Back in May I booked a test ride on a Can Am Spyder. The Aussie importers are running an around Australia test ride promotion called the Spyder Experience.
Our ride was from the Melbourne city suburb of St Kilda. It was great fun. We had a safety briefing explaining the machine, some laps through the cones to show that we could handle the Spyder, then a 40 minute road test with a leader and a chase vehicle. The main thing that they stressed was not to lean or countersteer, turn the handlebars, stay relaxed and let the electronics package do its thing. I rode a manual with an aftermarket exhaust that enabled the 990 Rotax motor sound its best. Marty rode the semi-auto. There is no front brake lever on either model – front wheel braking is handled via the foot brake pedal.
This was a great experience and very professionally run. There was no hard sell at all.
I guess what I took away from it was that this is a fun machine that has genuine touring ability. However, riding a Spyder is NOT like riding a motorcycle. If I were to own a Spyder, I would still need to have a normal motorcycle as well.