Can-Am Spyder-related Stuff

From time to time, Spyder-related opinion pieces will be posted here.  ( This page contains links to static pages that were once interactive topics on the forum, now shut down. )

Wheel alignment on a Can-Am Spyder :  Every Spyder owner expects it to be perfect but front wheel alignment is wrong – often by a startlingly large amount – on a majority of Spyders.  This is because local Dealers are usually either motorcycle or jet-ski specialists, who typically know nothing about front wheel alignment, and they assemble new Spyders from imported factory crates.  They can’t get local car wheel alignment firms to align them because the Spyder, with its single rear wheel, doesn’t fit on typical car-hoist alignment jigs.
See here for a page covering all the essential facts about Spyder wheel alignment ( ≈2012 ).
See here for a page about a Wheel Alignment Kit I make available for DIY owners ( ≈March, 2014 ).
See here to view the PDF instructions included in the Wheel Alignment Kit.
See here for a page about building the equipment needed for accurate laser alignment ( ≈October, 2016 ).

Name-dropping:  As a Spyder owner, I can talk to hard-core bikers, but there are lines firmly drawn.  I can praise the way a Spyder performs or handles, or its features or comfort, or enjoyable trips I have made, as long as I never – not for an instant – claim or hint or imply that a Spyder is a type of motorbike.  That is definitely putting the toe over the line.
The best way out of such situations is to admit to having owned several motorbikes in the past, then ask how many times the biker has actually dropped his/her bike.  Agree that most likely it would have been innocuous, like parking it at the supermarket, or stopping on a road verge where the piece of ground you were about to put your foot on turns out to be just grass, or the surface is slippery or gravelly so your foot slides...  so not really qualifying as an ‘accident’, but still causing worries about possible dings and scratches.  How many times?  No owner of a bike with an engine of 500cc or more will deny dropping it at least once.  Once it leans to a certain degree, it is just too heavy to hold up, or there is no firm ground to push against, and every biker knows that.
I can confidently claim that I will NEVER drop my Spyder.  I can park it anywhere short of an actual cliff without it falling over.  The price I have to pay for that convenience is not leaning into corners – and that is what hard-core bikers regard as the core definition of a motorbike.  So a Spyder is not a bike, but it’s not a trike and it’s not a car and it’s not a quad.  Cornering is different but you develop new skills to do that.  I get the exact same pleasure riding one that I got from riding a tweeler, and I also get the advantage of never dropping it.

October 2015 :  Spyder instrument console troubles!  A typical modern vehicle manufacturing problem, common to all manufacturers, but BRP has made a rather stupid ‘modular’ decision.  See the separate page about it.

September 2014 :  Eric sent me a helmet-cam.  A tiny lipstick-style camera that attaches to a helmet and presents a much smaller aero profile than a GoPro. See a sample video here.

April 2014 :  A friend recently added Bar Risers to a Spyder ST.  Too complicated a description to post here, of course, so a pdf of the mods has been made.  See that here.

January 2014 :  With the launch of the goSpyder Forum I assembled all the route maps and associated pix that might be useful for planning rides on my patch, although I could not interest Spyder owners in tackling any of them – they all seem to prefer much simpler rides, on main highways only.  See here for thumbnails of them.

December 2012 :   A critique about pronouncing ‘Bombadier‘.  Honestly.  It’s actually a real issue.  A French-Canadian company with an English name, and lots of arguments about how we should pronounce their name.

October 2012 :  A blog about using coordinates in a GPS.  A useful hint for travellers, so this has been moved from the News pages.

November 2007 :   A blog about using walkie-talkies for bike-to-bike communication.