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article imageToronto crawling with three-wheeled Spyder motorbikes Special

By David Silverberg     May 9, 2009 in Technology
Toronto is the latest demo tour stop for the Can-Am Spyder vehicle, a three-wheeled version of a motorcycle. Find out why this unique Roadster is even being featured in Hollywood blockbusters such as Transformers 2.
With one glance, you can tell the Can-Am Spyder is unlike anything you've seen. It's what tractors would look like if they were thrown into a motorbike blender and given a 21st-century makeover. The Spyder features two wheels at the front, a fat wheel at the back, and a slick body, resembling a futuristic motorcycle with some attitude.
Launched in 2008, the Spyder is the latest baby from Bombardier Recreational Products, known for its snowmobiles and watercraft boats. BRP is hoping Spyder will tear up the asphalt across the world, and district sales manager Ben DaPonte told more than 10,000 Spyders have been sold so far.
In an effort to spread the gospel of Spyder's appeal, BRP is touring the roadster around the world. It's demonstrating 12 Spyders in Toronto, first at Polson Pier parking lot this weekend from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and then in Barrie, Ontario next week at the Molson Arena lot.
So what's the big deal with this motorcycle with attitude? Besides the head-turning look, it sports a V-twin engine that takes it to a top speed of about 170 km/h, but gets the machine up to 100 km/h in a claimed 4.5 seconds; peak torque is at 770 foot-pounds at 6250 rpm; and its Vehicle Stabilization System keeps the vehicle under control in case the wheels sense a sudden emergency.
CAN-AM Spyder
The CAN-AM Spyder from Bombardier recreational products (BRP)
Photo by
"It's like a fun motorcycle, but it's built for safer security," DaPonte says.
The manual shift version costs $19,000 CAN and the electronic shift model retails for $21,000.
The Spyder roadster has become such a hit, Hollywood is taking notice. CSI: Miami has used the vehicle in an episode, and the upcoming Transformers 2 film will also feature the Canadian product.
"I guess the producers thought this was a unique vehicle," DaPonte says.
But how would the Spyder appeal to Torontonians, motorists who often curse the winter for ruining the all-year motorbike experience?
DaPonte says the true enthusiasts are hardcore riders. "The weather is an issue, sure, but we've had buyers who have driven the Spyder throughout the winter. You just have to be careful like you would with any motorbike."
People who want to try out the Can-Am Spyder can head to Polson Pier in Toronto on Saturday and Sunday, between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m, at Polson and Cherry streets. Those with an M1 license can test-drive the Spyder on the road, but those without a motorcycle license can only test the Spyder on a coned track. For more info, visit this site.
More about Canam spyder, Bombardier, Motorcycle, Vehicle, Motorbike
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