BRP was courageous enough a few years ago to let this member of the press ride the then pre-production Spyder. We have since ridden all the models, including the latest RT during our extended test visit to Bike Week 2010 in Daytona – remember, last March when it was colder in Florida than in Montreal!
|We can see how big the Top Case is, and how it also serves as a backrest for the passenger on this RT model. (Philippe Champoux/Moto123.com)
After inventing the Snowmobile and personal watercraft, the good people at BRP created another trail blazing machine, the Spyder, with a unique two-front – one-rear wheel configuration. Since the 2007 launch, BRP has worked hard to create a market for the Spyder, knowing that motorcyclists would not leap at this type of machine. Their strategy was turned initially towards snowmobile and Quad users, and in the mid and longer term towards car people looking for an exciting ride, a smart plan that included lobbying governments to allow drivers without a full motorcycle license to ride the machines.
The permit thing
The province of Québec has just passed such a law, effective in June 2010, allowing car drivers to drive a Spyder after taking a 7-hour specialised course. With the new permit class, any non motorcyclist will now ride any three wheeler, either the 2-1 (Spyder) or 1-2 (H-D or conversions) configurations. In fact, Bombardier has announced that as a marketing ploy, they will pay for the extra training for a limited time. The same sort of legislation in France has also opened the market there, as well as in a few other European Community countries.
Here is a report of my ride on the Spyder RT. Fellow maniac Pascal Bastien tested the sportier RS version and prepared a separate report. In both reports, we have focused on how the machines ride and behave. A separate paper
goes into greater details about how the mechanical parts and the electronics work.
The Spyder Roadster Touring (RT) family
Given my generous “Touring” rather than “Sporting” build, it was fitting that I ride the newer RT (Roadster Touring) model with fuller bodywork. My first challenge was to adjust my frame of mind to a non-bike, as the three wheeled Spyder is a very different beast in terms of handling, and wider than a bike, something a biker must always keep in mind. From what I saw and felt aboard the machine, the RT is clearly aimed at non-motorcyclist, those who do not want to ride on two wheels but still crave the wind in their face and the freedom of the open road.
|Another view of the aerodynamic work, with the exhaust port for heated air from the radiator escaping just behind the front wheel, and far from the human cargo. (Philippe Champoux/Moto123.com)