Can-Am Spyder 3-wheeler review: BMF Members comment


Published on 4 February 2015 by Gill


Filed under Category: Features

BMF's Rider magazine took a look at what people are saying about the new Can-Am Spyder F3

Most motorcyclists approach anything new from outside the traditional two- and three-wheeled formats with skepticism. The Spyder F3 and F3-S models are the latest models from Can-Am to hit the roads and, with them, the company hope to change people’s views of three-wheelers. This zippy machine is manufactured by Canadian firm BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products), who also produce snowmobiles, watercraft and marine propulsion systems, so they are no strangers to a thrilling ride.

The Spyder F3 will not be available in Europe until March 2015, but it has already got people talking. BMF’s Government Relations Executive, Graeme Hay, gave his view:

“There are a few of us old enough to remember the Stimson ‘Scorcher’ – an extraordinary three-wheeler with the same configuration as the wonderful Morgans of the 1930s; two wheels at the front and one at the rear. Those who knew them loved them, but like all three-wheelers they had a limited market. What was outdoor excitement and fun to some was simply the ‘worst of both worlds’ to others – a machine with the filtering restrictions of car and the weather exposure of a motorcycle.  

“Well, that’s one way of looking at it, but here is another: a machine with motorcycle acceleration, better cornering capacity, stopping power and all of the exhilaration, but without the stability concerns. Like the present generation of Morgan three-wheelers, I believe that this exciting motorcycle will attract many riders and drivers to the Can-Am way. This new Can-Am is a clearly a well-developed and very exciting package and although it will appeal to a limited number of people, those who understand its joy will be passionate about it. Whatever each of us may think about it, it is what we at the BMF feel will always be needed – yet another way of enjoying motorcycling.”

canamspyder2But what does the rest of the world think? Here’s a collection of views from the industry, the internet and also from you…

Positive The Spyder F3 is fun. The power of the F3 is right on, lighting up the rear wheel nearly all the way through first gear. It eases the rider from gear to gear with just the push of a button, and when slowing you don’t even have to downshift; it does it on its own, one gear at a time.

James Starbuck: Wouldn't swap two wheels for it, but I'd be happy to add it to the collection. [It would] be great to take my daughter camping on it. Finding fault in the Spyder F3-S is difficult as long as you look at it for what it is. Is it the same as a motorcycle? No. Is it fun for motorcyclists? Yes. Can-Am has found a niche with the Spyder and the F3 should appeal to a large group of riders. Whether they are two-wheel converts or new to the scene, it makes no difference to me. There is plenty of room for more varieties of riders on the road in my opinion. Variety is the spice of life, and the 2015 Can-Am Spyder F3-S is spicy. 

Eric Holford: After 20 years on two wheels, I had a spinal injury following a neck operation in 2004. I kept my Buell for three years, but being paralysed down my right side and partly down the left I had to admit defeat! In March my Spyder STS was delivered. It had the throttle and brake relocated to the left in a £3,000 conversion. I absolutely love it!

Dave Hawkins: If you are coming from riding a bike it will take you three or four rides before you find you like it, but in a different way to riding a bike. I love the extra stability and with the 1330 triple motor it has surprised a lot of my bike-riding friends when pulling away from them.


The storage at the front looks bigger on the outside than it actually is on the inside. But you still can fit your helmet in, which is a plus.

Neil Barnwell: Like a quad, worst of both worlds. None of the protection or convenience or practicality of a car, but without the ability to lean or filter through traffic like a bike. I'd have a go, fir the experience, but I wouldn't buy one over a bike.

Esther Clinton: Looks like a ride on lawn mower!

Robert Reeves: Could be good on long, open roads; but if you hit a bit of traffic anywhere, be prepared to sit in the queues as the chances of filtering are zero! Oh, and you'll be the centre of attention wherever you go, so not for introverts! The F3’s new algorithms are an improvement, but the Spyder still resides in a nanny state of conservative anti-hooliganism.

canamspyder3PRICE: From £15,999            

ENGINE: Rotax 1330 ACE in-line 3 cylinders, liquid-cooled with electronic fuel injection and electronic throttle control
POWER: 115 hp @ 7250 RPM
LENGTH: 2,642mm
WIDTH: 1,497mm
HEIGHT: 1,099mm
DRY WEIGHT: 386kg 

And, in response to the magazine article:

Keith White: Responding to the article on the Can-Am spyder it always amazes me some riders attitude to another choice of bike. If someone wants a Trike they know that they cannot filter through traffic when they buy the machine and they are probably doing so because of several other factors.

I have been riding since 1957 starting out on British machines until in 1960 I fell off on black ice, ruptured my Spleen which had to be removed.

I did not ride for about 6 year, partly by 'Peer Pressure' and getting married. I resumed riding and have had Honda's, a Kawasaki and several BMW's. I began having a problem with my left leg which I found out was MS. I got to the stage where I could not get my leg onto the footrest and several times dropped the bike when coming to a standstill. I sold the bike , bought a BMW R1100RS, had it converted to a trike which I rode for a couple of years. It turned out to a 'Pain in the Neck' whilst it looked OK the conversion was not very good. I saw a brochure about the Can-Am Spyder, talked to my wife and she said ' Go for it' You don't say no be an answer like that !! I found one for sale as an ex- demonstrator, went with my wife to see it, tried it and bought it. What a difference to the BMW ! My wife came out on it a few times, liked it so she bought a M/c suit and all the kit. We also bought an Intercom ( I'm so so sure about this !) We've been on tours of Scotland and Nth Ireland and the West coast of Eire ( both with White Rose Tour whom I have toured with on many occasions ) My wife comes out with me regularly which did not happen before. The Can-Am has allowed me to continue to ride despite now being 75years old.

As to the bit about getting wet, you get wet on a M/C whenever it rains, provide you have the kit so what?

You purchase what bike suits you and your requirements, why criticise their choice. Because our needs vary is why the manufacturers make such a variation of bikes. Let's forget about our choices and just stick together and enjoy what we have.