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Thread: Can Am Spyder ! Is it ok for beginner?

  1. #1

    Can Am Spyder ! Is it ok for beginner?

    Hello all, I've been married for 22 years, and my wife has never had an incline to learn riding motorcycles. Although recently, she's now enjoyed watching videos I've taken on long trips to Canada and out west and now wants part of it. She is not the type to ride in the back, she says she wants control,.. whatever that means.
    Over a year ago we looked into getting her started and she got her motorcycle permit. She has not gotten her endorsement yet, but we keep on practicing. We debated at length what she should start riding with, but she was adamant about "No clutch" and No shifter. So, we purchased a Suzuki Burgman 400. She did well for a while in parking lot, school yard and such but she feels really unsettled on the roads. She's now dropped it 3 times and is afraid of climbing on it again. The Burgman 400 is a respectable 474 lbs bike and not to be taken lightly, I managed 92 mph on it.
    Talking to friends and coworkers, she now decided she wants a Can Am Spyder. I never ridden a Spyder, but a 1000cc sport beast,.. Iím not sold on that idea. I've read many blogs that says that it is the most popular choice for women ridding for the first time, so it has to speak volume.

    Any on here with first hand driving experience on a Can Am Spyder and willing to provide insight on whether it's appropriate for a first time rider?

    Thanks
    Stephane
    2004 R1100S Boxercup (Mamolla)
    2008 K1200GT
    2017 R1200RS

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    No first hand experience other than a short parking lot ride, but my sister started riding in her 50's and loves hers. She rides every chance she gets.

  3. #3
    Not as extreme as a sidecar rig, but it has a strange riding dynamic that, to me, makes it difficult to manage evasive action in an emergency situation. They require different skills than a 2-wheeler, but in no way would I say they require less skills - probably more when the poop hits the propeller. The width of it makes it more difficult to put it where a motorcycle can go in an emergency. It seems to combine the worst attributes of a car with the worst attributes of a motorcycle. I'd pass on it and find a nice Mazda Miata.

    But then, some beginners buy full size Harleys and head off down the road duck-walking them until they reach rotation speed.
    Lee A. Dickinson - Danielsville, GA USA
    Airheads #3480 | Iron Butt Assn. #8914
    1992 R100RS - 1993 K1100RS - 2013 R1200GS

  4. #4
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    There is what I consider an amazing amount out stabilizing technology in a Spyder. I was behind a rider that was surprised by a tight corner resulting in a wheel lift a while back. The result of the wheel lift was the machine ďsettlingĒ the machine right back down.
    My opinion- the Spyder is a great option for someone that wants to enjoy riding but doesnít like the inherent stability issues that are common with a motorcycle.
    Good luck on your decision.
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxerrider View Post
    Hello all, I've been married for 22 years, and my wife has never had an incline to learn riding motorcycles. Although recently, she's now enjoyed watching videos I've taken on long trips to Canada and out west and now wants part of it. She is not the type to ride in the back, she says she wants control,.. whatever that means.
    Over a year ago we looked into getting her started and she got her motorcycle permit. She has not gotten her endorsement yet, but we keep on practicing. We debated at length what she should start riding with, but she was adamant about "No clutch" and No shifter. So, we purchased a Suzuki Burgman 400. She did well for a while in parking lot, school yard and such but she feels really unsettled on the roads. She's now dropped it 3 times and is afraid of climbing on it again. The Burgman 400 is a respectable 474 lbs bike and not to be taken lightly, I managed 92 mph on it.
    Talking to friends and coworkers, she now decided she wants a Can Am Spyder. I never ridden a Spyder, but a 1000cc sport beast,.. Iím not sold on that idea. I've read many blogs that says that it is the most popular choice for women ridding for the first time, so it has to speak volume.

    Any on here with first hand driving experience on a Can Am Spyder and willing to provide insight on whether it's appropriate for a first time rider?

    Thanks
    Stephane
    Can- am has a new Riken model with 600 and 900 cc engine options. Lighter, simpler and cheaper than the Spyder. These have a CVT transmission, so itís just a twist and go system.
    Chuck Swenson
    MOA # 9162
    2010 R1200RT, 2003 F650cs (BMW #12 & 13)

  6. #6
    Rally Rat
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by boxerrider View Post
    Hello all, I've been married for 22 years, and my wife has never had an incline to learn riding motorcycles. Although recently, she's now enjoyed watching videos I've taken on long trips to Canada and out west and now wants part of it. She is not the type to ride in the back, she says she wants control,.. whatever that means.
    Over a year ago we looked into getting her started and she got her motorcycle permit. She has not gotten her endorsement yet, but we keep on practicing. We debated at length what she should start riding with, but she was adamant about "No clutch" and No shifter. So, we purchased a Suzuki Burgman 400. She did well for a while in parking lot, school yard and such but she feels really unsettled on the roads. She's now dropped it 3 times and is afraid of climbing on it again. The Burgman 400 is a respectable 474 lbs bike and not to be taken lightly, I managed 92 mph on it.
    Talking to friends and coworkers, she now decided she wants a Can Am Spyder. I never ridden a Spyder, but a 1000cc sport beast,.. I’m not sold on that idea. I've read many blogs that says that it is the most popular choice for women ridding for the first time, so it has to speak volume.

    Any on here with first hand driving experience on a Can Am Spyder and willing to provide insight on whether it's appropriate for a first time rider?



    Thanks
    Stephane
    I enjoy the opportunity to ride all Spyder models, and the extreme stability up front during high-speed turns actually works against the rider's safety. Easy to be thrown off.

    Not for a beginner - I personally would not own one.
    Last edited by greenwald; 02-28-2019 at 01:43 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by boxerrider View Post
    Hello all, I've been married for 22 years, and my wife has never had an incline to learn riding motorcycles. Although recently, she's now enjoyed watching videos I've taken on long trips to Canada and out west and now wants part of it. She is not the type to ride in the back, she says she wants control,.. whatever that means.
    Over a year ago we looked into getting her started and she got her motorcycle permit. She has not gotten her endorsement yet, but we keep on practicing. We debated at length what she should start riding with, but she was adamant about "No clutch" and No shifter. So, we purchased a Suzuki Burgman 400. She did well for a while in parking lot, school yard and such but she feels really unsettled on the roads. She's now dropped it 3 times and is afraid of climbing on it again. The Burgman 400 is a respectable 474 lbs bike and not to be taken lightly, I managed 92 mph on it.
    Talking to friends and coworkers, she now decided she wants a Can Am Spyder. I never ridden a Spyder, but a 1000cc sport beast,.. Iím not sold on that idea. I've read many blogs that says that it is the most popular choice for women ridding for the first time, so it has to speak volume.

    Any on here with first hand driving experience on a Can Am Spyder and willing to provide insight on whether it's appropriate for a first time rider?

    Thanks
    Stephane
    I've never had any desire to ride the Spyder, so no experience at all....but, I would tend to heed Lee's & Kevin's advice about their handling (especially since she is a beginner). I am not judging your wife's riding skills, but some people are not meant to ride a motorcycle (of any design). I hear so many men say they would give anything if their wives could enjoy their passion for motorcycling, and provided that you really want her to go on trips with you, you are between a rock & a hard place. Maybe the Miata would be the ticket??? Hope you can come up with a solution, but sure wouldn't want her to be in an unsafe situation.Best of luck.
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  8. #8
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by beemerphile View Post
    it has a strange riding dynamic that, to me, makes it difficult to manage evasive action in an emergency situation. They require different skills than a 2-wheeler, but in no way would I say they require less skills - probably more when the poop hits the propeller. The width of it makes it more difficult to put it where a motorcycle can go in an emergency. It seems to combine the worst attributes of a car with the worst attributes of a motorcycle. I'd pass on it and find a nice Mazda Miata.

    But then, some beginners buy full size Harleys and head off down the road duck-walking them until they reach rotation speed.
    Who am I to comment after not riding for 33 years and going out and buying a K100RT; a top heavy machine. However since then I have put over 160,000 miles on my two bikes.

    Last spring, I visited a friend who I had asked to take me for a ride on the back of her brand new Spyder. That didn't quite happen as she made me drive/ride it (with her on the back), for approximately 40 minutes in the city and out in the countryside. I have to agree with beemerphile above that it was initially a "strange riding dynamic", that did make it difficult to handle. I certainly did not feel confident during that 40 minute ride, although my friend told me that my first try was more successful than her's. (And she has a lot more motorcycle miles under her belt than I do, and after a month of ownership, was still learning to master it.)

    Another woman I know who owns one says if you have extensive experience with snowmobiles, riding/driving a Spyder is much more intuitive.

    In your situation, I would be tempted to find one to rent for a weekend to allow your wife to make an informed decision. I would also suggest starting out in parking lots and quiet suburban streets (like when I take my granddaughter for driving lessons) before actually hitting busy streets or the open roads. I sincerely hope that your wife's experience and skill set is more successful than my only experience on one.

    When I tire of riding motorbikes, (translation; too old/feeble to ride) I have already decided that picking up a small Mazda will my next ride.

    Let us know what finally happens regarding the Spyder.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Niagara Riders & Knights of the Roundel #333

  9. #9
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    Well Paul_F, I know that the centre of Canada is actually not as close to you as folks in the Golden Triangle believe, however, any Canadian, except for those in BC, learned how to skate at 5 years old, hang on to Dad's sled holding a rope and riding wooden sled will appreciate your equating a Can Am, made by our government bail out of Bombardier to a ski-doo.

    Big difference, in my mind that is usually looking for the next, best beer stop that have cute redheads that could fall in love with me, you ride a ski-doo with your weight transfer and the throttle and when all hell breaks loose, the snow is pretty forgiving. Moose and Elk not so much.

    I don't think a Can Am comes close to a motorcycle and if balance and a clutch are challenges, maybe riding is best left as bucket list wish.

    I kinda got a bit of history with this as my girlfriend wanted to ride with me but when factored into the challenges of traffic/mechanics/insurance costs and just not her thing, that part of our relationship changed into fair weather trips and parking her bike.

    Oh my, I don't need any more cute redheads in my life, I already have enough!
    1997 R1100RT, 1981 KZ 440 LTD, R80RT, R90/6 sidecar, K1100RS,1983 K100RS (Cafe now)

    ďThe major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex.Ē

  10. #10
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    I've ridden a short jaunt on one, and it was a different experience, not bad, just different. A couple we are acquainted with have toured the country on them and absolutely love them, for one of them physically it was the only alternative. They appear to me to be well crafted and very well engineered machines. They are not a motorcycle. They don't need to be compared to a motorcycle. They are not to be ridden like a motorcycle. I like the analogy above they ride like a snowmobile which is somewhat true. With training and practice your wife may find it a fantastic alternative. I know that I will when I can no longer hold up a motorcycle.

    You have probably already checked out some other internet forums specifically for the Spyder, if not, google some up and join, find out what those folks have to say.

    Not to be preachy, as you know being a motorcyclist, practice time is in large parking lot to gain experience and confidence will pay large dividends in the end.

    Good luck, hope you guys jump in and post some photo's of her new ride, better yet bring her to the Rally in June.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  11. #11
    Maybe consider a Piaggio MP3? More stability than a two wheeler without trading off for an entirely different riding dynamic. Also not as wide as the other 3-wheel options.
    Lee A. Dickinson - Danielsville, GA USA
    Airheads #3480 | Iron Butt Assn. #8914
    1992 R100RS - 1993 K1100RS - 2013 R1200GS

  12. #12
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    I think Wes Fitzer's wife has a Can Am.
    Maybe he'll spot this thread and give his thoughts.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  13. #13
    Had a Can Am dealer rep guy I know tell me not to consider one, they get too many returned with warranty issues. Whispered to me on the showroom, for what that's worth to anyone considering one.
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

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  14. #14
    Thanks for all the feedbacks/inputs. Based on my research (so far) I've realized that the Spyder behave much more like an ATV or snowmobile "Skydoo" as we call them in Quebec, than a motorcycle.
    I see all point of view expressed here and know that motorcycle or ATV ridding is definitely not for everyone. My wife is only 5'3" so it is hard to find a bike or even a scooter that will allow her to be flat footed. The Burgman 400 is easy enough to maneuver, but her issue is at low speed sharp turn, where she tends to lose her balance to to the heavy weight of the machine. When tip toe on a bike with little strength, balance is a real challenge.

    I've tried to put right in her face the danger of ridding, but despite all of the videos she saw of people crashing on motorcycles, she still wants to persevere. By the way she has been a nurse for 35 years and saw plenty of damaged kids from motorcycle accidents.

    I think the perspective changes so much from folks who rode motorcycles well over 20 years, then test drive a Spyder and either dislike them or simply feel uncomfortable on them. The flip side of that is any newbie rides a Spyder and feel almost immediately at ease because they donít know better. This may or may not be a good thing, but at this point I want her to see for herself. For some it is a bit unnerving to master th clutch, shifter, weight balance, keep focus on the road, and not te least anticipate all of the idiots on the road. She doesnít like the idea of falling (most of us would agree), but the Spyder appeal comes from just sitting on it and twisting the throttle. Yes, the machine has 110 hp, but our M4 has much more than that and she has never gotten into trouble driving it. I believe she respects the machine and the danger associated with motorcycle riding, and wouldnít do anything to jeopardize her safety; unlike a 20 y/o kid with a brand new GSXR.

    We are going to our local Can Am dealer this weekend and actually sit on one and hopefully try one for a short ride.

    As for warranty issue, I donít think BMW owners should bash other brand for that reason,... we have plenty to complain about on that department.
    2004 R1100S Boxercup (Mamolla)
    2008 K1200GT
    2017 R1200RS

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    Who am I to comment after not riding for 33 years and going out and buying a K100RT; a top heavy machine. However since then I have put over 160,000 miles on my two bikes.

    Last spring, I visited a friend who I had asked to take me for a ride on the back of her brand new Spyder. That didn't quite happen as she made me drive/ride it (with her on the back), for approximately 40 minutes in the city and out in the countryside. I have to agree with beemerphile above that it was initially a "strange riding dynamic", that did make it difficult to handle. I certainly did not feel confident during that 40 minute ride, although my friend told me that my first try was more successful than her's. (And she has a lot more motorcycle miles under her belt than I do, and after a month of ownership, was still learning to master it.)

    Another woman I know who owns one says if you have extensive experience with snowmobiles, riding/driving a Spyder is much more intuitive.

    In your situation, I would be tempted to find one to rent for a weekend to allow your wife to make an informed decision. I would also suggest starting out in parking lots and quiet suburban streets (like when I take my granddaughter for driving lessons) before actually hitting busy streets or the open roads. I sincerely hope that your wife's experience and skill set is more successful than my only experience on one.

    When I tire of riding motorbikes, (translation; too old/feeble to ride) I have already decided that picking up a small Mazda will my next ride.

    Let us know what finally happens regarding the Spyder.

    Paul F, good suggestion we'll see if we can rent one for a week or a month, maybe.

    BTW, my wife is from Londo, she grew up near Calrk Rd and Trafalgar. She's a graduate of Western.

    Small world.
    2004 R1100S Boxercup (Mamolla)
    2008 K1200GT
    2017 R1200RS

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