Due to extreme weather, our long-term Can-Am Spyder RT-S didn’t see much action this spring, so it was sent in for its 6000-mile service with just 5706 miles on the clock.
We expected no rude surprises when all the bodywork was stripped and the engine exposed so our tech could set the 998cc, dohc Rotax V-Twin’s valves per the maintenance schedule. The only adjustment required other than setting the valves was tightening the drive belt. But we did get rudely surprised by the bill, which came to $652.22. BRP wants the valves set every 12,000 miles after the initial adjustment at 6000 miles, so the RT-S rider won’t be clobbered by such a bill every scheduled service.
Apart from the maintenance cost and mediocre fuel economy, the RT-S has not given us reasons to dislike its utility as a commuter vehicle or errand runner, given its carrying capacity and status in California as a motorcycle, which means it can be used in HOV lanes at all times, yet it can be ridden by anyone with a car-driver’s license. Even after nine months, however, the dynamic limitations of the chassis design have occasionally annoyed us, chiefly when we’ve ridden with two-wheelers, whose single tracks allow them to arc nicely through tight, bumpy turns on which the Spyder’s three tracks mean that its rider can’t avoid all the bumps, ripples or potholes. At those times, that the Spyder rider must remind himself that his mount is what it is and not what it is not. With that in mind, the RT-S is an enjoyable ride, utterly different from everything else on the road and still so novel that it attracts a crowd wherever it’s parked.
|Average fuel mileage:||29 mpg|
|List price (2010):||$17,449|