It’s not often you get to be a part of history in the making. But we enjoyed that opportunity during the first weekend of June in Canada—Valcourt, Quebec, to be specific—when BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) threw a Homecoming party to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the rollout of the three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder. More than 100,000 Spyders have been produced, and about 3,000 enthusiastic Spyder owners from around the globe—Australia, Russia, Japan, Germany, France and more—converged on the BRP Valcourt headquarters to celebrate. And the part about making history? Never before have more than 3,000 Spyders been gathered in one spot—it made for an impressive sight.
During group gatherings we repeatedly heard about the closeness of the Spyder community—and that was not just PR hype. The excitement and personal bonds between owners was readily evident, with lots of happy faces, warm embraces and animated conversations going nonstop. BRP really doled out the VIP treatment to all by opening the doors to the full range of their facilities: the Spyder factory, BRP’s award-winning Design & Innovation Center, the R&D facilities and the very cool J. Armand Bombardier Museum. Not many other riders can even hope to be granted similar behind-the-scenes access to the inner workings for their favorite brand, and that fact was not lost on attendees.
Guided rides and DIY hops spread Spyder riders all around the surrounding wide-open Quebec countryside; the little town of Valcourt sits about 75 miles due east of Montreal amidst miles and miles of green rolling countryside dotted with picturesque lakes and rivers. Our group of journalists from around the world enjoyed a ride Saturday morning and we often ran across other groups of Spyder riders. The facility tours, big parties and whole-group meals brought people back together.
I took advantage of these times to chat with Spyder owners and try to grab some insights into why they’re so passionate about their machines. The Russians, Sasha Matveev and Misha Danilin, told me they are very experienced motorcyclists with lots of seat time on Ducatis, BMWs and more. They feel Spyders are the most comfortable way to ride long distances—their itinerary was taking them the whole way across Canada, from Vancouver to Newfoundland via Valcourt! The Russian BRP importer, Formula 7, helped coordinate planning for this trip with the Canadian home office. “We are having such a fun time,” they said. “On this trip we are meeting great people who are friendly and open; this is such a close community.”
Lamont “Lamonster” Bryden and his wife Joan each started their own Spyder experiences before they met and wed. An electrical engineer by vocation, Joan said the high level of technology and sophistication built into the Spyder sold her. She sold her bike and a PWC to fund a new Spyder—and immediately regretted it! “It took me about 200 miles to unlearn my two-wheel muscle memory and loosen up,” she explained. “Now I love riding on three wheels and I believe I’m riding smarter. I love the stopping power and I feel like the Spyder has my back in rain, wind, gravel or whatever; no more pucker factor!”
For decades, Lamont has been heavily invested in motorcycle circles, running enthusiast websites, producing aftermarket parts and owning and riding everything from Boss Hoss V-8s to supercharged Honda Valkyries, Gold Wing 1800s, heavily customized Harleys and more. “I like to say the Spyder is an alternative to bikes, not a replacement,” he said. “It’s an alternative like a dirt bike vs. a street bike. This is one of the slowest bikes I own, but it’s also one of the most fun!”
Rick and Julie Alexander shared a decades-long riding history together before moving onto Spyders. Julie said, “I rode quads off-road for a long time, so the transition to the Spyder was easy; it felt like coming home again. I like the speed, and I like the handling.”
Rick began riding bikes as a SoCal kid in North Hollywood, but eventually sold all his motorcycles. “I like the stability of the Spyder,” he said. “It’s more fun, it’s a safer ride and it’s way more comfortable. And we’ve really enjoyed the warm welcome we received from BRP and the entire Spyder riding community. We changed from bikes to Spyders and we haven’t looked back…”
“Celebrating this milestone with so many Can-Am Spyder owners was incredible,” said Josée Perreault, Senior Vice President, Can-Am Spyder. “For the past 10 years, we’ve focused on empowering the masses to ride and explore the open road together. We welcomed people who were new to riding, experienced motorcyclists who’ve transitioned to the Spyder, women who’ve moved from being a passenger to the driver and much more. It was a true representation of all those who are passionate about the Can-Am Spyder.”