With the Can-Am Spyder, BRP [Bombardier Recreational Products] has successfully produced a vehicle that no one under the age of 60 could conceivably want. Horrified by its lack of a single track layout, the motorcycling community refuses to claim it as one of their own, but with it’s 3-wheel layout and significant lack of a steering wheel, we don’t really know what else to refer to it as. BRP themselves artfully dodge this same problem by constantly referring to it as “the Y factor”, an allusion to the shape of its wheelbase, but we still aren’t completely sure as to what exactly this thing is.
The brochure claims the Can-Am Spyder is the asphalt version of the ATV-experience, which leads us to ask: why they hell would you want to four-wheel [or three-wheel, as the case may be] on a completely flat surface? And isn’t a motorcycle already considered the “asphalt version” of the ATV anyway? Oy, we need a drink.
The engine is a 998 cc Rotax 990 V-Twin DOHC 4 and features a max horsepower and torque output of 106-hp and 77 lb-ft, respectively. A 5-speed gearbox connected to a final belt drive delivers power to the rear wheel while independent floating dual axles in the front eliminate the lean-to-steer feature found in traditional motorcycles. Still attempting to mimic the lighting-response handling of a motorcycle though, a light yet sturdy steel center beam helps provide for a low center of gravity and increased performance. As a nod to their safety-conscious potential clientele, all 3 of the Spyder’s wheels feature ABS disc brakes while 4 separate Electronic Control Units [ECU] monitor wheel slippage, engine performance, and digitally encoded security information.