Can Am Spyder F3
by Brian Robinson
What started out in 2008 as a truly unique performance vehicle from Canada’s bombardier recreational products, has grown into a phenomenon; as over 100,000 of their Can Am Spyder 3-wheelers have been sold since then. Now there’s a new F3 model designed to take both the performance and cruiser aspects of the platform to a new level. Let’s see if the riding truly has evolved.
BRIAN ROBINSON: When it comes to motorcycles, for most riders, 3’s definitely a crowd. But, there are always some folks looking for something different, and Can-Am Spyders are certainly that. Or are they?
Quick answer, yes they are still vastly different. But the mission of this F3 cruiser missile is to bring them closer together. Especially the growing performance cruiser market aimed at the aging sport bike rider who wants more comfort, but needs more performance than the average cruiser can provide. That primarily means a more cruiser-like riding position; and while that may not sound like a big deal, it changes the whole aspect of this machine; as you sit down in it, not on top of it, as before.
A new Ufit system allows for adjustments of foot pegs, but you still need to work with the dealer for different size rods for the brakes and different handlebars. Now, if you’re new to 3-wheelers, just because there’s an odd set of wheels and you don’t have to worry about balancing or leaning, don’t think that you’ll be sitting up there taking it easy.
It’s actually a very engaging riding experience; but best to keep a steady line through corners and resist the urge to fight with the handlebars. The Stability Controls System seems to have been scaled back compared to the original RS which made a point of keeping you safe at all costs, but the safety patrol will still arrive on the scene eventually.
There’s a brake disc for each wheel, and they’re linked to a single pedal, so there’s no lever for the hands. ABS is standard. Which will come in handy as this thing is sneaky fast. The engine is a Rotax-design, water-cooled, 1,330cc inline triple with 115-horsepower and 96 lb-ft. of torque.
The 6-speed transmission can be had in clutchless semi-automatic form with gear triggers on the left grip, or as a traditional full manual. Both come with a geared reverse, which is vastly better than the reverse starter motor approach of many traditional trikes. Power travels to the 225/50/15 rear tire via a professional grade belt, and it’s attached with a heavy duty looking swingarm and single Sachs shock.
Front suspension is an automotive-style double A-arm with anti-roll bar and a pair of Fox Podium shocks. Not only do you sit lower, but the F3 sits lower as well. It’s a sweet design that’s part muscle-bike, part roadster, and all bad to the bone. Both wide and aggressive looking, it promises a good time, and backs it up as well.
S trim adds color frame and suspension pieces, black 15-inch wheels, LED running lights on the fenders, red stitching on the seat, and cruise control. Gauges are an easy to read mix of analog and digital. The seat is all- day comfortable, and there’s room for over 7-gallons of fuel in the tank.
A small amount of storage space is under cover up front; just enough to stash your helmet or some rain gear. And except for a minor exception or two, overall build quality seems quite good.
3-wheeled F3 thrills start at $19,499; the F3-S at $20,999.
So while it’s still a far cry from a true motorcycle, the 2015 can-am Spyder F3 offers its own unique set of thrills. And odds are even, that they are sure to appeal to many a rider.