4 Reasons We Should Stop Hating on the Can-Am Spyder

Are three-wheelers really all that bad?

Can-Am Spyder Turbo
Who doesn't love a few good doughnuts?Photo: Motorcyclist

“Oh, those things? Forget about those, learn how to ride a REAL bike.”

Why is it that we as motorcyclists constantly feel the need to disparage our fellow riders' choices when it comes to personal taste? Nowhere else is this more apparent to me than the cult-like defamation surrounding the Can-Am Spyder. After all, it's just for people who can't ride, right? It's just a snowmobile on wheels, right?

Believe me, I understand where the sense of frustration comes from. As motorcyclists, our brains tend to be wired in a way that allows us to perceive and follow the path of least resistance. Don't want to get stuck in traffic? Split lanes. Don't want to fill up that gas-guzzling Chevy Suburban for the second time in a week? This CBR300F gets 65mpg, problem solved.

It’s a commonality among the majority of us, then, that when we see something that comes along that doesn’t quite fit into the archetypal mold, our initial response is to ridicule. Intending to digress from the seemingly constant stream of negativity surrounding three-wheelers, here are four reasons that I feel we should stop hating on the Can-Am Spyder.

Can-Am Spyder
The Can-Am Spyder's general demographic consists largely of middle-aged riders—but is that really such a bad thing?Photo: Can-Am

1: The Push From the Baby Boomers

Let’s get this out of the way up front: Yes, a rather large majority of Spyder owners are from the baby boomer era. The plain and simple fact is this—they’ve got the money to spend. When the future of the motorcycle industry hangs on interest from all age ranges, why ignore one of the largest demographics? Instead, it’s just as important for the older generation to share in the unique experiences an open-aired vehicle can provide.

Can-Am Spyder
The stability from three wheels is welcoming to a new subset of riders who might not have felt comfortable on two.Photo: Motorcyclist

2: A Sense of Stability

If you’re keen on creature comforts but are afraid of riding larger touring motorcycles, you’re not alone. I know how difficult it can be to maneuver a heavy cruiser bike safely in a parking lot, and adding the third wheel can remove that nervous feeling. Extra stability can open the door to more people who would not normally be confident enough to experience the sheer thrill of the twist-grip throttle on the open highway. Can-Am’s Spyder F3 and RT models are prime examples of a stable three-wheeler that keeps the comfort of the rider(s) in mind with accessories like hard luggage, speakers and the ability to tow a small trailer.

Can-Am Spyder
You can still enjoy a spirited ride through the canyons on a three-wheeler, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!Photo: Motorcyclist

3: Support for the Disabled

One of the most easily overlooked benefits of the three-wheeler lies in the humble fact that some people are unable to ride motorcycles due to health or physical issues. Not everyone finds it as easy as you might to throw a leg over the saddle and ride off into the sunset. If I woke up one day and found, for instance, that I was losing the ability to use one of my legs, I’d be distraught knowing that my passion of riding was approaching an untimely end.

Can-Am Spyder Military
Your freedom to explore the open road in America is protected by the brave men and women who sacrifice their own well-being on the daily.Photo: Can-Am

4: Appreciation of our Freedoms

The freedoms we have in America allow us to experience the beauty of nature and the thrill of two (or three) wheels, and that’s something I’m incredibly thankful for. Why, then, would I be the one to walk across the street and tell my neighbor (a retired Marine) why his three-wheeler doesn’t count as a real motorcycle? Why would I tell him that because of the unfortunate fact that he lost a leg while fighting for my right to enjoy motorcycling, his only mode of transport is lame because it has an extra wheel? Sure, he can’t split lanes, and sure, the gas mileage might be worse, but is that truly a reason to condemn his choice to enjoy what gives him so much excitement?

Can-Am Spyder
Can-Am will continue their efforts to make the open road accessible to anyone and everyone who wants to experience the thrill of a twist-grip throttle and a long stretch of highway.Photo: Can-Am

The Takeaway

Just because something doesn’t necessarily fit your preferred taste doesn’t immediately disqualify its validity to the rest of the population. If you’re happy riding, why worry about what anyone else is on? Enjoy motorcycles for what they are, and be happy that another manufacturer is doing what they can to help bring more people into the community.

After all, what’s one more wheel between friends?