Road Test Review
Touring on three wheels is a totally different experience from that of a two-wheeler, and touring with two of the three wheels in front is even more so. There’s a sizeable group of enthusiasts out there who can testify to the Can-Am Spyder’s attraction.
I got my first taste of it last Christmas on a long, cold road trip (Rider, May 2018 and here) and have to admit I see the appeal. Weight, balancing and weather take a backseat to enjoying the ride, with bonus points to the Can-Am for not requiring a clutch or shift lever.
In fact, as turnkey three-wheeled roadster solutions the Spyder lineup is hard to beat, and at a base price of $28,399 even the top-of-the-cruiser-touring-line F3 Limited comes in under most, if not all, trike conversion kits once you factor in the cost of installation.
The Spyder also benefits from a slew of rider aids and stability systems that are designed to keep all three wheels securely on terra firma, plus the higher-spec models like the F3 Limited include luxuries like self-leveling rear air suspension and heated rider and passenger grips.
The 2018 touring models (F3-T, F3 Limited, RT and RT Limited) now sport a new 7.8-inch, full-color LCD display that integrates with Can-Am/BRP’s smartphone app, BRP Connect. The app works in a similar way to Apple CarPlay; connect your phone to the Spyder via Bluetooth and plug it into the compartment on the dash, and you can make/receive calls (using your Bluetooth helmet system), view texts or listen to music on your phone.
Additionally, you can connect other apps, such as Rever, Pandora, Genius Maps and AccuWeather to BRP Connect, expanding access to those apps’ functions directly through the Spyder’s joystick control and LCD display.
Navigation is intuitive but basic and time-consuming, best done at a stop, but as long as you’re not the rider version of a channel-flipper you’ll likely find what you need and stick with it.
Other than the new display and revised handlebar controls that include the new joystick feature, the F3 Limited is unchanged from the 2017 model I rode last Christmas. The 1,330cc Rotax in-line triple is good for a claimed 115 horsepower and 96 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty for high-speed passing, freeway on-ramps and beating SUV-driving soccer moms off the line.
Once accustomed to the somewhat darty steering, comfort prevails, with a supportive saddle and full floorboards for rider and passenger, excellent suspension that soaks up the worst city pavement and washboard dirt roads with equal aplomb and a customizable rider handlebar/floorboard position via Can-Am’s UFit system. You won’t get complaints about cargo space either, with 138 liters of stuff-swallowing capacity.
With a price that’s comparable to other class-leading touring two-wheelers, Can-Am’s F3 Limited is a lot of luxury and functionality for the money. If having a third wheel sounds like a plus, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not giving one a hard look.