The first trike I ever saw was chugging slowly through traffic on the coastal road down at Southend, as it drew level I recognised the Flat-4 VW engine by sight and by sound, idling steadily. A common use of the Beetle engine that one, but the Can-Am Spyder F3 takes things more into Japanese superbike territory looks-wise.
A trike is always likely to be considered by some a fun, fair weather vehicle, much like that other Flat-4 engine powered vehicle, the beach buggy. But take away the vagaries of the British weather and ignore the debate over what this vehicle actually is and concentrate on the fun aspect and you start to get the point.
The Can-Am Spyder F3 is a 115bhp 1,330cc three-wheeler with a sleek wind tunnel look about it when viewed from the side and a top speed of 110mph. Can-Am is a subsidiary of BRP (Bombardier), who make the fantastic looking Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobile ranges for those that want to have fun, or just need them. Taking a look at their snow vehicles gives an idea of where part of the F3 design comes from. They also supply some rather rugged and compact specialist vehicles for military and government use.
The Y-frame designed F3 also comes with ABS, Dynamic Power Steering plus stability and traction control.
If you don’t think the F3 is already striking enough and you want to go for that Bladerunner look, then look no further than the semi-automatic Limited Special Series fitted out almost entirely in black – you even get a dark tinted windshield. It’s a very futuristic looking vehicle, powered by the company’s nippy Rotax 1330 ACE in-line 3-cylinder engine.
The rider is protected by anti-roll bars, which form part of the front suspension. Stopping is performed by an electronic hydraulic foot brake, which controls the 270mm discs attached to each wheel.
The F3 is the evolution of Can-Am’s previous RS and RT Spyder versions and is lighter and with a lower centre of gravity. You now get a choice of 6-speed semi-auto or manual – as well as reverse.
Can Am don’t make a standard motorcycle at all and their research tells us that 25 per cent of buyers are non-bikers while 23 per cent are female.
Can Am also can supply the F3-P specifically for police usage giving a level of comfort that might be found to be lacking on the majority of motorcycles. The F3-P has a backrest with full lumbar support that tilts and flexes with the bumps of the road to support the back.
Maybe the Can-Am Spyder F3 isn’t so strange after all and in fact, you are actually reading about something that will be more familiar and less strange in the coming years, as the motorcycle market appears to be (arguably) in an extended non-growth period and aftermarket trike conversion companies are springing up all over the place.
Images: theguardian.com, brp.com