2014 Can-Am Spyder RT – First Ride Review

They say good things come in threes. For fans of the Can-Am Spyder RT “roadster,” now that saying doesn’t just apply to the number of wheels on this sporty touring machine. For 2014 Can-Am—a division of Bombardier Recreational Products based in Valcourt, Quebec, Canada—has replaced the 998cc, 5-speed V-twin in the RT touring version of the Spyder with a new liquid-cooled, 1,330cc transverse in-line triple with six speeds. This engine layout is known for its torque and smoothness potential, good qualities to have in a touring bike engine.

2014 Spyder RT Engine
Rotax-made 1,330cc in-line triple makes more torque at lower engine speeds than the Spyder V-twin.

Made in Austria by BRP-owned Rotax, the ACE (Advanced Combustion Efficiency) triple’s 120-degree crankshaft gives it perfect primary balance, and a gear-driven counterbalancer takes care of the secondary and rocking couple vibrations. Can-Am says it makes 96 lb-ft of torque vs. 80 in the V-twin, and 115 horsepower vs. 100. Not exactly eyeball-flattening in a machine that weighs a claimed 1,012 pounds dry—about 60 pounds more than the 2013 RT—but the curve is such that the bike has about 40 percent more low-end torque than before, the better for cruising, climbing hills and carrying a passenger and gear as well as towing a trailer.

While roll-on testing back-to-back with a 2013 RT V-twin at the 2014 launch last week in Florida showed the new RT triple is not appreciably quicker at lower speeds, BRP Project Leader Michael Tissier said the goal was to improve roll-on acceleration from 80-120 kph, or 50-75 mph, and there it does feel stronger and less busy than the revvier twin. The 2014 RT’s top speed is higher, it idles lower at 900 rpm and taller gear ratios drop the rpm significantly at cruising speed. Overall the roadster’s NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) are all significantly reduced, while the triple’s signature exhaust note and feel give it an impressive turbinelike quality, like a cross between a Honda Gold Wing and Triumph Rocket III. I noticed a touch of vibration cruising at 4,100 rpm in top sixth gear, which Tissier attributed to some resonance from the belt final drive.

2014 Spyder RT Front
Restyled fascia allows more ariflow and fenders are sportier.

Valve adjustments are no longer required with the RT’s new triple, and in keeping with forthcoming requirements it already meets Euro 4 emissions specs, though the engine still requires premium 91 octane fuel for best performance (it can safely run 87). We didn’t have the opportunity to measure our fuel economy on the short 100-mile test ride (complete with BRP employees front and rear and an Orlando Sherriff’s Department escort), but BRP says the RT will go as much as 250 miles before the 6.9-gallon tank runs dry. That’s probably using the new ECO mode with shift indicator, which softens power output and throttle response and coaches you when to shift to save fuel.

Touring riders will also appreciate the new 1,200-watt alternator that replaces the V-twin’s magneto, and the careful attention paid to heat management on this model—even in the 95-degree Florida heat, wearing mesh riding pants over jeans, I never felt any engine heat. Cooling capacity has doubled, and the radiator fans have a reverse mode that blows hot air away from the rider at a slower pace—in traffic, for example. No lane-splitting on this baby! Some of the test machines had trouble idling after numerous photo passes in the swampy heat, and later BRP reps told us that they found the PCV valve had been installed incorrectly (um, backwards) on those bikes.

New shocks front and rear with bigger pistons improve suspension performance, and the cushy new “Ultra-Comfort” touring saddle is ready to receive an optional rider backrest, just one of many new accessories. Styling has been tightened up with more abbreviated fenders, a new fascia with a larger front intake area and new trim deflectors—the Spyder now appears as if it’s literally scooping up the road ahead.

2014 Spyder RT Transmission
New 6-speed transmission offers a smoother ride at highway speeds. Hydraulic control module in the semi-auto version shown shifts more slowly at lower speeds but works well at higher ones.

The touring RT comes with a manual transmission with reverse, but being a lazy sort I thought I’d try the available semi-automatic. With no clutch lever or foot shift lever, changing gears is a slick thumb-and-forefinger, up-down pushbutton affair on the left grip. While the rider must always upshift, the transmission will do the downshifting all the way down to first if desired. The engine’s increased power and new layout meant moving away from the twin’s mechanical flyweights in the semi-automatic trans to a hydraulic clutch module to generate the clutch force, and upshifts take longer at lower speeds and create a noticeable interruption in the power flow. Rev the engine higher before shifting and it happens much more quickly.

This is only the third Spyder I’ve put many miles on, but most of the changes are clear improvements. The engine is smooth, strong, quiet and low maintenance. Handling is less darty on the highway while still low-effort at slower speeds thanks to the Dynamic Power Steering, and the independent front and optional adjustable rear air suspension soaks up the bumps like a luxury car. For 2014 the Vehicle Stability System (VSS), which integrates engine management, traction control and the anti-lock brakes, has been refined to intervene a little less and also more smoothly. It no longer cuts the power and applies the brakes in fits and starts as it did on the previous models when cornering too aggressively. This prevents wheel lift and other undesirable hijinks and lets you enjoy the inherent stability of the two-in-front, one-in back, rear-wheel drive layout of the Spyder, which can corner much harder than a trike with two in back.

2014 Spyder RT Left Side
All-new Ultra Comfort seat comes ready for optional rider backrest. Passenger floorboards are adjustable, too.

As you might expect of such a big machine, comfort is supreme, with plush rider and passenger accommodations and a natural reach to the wide handlebar. It took me some time to stop reaching for clutch or brake levers at stops, but after a while one doesn’t miss them, except perhaps on the floorboard-equipped RT Limited, which requires completely lifting your right foot to apply the single powerful brake (the triple discs are all linked to the one pedal). It’s much easier on the base model with footpegs since you can simply apply toe pressure without lifting your foot off the peg. The electric windscreen does a marvelous job, lowering well below eye level for some breeze and raising well above, silencing the wind and allowing all of the prodigious volume from the 4-speaker sound system to reach the rider. Once you get past the longish starting drill (a warning screen must be acknowledged that takes a few seconds to display), release the parking brake, ride off and engage the cruise control, and you’ll be in the next state before you know it. If you don’t want to hear a lot of annoying beeping just be sure to engage the parking brake again before shutting off the ignition—the bike will shift into neutral for you.

2014 Spyder RT Rear
Prodigious storage includes trunk, large saddlebags and big front, er, trunk.

Four storage compartments (front trunk, saddlebags and trunk) hold a ton of gear, including a full-face helmet in front and in the right side case. Rigid liner bags are available for all four, and there’s a handy center-console compartment as well. If that’s not enough, Can-Am offers a specially made trailer for the Spyder ($4,499—it’s a really nice trailer, we’re told), the only one that won’t void the machine’s warranty. Interestingly, connecting it tells the roadster’s VSS to behave accordingly, though the VSS does not alter the way the trailer brakes behave.

The Can-Am Spyder RT roadster is available in three packages starting at $22,999 for the standard model in black or white. The Spyder RT-S and Spyder RT Limited add increasingly nice levels of goodies at additional cost. Add-ons include floorboards, adjustable rear air suspension, GPS navigation, LED lighting, exclusive new colors, exclusive wheels and more.

Can-Am has also updated the RS (sport) and ST (sport-touring) models for 2014 with new airflow side panels for a sportier look. The ST-S adds new gas-charged Fox shocks and new machined six twin-spoke wheels. RS-S versions benefit from new sport-tuned VSS for faster cornering and the new wheels as well.

BRP CanAm Spyder Roadster USA: 3 Wheel Motorcycles

2014 Can-Am Spyder RT Standard Specifications
Type: Rotax 1330 ACE in-line 3, liquid-cooled with electronic fuel injection and electronic throttle control
Bore x stroke: 3.31 x 3.14 in. (84 x 80 mm)
Power: 115 hp (85.8 kW) @ 7250 RPM
Torque: 96 lb-ft. (130.1 Nm) @ 5000 RPM

Front suspension: Double A-arm with anti-roll bar
Front shocks type / travel: Sachs / 6.85 in. (174 mm)
Rear suspension: Swingarm
Rear shock type / travel: Air preload Sachs shock / 6 in. (152 mm)
Electronic brake: Foot-operated, hydraulic 3-wheel brake distribution system
Front brakes: 270 mm discs with Brembo 4-piston fixed calipers
Rear brake: 270 mm disc with Brembo single-piston floating caliper
Parking brake: Electromechanical
Front tires: 165 / 55 R15
Rear tire: 225 / 50 R15
Aluminum front rims: 12-spoke Metallic Silver, 15 x 5 in. (381 x 127 mm)
Aluminum rear rim: Metallic Silver, 15 x 7 in. (381 x 178 mm)

L x W x H: 105 x 61.9 x 59.4 in. (2,667 x 1,572 x 1,510 mm)
Wheelbase: 67.5 in. (1,714 mm)
Seat height: 30.4 in. (772 mm)
Ground clearance: 4.5 in. (115 mm)
Dry weight: 1,012 lb (459 kg)
Storage capacity: 41 gal (155 L)
Maximum vehicle load: 494 lb (224 kg)
Fuel capacity: 6.9 gal (26 L)
Reserve: 1 gal (3.8 L) approx.
Fuel type: Premium unleaded

Instrumentation: Premium color digital gauge: digital speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip & hour meters, gear position, ECO mode smart assist, temperature, engine lights, electronic fuel gauge, clock
Running lights: 2 halogen headlamps (55-W)
Windshield: Touring – Electric adjustment
Wind deflectors: Standard
Cruise control: Electronic
Seat: Ultra comfortable with lumbar support and passenger backrest
Rider heated grips: Standard
Audio system: AM / FM audio system with iPod integration cable and 4 speakers
Power outlet: 12V power outlet
RT-622 trailer capability: Towing capacity of 400 lbs. (181 kg)

Metallic Silver: Rider footpegs, adjustable passenger footboards and footpeg support, handlebar, rear sprocket wheel, front and rear shocks springs, exhaust tip and heat shield

6-speed manual with reverse (SM6)
6-speed semi-automatic with reverse (SE6)

Timeless Black Metallic
Pearl White

SCS: Stability Control System
TCS: Traction Control System
ABS: Anti-lock Braking System
DPS: Dynamic Power Steering
Anti-theft system: Digitally Encoded Security System (D.E.S.S.)

Factory 2-year BRP Limited Warranty with 2-year roadside assistance
Extended B.E.S.T. available from 12 to 36 months

(A version of this article Three By Three was published in the December 2013 issue of Rider magazine.)


  1. How about a comparison test with a Gold Wing trike, the Harley Tri Glide and the Spyder RT. Which one makes a better touring trike? Love your magazine.

    • I live my can am RT but was looking forward of checking out the 2014 till the dealer here in Twin Falls, Idaho quit, if I had known that I would have bought one but I did and my husband has a honda goldwing and it really a good trike, if honda had automatics I would have gotten one but I will be content at my age, can am are too expensive

  2. I love this motorcycle very much, I have taken several test rides , and I am amazed with every aspect of this machine.i have been riding bikes since high school ,mostely gold wings but the can am is miles ahead.i especially like the rt limited,and desperately want the 2014 rt limited s6.however I went through a divorce about seven years ago and it had a detrimental affect on my credit.the credit is starting to come up some what, but I have been unable to find financing.do you know of any one that does financing for people with less then perfect credit? if so kindley let me know, because I would love to have a 2014 rt limited s6 in my garage, although it would not be in there much.thanks for any help you may have.

  3. Hello, this is the second Rider eNews I got from you where I click on an image and your page freezes. Is it me or your website?

    Thanks Bill

  4. Better mileage, shocks, heat control, more power and torque. Not as quirky as the 2013, which is good. All features that were needed on the 2013 RT Model. This model sadly needs a front brake linked to the rear even for backing up from parking spots. Linked brakes similar to the Honda Gold Wing would be great! Now if they would only correct the mud and crud that the RT throws up the back of the Roadster. This crap will go up your back right to the helmet and will layer your trailer. They could also make the rear bags more functional and they could eliminate the stupid starting ritual. Will hold off any new purchases until they correct these items. I consider this Roadster ( I will not call it a Bike ) work in progress at the expense of customers.

    • Apparently you have the only Spyder without linked brakes. My guess is you are not the credible source on this subject you want us to believe you are .

      • The Gold Wing has linked brakes with a rear and a FRONT BRAKE. The front linked brake will stop you on a dime. I know the Spyder has linked brakes but ONLY works with the foot peddle. For the record I installed a front brake lever on my 2013 Spyder and it works great. I spent 5 weeks traveling to Alaska and to Sturgis last year and really appreciated the front brake when towing the trailer and especially with backing up the trailer. Is this credible enough for you!

        • To Dave—— While I can appreciate your right to your own opinion, I don’t have any respect for just plain mean spirited very narrow minded view points. Those Can Am’s are here to stay my friend, like them or not.

  5. My take on the RT/ Limited after riding a 2012 for 10,000 miles, was it needed a 1400 cc motor and a higher gear ratio, for quieter and more economical operation, and better brakes, they heard me!

  6. Good Luck on the new roadster.
    I would recommend you also look at the LaMonster mud flap from ebay and consider the front brake from Industrial Specialty.

  7. I own a 2011 RT SE5 that has around 60,000 miles on i. I have ridden in every weather condition on all types of roads and have never experienced crud being thrown on the passenger or driver from the rear wheel. It comes close, but the crud never makes it to the passenger. As far as linked brakes they all have anti skid brakes that are controlled by one pedal. The front brakes are linked to the back. That thing has saved me twice in panic situations where a deer suddenly appeared in front of us and a car pulled out in front with only 30 feet to stop at 45mph. it has superior stopping power that no two wheel cycle can match. I have over 300,000 miles on motorcycles and ride pretty much year round two up. I can provide testament that the Spyder does everything well and is a joy to ride. I do not recommend that the anti theft start up procedure be changed.

      • I can get 25,000 to 30,000 on a factory replacement rear tire. About the same on the factory replacement front tires. As with any motorcycle, just pay attention to tire pressures religiously. Sixteen psi front and 28psi rear. I’ve heard of people replacing the rear tire with a regular automotive tire to try and increase mileage. This causes problems because the side wall on the factory tire is much softer then a car tire. This affects the ride characteristic to a slightly stiffer ride. As a side note, the original rear tire lasted 30,000 miles.
        The replacement tire only lasted about 18,000. Reason being that the replacement tire only had about half the tread thickness as the original tire. The machine is now on it’s third rear tire which has the tread thickness of the original tire. I have not been able to get a straight answer from my dealer as to why the tread thickness difference. Pay attention to front end alignment to maximize wear on fronts. As a long time professional mechanic, I’ve learned how to tweak my own front end alignment issues to maximize front tire wear. I recommend a yearly front end alignment from a qualified Spyder dealer for the average owner. Id be glad to relate any questions any one has on long term care of the Spyder.

        • My wife has a 2014 Spyder RTS with 5000 miles on it. The rear tire is worn to the wear bars. Believe me, she doesn’t ride aggressively. Would surely be glad to know how to get even 18,000 miles on the rear tire. I ride a Concours 14 Kawasaki, the only problem with the Spyder, she won’t ride with me anymore, she loves the Spyder.

  8. The only thing that’s objectionable to me are the horrible colors on the Limited, at least Harley and Honda have a great color choice to spruce up their appeal, School buss, yellow or hearse grey doesn’t cut it for me! The white Pearl or Classic black are exceptable colors. Can Am needs to listen to it’s customer feed back more carefully and loose the 50 year old Ski Doo Yellow! Maybe this will improve the public image, as to not relate a Spyder to a Ski Doo on wheels as the commit I hear often. A burgundy and cream would a refreshing color or turquoise and white, even a very light yellow as the 57 Chev or 68 Javelin had.. or a nice midnight blue metallic, thin k of the increased sales, more flash means more cash flow was my motto!

  9. I’d have to agree on the rather staid color choices available on the Spyder. The bright banana yellow is a bit much. I think there’s just too much surface area that’s unbroken by any trim lines. I agree that a two tone paint job would look great. As a high mileage owner of a Spyder, I’ve never heard anyone mention to me about the Spyder being a converted snow mobile, with 99% of the people I come in contact with giving a two thumbs up review. It has to be noted that the color of the Spyder, even taxi cab yellow, in no way detracts from the Spyder pegging the fun meter. If yellow floats yer boat, go for it. Remember, it’s not driveway jewelry.

  10. My comments regarding linked brakes is specific to the linking of a front brake system with lever on the front bars for easy braking, especially when backing up. I certainly know the brakes are linked to the back brake pedal!

  11. Ken Reive— It sounds like you are mixing apples and oranges here. Comparing a linked brake system that has a separate front brake control lever on the handle bars to the linked brake system on the Spyder with just one brake pedal activating both front and rear brakes together, then stating that the front lever activated linked brake is better for backing up? You gotta be kidding me. I can testify as a Spyder owner that backing up on the Spyder has nothing to do with whether or not the brakes are linked. You shift into reverse, then ease out the clutch and brake. If you have the SE model like I do, you just shift into reverse and ease off the brake pedal. I’ve had two wheel bikes for years also. To back up, one just puts two big feet on the ground, then does the Fred Flintstone routine. The front brake in this case can be used to slow or stop movement, but whether or not the brake was linked would not make any difference. The brakes on the Spyder work with the ignition on or off, engine does not have to be running, as with some other anti skid linked brake systems.

    • The use of a front brake lever for backing up relates to backing up with a trailer attached. Sorry, should have been more specific. As you know , or don’t know, when backing up with a trailer things can go south rather quickly so you would have to have your foot over the brake peddle for quick stopping which at the least is uncomfortable on the Spyder LTD.
      I prefer to use my front brake to stop when backing up with a trailer. End of story, move on.

  12. OOHHH, I get it know. Yes, using the front brake only IS much different than using all 3 wheel brakes when backing up at less than 2MPH. Son, it’s clear as mud now I tell ya. As an old hand at backing up single and tandem axle car hauling trailers with electric brakes, and motorcycles with trailers attached, have a good day pardner. Pax.

  13. Anyone buying a 2014 RT will not be disappointed, it’s an accumulation of improvements. Cant wait to ride one when they come in in snow bound Maine, this spring.

    The four improvements in The RT Limited needed now three have been addressed by BRP, now for the rear tire longevity, and this Bike will be unstoppable.

  14. I’ll give you a tip, when going into a parking space that has a curbing in front, back in so you wont scratch the bottom of the underneath front ” v” as I did one day in Bangor, Me. Can AM has no White Pearl touch up paint so I used GM white pearl, that didn’t quite match, but you would have to be short enough to look that low as an aquatic gerontologist… other wise you as an ordinary person wouldn’t notice..

    • Spring or a month or two before riding weather, need not to worry, they will have them in place to capture the peak market. The south has to be filled first as the riding season is mostly all year round.

  15. Must be a localized thing being you are near the North Pole. We here in Michigan, where it only snows 5 or 6 feet and usually a toasty ! o2 degrees,
    we don’t get the snowmobiles out until at least 7 feet of the white stuff is on the ground. As we here are still using our motorcycles until then, I can understand your confusion of getting motorcycles mixed up with snow mobiles, dude.

  16. ‘RE: Kevin, I mentioned to my Can Am/ snowmobile and Spyder dealer, that I hear the remark of Ski Doo on wheels, and the dealer remarked, ” I hear often, almost, every day I’ve been in Michigan many times and that’s a stretch on our not running your snowmobiles until there’s 4 or 5 feet of snow! BS is a better description.

  17. I must say that you do not seem to have grasped that I am poking fun at your claim that the referring to Can Am Spyders as looking like a snowmobile is rampant. Your claim seemed kind of mean spirited , and too serious, so I wrote you a tongue in cheek response. Lighten up, will you. The reality of who I have directly talked too, including my dealer, is that I have only encountered 2 responses that it looks like a snowmoblie and one of those was mine when I bought it. I have been all over the country and have literally spoken to hundreds of people about the Spyder. All comments were positive with only one other claim of it looking like a snowmobile. Look, if it floats yer boat to make that silly claim, go for it. My experience is the other side of the coin pardner. I am a serious long distance rider with a lot of miles to my credit. I also like to write and consider myself an amateur writer. I can craft a written response to what is being written to me in a humorous crafty way, which I did to you. You just did not catch on, as your response shows. Embrace the new and think outside the box. Remember that motorcycling is a fun adventure that is not meant to be enjoyed only in very narrow parameters by the elite. Safe riding my friend.

  18. I grasp it and owned a RT Limited 2012, myself I don’t refer to the Spyder as a ski doo on three wheels, but I heard it from the nayth sayers And ignorant. Those that can’t afford even the insurance on this Rolls of a bike. Other wise I don’t give a care! So enjoy your safe Spyder for miles and miles and to h— with the Nsyth Sayers!

  19. On the subject of availability of the 2014 Spyder, my dealer told me that the factory had extended their snowmobile manufacturing dates and that they were late retooling to manufacture the 2014 Spyder into late Dec. of 2013. I’ve been patiently waiting since Nov and hope to get one of the first to be delivered to BC maybe in late Jan 2014.

  20. I have many years of motorcycle riding and less of snowmobile riding. The comment that the Spyder is like a snowmobile is accurate in that the Spyder rides flat in a corner and my body leans. My Gold Wing carves the curves with my body. I came very close to buying a Spyder last year after a lot of test riding and this year may be the time for me. A higher torque and lower rpm are most welcome and solves my two major issues. The roads here in New Brunswick demand a good handling machine, the curves are endless. and more than a few are reducing radius curves. Does anyone have a comment on the sports mufflers? After all, a tough looking machine like the Spyder needs some authority.

    Now about all that snow!!!!!

  21. Geeesh. Some people just never give up. Virtually every vehicle made under the sun, except tired vehicles, carve corners the same, yet the Spyder creates a whole new depth to the corner carving experience. Go karts corner flat, yet the Spyder is no go kart. Snow mobiles wallow in a corner and do not even come close to the heart stopping experience of taking turns a 2 to 3 times the speed a two tired vehicle can, especially on rain slicked roads or decling radius roadways. Even with the throttle limiting feature on the Spyder that cuts the throttle if one pulls too many G’s in a turn, there seems to be a way to over ride it momentarily. The rider is only limited by how scared your passenger gets in a turn. Yes, I said a passenger, two up. Try that on any two wheeler. As far as snow, my wife and I drove our Spyder to Port Huron, Michigan a few days ago, one week after receiving close to 18 inches of snow. About a 160 mile round trip. If referring to the Spyder as having snow mobile characteristics, or looking like a snow mobile floats yer boat, go for it. We can bench race issues about the Spyder later by the fire. Mean while back at the ranch, I’m going for a ride. That’s what it’s all about my friends. Yes, even with
    full Widder electric vests, arm chaps, gloves, and leg chaps, and even with front and rear electric grips, it was, shall we say, “a brisk ride.” But hey! It was the first ride of the year, man! Ok, Ok. Perhaps i did embellish
    the snow depth of 7 feet as to when we stop driving motorcycles in Michigan just a teence. More like 6 and a half feet. Remember to read that last line with your tongue firmly implanted in your cheek.

    • Craig-

      I just want to thank you for all the helpful and credible information you put out on the CAN-AM. I too own a 2011 RT Special Edition (Pearl White), it’s freaking awesome and the looks, thumbs up and smiles received when I am riding reaffirm I have purchased the right bike. Mind you, I have no mechanical or technical background, so the information experienced guys like you share is extremly vital to me and the maintenance of my RT. Sir, you are truly appreciated, safe riding to you always!


  22. In regards to not wanting road salt in or on your Spyder during winter rides,simply stop at the quarter car wash before you get home for a quick rinse with water. I guess I’m not especially concerned with wear and tear on the machine. I take meticulous care of my Spyder but at the same time I did not buy it to be garage jewelry. I don’t fret over every little nick or tiny scratch that various road conditions may cause. Each tiny blemish on my Spyder means a different adventure. MY prior bike was a 1999 Yamaha Royal Star Venture. I drove it also in the winter when roads were cleared of snow. i never had any problems with corrosion from road salt water because I rinsed it off every time. I sold it in 2011 with 150,000 miles on it. Ran perfectly.

  23. I don’t have any idea how many miles the 990 CC twin will go without any major work, but I suspect it will go the distance. And for the new tripple, I think it will be a very longevity motor, as it turns lower RPM to accomplish the torque needed to Cary two up, plus a trailer @ highway speeds. And the longevity of anything is a lot to do with how well it is maintained and run under red line limits.

  24. Being retired for over ten years, I like to keep my vehicles in prestige condition, so they will last or be easy to resale, as I have to get the wife’s approval to spend that much money on a toy. I do have a part time business, and when I make a delivery with my RT Limited and open trailer, the boxes are 14″x 57″ long, so I had to have a special trailer manufactured to fit two units. The Spyder always a hit and helps make the sale. I never Let a person ride it as it has a very quick response, and I know that a lot of first time driver get in trouble. A fried of mine my age bought a new Spyder and his first ride was a crash doing three thousand $$ damage before he left his driveway, in low gear, it’s very quick.

  25. Peter, if you have bought your Spyder from a licensed dealer, they will have to correct this especially if they issued a temporary plate and a new Safety State inspection Sticker, but if you bought it from a private owner then you are o9n your own. Good luck with your Spyder.

    Peter have the front suspension and steering componants checked, including toeing adj., tire pressure, and uneaven tire ware, and wheel bearing tightness.there is a reason for this abnormal vibration.

  26. Shaking front wheels while turning on any Spyder model or year would not be considered normal. If you are the mechanical type, you could try to check the front brake rotors for rough or uneven surfaces, possible front tire issues like damaged internal cords, bent rims or wheel bearing issues. If not, I suggest you take it to a qualified Spyder dealer and have them diagnose the problem you describe. Anything related to steering needs to be looked at and repaired before any further riding. As a owner and high mileage rider of a 2011 Spyder RT I’ve never experienced what you’re describing. Please do not ignore the problem. When it is discovered what is causing the shaking, please let me know. Good luck and safe riding.

  27. Help…I am a passenger on a 2014 rt spyder and have been riding harleys for years asa passenger..now we have a spyder and I am told I am not leaning enough…I feel like I am to the place that my neck is hurting and I have to stare at the road to make sure I lean because my driver says he can feel me not leaning…since i have riden Harleys for years I know how to lean but this is VERY uncomfortable and I can’t even relax and see the scenery am I doing something wrong or could it be the driver?….My weight is 160 I dont think its way over board….help….I want so much to enjoy the ride and make him happy…

    • Barbara You dont have to lean on the spyder. Just sit upright and enjoy the ride. That goes for the passenger and the rider. You should be sitting on the seat as a passenger like you sit in the car riding comfortably. You and your driver. He is erroneous in telling you that you have to lean.

      • Thank you Mac, as I rode last week I decided to hold on to the hand grips and lean very little. That seemed to be better. I think that he has to learn more as time goes by…This last ride was better so lets hope it gets better as he learns to handle the bike better…Boy its hard for us women to suggest that maybe “its the driver.” Male ego is very hard to deal with…Thanks for the encouragement…Barbie

  28. I am about to place my order for an RT and I can’t seem to get an answer on the adjustable rear suspension. I know it will adjust for a passenger load. My question is will it make a softer ride on a rough road with only a rider? I don’t carry a passenger and the adjustable rear suspension is expensive if it can’t make for a better ride on spring roads full of frost bumps.

    • Mike — Here’s what our contacts at Can-Am have said:

      The adjustment is for preload and ride height. It is a convenience to not have to reach under with a spanner wrench and adjust the preload ring. So it is good when you are riding with a passenger, or with cargo, and need a quick adjustment.
      However, you can dial in rear suspension to your preference, too, when you don’t have cargo or a passenger, too. Being able to adjust preload will help in different road conditions.
      It automatically adjusts as well. Meaning it regulates itself to stay at the same pressure level once you set it.
      Hope that helps.

  29. I am a current owner of a 2011 Can Am Spyder RT SE5. I carry a passenger, (my wife), most of the time. I find that setting the front shocks to their stiffest setting and setting the rear air suspension to it’s lowest setting makes for a pretty good ride with good cornering ability. As a single rider, this also offers the smoothest rear ride. Stiffening the rear air ride improves cornering, but makes it ride like a lumber wagon. When we travel, fully loaded with luggage,
    riding gear, and the like, setting the rear suspension up a notch or two is helpful. I’ve never felt the need to ride to ride at it’s stiffest rear air shock level.
    As I have never ridden a Can Am without adjustable rear suspension, I cannot compare one ride to another. I suggest taking a test ride on an RT and try different settings of the rear suspension to see if it offers any different ride than a non adjustable rear suspension that you may find preferable.

  30. Sounds to me like the driver of your Spyder is being overzealous in the turns. I have a 2011 Can Am Spyder who most of the time rides with my wife as a passenger 2 up. The 2011 has a throttle cut out if too much cornering G force is detected. It is quite easy to get into a throttle cut out situation on the 2011 Can Am, but amazing cornering speeds can still be achieved in the hands of an experienced Spyder rider. It is very easy for me to become overzealous when cornering, much to the disdain of my wife, who being no slacker, handles the curves pretty well. Then I feel a thump to my ribs as the unspoken signal to slow down. If I understand it correctly, one of the updates on the 2014 Spyder is a higher G force setting on the VSS. In effect this will make higher cornering G forces possible. Which also translates to higher passenger discomfort in cornering at high speeds. Tell your driver to slow down and enjoy the ride and to save the Isle of Man tactics for his single rides. When a severe lean left or right is required all the time, it’s time to slow down. Steering is a little twitchy at first and can cause the driver to over compensate steering input, causing a very jerky ride. The Spyder is a different lady and one cannot muscle her into obedience. As one becomes used to the smaller steering inputs and you learn to relax, the ride will become butter smooth. Of course, there’s always the low tech rib thump.

  31. Thank you for the response. The adjustable rear suspension should do the job for me. I guess I will move up to the RT-S and enjoy the new toy.

  32. Hello, I have Just taken delivery of my Spyder rRT LTD, being a bike rider most of my life I see where Barbara is coming from it does take a fair bit of getting used to, I have now done about 250 miles and I am just about there, stick with it Barbara you WILL enjoy it !!!, I have just bought one of the few trailers that are available in the UK for the Spyder could anyone tell me the part number for the cognac paint please as I would like to get them colure matched Regards Pete

  33. I will take delivery of my new RT-S next week. The dealer wants list price plus $1600 for ship/setup. It that reasonable?

  34. Mike, you may want to check on working a deal with your salesman–you should be able to work a lower price and not have to pay list price. I used to have a ’12 RT-S, and the purchase price was agreed upon through a back and forth negotiation. Also, you may wish to check on the $1,600 charge for shipping and setup. That sounds awfully high to me. My understanding is that the dealer is already paid by BRP to do the actual setup. If that’s the case, you’re just paying the dealer extra $ for nothing. I’m not sure about shipping, but, I’d research into paying for shipping, and for setup. I don’t know where you are located, but, call some other Spyder dealers, and see what they would offer you in order to earn your business.

  35. Boa noite a todos os amigos apaixonados pelo Spyder!
    Moro em Primavera do Leste, Estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil. Tenho um RS SE5 ano 2009 e estou ansioso na espera do RT 2014 com o novo motor, mas não sei quando estará disponivel aqui. Abraço a todos os amigos.

  36. I am really enjoying my new Spyder RT-S. Good performance, especially with the new motor. The suspension is much better on the Spring roads than my Gold Wing. The Spyder “carves” high speed corners like a pro. I haven’t lifted the inside front wheel yet but I will soon so I know the cornering limit. I expect the cornering will be even better when I firm up the suspension after the annual road repairs are completed.

    I did negotiate the price after the advice I got here and paid much less than originally asked.

    I am a happy camper with my new ride.

  37. Anyone using the backrest optioned with the Spyder? With a sports car, pushing back into the seat back makes cornering in the twisties easier because the body becomes more attached to the car. On the Spyder my body seems to flop a bit except on curves on a smooth road when I can plan the curves. If I plant my back into the backrest on a Spyder will that make riding curvy and bumpy roads any easier and less tiring?


    • Mike,
      Pressure on your outside foot on your peg or floorboard helps with the flop – a tip from the BRP rep who taught me to be a Spyder instructor here in Canada.

  38. I am 6′-2″ tall and sat on a 2014 Spyder RT-S. It was very tight and uncomfortable. The Spyder Catalogue shows a “Comfort Seat” that pushes the rider back two inches for a more relaxed riding position. Has anyone tried this seat? It is pricey at $599.99. I am surprised that riding comfort or lack of comfort hasn’t been brought up in this forum.

    This may sound crazy but I am going to purchase a 2014 Spyder RT-s SM6 or a 2014 Yamaha Super Tenere; completely different machines. Presently I have a 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic 1600.

  39. I bought the wife a 2008 ca-am spyder ,My biggest complaints are that the windscreen is so small that the rider acts as a human umbrella. I bought her a larger windscreen. it would occasionally shut down completely while idling at red lights. Dealers charged her for things under warranty. The same problem keep happening. Burning too rich and plugs going. BRP said they would warranty it till it was fixed. I trailer the bike over and over to Canada and USA. I spent over six thousand dollars in gas and the bike did the same. She traded it in last year for a RSS. 2012. She was happy happy happy until one of the Fox Racing Shocks went. She called the dealer where she bought it less than a year ago. They called her on her cell phone and told her the Warranty had run out? She called me up set. I called BRP and they said no, she has warranty till 2015 plus the extra warranty till 2016. I had to trailer the bike to a dealer allot further away for warranty.$200.00 in gas, and the bike has less than 7000 km. I hope we didn’t get another lemon.

  40. I took delivery of a new 2014 RT Limited in April and found it very cramped for me. I’m 6′ and 190 pounds. I had an Ultimate seat with drivers backrest installed and it put me back about 2″ and I really like it allot. My wife is only 5′ tall so I took the 2014 Ltd seat and put the factory backrest on it and put it on my wife’s 2011 RT Ltd. Now we are both very happy with our rides. A heavier sway bar and Lazer alignment also makes a big difference and makes them handle noticeably smoother.

  41. To Scott— How, exactly, does using only the front brake on a Spyder help you back up with a trailer, over using the original one pedal activates all three brakes? How on earth did you manage to separate and replumb the anti lock brake lines in order to make the front brakes remain linked, yet on a separate hand control. I assume you meant that you installed a hand lever control to operate just the front brakes. The Spyder is designed to pull a trailer, one of which is made by Bombardier, specifically for the Spyder and they do not specify any changes that must be made to the front braking system to operate the Spyder with a trailer hooked up. I have 72,000 miles on my 2011 SE5 RT in all types of weather and I can assure you that the factory installed braking system is up to the task. Even backing up. Just curious, my friend.

  42. We are having a bit of problem with uneven tire wear on 2009 Spyder SE 5 with 8500 kl. The dealer says this is not the first time he has heard of this and when he did an alignment everything was fine. Any ideas

  43. Please go to ISCI or Industrial Specialty Company Inc.’s web site . to review their braking system. This will answer most of your questions. It works very well and you work it with your hand. My right leg has had surgery and my re-action time is not perfect, thus the front brake system from ISCI. I find it awkward to brake by foot when backing up and the front lever to me is the answer. I only wish that Can Am would install a braking system like the Honda Gold Wing which brakes 60%, 40% on the front brake and 60%, 40% on the back brake when braking is applied.

  44. I have had all three and currently own the Harley Trike and the Can Am RT.
    For my money the Harley is the most comfortable but can run a little hot in Florida. A great touring bike!
    I have had the Harley modified so that the front brake operates front and back brakes at the same time. The rear brake pedal has been removed. Works great and will lock up all three tires to the point they are leaving rubber on the road.
    P.S. The Honda Trike is also a good touring machine. I wish I had kept mine and not bought the Can Am.

  45. Thanks for the advice Cathy.

    I now have well over 10,000 km on the RT-S.

    For the first 1000 km I wondered if I had done the right thing by selling my 1800 Wing and buying the RT-S. Now I am totally convinced that I did the right thing. This machine is marvelous.

    I noted my rules as I learned to ride the Spyder.
    Rule 1: Do not counter-steer. Seems obvious but it is not automatic for a bike rider. Counter-steering a spyder will cause wobbles.
    Rule 2: Do not set up a corner as all bikers do whether they recognize it or not. Start the corner steering as I enter the corner, not before. Setting up the corner early will cause wobbles.
    Rule 3: Use my knee against the seat on the inside of a corner to stiffen the upper part of my body. At higher speeds, drive the Spyder like a high performance snowmobile and lean the body with knees clamped on the sides of the seat. It becomes automatic, it did for me by less than 3000 km.

    The rules sound tough for a newbie (me) but it makes the spyder much more fun and challenging to ride.


  46. To Mike–
    I think you’ve hit it exactly. The Spyder does not respond to a lot of the iron clad riding rules of the 2 wheeler. It’s a different animal and she can’t be muscled into obedience. Here’s my thoughts—
    1. A new Spyder rider must acquire their own riding skill on the Spyder due to we are not all the same shape and size. Develop your own riding style by riding in a variety of road conditions.
    2. I’ve found the Spyder to be very sensitive to the size of the rider. One cannot use a blasted in Granite check list of rules to correctly ride the Spyder.
    3. It’s an amazing ride. I have 75,000 miles on my 2011 RT SE5 and I’m still learning.

  47. Just bought my new Spyder RT-S…..slowly adjusting to the new concept of 2 in the front….one in the back. I know it will handle the curbs but I find myself slowing down….anybody else have this feeling??

  48. After reading all the comments, I’m motivated in purchasing Can-Am Spyder .

    I am 80 years, of age. Would it be to difficult to operate this machine?

  49. To Chris— I know what you mean. Took me about 3 months to acclimate
    to the handling and being confident in a panic situation on the Spyder. It is just going to take time. When riding alone, try doing more difficult cornering maneuvers in areas of low traffic. Adjusting the front shocks to their stiffest level will greatly enhance handling confidence in hard turns. I found that when the front shocks were left in the softest setting, the machine will lean into turns causing the suspension to deflect wildly, which can cause the rider to panic. I know I did the first time that happened. Nobody can tell you exactly how to sit, lean, or hold on to the steering. It has to be learned because a persons body weight and height are different from one person to another and weight and height are ultra important when putting the Spyder into fast turns. Just be sure to be hanging on because the Spyder will attempt to go where ever you point it.
    You’ll also find one can’t muscle her into obedience.

  50. We test drove an RT and my wife complained that the foot pads transmitted a lot more engine vibration than she was used to on our Road Star Venture.
    Anyone has experience with this or any ideas on whether it can be somehow eliminated?

  51. 5,000 miles to the wear bars seems awfully low miles to me. i must say that I run the tire far beyond the wear bar marks. Usually , the wear bar mark is achieved at around the 12 to 15,000 mile mark for me. I am almost always running two up with about 30lbs of gear stored. When I change the rear tire, there really is not much left of it. i have found that by running a lower than factory recommended air psi, the outer edge of the rear tire absorbs a lot more of the wear. As you may have noticed the tread depth of the center of the tire is less than the outer edges, thus the center part of the tire seems to wear more quickly, especially if you run more than 28psi. The bottom line here is that if you run factory air psi settings and go by the wear bars you’re going to experience much lower tire mileage, which there is nothing wrong with if you don’t mind paying for more frequent tire changes. BRP tends to go kind of overboard on maintenance scheduling. Almost as if they are treating the Spyder as an aircraft, probably because they do build aircraft. The Spyder is a very robust and rugged machine that will last many miles under heavy use. I can personally attest to that as I now have 87,000 miles on mine.
    Run 28psi in the rear tire all the time. Don’t be afraid to run it past the wear marks. These two things should allow you to bump up to around 20 thousand miles, maybe a little more.
    Here’s an interesting note. I have installed my own engine blow by oil recovery tank that arrests engine oil before it goes into the air cleaner. I’m on a second design and it’s a work in progress. It traps about 30% now, but I’m working on filter media to get a higher percentage. As you may know, engine blow by is diverted into the air cleaner which causes oil vapor to be drawn into the throttle body, which after a while causes the throttle body to become clogged with dirt and oil. This must be cleaned out at owner expense at about $350 per throttle body cleaning, which is recommended around once a year. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box on maintenance items.

  52. I love the color of the 2015 Red on the RT S & RT-L. I think that The Indian Motor Cycle is spot on with their nostalgic colors. They always turn my head when I see one on the street, accented with the tan leather saddle bags.

  53. Can Am needs to rethink their eye appeal of their fantastic Bikes, but all need a sharp paint skeem ! I’m an emotional buyer, and most Can Am colors don’t even tempt me to the point of pulling the trigger ! If I use the intellect to make a decision, then I look at a Mazda Meita, being a more praticle purchase with a better residual value. Or a low millage used Corvette C-5 Convertible that I own and enjoy. That being said, I miss the Can Am RT-L.

  54. I just bought a 2014 can am spider and when driving in a cross wind, it beats me to death. Really takes an effort to keep it in the center of the lane that you are in.I live in West Texas and we experience a lot of wind. Also, are there any Can Am riders in the Odessa or Midland area.

  55. On June 15 ,2015 I had open heart surgery. The D’rs told me it would be over a year before I could ride my motor cycle again .I had a 07 V * tourer. Sold the motor and bought a 2014 Can Am Spyder in July 2015.. Found out it was still 2 early to ride again. If you go to Spyderlovers.com They have lots of information, pros and cons on the Spyder Can Am. Its not like a G/W or a Harely Trike, but for the money, I don’t think you could go wrong getting a Spyder. If you do, check into getting a Baja Ron Sway Bar. Kinda like getting the same thing for a Trike. Helps in the turns, and cost about $700.00 dollars less. I have one ordered and should be here in a day or 2.
    I think they are safer than a G/W or a Harley trike. Just my thoughts. I know of several G/W riders who have bought a Spyder one or 2 Harley riders who did the same. It will take several hundred miles on one to get use to riding it.Just do all the check up that you can, on the Goldwing and the Harley trike

  56. Looking to purchase a 2010 or 2011 Can Am Spyder RT in February/March timeframe. I have looked on Ebay, Dealerships, and Oodles website. I need to know how if I am not purchasing in my home state of NC, to purchase a Can Am that is listed in another state. Is it safer to purchase from a dealer and or a for sale for owner if that person is not selling in my state. Any suggestions for purchasing online vs. at a dealership.

    Any advice is welcomed.


  57. I just hit 17K on my first set of tires …..RT-L 2015 in 13 months. The center of the back tire is getting pretty slick. Given the advice above, I think I’ll back off on the tire pressure to try to eek out a few more K’s on the rubber before getting 3 new tires. I’m loving every mile.


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