS THEN took the MSF course. I was able to jump on the Spyder and dive around the block a couple of times. From that point I had no trouble riding the Spyder but with the old DPS it did take some effort on the corners. With the new DPS this thing just flys around the corners now.

The only person that has had any bad comments about the Spyder asked why I didn't buy a "real" bike. He then went on to tell me of all his injuries he has had on his "real" bikes. I had a HD rider go down in front of me on a corner with a little bit of loose gravel. On the Spyder if you hit some loose gravel on a corner at a speed within reason the back wheel may make a small jump to the side but you aren't going down.
 

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Since I'm keen to try anything once I recently took advantage of an oportunity to take an extended test ride of a Spyder - What can I say...apart from the fact that I think these abominations should be banned from the road as totally hazardous. As The Bard himself once put it - these things are neither "fish nor fowl". They seem to combine the worst handling features of some road transport types & the benefits of none. Anyone thinking of buying a Spyder ex the real motorcycle world should know in advance that all these pigs have in common with a motorcycle is the fact that you sit on it, hold on to a pair of handlebars...and will most likely be in real need of all your motorcycle protective gear when you have the inevitable "off". The Spyder bumps steers atrociously, cornering is a battle of defying physics & they look as ugly as sin. Engineering design wise they have a huge defect in the steering area - if the designers were smart & interested in safety they should adopt the Piagio 3 wheeler scooter design. Amazingly none of the worlds motorcycle or automobile press have identified the laughable inadequacies of the Spyder which makes me think that the publications that print these tests are too afraid of upsetting the manufacturer & jepardising advertising revenue...or maybe I've missed the point - like perhaps there is a worldwide market for products for the unwise!
Honest John want have many friends on this forum.
 

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spyder handling...

John, 25 km is nowhere near enough time to understand the Spyder. Granted it doesn't drive like a two wheeled cycle, but once you understand the machine... it's a blast.
In the beginning I drove my RT very conservatively, but when I reached around 1000 miles I realized that the Spyder was capable of way more than I had asked of her. I drive it now just like I used to drive my Avanti, and she'll take on anything I am willing to dish out. They are definately an aquired tast, but once you savor the flavor, you realize that it was the right choice.
 

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Since I'm keen to try anything once I recently took advantage of an oportunity to take an extended test ride of a Spyder - What can I say...apart from the fact that I think these abominations should be banned from the road as totally hazardous. As The Bard himself once put it - these things are neither "fish nor fowl". They seem to combine the worst handling features of some road transport types & the benefits of none. Anyone thinking of buying a Spyder ex the real motorcycle world should know in advance that all these pigs have in common with a motorcycle is the fact that you sit on it, hold on to a pair of handlebars...and will most likely be in real need of all your motorcycle protective gear when you have the inevitable "off". The Spyder bumps steers atrociously, cornering is a battle of defying physics & they look as ugly as sin. Engineering design wise they have a huge defect in the steering area - if the designers were smart & interested in safety they should adopt the Piagio 3 wheeler scooter design. Amazingly none of the worlds motorcycle or automobile press have identified the laughable inadequacies of the Spyder which makes me think that the publications that print these tests are too afraid of upsetting the manufacturer & jepardising advertising revenue...or maybe I've missed the point - like perhaps there is a worldwide market for products for the unwise!
Hey H.J. since you live in the lower hemisphere and things tend to be in the reverse you may actually be giving the Spyder praise, to us slim young and wise. And you mite actually be a happy go lucky type person.
 

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I totally diagree with you The spyder is awesome to ride and I would not want a scooter that leans. The spyder has some issues but BRP is addressing them
 

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Well, I've had a couple of days when I would agree with him, on many of his points, especially early on. But, I've found that the Spyder is way more capable than it feels at first. I still don't know what the upper limits of cornering with this thing are! Gotta be right up there, especially in low-medium speed, tight turns. I think at times, when I'm following my two-wheel buddies around the twisties, that they can't do a tight sweeper anywhere nearly as quickly as I can. On the other hand, out on the freeway, especially in a cross-wind, they seem to be much more relaxed, and capable, at 60-70 mph. A funny/unexpected thing that I've found, is, that when my wife is with me, the Spyder is much more stable, and handles way better, cross-winds and all!
I haven't even sat on a touring model, but expect(hope) that they've made some good changes that I'd like. Still, I can't see shelling out a bunch more thousands of dollars to get a machine that's comfortable to sit on, when the thing (RS) should be comfortable in the first place. Can't immagine what they were thinking when they put those pegs where they did, or how they could expect the so-called tall touring windshield to be anywhere near tall enough.
Heck, I've got a 27" tall after market shield on mine, and it's still two-three inches too short. FWIW, I'm 6 ft tall, with a short body, (32" inseam). In other words, I'm built like an ape, with long arms and legs, so you'd think that a tall windshield would do, but, to keep the wind from buffeting my helmet, I have to slouch down a couple of inches. Yes, I do wear high-heeled boots to keep my knuckles from dragging on the ground! Put a smilie here, if I knew how.
Things that I do like? The brakes, noisy, but good. The lights. The handling. The looks. The ride, (much better than most 2 wheelers).
Hate? The mileage, (a joke, but not a funny one); the vibration; the noise; the seat; the DPS, (it works, but don't trust it, and hate the notchy way it feels); the cheap, rattling plastic bodywork; and the exorbitant price you pay for what you get.
And, yes, I do realize that if I'm that disapointed with it, that I should just go back to two wheels, but I'm sort of commited, until the thing is paid off. Besides, I can take my wife with me, on this, and couldn't, with the KLR, which, BTW, was the poorest handling 2 wheeler I've ever thrown a leg over, and I've ridden about 18 different makes, over the years. So, in spite of the fact that the Spyder makes me miss my real motorcycles, I'm into it for a couple of years, at least.
Thanks for listening.
Dick
 

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Well, I've had a couple of days when I would agree with him, on many of his points, especially early on. But, I've found that the Spyder is way more capable than it feels at first. I still don't know what the upper limits of cornering with this thing are! Gotta be right up there, especially in low-medium speed, tight turns. I think at times, when I'm following my two-wheel buddies around the twisties, that they can't do a tight sweeper anywhere nearly as quickly as I can. On the other hand, out on the freeway, especially in a cross-wind, they seem to be much more relaxed, and capable, at 60-70 mph. A funny/unexpected thing that I've found, is, that when my wife is with me, the Spyder is much more stable, and handles way better, cross-winds and all!
I haven't even sat on a touring model, but expect(hope) that they've made some good changes that I'd like. Still, I can't see shelling out a bunch more thousands of dollars to get a machine that's comfortable to sit on, when the thing (RS) should be comfortable in the first place. Can't immagine what they were thinking when they put those pegs where they did, or how they could expect the so-called tall touring windshield to be anywhere near tall enough.
Heck, I've got a 27" tall after market shield on mine, and it's still two-three inches too short. FWIW, I'm 6 ft tall, with a short body, (32" inseam). In other words, I'm built like an ape, with long arms and legs, so you'd think that a tall windshield would do, but, to keep the wind from buffeting my helmet, I have to slouch down a couple of inches. Yes, I do wear high-heeled boots to keep my knuckles from dragging on the ground! Put a smilie here, if I knew how.
Things that I do like? The brakes, noisy, but good. The lights. The handling. The looks. The ride, (much better than most 2 wheelers).
Hate? The mileage, (a joke, but not a funny one); the vibration; the noise; the seat; the DPS, (it works, but don't trust it, and hate the notchy way it feels); the cheap, rattling plastic bodywork; and the exorbitant price you pay for what you get.
And, yes, I do realize that if I'm that disapointed with it, that I should just go back to two wheels, but I'm sort of commited, until the thing is paid off. Besides, I can take my wife with me, on this, and couldn't, with the KLR, which, BTW, was the poorest handling 2 wheeler I've ever thrown a leg over, and I've ridden about 18 different makes, over the years. So, in spite of the fact that the Spyder makes me miss my real motorcycles, I'm into it for a couple of years, at least.
Thanks for listening.
Dick
So dick where do you live in the Green Mt. state I own a 09 rs and live in Wilmington Vt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I wonder if the one you rode had the DPS bug? Maybe the shock settings were too soft?

Aside from the circus miniature Honda Rebel I rode for my MSF course, the Spyder is the only "motorcycle" I've ever ridden. The MSF course, while great, wasn't enough to create motorcycling muscle memory. Controlwise, my RTS SE5 is more like riding a bicycle than motorcycle. During the MSF, I never could master, clutch, shift, front and rear brake coordination. Mountain biking engrained covering the rear brake, which I had to unlearn, and get corrected on every pass during the MSF, because a bicycle's rear brake is obviously the front brake of an MC. I spent more time thinking about controls than riding. The SE5 shifts like the RapidFires on my mountain bike. One brake control controls the ABS equipped brakes. Simple. I can watch the road and scenery and control the bike without much thought. Ridingwise, I don't really know what it compares too. Maybe a four-wheeler, Skidoo, or snow machine? I've never ridden those either, so it's just a guess.

Any how, first hundred miles or so on the Spyder were weird. I felt greasy in corners and counter banked turns. I stiffened the shocks and upped the tire pressure and the squishy went away. Then it just became a matter of trusting myself and the bike. With no MC experience, I had nothing to unlearn to ride it.

@Honest: You don't like Spyders or HDs? What DO you like? I don't think you've said.
What do I like? Apart from rugby, beer & loose women that don't say "No"? I'm a fan of naked street bikes which I prefer to call "normal" street bikes - i.e. the way they made bikes before the trend became to clad the things in plastic & fibreglass fairings. Give me a bike with an engine I can see as opposed to something hidden behind panels like a car...(or a Spyder). Two strokes moto's of virually any flavour with a good ol' power band also appeal...as do some scooters and supermotards. Current pin up bike? Aprilia 650 Factory. First bike I would rush out & buy if I won Lotto? Early model Triumph Bonneville.
 

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