Can Am Spyder 3 Wheeler

2008 Can Am Spyder

Well the mystery is over and the name is the Can Am Spyder. The unidentified 3 wheeler we wrote about in December, identified in comments as coming from Bombardier is, in fact, exactly that. Specifically, it's a 2008 B.R.P. Can-Am Spyder Grand Sport Roadster and it will be introduced to dealers this Friday in San Diego.

Power comes from a 106-horsepower Rotax V-twin.

There will be two transmission choices: with a five-speed manual, the price is $14,999; with a five-speed sequential gearbox that deletes the clutch lever from the handlebars, the price is $16,499. The prices include electric power steering, a reverse gear and antilock brakes.

The Spyder will go on sale this fall in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin and Virginia, as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. By next January, nine more states will be added as well as France and Spain.

I think this could do very well. Their target market is 35 to 40 year old males although I think a much wider range of riders will find this appealing. If market response is good, expect other companies to jump into the 3 wheeler segment. My hat's off to Can Am for being the first to get their 3 wheeler on the road.

UPDATE: Can-Am Spyder Details

Link: NY Times
Photo: by Colin Archer for The New York Times

Related: Mystery 3 Wheeler


  1. Bryce says

    I think it’s cool, but I think it would be cooler if it leaned. It makes the Piaggio MP3 look a lot more like a bargain.

  2. says

    The Piaggio is indeed cool, but I think it would be cooler if it had more than 250cc.

    This is a nice addition to the world of non-enclosed motoring.
    I’ll take one (gonna need some panniers and a set of snow tires, though…).

  3. three5 says

    while the design on these is nice, its the target market that scares me. what the cycling world dosent really need are equivalent of the nice folks that like to spend their saturdays on their SeaDoo jumping boat wakes. while there is nothing wrong with the activity itself, people that dont know how to lean, turn, brake and shift a lightweight vehicle like this are going to find themselves getting quite a bit over their heads, and unfortunately as we all know, asphalt isnt quite as forgiving as water when you push it too hard and flip over. i’d much rather see more people learn to drive and ride better before we try designing vehicles whose prerequisites lower the bar for the skill level of the entry-level rider.

  4. F451 says

    To me, this is the equivalent of the Harley-Davidson aftermarket trike manufacturers for those who want another platform. This category could be one gone mad, after some of the madmen, and women get their hands on these things. They’ll be exceedingly quick and agile, and it will take a staunch discipline not to hod-rod the hell out of them. If I owned one, I’d never let my son on it as it would on two-wheels in a matter of seconds! And like the PT Cruiser the market they might aiming at might not be the market that forms after its introduction. The inverse may well happen and nut cases (like my son) might be attracted to them bringing a whole new meaning to PITA vehicle drivers to contend with!

  5. GenWaylaid says

    I partially agree with Three-5 that this isn’t an appropriate entry-vehicle for motorcycling. At over a hundred horsepower this thing is a sport-touring road-rocket with a false sense of confidence tacked on.

    That said, at least it doesn’t lean. It should handle like a very small sports car with bald rear tires (less contact patch), and I would expect most of the purchasers to be sports car fans. Motorcyclists will continue to buy motorcycles. The open seating position will more than likely introduce all sorts of new people to the joys of road rash.

    I also worry about people buying the Piaggio MP3 as an entry motorcycle. Again it’s a matter of overconfidence, and the reviews I’ve seen indicate the MP3 encourages lean angles that could lead to nasty surprises with fewer wheels. Fun if you know what you’re doing, but a trap if you don’t.

    There are better ways to lower the skills bar for new riders that would leave them better prepared than three wheels would. Smaller engines with broad power curves or automatic transmissions would help. Lighter bikes would also help. There are plenty of scooters available in the 150cc to 400cc range with those properties, but that look isn’t for everyone and they tend to be pricey.

    I expect that three-wheelers will take an evolutionary path that diverges from motorcycles, particularly those three-wheelers that don’t tilt.

  6. Bryce says

    The MP3 has a maximum lean angle of 40° in either direction. Having ridden one, I’m quite convinced that tilting 3 wheelers have a future as beginner bikes. I personally wouldn’t mind one with plenty of power and a little more lean angle though.

  7. aaron says

    not quite a motorcycle, but it’s cool to see a canadian company is finally building something close!

  8. F451 says


    The Japanese motor cops have to be that good as there are some fantastic riders over there that do stuff with their motorcycles that you will never see in the States. The Japanese government has also gone to some extraordinary steps to prevent motorcycle rider shenanigans such as embedding what looks like a very miniature speed bump diagonally across an entire road, and on curves!

  9. jaredthegeek says

    I would consider one of these…it´s different, and I like some of the 3-wheel features such as the capability for reverse, and easier parking on loose surfaces. I am also a big snowmobile fan and this looks to have similar ergonomics to the Skidoo REV series. I would not substitute this for a standard motorcycle nor even term it as a more-accessible motorcycle… it is a trike and a different beastie altogether.

  10. Glen Waters says

    I tell you who will buy one of these… ME! And lots of other people with disabilities!

    Can_Am – Make sure you bring these to Australia… ASAP!

  11. SZR says

    I like. I’m tempted and I’m a seasoned motorcyclist. Those that like to ride year-round will like it too. Its going to be quick – but nothing like a sport bike or even most standards. 109 HP and what 800 lbs+? It has enclosed cargo storage, impressive suspension and brakes. The young and inexperienced will get into trouble on anything, this will be no different. I view it more like a 3-wheeled street legal go-kart. That spells FUN to me. And finally its much more affordable then other 3-wheel attempts (including triked HD’s and BMW’s)
    My only concern is the low stance – I see all on my BMW 1200GS, but this might get lost in the SUV jungle.

  12. says

    What a great commutor/delivery vehical-especially where it rains often-say Hawaii where I live. I would buy one(the Piaggio MP3) for the service work I do in Honolulu-easy parking, stable in rain fast enough for all traffic, cheap to operate- I ‘m thinking of becoming a dealer if they are imported here.

  13. PO says

    If one would consider completing the “commuter”vehicle journey, a complete enclosure body needs to be designed and incorporated with reduced engine size and reduced price. Anybody wish to pursue this avenue, I would be glad to exchange ideas. If appopriate, my email is “PO”

  14. Paul Glassen says

    Well, since no one else has said it, as obvious as it is, I guess I will go ahead and say it: sidecar drivers are the ones who will know instinctively what this Can-Am Spyder will drive like. To we who are old sidecar hands, it would just be a sort of symetrical sidecar outfit – remember sidecars are asymetrical. Leaning your body off the inside while the machine skids flat around the corner is what sidecaring is all about and that is what the vehicle dynamic of this device will be. I suspect many sidecarists have like me fantasized about machines like this based on the engine back part of a big bike combined with a sports car front end. Where can I get mine?

  15. kaylyn lewis says

    i would like the name of the dealers of the can-am motor cycle. my father in-law in very interested.

  16. Devin says

    This reminds me of a T-rex. I think it’d be a blast to ride, I’m definately going for a test drive/ride when it becomes available. I’ll probably buy one to replace my car, not my bike.

  17. says

    This machine is NICE!! Way to go Can-am! Now for all U skeptics afraid of the lowest common denominator factor….maybe its time we take responsiblity for our own capablities when driving or riding hiperfomance vehicals. Remember it’s not the bike that kills, its the person in control of that bike that carries the blame. Teach our youth how to ride safely and know their skill level limits and we all can have nice hi-performance vehicals like this!!

  18. YES! says

    I think this vehicle is very nice. NO, it’s not a motorcycle, but it’s not an ATV either.
    It combines the fun things about small sport convertibles, snowmobiles, and motorcycles into one very cool and particle sport vehicle. It’s unique and should become it’s own niche of sport vehicle.

    I’m 41 and I love motorcycles, sport cars, and snowmobiles. So, it appeals to me.
    I’ve been wanting to get another sport touring machine like a Yamaha FJR1300.
    But, this thing really strikes me as something that I would really love to do a long US tour on.
    It has storage, lots of room for communications and GPS, greater stability and protection.
    Sure, it won’t lean like a bike or accelerate like one, but I”m past that at my age.
    I don’t need superfast, superleaning angles to thrill me.
    The open air, sunshine, a sport vehicle, a cool sounding engine, and the freedom of not being in a car really appeals to me. This thing is nice.

    I would like to see more windshield protection, at least as an option. Also, there needs to be more adjustments for the steering controls and foot placement.
    Snowmobiles have a cool platform where you can either sit back and put your feet forward to get a nice stretch for cruising, or bring your feet under your hips for when you might be carving snow at a harder pace.

    I don’t think this thing needs a full cover. For me it defeats the purpose of the open air concept, but I can see where someone may want it, just not me.
    I’d like to see some MPG figures too.
    And, can the tires be easily found and purchased?

    I’m really really wanting to get one and take it on a long US tour for about 2-3 weeks.
    Bombardier, I’m available for a long tour and I’m willing to write daily reports on the trip along with photos and web posts. HOOK me UP!

  19. Frank Spencer says

    I first saw this in the popular mechanics magazine and it fascinated me.
    I have seen conversion kits to three wheelers on just about everything but
    this is the first real factory production that has some real promise to.

    I am a long-term motorcycle rider and I don’t really consider this even close
    other than the controls on the handle as being referred to as a motorcycle.
    I viewed all the videos and reviews found out where they were going to make
    the next demo ride in my area on May 17 and 18th. I took three of my coworkers
    with me who all have motorcycles.
    It was a rainy day they had 14 of these machines stretched out to inspect after you
    fill out the paperwork and took a Breathalyzer test you could go on the test drive.
    First they took you around some cones to get you used to how the machine handled
    before they take you out on the road.

    My first impression on those three wheel machine was it look like a toy from one of those
    Transformers I am sure you seen the ones that start out as a jet fighter and turn into a robot.
    It is somewhat futuristic, I could say you could call it ugly or beautiful sort of like ugly Betty.
    It lacks the glitter the chrome that most bike owners after while get tired of shining after a while.
    If you can understand its birthplace was from Can Am -ATVs, snowmobiles, watercrafts,
    it would fit perfectly in their lineup. I would consider this more of the utility vehicle, mostly plastic
    skin but easy to replace easy to keep clean.
    Setting on it feels like more like a ATV than a motorcycle it seems to have good suspension
    and a fairly cushioned seat. I’m not too wild about reverse switch it could have been
    a button easier to access from the throttle side of the handlebars but reverse is nice.
    As I squeezed off on the clutch to first gear taking my round around the cones it was smooth
    and had plenty of takeoff power, shifting to second was as far as I could go in this very small
    parking lot that they had set up. Wheeling around the cones in a S-curve fashion again
    reminds me of ATV.

    We all lined out to go out in the open road on this rainy busy Friday afternoon about lunchtime
    in downtown Richmond Virginia. As you probably figured the traffic was bumper-to-bumper as we
    pulled out some kind individual stopped his vehicle so we could get our train out of the parking lot.
    What I found in the short run there is a lot of power out of this Rotex engine, it had a good feel
    that this was the most powerful ATV I’ve ever been on. It had a good bellow tone somewhat a
    little quiet but still sounded like it had a lot of meat.
    I could never get more than fourth gear due to the traffic situation what I did find was if you had
    motorcycle experience you have to forget that driving this. I naturally diped low into the corners
    that’s a big mistake this machine takes a lot of turning room and on a sharp curve you better
    treat this more like a car than anything else. Even in the pouring rain it still was fun and thats
    probably the best way to describe this machine it’s fun to drive.
    I can see me using this more than my motorcycle for everyday use. The hatch or the trunk
    whatever you call it is bigger than the pictures give it credit for. I can see myself finding reasons
    to go to the store or take that Sunday drive and bring two bucket of KFC in the trunk for a
    If any of you are interested in this machine you definitely need to drive it before you order it.
    One last thing I can say the three guys I took with me to test drive, I asked them this question.
    If you had the money to purchase this, would you after this test drive, all three of them said
    yes. Well I put my money on the table now I can’t wait till September.

  20. Chuck says

    With gas prices well over three dollars a gallon and rising, you would be out of your mind not to at least consider a vehicle like this for the daily commute.

  21. todd says

    let’s see, spend $400/month to save $40 a month on gas. There’s probably better ways to spend that kind of money or better reasons to buy one.

    What sort of mileage does this thing get anyway?


  22. Frank Spencer says

    If you are buying this to save on gas you have already missed the point.
    This is a machine that’s fun to drive,and yes the price maybe a little
    high compared to other motorcycles but with limited production I hope
    this will be a investment.My dealer has already asked me if I be willing to
    change my order to the next allotment for a price.

    MPG is between 35-40 it depends who you ask.


  23. draboo says

    I had the good fortune of taking 2 ten minute drives on one a few weeks back in Wisconsin. The dealer there didnt require any practice sessions with pylons in the parking lot or breathalyzers. Just sign your name,copy drivers license and GO.

    I really liked the ergonomics of the seating and controls. Everything was in easy reach. Excellent power and smoothness. Wife was comfortable on the back on the first ride. I went alone on the second. Was great fun. I found I must forget all motorcycle riding rules and drive it like an ATV. A REAL FAST ATV!
    I ve put money down on one a few months back,figuring I can’t lose money on this. The dealer I m dealing with is only getting 4 machines,and one is a demo. Hopefully,since he is only getting 4,they will be delivered more sooner than later.
    From what I ve Googled,BRP has launched a massive demo ride campaign that will surely spark some interest. With a few accessories,like luggage rack,backrest and taller windshield, me and da wifey will be set for the fall color tour here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.(depending on how close the Sept/Oct delivery date will be adhered to)

  24. Felipe Nuñez says

    I had the good luck to actually test ride the Spyder in the tour here in southern Cali. and it was the BEST experience I’ve ever had they took threw a 30 min. ride in the city and then jumped on the freeway and the reaction time is incredible and now as soon as September come I’m going and buying my self one.

  25. Rikk says

    i am looking at buying a new bike this winter and this is one of the ones i am considering could anyone give me a accurate MPG thank you

  26. Paul says

    There will be ONE if not TWO parked in my driveway for my wife and I…We think this is by far a home run,and living here in Newfoundland,Canada, we love to live free.This machine would help to carry the freedom.

    GREAT JOB BOMBARDIER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Tonka TOy says

    Well I’m from Louisana and I am not able to ride a regular motorcycle.
    Because of height reasons,so I think that can-am has created just the machine for me I will be looking for the spyder in my area soon.

  28. GTodd says

    I think they are understating their market. I think this thing will attract a market similar to the T-Rex. They need to start now developing their after market accessories. I know guys that have modified hyabusas to have three wheels. This falls in the same line. I’m ordering mine next week.

  29. E.aronld says

    the spyder 2008 is the best thing out there when you still want 2 look sporty & not have your back hurting from the croutch rocket.. I love mine….

  30. Chief says

    The Can Am is great, but isn’t it a little pricey for such a small bike? After tages, and taxes the price can be as high as $20,000.00.

    Hopefull the price will come down as more are built.

  31. Stoneman says

    I took a short test drive yesterday on a mid-city, relatively straight road with moderate traffic. I can only imagine how much fun this think would be out on the open road. Loads of acceleration and torque. Totally unlike a motorcycle in driving characteristics but offers the same feeling of being “in touch” with your surroundings rather than isolated from them.

    I am seriously considering buying one to share with my kids and grand-kids. The biggest obstacle right now…where do I garage it? We are all maxed out and I can’t stand the thought of leaving this baby outside. Someone is gonna have to part with some junk if this is gonna happen.

    Having done such a short ride, I am hesitant to criticize the machine at all, but here are a few somewhat negative first impressions. The positive ones are too numerous to mention:

    The power steering seemed overly sensitive at low speed, at least when I first took off.

    Quite a bit of forward lean is required for a short-armed driver like me. Even after less than 10 minutes, I was aware of the pressure of my hands on the handgrips. I understand that the mfgr. offers risers that will move the bars back a couple of inches. That might be enough, and if not, I’m sure some of the aftermarket guys will offer something more.

    The brake pedal position just ahead of the right footpeg seemed to me to be too close. With my shoe heel behind the footpeg, and with my forward leaning position, the front part of my foot was resting on the brake pad. I don’t think there was enough pedal travel to actuate the brake light or brake but I was not comfortable with the the idea of putting ANY pressure there.

    Because I have become accustomed to having a very functional windshield on my Burgman scooter, I will definitely want to order the taller one for the Spyder.

    Great job, BRP. Thanks for your contribution to the world of outdoor fun.

  32. Brian Schreech says

    Gas consumption is closer to 30-32MPG. I’ve been commuting to work for 2months on it. Averaging 65mph, and not much hot dogging.

  33. Cary says

    I am planning to join the Patriot Guard. My wife will not let me buy a motorcycle, but is willing to acquiesce to the SPYDER.