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2010 Can-Am Spyder RS Roadster Review


by Michel Deslauriers ,

You’ve wanted a motorcycle for years, but you’ve never ridden one. You may have had a motorcycle license since the beginning of time, but never used it. You might also think that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and at your age, your self-confidence in keeping a motorbike on its two wheels is too low. BRP has thought of a solution for you.

With a dry weight of 700 pounds, the Spyder is very quick in a straight line. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/

The Can-Am Spyder Roadster looks like a cross between a motorcycle and a snowmobile. But instead of two front skis and a rear track, it has—obviously—three wheels, the solo rear one being connected to the engine. So, no need to hold the vehicle up at stoplights, right? Right.

Let’s get something straight right off. The Spyder cannot be compared to any conventional motorcycle; you don’t ride it the same way and it doesn’t handle the same way. It’s got an engine, it’s got handlebars, you ride it with a helmet, and that’s about as far as it goes.

I have to admit; people buzzing by on Spyders look a little weird. They look like giant-size kids pedaling a tricycle, with their upright riding position—and I’m looking the same right now. Oh well.

But pedaling we need not do at all. The Spyder’s 1.0-litre Rotax V-twin engine develops 106 horsepower and 77 pound-feet in the RS version, and our test ride is also equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Although we didn’t hook up our test gear because a 12-volt socket is cruelly missing in the RS, we pitted a Spyder against a 451-horsepower Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG on a quarter-mile drag strip two years ago, and they were nose-to-nose until about 120 km/h when the Benz got pissed off and muscled seriously ahead. The C63 got to 100 km/h in less than five seconds.

With a dry weight of 700 pounds, and with yours truly on top whose weight shall remain confidential, the Spyder is very quick in a straight line. It’s not as near as entertaining when a curve comes up, though.

The Spyder looks like a cross between a motorcycle and a snowmobile. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/
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