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The 2008 BRP Can-Am Spyder: So, Who Is The Target Audience Here? The Centrum Silver Crowd?

Posted in auto industry, Recreational Vehicles by Suzanne Denbow | August 19th, 2008 | 13 Responses |


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.



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13 Responses

  1. Sue says:

    I have one of these and have had nothing but positive comments from any riders on two wheels that I have encountered (and as I’ve been to Myrtle Beach and Laconia Bike weeks I have encountered quite a few!), so I’m not quite sure what “motorcycling community” you are referring to. Also, is there a problem with the “Centrum Silver Crowd”? While I am only 50 myself, my husband and I have a lot more fun than most 30 year olds I know! By the way, he has a V-Max; is that “motorcyle” enough for you?

  2. igor says:

    i buy one today….. funally… I recive it in one week. Hasta la vista.

  3. Belinda says:

    Not sure “motorcycle crowd” either. My son who lives and breaths Harley is excited that finally his mother can enjoy the open road on a Spyder. I have always enjoyed riding, but this allows me the freedom of the road on my own. I tried a class with 2 wheels, but was unable to complete the course. However, I can take the road test at DMV on a Spyder, so who needs to drop a 2 wheel bike. Don’t knock it. Great for anyone who is afraid of the 2 wheel experience. Ride any bike with good sense and be safe.

  4. Chris says:

    What motorcycle crowd are you from. Out of all the people I have talked to while riding, only a few speed freaks werent totaly positive. And they will probable be providing organ donations soon, so I don’t count there vote anyway. I got my red spyder 3 weeks ago, and last week I sold my 1500CC cruiser. My sport bike is next, since there is no longer any need for it. I have ridden for more than 20 years and I love riding my spyder more than anything I have owned thus far. I just drive my RX8 only in bad weather now. And to describe my demographic, I am young, thin, and athletic. Not afraid of the 2 wheel experience.

  5. rich says:

    Don’t knock till you tryed it.

  6. J Lo says:

    I’ve ridden four wheelers my entire life. I have a dune buggy and 600CC sport bike along with my truck. My girlfriend doesn’t like to ride on the sport bike and wanted me to get a Harley so we could ride together. When I found out about the Spyder, I had to test ride one. That was three months ago. Four days ago, I bought my Spyder (2009 Phantom Limited Edition) and absolutely love it. I have zero complaints about it and a couple suggestions for Can-Am. If possible, it could use a 6th gear.

    It is fast (not as fast as my sport bike), handles like it’s on rails and is sexy too boot. I’m not getting rid of my sport bike, but I absolutely love the Spyder. You can’t compare it to a two wheeler as that would be like comparing apples to oranges. And as far as the MC community goes, where I’m from they welcome me and my Spyder with open arms.

  7. thomas says:

    what? my biker friends just want to ride it. got one for my wife who is to short to ride a bike, and now we ride together. she loves it,i love it and even prefere it around town. and by the way were forty, a few of my last bikes include a 1200 sporty, 1100 gsxr and i now ride a triumph 955i daytona grownups sport bike ] and by the way, here in oklahoma the other bikers wave when the spyder goes by.

  8. Jim Brooks says:

    thats a good looking bike,where can i get one, i live in rhode island

  9. kytten says:

    Uh, yeah. Like everyone else said — what MC community are YOU talking about? I’m in the twin cities, MN and have only had 2 or three people diss the Spyder and they were dealers of other motorcycle brands and one ‘nothings as good as a harley’ guy.

    Others on motorcycles wave at me as I pass and I’ve gotten compliments, questions and ‘where can I get one’s from people of ALL types from teenagers to seniors, including guys in harley gear.

    I’m a 33 year old lady, too short to ride a two wheeled motorcycle (I had to buy a KIDS bicycle).

  10. Rob says:

    Thats what we like to see open minded and insightful journalism. Seems your the only one not lusting after this ride!

  11. Dan says:

    Hey Suzanne, you might want to mingle with some of the MC community and get a “REAL” feel for what we think.
    I have a BUSA, a WING and Spyder RT Limited edition. Had a RS for 2 yrs but had to try the touring model.. Wow, fantastic.. As much as I love my Wing for traveling.. hmmm gotta wonder if the RT could just do it all.
    So needless to say, its a different experience riding a Spyder, but so far, I have not run across anyone who doesn’t like it.
    Get with the program girl, I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion but you seem to be speaking for a group which means you better do a little more research.

  12. Kurt says:

    Dan, Suzanne doesn’t write for us any longer, but our current staff has quite a bit of seat time on two wheels. I’ve been riding for about 30 years and currently own a BMW K1200RS. Mike Musto is between bikes, but used to ride an Aprilla Mille and race a GSX-R. Dustin, also between bikes, has the dubious honor of crashing bikes in more exotic places than either Mike or myself.

    Take a look at our MC articles by selecting “Motorcycles” from the Categories column, or, you can click on our names to sort by our articles. Enjoy!

  13. jad A.M says:

    just a quest guyz ….. what about his price , how much ?