Most don’t understand that the purpose of a Can-Am is not practicality or to satisfy transportation needs, and most are quick to dismiss it as a complete sham of a bike.
Don’t let the three-wheels fool you for the Can-Am isn’t as easy to ride as it looks, and it requires basic riding skills, and neither is it something you buy for daily use. Carrying a princely asking price starting from RM113,786, why then does one buy a Can-Am when equally priced bikes and cars are decent enough if not better?
After riding it for a few days, I did have a lot of initial scepticism, but now I admit to missing it. Though it is inconvenient and you will get stuck in traffic and worse if the weather turns on you, but it is still an incredibly fun toy.
There was never a dull moment with the Can-Am, even when running errands around the city, and on highway cruises, the Can-Am kept entertaining. It does become a labour of joy especially with our temperamental weather. And with the heat coming from the radiator ducts located by your legs, it won’t be long before the heat overwhelms you. Not to mention the heightened self-consciousness from all the stares the Spyder attracts.
The 998cc Rotax V-twin generates up to 106hp and 104Nm of torque, giving an ideal mix of heavenly high-revs and torque-rich goodness. Combined to a five-speed semi-automatic gearbox with upshift/downshift buttons located at the left handle bar, the powertrain balances power with a decent fuel economy. The delivery is not entirely smooth, and there is a quiver of vibration transferring up from the seat, creating some discomfort at moderate speeds of 70-90km/h.
However the real spectacle for most motorists is seeing how one corners with the Spyder. Basically, you have to shift all your weight to one side of the bike so that the inner wheel does not lift up – something that is bound to happen when cornering too fast and remaining seated in the centre. While the front and rear tyres (Front:165/65/14, Rear:225/50/15) generate brilliant amounts of grip, some effort is needed to loosen them up and it gets tiresome after a while. Besides that, the Spyder is relatively easy to handle.
There is also very little wind resistance, meaning you have to brace when cruising at higher speeds between 120km/h – 160km/h. Any faster and it becomes too uncomfortable. But the biggest hurdle comes when managing tolls as the Spyder is too wide for most bike lanes. Despite this and contrary to popular belief, I only had to pay toll once under pressure from a persistent booth attendant. The Spyder also requires a car-sized parking lot, which means paying for shopping mall parking fees after circling around to find one.
Brimming with safety features, the Spyder RS packs electronic wonders like stability control, traction control, anti-locking brakes, power steering and a digital security system. All of which combined, offers the best electronic safety net a three-wheeler can offer. Convenience comes from a 44-litre storage bin up front to store ample amounts of personal items. You could increase storage with the side saddlebag kit, but it is a RM8,225 option.
Life with the Can-Am Spyder RS was undoubtedly good and once you acclimatise to all the stares, questions and picture taking, mastering its tricky handling becomes second nature. Its 25-litre fuel tank averages up to 150km of travelling distance at high speed cruising, but each fill-up wont cost you more than RM23. While not exactly practical, the Spyder RS is undoubtedly one of the most fun toys money can buy.
So why then should you buy one? It is quite simple actually, because if you are considering one, there is a pretty good chance that you have more money than 70% of Malaysians. The Can Am will provide hours of fun, is more unique than a Ferrari, and with the abundance of storage space, you can probably load it with more things than you could in any supercar. Plus there is no better feeling than taking a long distance cruise with the wind blowing in your face, something that nothing else can offer. If that does not convince you, try it out for yourself.