2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally Review

A three-wheeler that is good for motorcycling.

2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally
The 2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally, $10,999Jeff Allen

Along every mountaintop and below every valley from San Diego to San Francisco lies a dry, dusty gravel road filled with adventure. And to get to that gravel road is a paved road bending and twisting as it follows the natural curvature of the landscape. This is what most motorcyclists would refer to as a "backyard paradise." Unfortunately, we are not all motorcyclists, but it is never too late to start. As starting goes, for those who didn't grow up riding dirt bikes around the campfire or thrashing their mom's beach cruiser on your neighbors' makeshift ramp, going from four wheels to two can be quite intimidating. Luckily for many, Can-Am has bridged the gap. With the Ryker Rally, Can-Am has opened the market for those who may need a three-wheel steppingstone with the intention of getting dirty.

2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally in front of mountain.
Can-Am’s Ryker Rally comes with features specific to the Rally model.Jeff Allen

Can-Am initially entered the three-wheel market with its flagship machine, the Spyder. With two wheels in the front and one in the rear, the Spyder is available in three trim levels ranging from the cruiser-like F3 to the full-touring RT. The Ryker then joined the family as the fit, athletic little brother ready for aggression and speed at nearly half the price of the Spyder models. Furthermore, Can-Am introduced the Ryker Rally to offer a complete package for getting loose both on your way to work and out on your favorite gravel road.

2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally driving down road in front of mountains.
The 2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally is capable on every type of road.Jeff Allen

The standard Can-Am Ryker is available with a Rotax 600 Ace motor or the larger Rotax 900 Ace motor, both numbers representing their engine displacement size. The standard Ryker also comes packed with Sachs twin-tube coilover shocks, front and rear, as well as a single-sided swingarm. The Ryker Rally, on the other hand, comes standard with the Rotax 900 Ace motor mounted to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) which produces more power everywhere throughout the rev range.

What separates the Ryker Rally from the standard Ryker is a lot more than just a set of off-road tires, and rightly so for its larger price tag of $10,999 compared to $8,499 for the standard model. What you will receive for your extra coin is quite a lot, including adjustable KYB suspension, three ride modes (Eco, Sport, and Rally), rally rims and tires, hand guards, a Max Mount rear-seat carrier, and “structural enhancements.”

2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally back wheel.
All Ryker models have a single-sided swingarm, but the Rally is fitted with more aggressive “rally” wheels and tires.Jeff Allen

In addition, the Ryker Rally has a complete electronics package including traction control, ABS, and the oh-so-necessary Stability Control System. Admittedly these systems are needed most of the time, but it would be nice to simply rely on your own ability from time to time; unfortunately these systems are not switchable. However, when put in the most aggressive map, Rally mode, the traction control will be disabled to allow for burnouts, slides, and all around getting loose. Donuts are not exactly possible due to the fixed Stability Control System which in part prevents the inside front wheel from leaving the ground. So maybe it’s not such a bad thing after all. Don’t be mistaken, this in-line three-cylinder Rotax motor produces a claimed 82 hp and 58.3 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to put a smile on anyone's face.

Controlled by an electronic fuel-injection system linked to electronic throttle control, power can be put down quickly, easily, and extremely smoothly. Furthermore, I was instantly impressed with how smooth and responsive the ride-by-wire system is, offering a connected, cable-like feel that I truly came to enjoy. Throughout the three ride modes, the power delivery and overall engine curve are quite noticeable as you change from Eco to Sport and, finally, to the bat-out-of-hell Rally.

2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally riding in front of sunset.
For the naysayers out there: fun can be had on the Can-Am Ryker Rally. It’s just of a different kind.Jeff Allen

Eco mode is noticeably docile and manageable but by no means slow. It feels as if there is a slight lack of torque hit and power delivery. Then Sport mode really makes you smile with its quick-revving and ambitious power delivery. And, finally, Rally mode… The Ryker in Rally mode is truly on a mission to get up to speed incredibly fast, even from a 50-mph roll. From a dead stop, in Rally mode, the traction control system has its hands full, working overtime to keep the rear tire driving forward. Another thing to add that is noticeable across all three platforms is the never-ending pull through the revs which is comparable to an electric motorcycle due to the Ryker’s CVT.

Digital display on 2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally.
A 4.5-inch digital display is mounted atop the adjustable handlebar.Jeff Allen

The adjustable KYB suspension looks great on the Ryker with a silver spring accented by the black and red graphics, but more important is how those shocks work. Being sprung for aggressive riding on and off road, the KYB suspension can be a little stiff on your average surface street. On a rough, chewed-up road, the KYB suspension tends to transfer harsh energy through the handlebar and seat. But the KYB suspension is adjustable, allowing you to soften it up for your daily commute or stiffening it up for a canyon-carving session. What the Ryker Rally may lack in comfort it makes up for in performance. As you carve through the twisties or even a freeway on-ramp for that matter, the KYB suspension offers a planted feel without giving any unwanted body roll. But understeer may be inevitable. Due to the Ryker’s low center of gravity, stiff suspension, and light curb weight, the machine gives the rider direct and predictable feedback.

For someone coming off a two-wheeled motorcycle, one thing that does take quite an adjustment is the Ryker’s lack of ability to lean. Similar to a car or ATV, in corners it naturally pushes your body to the outer side of the bike and becomes increasingly harder to steer as the corner becomes sharper. Since it doesn’t lean, I had to adjust my body position and handlebar input. What began to feel natural felt quite foreign initially as I changed my approach to each corner, leaning off the opposite side of the bike to counterweight the machine as well as physically turning the handlebar at speed. Which feels similar to a car steering wheel.

2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally turning on road.
An adjustment most motorcycle riders will need to make when riding the Ryker Rally is body position. It’s clear the outside wheel is under a great deal of load in this right-hander.Jeff Allen

Having a CVT means the Ryker Rally is fully automatic; it essentially acts as a single speed. Although disappointing for some, it makes the Ryker Rally very approachable for new and beginner riders. Initially, when swinging a leg over the machine you will notice how bare the bars are; the Ryker has no clutch lever or hand brake. A single brake pedal utilizes an Electronic Brake Distribution System to distribute braking power to all three wheels. Which I must admit does a darn good job at this. Under extremely hard braking, however, the bike becomes a little busy while the Electronic Brake Distribution System works tirelessly trying to match as well as adjust braking power to each of the three wheels. The Electronic Brake Distribution System constantly retrieves braking data to determine which of the three wheels needs more stopping power in order to slow all three wheels at an even pace. A wiggle from the Ryker will be noticeable as the wheels begin slowing down at different paces but will quickly work itself out. Although my first experience with this wiggle was a bit concerning, with more miles logged, it was something I came to enjoy, adding a little thrill to this otherwise stable machine.

2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally kicking up sand in the desert.
In the dirt, turning the traction control off adds a bit of fun.Jeff Allen
2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally kicking up sand in the desert.
Once the traction control is off, it’s easy to spin up the rear tire, although stability control will limit sideways antics.Jeff Allen

Another thing I quickly noticed: The electronic throttle control system has the smallest amount of free play within the initial part of the throttle pull, allowing you to slightly rev the engine without sending power to the rear wheel. This becomes useful at stoplights when looking to impress the excessive amount of eyeballs locked in on this head-turning machine. You will feel more and more famous as your ride continues. A bit hesitant at first to accept all the attention, I quickly realized the crowd that found the bike most fascinating is the demographic of those who otherwise have no interest in motorcycles. Inevitably leading me to think, “Hey, this could be really good for motorcycling.”

2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally in front of mountain.
It may not be a motorcycle in the traditional sense, but if it brings new riders into our world, I’m all for it.Jeff Allen

2019 Can-Am Ryker Rally Specifications

MSRP $10,999
ENGINE Rotax 900cc ACE liquid-cooled inline-triple
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 77 hp @ 7,100 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE 56 lb.-ft. @ 6,300 rpm
FRAME Tubular mild steel, rectangular backbone
FRONT SUSPENSION KYB HPG shocks adjustable for preload; 6.4-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION KYB HPG shock adjustable for compression damping and preload; 6.9-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE 2-piston floating calipers, dual 270mm discs w/ ABS
REAR BRAKE 1-piston floating caliper, 220mm disc w/ ABS
WHEELBASE 67.3 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 24.2 in.
CLAIMED WEIGHT 627 lb. (dry)