Third wheel now required

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Spanky McKanky, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Spanky McKanky

    Spanky McKanky Spanky

    Jul 10, 2010
    East Gippsland Victoria
    Back in 2015 my wife and I were riding just out of Omeo heading towards Mitta Mitta. A rather inconsiderate campervan driver decided he needed not only his lane but ours too as he rounded the corner we were half way into.
    Long story short we were forced off the road and crashed at speed into an embankment, campervan left the scene with great haste never to be seen again.
    Thankfully my wife Jo sustained only minor injuries and was able to assist me.
    I was airlifted to Melbourne fairly banged with an A4 page of things wrong with me.
    Five years later I'm still riding both solo and two up.
    Due to injuries sustained to my lower back and hip I no longer feel confident or able to ride two up, especially when coming to a stop and supporting the combined weight of bike, pillion and gear.
    I decided a sidecar was not for us so we've just put a deposit down on a Can Am Spyder.

    I know I'm putting myself out there to receive terminal abuse, however....
    I'm wondering how other inmates have managed similar issues / injures in order to keep riding two up.
    Happy to hear your thoughts and experiences, just go easy on me about the Spyder ok :-)
  2. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

    Feb 14, 2009
    Brisbane, almost heaven!
    I often look at them myself. I reckon if I hade one SWMBO might come for rides with me.. love to hear how it all works out for you.
  3. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

    Nov 3, 2008
    Northside Brisbane, Qld Australia
    See a lot of them around up here in SEQ, many with pillion passengers. They all have smiles on their faces.
  4. farqhuar

    farqhuar Human guinea pig

    Mar 3, 2008
    Islands in the sun, Oztralia
    I understand your reasons, but frankly I would have chosen a convertible rather than a Spyder.

    I have owned convertibles off and (mostly) on for the last 45 years, and I find them a great open air alternative to riding. Always roof off, unless it is pouring rain and even then you won't get wet with roof down as long as you are doing at least 80kmh, and don't forget - no helmet required.

    As for a Spyder, well, to be honest I have ridden a few and I never really got comfortable with the layout. To me, it's more like riding my jetski or a snowmobile, and nothing at all like a bike.

    In any case, sorry to hear about your circumstance and I wish you many enjoyable rides on the Spyder. :-)
    Precis likes this.
  5. Not the Messiah

    Not the Messiah Old enough to know better, but slow learnin'

    Jan 19, 2013
    Melb'n, 'Straya
    I had a test ride on one once, after the salesdude was honest enough to say "These are not a motorcycle, but if you recognise and accept that then they become a damn fine substitute". And I agree with him, if time comes when a third wheel is required I'd have no hesitation.
    And if you're riding in an otherwise two wheeled group, be aware (or make your mates aware...) that you can outbrake us by huuuuge amounts. Those three little fat donuts got massive purchase on the tar compared to a bike and when you hit that anchor pedal the Spyder will STOP!
    I hope you enjoy it when you get on it.
  6. rossguzzi

    rossguzzi 990 Adv.

    Oct 21, 2012
    Bottom left hand side of OZ
    Or try the Piaggio 3 wheeler. No need to put a foot down when stopped. Can lane split, lean into corners etc.
    A mate has one. He only has his left arm. Got controls moved to the left bar. Neat little jigger !
    Richarde1605 likes this.
  7. tomo8r

    tomo8r PEACE! BREAD! LAND!

    Oct 9, 2014
    I look at the Can Ams and think they have all the disadvantages of a car, all the disadvantages of a motorcycle and none of the advantages of either.

    For the price of a Can Am you should be able to get a pretty damn sweet Beach Buggy. There's a mob on the Gold Coast/Tweed still making beach buggy bodies.
    Precis likes this.
  8. Portly

    Portly Plodder

    May 25, 2011
    North coast NSW Aus
    I met two older blokes riding spyders at Beechworth a couple of years back who bought them basically for the same reason as you.
    Both wanted to keep riding with their wives but no longer felt confident on two wheels.
    They were happy with them.
  9. Hoots

    Hoots Long timer

    May 16, 2011
    A Ural has so much more class ...

  10. Cuttlefish

    Cuttlefish Riding to disappear.

    May 31, 2016
    Sunshine coast Qld Australia
    Are Yamaha Nikken's available in Australia?
    Modifying a bike as James and Andy have done is an option.
    I was lucky to ridden with them a few years ago on one of their early shake down rides off road and the system they had engineered worked great.
    Andy is an inmate here.

    Whatever gives you joy riding have at it.
  11. CJL00

    CJL00 Who said top boxes are useless?

    Aug 25, 2009
    Urunga, NSW, Oz
    When they first came out I was at a Brisbane dealership talking tot he salesman saying I didn't see the point. He said they are selling a lot, mainly the conversation goes the guy comes in saying he had bikes years ago but sold them when the kids came along and now they have left home he is wanting to ride again. Typical story so far. He wants to be able to do trips with the wife but she refuses to get on a motorbike but is open to the Spyder. I also had a mate who had an accident at work and buggered up his lower left leg. It took him around three years to get it able to ride a normal bike again but after 6 months was able to ride a Spyder. This got him on the road on something like a bike a lot quicker.

    Do not worry about what anyone else thinks. If you like them and it gets you out and about get one. They certainly look the part.
    a2zworks and Cruz like this.
  12. Paul124ac

    Paul124ac Long timer

    Apr 28, 2015
    NE Vic
    Favourite bit of road that Spanky. Driven it in my Motorhome as well, hope it wasn’t me that caused your off mate.

    I’ve been checking out Spyders for a coupla years, wifey doesn’t like climbing on the Capo and my dodgy left knee and buggered right hip have trouble as she faffs about. To be honest I have trouble all by myself- see the “most embarrassing drop” thread. I’ve ridden the old 998 V-twin and the 1330 triple, loved the Rotax motor but it just didn’t have the grunt, the new triple is a good thing. The old one did feel like a snowmobile like Farquhar says, apparently it is one under the bike disguise, the new one felt much more like a powerful comfortable quad and I found myself really enjoying the experience. I too have a convertible, a bike is a whole different thing to that and I reckon a Spyder is far more like a bike than a convertible, only thing that took a bit of getting used to was actually turning the bars and putting in a bit of effort to go round corners, I’ve ridden the big Can Am turbo quad a fair bit so it wasn’t unexpected but that handling trait is what most bike riders don’t like and every Spyder dealer warns you about.

    Which model have you bought? I rode the RT as we want a bit of luggage and comfort but every dealer has said to ride the Ryker if you are coming off a decent handling bike. I’ve been on a couple of rides with a bloke on a Ryker and they are a pretty sharp tool. You will have to get used to every opinionated bloke standing around your Spyder telling you why they wouldn’t buy one, I felt sorry for the Ryker rider after hearing the same conversation from different blokes at every stop. At least it stopped the same blokes from telling me what a twat I am for riding a second-rate Italian time bomb.
    a2zworks likes this.
  13. GTinAus

    GTinAus nutsplitter

    Jan 17, 2006
    If you like riding dirt, try a Ural. They are very capable on gravel, and stay tuned, for at the end of this month, Ural Australia will be making a huge announcement about a new model..
    prestonpaul and Pezz_gs like this.
  14. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger Off riding around on bitumen circles.

    Feb 16, 2006
    looking for a smaller house & bigger shed.
    If it puts a smile on your face, why does anyone else' opinion matter a cracker?

    I have been riding outfits for decades. Never ridden a Spyder. While I still ride solos, I'm also in a similar situation - I sold my Tiger solo because my hip decided to take sudden leave and then, I couldn't pick the bastard up.

    I have had a crook back for decades too. I was really worried that any riding was going to be problematic. On the contrary, the motion through my hips on the outfit actually helps my back. NB - I'm not riding in a reclined position. I reckon that may be very significant.

    Getting old is shit, especially if you've got old injuries. Do whatever you feel like / can / need to do to keep participation worthwhile. And fuck other's opinions.

    except - don't buy a harley and grow a pony tail. That's just too far.
    and don't eat quiche.
  15. gavineakins

    gavineakins Been here awhile

    Feb 24, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia

    Regardless of what you choose, good on you for wanting to keep out there in the breeze & take your good lady with you.

    Cheers - Gavin
  16. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

    Jun 29, 2005
    You’ve already put the money down on the Can-Am so I aren’t going to put shit on you.

    I hope you enjoy riding it.

    Just remember, you now have three seperate wheel tracks and the drive wheel is the centre one, that can make it a bit tricky if you take it on dirt roads, especially ones that have developed a distinct twin track, with the loose stuff in the middle.

    That is why many go the sidecar route.
  17. Hoots

    Hoots Long timer

    May 16, 2011
    2WD ... ?
  18. wozzamatta

    wozzamatta Is it new bike time yet

    Feb 27, 2011
    South West of Sydney, Australia
    I quite like Spyders but have never bitten the bullet.

    They have one disadvantage though and that is where they sit on the road, virtually impossible to miss the bumps. Not good because the rear suspension is similar to a chopper with very short travel.

    The other disadvantage is crashing, had a mate try to chase me on my KTM through the twisties (ha ha), he ran wide, lhs ran up the embankment and so Spyder flipped, rider was lucky to escape but Spyder twisted its chassis, took a lot to repair (uninsured).

    Almost forgot, they get crap fuel economy.
  19. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger Off riding around on bitumen circles.

    Feb 16, 2006
    looking for a smaller house & bigger shed.
    2wd Urinals are all righties. Not legal in oz. Unless you buy one built in the '60s or something (pre ADR anyway).
    Richarde1605 likes this.
  20. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

    Nov 21, 2005
    "Swednavia" - f5ederation of Scandwegia
    a big + 1 :thumbup on all of the above...

    but... :deal

    this... :deal :nod

    I rode a Spyder RT at the invitation of a dealer, on a social navigational rally about four or five years ago - with the express intention of evaluating it as an alternative (three wheeled) to what "we" all here at ADV would consider a conventional two wheeled "adventure" (big gravel touring) bike.

    Just as Eagle and wozza point out... the configuration of the Can-Am Spyder makes it less than optimal on anything other than good sealed roads (compared to a traditional big multi-cylinder adventure bike).

    They have very minimal ground clearance - so on anything more challenging than a really, really well manicured, smooth gravel road, they shatter and clatter underneath like mad. Together with the big cross-section rear tire, and limited wheel travel - it makes for a very skittish feel on even the better gravel surfaces... and on "two track" - precisely as Eaglebeak says.

    If your primary goal is to ride two up on asphalt twisties and main (sealed) routes across the majority of the east coast or interstate... go for it. Once you adapt from the "motorcycle" frame of mind as far as riding technique... they are a super fun "wind in your visor" alternative to a motorcycle. Kind of like a slot car you sit astride and still swing off the inside on. :ricky

    Enjoy. :wave

    PS: another thing that occurred to me... this doesn't really equate to your situation Spanky (as you have a motorcycle licence - obviously) and I don't know what the rules in the various states of Australia are... but here in Sweden the Spyders have received a degree of popularity, due to the fact that you can drive one on a car licence - no motorcycle licence requirement.

    It struck me as odd... given that the controls and astride open cockpit seating configuration is certainly more akin to that of a motorcycle than a car (even a convertible). But due to the Swedish law that defines a motorcycle as a two-wheel vehicle (or even a motorcycle with a sidecar - that does require a motorcycle licence to ride)... the Can Am Spyder can be driven legally on a car drivers licence.

    This has made them very popular with those individuals that like the idea of a bike... but never took the test.

    This also might contribute to the type of accident (running wide) that Wozza referred to...

    food for thought.
    Richarde1605 likes this.