Available in touring, sport touring, and performance models, the 2013 Can Am Spyder will turn heads, moving or stopped. Riders could have lively discussions on whether it is technically a motorcycle or not, but its unique three-wheel configuration and aggressive, modern styling, open up the freedom and excitement of motorcycle-based adventure to a much larger audience of riders.
Driven by a sportbike-level, liquid-cooled V-twin, the Spyder’s power, comfort, and stability are controlled by an impressive array of technology. To begin, the Spyder’s power plant is a durable Rotax 60.9 cubic inch engine with standard drive-by-wire electronic throttle control. With 100 hp at 7,500 revolutions per minute (rpm) and 80 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm, the Spyder is designed with most of the accessible power in the mid range of the engine power curve, which makes for an exciting ride.
The 2013 Can Am Spyder’s transmission offered in two configurations: five-speed manual or semi-automatic, both with a reverse gear. The semi-automatic transmission consists of trigger shifters controlled by the rider’s left thumb and forefinger. Can Am has done a remarkable bit of work on their semi-automatic system and all of the 2013 Spyders using this transmission automatically downshift when the vehicle comes to a stop, further reducing the need for rider input.
Intelligent use of electronic aids does not stop at the transmission, however. Arguably one of the most advanced features on all Spyder models is the Vehicle Stability System (VSS), which consists of Stability Control, Traction Control, and Anti-lock Braking Systems working in concert and calibrated especially for the Spyder’s three-wheel design. Stability Control measures the intended direction of the vehicle as sensed through both the steering input and throttle position against the actual direction and can actively reduce engine speed or actively brake individual wheels to correct instability. Traction Control senses rear wheel slip and will reduce engine speed until sufficient tire grip is restored. Anti-lock brakes are supplied by a Bosch system and are paired with new calipers and larger brake discs for 2013 and stopping distance has been improved by 10 percent over 2012’s already impressive stats.
Suspension components are uniquely designed for the Spyder, and all Spyder models have what Can Am calls Y Factor, the special configuration of two wheels in the front and one in the back. Providing the traction up front are twin A-arms, each with their own shocks and more than 5.7 inches of travel. Assisting with front end stability is a standard anti-roll bar, a safety feature impossible to offer on any typical motorcycle. In the rear, a single shock supports the movement of the rear swing arm and helps to keep the rear tire firmly planted on the pavement.
Besides the huge benefit of such prevalent safety components, ergonomics and comfort are high on the list of the 2013 Spyder’s features. With a generous seating area for both driver and passenger, rider and passenger footboards in the touring and sport touring models, large grab rails, and the stability that comes from three wheels on the ground, the 2013 Spyder offers sporty, exciting, open-air cruising in comfort.