[ARTICLE]The Can-Am Spyder RT-S Roadster Road Test
By Nick Zarras Feature Editor/NV
[idroitex=250]http://www.sporttouring.us/attachment.php?attachmentid=136&d=1335572028[/idroitex]The Can-Am Spyder RT-S roadster is from BRP a Canadian company that designed this unique concept, a three wheel trike with two wheels in the front vs. the rear. The original design is the Spyder RS which I was able to ride at the Las Vegas bike show last year. I liked the concept and being new I was intrigued by it but being a two wheel sport bike aficionado and with only the test ride around the block I did not have enough seat time to appreciate its virtues. But I was impressed enough when I saw the Can-Am Spyder RT-S brochure and thought it was very nicely styled and asked if I could do a test ride in one when it finally hit the market. Four months later one came in and I stopped by and went over the particulars with Matt Boyle, the GM of PROSHOP Motorsports and Marine at 575 W Lake Mead Highway, Henderson, Nevada 89015 (phone (702) 564-8895, FAX (702) 564-9599, web www.proshoplv.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss the test ride. It is a family owned business since 1987 and has a full set of toys both on the road and water to keep everyone happy.The Can-Am Spyder RT-S in Timeless Black Metallic is stunning. The RT is the touring version of the Spyder design, and the RT-S is an upgraded trim level to the RT. It exudes styling cues of a fine Italian sports car maker accented with LED running lights. Each aspect is sculptured, and fitted with precision. I knew it would turn heads wherever it goes. For 2011 it also comes in Orbital Blue Metallic, Pure Magnesium Metallic and Viper Red.
[igauchex=250]http://www.sporttouring.us/attachment.php?attachmentid=137&d=1335572028[/igauchex]It is an impressive machine which sports a host of features. You can order it with a manual SM5 or semi-automatic SE5 transmission. The semi-automatic you shift up with your thumb and down with your forefinger. It will automatically down shift when you stop. This machine was made for touring. It has four storage compartments that hold 155 liters of travel gear. The multifunction gage display has all the vehicle and entertainment options. The windshield is electric with full adjustability. On the left grip the RECC or vehicle command center puts all controls in your left hand. There is an AM-FM control center with I-Pod hookup. The heated front and passenger grips keep your hands warm. The adjustable rear suspension can be changed for passenger and trailer weight. The Fog and led accent lights add to the two 60 watt Halogen head lamps. There is even a cargo light available for the front storage compartment. The Can-Am Spyder RT has a trailer option that hooks to the rear hitch and increases the cargo capacity to 777 liters. For those directionally challenged a Garmin Zumo GPS is available. 650 watts is available to power your accessories. For safety it has a digital encoding security system (DESS). To show brand loyalty Can-Am has jackets, pants, and a ST-1 hybrid helmet with communication system availability for inter-rider communication.
[idroitex=250]http://www.sporttouring.us/attachment.php?attachmentid=138&d=1335572028[/idroitex]The photo shoot was on for the Valley of Fire State Park (www.parknv.gov/vf.htm) about 40 miles north of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a wonderful scenic route of open countryside, mountain formations of red and tan. It is a place of roads that open up and tie into the Lake Mead National Recreation Area (www.nps.gov/lake) road system. Dave Amiss my chase biker extraordinaire and I picked up the Can-Am Spyder RT-S, and Matt went over the controls again. I originally wanted to test drive the semi-automatic version but none were available.
[igauchex=250]http://www.sporttouring.us/attachment.php?attachmentid=139&d=1335572136[/igauchex]The electronic fuel injected Rotax 990 V-twin engine starts right up. Its belt drive provided an ultra smooth transition cycling through its SM5 manual transmission. The V-twin which puts out 100 hp and 80 foot pounds of torque gives you a supercar 0-60 in 4.5 seconds acceleration time. I drove onto I-95 N then to I-15 N to Valley of Fire State Park. On the road the 929 pound Can-Am Spyder RT-S demonstrated impressive straight line stability even in high winds aided by the Dynamic Power Steering and VSS vehicle stability system: SCS stability control system with roll over mitigation, ABS anti-lock braking system, and TCS traction control system. Braking was excellent with electronic brake distribution (EBD) powering 4 piston front calipers on 250mm disks, and single rear piston caliper on a 250mm disk. The seat was very comfortable and ergonomics set for the long distance touring customer. The electronic windshield control is easy to operate and adjustments provided good wind protection. The gear indicator above the main data display is easy to see. The electronic cruise control sets easily and held speed.
[idroitex=250]http://www.sporttouring.us/attachment.php?attachmentid=140&d=1335572136[/idroitex]Driving a trike configuration is like getting used to a new cuisine from a foreign country. It is an acquired taste. It took me a while to get used to the Can-Am Spyder RT-S as the needed habit patterns are different than the other test bikes and my VFR 800FI I normally ride. But as you ride the Can-Am Spyder RT-S you gain confidence in it’s on the road performance and you get into a grove with the machine. As time goes on it really grows on you and you appreciate the virtues it has that is not shared by two wheel motorcycles. It is built specifically for a different target audience. A target audience that is growing rapidly for this machine and I will give you examples why.
We stopped for gas at the Indian Reservation’s version of a “7-11”, prior to the entrance to the Valley of Fire State Park, to top off the RT-S’ 6.6 gallon tank. The first thing you appreciate is not having to put a foot down to balance the bike when you stop, and the electronic parking brake. For many new riders who do not have the leg strength or like the one ex-marine shown on Facebook who lost his leg and had a prosthesis the Can-Am Spyder RT-S is a new lease on life where before he would have had to give up riding.Another reason is the low leg over entry height. Normal trike conversions are much higher entry which for some would be more difficult. On the Can-Am Spyder RT-S it is easier. The three wheel configuration also is a big positive with the passenger. The seat position is comfortable, and there is no stability or awkward mounting problems with the “back seat driver” in this motorcycle, just hop on and go on any surface. That is a big consideration for many riders especially those who are not as athletic or at optimum weight.
[igauchex=250]http://www.sporttouring.us/attachment.php?attachmentid=141&d=1335572136[/igauchex]The three wheel configuration came in handy when I stopped on uneven terrain. Dave and I parked at the Valley of Fire State Park sign for a photo and he had to find a large rock to put under his side stand so the bike would not tip over. I just parked the Can-Am Spyder RT-S and just got off. On the departure I just put it in reverse and backed out.
On the curves the title learning curve reflected my life experience on the Can-Am Spyder RT-S. It is a new way of thinking on this bike but on the way home I was really into the experience. Passing trailer trucks did not bother me. The ergonomics and comfortable seat start to sink in and you are thinking that this is a really nice piece of machinery and a great option buy for motorcyclist.
When you surf the web or facebook Can-Am Spyder’s site you find this vehicle lends itself nicely to customizing and provides you a great insight to this vehicles broad appeal. Riders are not just like the 40 something woman and her husband who was trying out one for the first time when I dropped the bike off at the end of the shoot. The demographics go from 20 to 80s plus. The stability of the three wheels, baggage capability, unique styling and ergonomics make this vehicle for the beach, country roads, and all seasons. It can handle slippery conditions that would be treacherous for a two wheel vehicle, and the capability of a reverse negates the need of getting off the machine to walk it though or turn it around on its kick stand when the road condition require another route. At the end of the day I had an enjoyable experience on the Can-Am Spyder RT-S.
In summary I found the sculptured styling something you would admire, a very important part of the ownership experience. Having four storage compartments and an available rear tow trailer allows you access to any cross country experience you want to plan. Its VSS vehicle stability system really instills confidence in the ride, and it automatically adjusts its programming when you hook up the trailer. Overall I can see the Can-Am Spyder RT-S as a highly desirable option for a three wheel sport-touring vehicle in your garage. The customizing possibilities are endless. So for the rider who wants a stylish statement, or the older rider that has less leg or hand strength or needs a semi-automatic transmission this is the ticket to ride. Our MSTA member Can-Am Spyder ambassador Fred Rau loves his. He has over 42,000 miles on his Can-Am Spyder RT this year alone. So if you’re riding style is heading for a new level stop by your resident Can-Am dealership or if you are in the greater Las Vegas, Nevada area give Matt a call. You will come back with a big smile on your face and probably a question of where do I sign. My thanks to Matt at PROSHOP Motorsports and Marine for the use of his Can-Am Spyder RT-S for this road test.[/ARTICLE]
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