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RideFast Nov 2019

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DIRTY THREE SOME Readers gazing upon this page’s images before the text would be forgiven for thinking that this is the illustrious Can-Am Spyder, a ubiquitous three-wheeled stalwart in the Can-Am line-up for more than 12 years. The Spyder set forth unto the world as a luxury sports cruiser, offering comfort with a dollop of sporting prowess. However, this is not the Spyder. It is the first in Can-Am’s three-wheeled tangent known as the Ryker. Words Donovan Fourie | Pics by Meghan McCabe People intimate with the Spyder will note that the Ryker is stripped down with a single seat and forward footpegs; what would be a Bobber in the world of choppers and retro machines. Where the Spyder attempts to entice people of leisure with its sophisticated looks and the flowing lines of its all-encompassing bodywork, the Ryker appears unabashed in its open leather jacket and studded trousers, flipping the bird at anyone who looks at it. It’s the bad boy of the Can-Am range, although there’s some hidden methodology behind that bare chest. Where the Spyder range will lighten your wallet in the tune of between R440,000 and R600,000, the standard Ryker will leave the showroom for a more considerate R249,000. Of course, for this monetary reduction, there are some reductions in amenities. The 1330cc motor in the Spyder is replaced with a 900cc paralleltriple pushing a more humble 82 hp and 79.1 Nm of torque. With a weight of 285kg – a meagre figure considering the size of this machine – it does put it at a disadvantage in the power-to-weight department. Top speed is somewhere in the region of 180 km/h, a pedestrian figure given the usual content of this magazine. However, there is more to this machine than top speed. That 82 hp is transferred to the back wheel via a CVT gearbox, much like that found in a scooter, meaning the rider need only twist the throttle at any speed and will be rewarded with power on tap. Also, the Ryker offers an expectedly different riding experience to your average motorcycle. It’s best described using the following analogy – the Ryker sits on the road flat, bereft of the ability to lean. All this could understandably lend itself to feeling more like a car than a motorbike. Except that your average sports car weighs somewhere north of two tons, whereas the Ryker weighs nearly ten times less. It’s like sitting on a luxury yacht versus a speed boat. On the road, the Ryker reacts to every change in surface, to every camber, to every bump, every groove and even every breeze. It gives the rider a feeling of being entirely connected to the road as it manoeuvres its way through its trials and tribulations. Also, like a motorbike, the rider is wholly subjected to the elements, even more so on the Ryker that refrains from utilising the wind protection of the Spyder. It means that the rider is part of the action, not merely a passenger. So, while it might not win many drag races against its two-wheeled brethren, It does offer a similar sense of achievement and satisfaction. The Ryker may not have the features list of the Spyder, but it does have some amenities of its own. The handlebars and footpegs are easily adjustable for the perfect fit. There is a reverse gear, two cubby holes and an optional passenger seat or top box that clip on behind the rider. The CVT gearbox is attached to a shaft drive, so they will likely outlive their rider. There is also the obligatory host of electronic aids. All three wheels have an ABS that is collectively activated via pushing on the single foot brake. With this, the handlebars are entirely lever free, something that takes seasoned motorbike riders some time to get their head 68 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 69