- Can-Am is a three-wheel pioneer, building trikes way before it was cool. In the decade since that first Spyder, three-wheelers have become a legitimate, even popular alternative to motorcycles.
- The company still makes the original Spyder, but it’s expensive. The base model starts at $16,000, and goes to over $25,000 for a loaded Touring model. The new Ryker is Can-Am’s entry-level trike, starting at $8,499 and built to give the same fun and stability on twisty roads as its older sibling. Here’s what to know about it.
- You Can Get Two or Three Cylinders
- It’s Really Easy to Ride
- It Fits Just About Anyone
- It’s Meant for Corners
- There’s a Badass Rally Edition
- You Can Adjust the Stability Control
- That Swing Arm Is a Work of Art
- It Changes Colors
Can-Am is a three-wheel pioneer, building trikes way before it was cool. In the decade since that first Spyder, three-wheelers have become a legitimate, even popular alternative to motorcycles.
The company still makes the original Spyder, but it’s expensive. The base model starts at $16,000, and goes to over $25,000 for a loaded Touring model. The new Ryker is Can-Am’s entry-level trike, starting at $8,499 and built to give the same fun and stability on twisty roads as its older sibling. Here’s what to know about it.
You Can Get Two or Three Cylinders
The standard 600cc twin-cylinder develops 47 horsepower and 35 lb-ft of torque. Plunk down another $1,500 and you get a 900cc triple with 77 horsepower and 56 lb-ft of torque. The Ryker 600 is 22 pounds lighter (594 pounds) than the 900 (616 pounds).
It’s Really Easy to Ride
Making the Ryker accessible to new riders ruled out a manual transmission, and a semi-automatic dual clutch would’ve been too expensive to keep the base price under $9,000. So Can-Am used a twist-and-go transmission that it’s had experience building: a CVT.
Why is it so important to make it twist-and-go? “You worry less about shifting and spend more time enjoying the drift,” says engineering product manager Vincent Varaldi. And no one likes a manual transmission in traffic.
It Fits Just About Anyone
Most motorcycle customers choose a bike based largely on fit. If the machine sits too tall, too short, or requires your arms to be uncomfortably outstretched, hard pass. None of that will be a problem for Ryker riders. The handlebars and foot pegs can be adjusted fore and aft without any tools in just a few seconds, which can be helpful if you change road conditions. We pulled the bars and pegs closer for canyon riding, and pushed them back later in the day for highway cruising.
It’s Meant for Corners
The original Can-Am Spyder was a better touring machine than it was a canyon hustler. Ride it too hard even at fairly low speeds, and the aggressive stability-control system would sap all the fun to keep the trike from toppling. The Ryker sits lower, with the seat only 23.5 inches above the road. When you hit a set of switchbacks, it feels planted. And the steering is manual, but it gives you that connected-to-the-road feedback. The downside: that precise steering can be too sensitive at freeway speed and can follow undulations in the pavement.
There’s a Badass Rally Edition
It costs $10,999 and includes adjustable KYB dampers, an inch more wheel travel, and tires developed for enhanced off-highway traction. The seat also has more foam, to soften some of the rough road bumps.
You Can Adjust the Stability Control
By pressing a rubberized button on the Ryker 900’s instrument cluster, you can toggle through Eco and Sport modes. Engaging Sport loosens up the stability-control program and allows for smoky burnouts. Overall, unlike the stability-control system on the original Spyder, this one is subtle and smooth. The Rally Edition of the Ryker has a Rally mode that supplier Bosch developed for even more side slip so that riders can drift completely sideways on a dirt road.
That Swing Arm Is a Work of Art
The Ryker uses a shaft drive to get the power from the engine to the rear wheel, and without a belt drive or chain, the single-sided aluminum swing arm looks clean and beautiful. Varaldi says a chain would have been too long and a belt would have required the seat to be raised, which would raise the center of gravity. Shaft drive on some motorcycles can produce a clunky, jacking effect in the driveline, but the Ryker was easy.
It Changes Colors
The Ryker already attracts attention. Our test machine was fitted with flat black body panels and wheels and looked especially futuristic, like something created by Wayne Enterprises. But if we wanted to go orange, the panels can be swapped in about five minutes.