THE 2020 Can-Am Spyder RT Limited sports an upgraded, sleek and modern design and is packed with features and technology. It’s what could make it the ultimate long distance luxury tourer.
New for 2020 are extended floor boards, which are now 23-inch long, making adjusting riding positions easier. It helps add to the comfort on longer rides, with the added bonus of adjustable floor boards for your passenger as well.
The new seat, with lumbar support, is very comfortable. Both rider and passenger get heated seats and heated handle bars (rider) and grab bars (passenger). The new premium LED headlights provide greater visibility of the road ahead too.
A new, adjustable electric windscreen even returns to its previous height after re-starting. Powered by a Rotax 1330 ACE in-line 3-cylinder engine that produces 85.75kW of power and 130Nm, it will easily propel you from a standstill to 100 in no time at all.
Traction control is noticeably holding it back from quick launches, and while the torque surge out of corners is strong, get on the power too early and stability control will intervene and spoil the fun.
The six speed semi-automatic transmission is smooth and easy to use, and even features reverse gear, operated via paddle and trigger style buttons on the handle bars.
Up shifts are manual and down shifts are automatic, but you can manually down shift, which makes overtaking a breeze. The gearing feels just right with first not being too short, while at the other end of the spectrum, the engine doesn’t over rev in sixth gear.
It has enormous stopping power and will out brake anything on the road with the foot-operated, hydraulic 3-wheel brake system operating the front 270mm disc with Brembo 4-piston callipers and rear 270mm disc single piston floating calliper.
The motorcyclist in us would like to see a brake lever on the handlebars so that you could use your hand or foot to brake, like a traditional two wheel motorbike. The suspension package provides excellent grip and comfort in all road conditions.
The Front features double A-arms with SCAHS shocks and the rear is a swing arm paired with a SACHS self-levelling shock, all riding on Kenda MC tyres.
The Can-Am stuck to the road like glue and handled even the biggest of bumps so well that as a rider, you would barely notice. That is until the screen gives you a notification the rear cargo space has come open. This happened three times during our test ride.
The electronic power steering made light work of the corners when cruising, but when you take on corners at speed, it requires a fair bit of effort pulling the bars into the corners and pushing your foot on the outside floor board with force, to prevent falling off.
Push it that bit more and it will randomly apply the brakes mid corner and straighten you up almost sending you off the road. Stability control is way too intrusive for our liking and impacts the amount of fun that is available in the corners.
An option to disable it would be a welcomed addition. Instrumentation comes in the form of a nice looking, large full colour 7.8-inch LCD display with BRP connect that allows smart phone apps such as navigation and weather.
These apps are third party and have their own issues, made worse by a lack of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, given this technology has already started hitting the touring motorcycle market in other brands.
The 6-speaker BRP premium audio system is fantastic and helped keep our spirits high while we were stuck in a major traffic jam for over an hour. Listening to your favourite playlist made it feel like time passed quicker.
Storage capability is huge. The rear top box is 60-litres on its own and big enough to fit two helmets, paired with two side paniers and a large front trunk for a total of 177-litres of storage.
The top box is a LinQ accessory which allows it to be removed within seconds and replaced with other LinQ accessories such as a cooler box, luggage bags or luggage racks.
Disappointingly, the average fuel consumption was 8.8-litre/100km during a 600km ride at predominately highway speeds. This quickly became more of a problem when the fuel gauge was almost empty after just 200km, with no distance to empty display.
Fuel economy testing was carried out with empty storage boxes and no passenger. Loaded up for a long trip with a passenger, you would be stopping at every town and topping up the tank.
The 26.5-litre fuel capacity simply isn’t big enough. We would expect a range of well over 300km for a bike set up for touring, such as our test Can-Am Spyder RT Limited. Overall though, we were pretty impressed and our opinion of 3-wheelers has certainly changed.
Priced from $41,399 ride away, the 2020 Can-Am Spyder RT Limited comes with a 2-year limited warranty. It’s available Deep Marsala Metallic (Red) Dark Edition, or Chalk Metallic Dark Edition (as tested).