Sport-Touring With Ultimate Stability

Can-Am’s Spyder F3-T and F3 Limited bridges the gap between the sport-tastic F3/F3-S and the tour-tacular RT lineup. Saddlebag storage comes stock across the board for some touring capacity right off the showroom floor with a short windshield for some weather protection to boot. Speaking of boots, the F3-T/Limited sports the same VW Beetle up-front trunk for even more dry storage/grocery-getting capacity. Power comes from a Rotax 1330 ACE triple that delivers 115 horsepower and 96 pound-feet of torque to put the “sport” in sport-tourer, and BRP provides all the electronic fandanglery you could possibly need to help keep everything under control.

Continue reading for my review of the Can-Am Spyder F3-T and F3-T Limited.

  • 2018 Can-Am Spyder F3-T / F3-T Limited
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Rotax 1330 ACE
  • Price:
    26199
  • Price:

Design

2018 Can-Am Spyder F3-T / F3-T Limited
- image 770370
Can-Am gives you the opportunity to shape your riding triangle with adjustable footpegs and a selection of optional handlebars so you can tune those four points of contact for body type, posture and comfort.

Yep, it’s a Spyder, so of course it’s one of those funny-backwards Delta trikes with two front wheels and one drive wheel out back. Head-on, the visible control arms and independent fenders work with the automotive-style front end for a narrow roadster-ish look.

Atop the forward storage compartment the headlights ride in the sporty and very bike-like front fairing that mounts the short, vented windshield and sees the turn signals smoothly integrated with the mirror housings. While the screen isn’t quite as large as the glass used on the full-on dressers, it’s tall enough to give your chest a break from the wind pressure and short enough to give you a enough head-on air to make your helmet vents work.

All of the instrumentation comes tucked away in the inner fairing with a dual-function, analog-looking clock that displays speed and rpm with a needle sweep plus a digital representation of those values in the middle. All other pertinent info falls along the bottom of the central display or in one of the smaller displays positioned off to the side.

A pair of weather-resistant speakers sit outboard of the 7.8-inch wide LCD display to match the pair out back for a total of four (six on the Limited) so you can use the infotainment system to share your music with everyone around you, whether they like it or not. The BRP Connect system hooks you up to the interwebs for music/navigation/weather support with handlebar-mount controls so you never have to move your hands from their control centers.

Speaking of control centers; Can-Am gives you the opportunity to shape your riding triangle with adjustable footpegs and a selection of optional handlebars so you can tune those four points of contact for body type, posture and comfort. From bars on back, the Spyders look very bike-like with an elevated P-pad, J.C. handles and monochrome saddlebags that cover multiple bases as speaker/taillight housings with zippered, grab-and-go pullout totes.

Between the front compartment, glove compartment, and the hard-sided panniers, the F3-T claims a total storage capacity of 21 gallons — not bad for what is the equivalent of a bagger — but the addition of the top case bumps the Limited up to 36.5 gallons. Best of all, the case is large enough to hold a pair of full-face buckets, and it’s removable for those times you’d rather roll with a cleaner look. “Low-and-stable” come to mind at a glance, but that’s just the skin-deep impression, it’s the unseen stuff below the hood that really makes this pair safe.

Chassis

2018 Can-Am Spyder F3-T / F3-T Limited
- image 770363
The safety-oriented yummy-goodness continues with an alphabet-soup assortment of techno controls.

The Surrounding Spar Technology bones are made of tubular-steel members with a bike-like swingarm made of same, but it’s the front end that makes this ride special. Automotive-style A-arms mount the front wheels with Sachs Big-Bore shocks to buffer the bumps via the 5.1-inch travel. Out back, another Sachs shock tames the swingarm with an air-type preload feature that is manually operated on the base model and automatic on the Limited. That’s right; automatic. Just load up the bags and your favorite passenger, fire it up and the rear end levels out all by its onesies with 5.2 inches of travel and a plush ride.

Experienced two-wheeler riders will notice the lack of leanage as well as the lack of hand controls. The foot pedal controls all the braking effort with a pair of four-pot, Brembo binders up front, a uni-piston anchor out back and 270 mm discs all around. As a bonus, the rear end comes with a push button-actuated, electric parking brake.

The hoops are definitely in automotive territory with a pair of 165/55-15 rubbers up front followed by a 225/50-15, and herein lies the base attribute that enables the other safety features: the large contact patches. Sure, the ABS is the most predictable of these features, but as you’ll soon see, the factory didn’t stop there. The safety-oriented yummy-goodness continues with the Stability Control System that applies bakes and reduces engine power when ambition overtakes physics and the rider is in danger of losing it. Finally, since you lose the ability to effortlessly change direction by countersteering, the factory chucked on a Dynamic Power Steering

Front Suspension: Double A-arm with anti-roll bar
Front Shocks Type / Travel: SACHS Big-Bore shocks / 5.1 in (129 mm)
Rear Suspension: Swing arm
Rear Shock Type / Travel: SACHS shock with manual air preload adjustment / 5.2 in. (132 mm)
Electronic Brake distribution system: Foot-operated, hydraulic 3-wheel brake
Front Brakes: 2 x 270 mm rigid discs, radially mounted Brembo monobloc calipers 4-piston, 2-pad
Rear Brake: 270 mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper with integrated parking brake
Parking Brake: Electrically actuated
Front Tires: MC165 / 55R15 55H
Rear Tire: MC225 / 50R15 76H
Aluminum Front Rims: 6-spoke, Machined Deep Black High Gloss, 15 x 5 in. (381 x 127 mm) (Limited: Shamrock, 15 x 5 in. (381 x 127 mm)
Aluminum Rear Rim: Deep Black, 15 x 7 in. (381 mm x 178 mm)

Drivetrain

2018 Can-Am Spyder F3-T / F3-T Limited
- image 770381
The Spyder has plenty of power for a spirited ride no matter how heavily laden.

Rotax is a name that enjoys quite a bit of recognition and respect from both the aviation and marine segment, and since that’s the house brand, that’s what drives the fun. The Rotax 1330 ACE powerplant runs an inline-triple configuration with a nearly-square 84 mm bore and 80 mm stroke. A water-jacket and radiator deal with the waste heat with RbW throttle comtrol and electronic fuel injection to manage the induction.

Of course, the wired throttle also enables the Traction Control System for yet another layer of safety that prevents rear-wheel spinout due to an overzealous right wrist. That’s a good thing to have considering the 115 ponies and 96 pounds o’ grunt waiting to be turned loose. Sure, these rides weigh in just under half-a-ton, and that’s before you start adding people, but this is plenty of power for a spirited ride no matter how heavily laden.

Power flows through a six-speed, semi-automatic transmixxer that shift via handlebar paddle instead of a foot shifter with no clutch lever to fool with and a push-button reverse feature. Good thing, cause you aren’t going to want to Fred Flintstone this thing around the parking lot.

Engine: Rotax® 1330 ACE™ in-line 3 cylinders, liquid-cooled with electronic fuel injection and electronic throttle control
Bore & Stroke: 3.31 x 3.14 in. (84 x 80 mm)
Power: 115 hp (85.8 kW) @ 7,250 rpm
Torque: 96 lb-ft. (130.1 Nm) @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission options: 6-speed semi-automatic with reverse (SE6)

Pricing

2018 Can-Am Spyder F3-T / F3-T Limited
- image 770374
The Limited offers two packages – Chrome and Dark – which gives a bling-tastic option or a black-out treatment.

The Spyder F3-T starts out at $26,199 MSRP and can be had in one of four solid colors, and the Limited offers the same but with a choice between chrome/bright accents or the Dark Edition treatment that adds a blackout effect for what is, effectively, a total of eight paint packages. No matter which you choose, you can count on a two-year limited warranty with the factory with the option of buying up to 36 additional months.

Trims and Parts: Metallic Silver and Carbon Black (Limited: Chrome or Dark Options)
Warranty: 2-year BRP Limited Warranty with 2-year roadside assistance (optional extended warranty: BRP’S B.E.S.T. extended service term available from 12 to 36 months.
Colors: Pearl White, Monolith Black Satin (F3-T only), Intense Red Pearl, Oxford Blue Metallic, Steel Black Metallic (F3-T Limited only)
Price: $26,199 (Limited: $28,399)

Competitors

2019 Yamaha Niken
- image 741658
2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler
- image 758876
2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra
- image 761916
The Delta trike field isn't well populated by rides that don't lean.

It isn’t easy to simply pick a competitor for such a niche machine. Many of the other Delta trikes on the market are leaners, and they fall at the extremes of performance from the sporty, full-size Niken to the leaning scooter-trikes. Harley-Davidson and full-dresser TriGlide Ultra, but in the old two-in-back trike arrangement that neither handles like a Delta nor benefits from the electronic wizardry that helps increase the overall safety of the Spyder products.

I gotta say that at $25 K-plus, the price point of this pair puts it in territory populated by some top-shelf, two-wheel machines — you know, the kind ridden by experienced two-wheeler riders — so BRP may be setting itself up for an uphill battle. Or maybe that’s just the right place to catch those who would otherwise give up riding entirely?

He Said

“Pretty cool for what it is, and it does corner like it’s on rails, but I can’t help but think about the loss of the sensation of flight with this kind of setup. I suppose that’s OK if you are new to having your fists in the wind and this is the only machine you know, but for me, it would be a difficult transition. Plus, the colors are a little disappointing, but then most companies are when compared to the Motor Company.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I really like these Spyders. Yes, it’s a little different (or maybe a LOT different) ride, but we don’t all have to have the same experience and we’re not all looking for the same thing. You do lean in the corners, but in a different way than on a two-wheeler. They do corner like they’re on rails with solid traction afforded by the huge amount of contact patch. There is a lot to be said about coming to a stop and not having to hold the bike up and many folks come to a point in their riding life where three wheels look more attractive than two. Low-speed maneuvers are easier, as well.”

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Rotax® 1330 ACE™ in-line 3 cylinders, liquid-cooled with electronic fuel injection and electronic throttle control
Bore & Stroke: 3.31 x 3.14 in. (84 x 80 mm)
Power: 115 hp (85.8 kW) @ 7,250 rpm
Torque: 96 lb-ft. (130.1 Nm) @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission options: 6-speed semi-automatic with reverse (SE6)
Chassis:
Front Suspension: Double A-arm with anti-roll bar
Front Shocks Type / Travel: SACHS† Big-Bore shocks / 5.1 in (129 mm)
Rear Suspension: Swing arm
Rear Shock Type / Travel: SACHS† shock with manual air preload adjustment / 5.2 in. (132 mm)
Electronic Brake distribution system: Foot-operated, hydraulic 3-wheel brake
Front Brakes: 2 x 270 mm rigid discs, radially mounted Brembo monobloc calipers 4-piston, 2-pad
Rear Brake: 270 mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper with integrated parking brake
Parking Brake: Electrically actuated
Front Tires: MC165 / 55R15 55H
Rear Tire: MC225 / 50R15 76H
Aluminum Front Rims: 6-spoke, Machined Deep Black High Gloss, 15 x 5 in. (381 x 127 mm) (Limited: Shamrock, 15 x 5 in. (381 x 127 mm)
Aluminum Rear Rim: Deep Black, 15 x 7 in. (381 mm x 178 mm)
Dimensions & Capacities:
L x W x H: 102.2 x 58.9 x 48.9 in. (2,596 x 1,497 x 1,241 mm)
Wheelbase:  67.3 in. (1,709 mm)
Seat Height: 26.6 in. (675 mm)
Ground Clearance: 4.5 in. (115 mm)
Dry Weight: 948 lb (430 kg) (Limited: 988 lb. (448 kg))
Storage Capacity: 21 gal. (78 L) (Limited: 36.5 gal (27 L))
Maximum Vehicle Load: 439 lb (199 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 7.1 gal (27 L)
Reserve: 1.20 gal (4,5 L) approx.
Fuel type: Premium unleaded
Towing Capacity: 400 lb (182 kg)
Equipment:
Instrumentation: Large panoramic 7.8 in. wide LCD color display with BRP Connect: allowing the integration of vehicle-optimized smartphone apps such as media, navigation and many others controlled through the handlebars. Gauge functions include: speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip & hour meters, fuel consumption avg, gear position, ECO mode smart assist, temperature, engine lights, electronic fuel gauge, clock, and more.
Running Lights: 2 halogen headlamps (55 / 60-W)
Windshield: Sport touring
Cruise Control: Electronic
Audio System: BRP Audio 4-speaker (Limited: 6-speaker) sound system with AM/FM, USB, Bluetooth† and 1/8" (3.5mm) audio inputs
Seat: Black perforated seat
Electronic Controls: Stability Control System, Traction Control System, Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Power Steering, Digitally Encoded Security System (D.E.S.S. ™ )
Details:
Trims and Parts: Metallic Silver and Carbon Black (Limited: Chrome or Dark Options)
Warranty: 2-year BRP Limited Warranty with 2-year roadside assistance (optional extended warranty: BRP’S B.E.S.T. extended service term available from 12 to 36 months.
Colors: Pearl White, Monolith Black Satin (F3-T only), Intense Red Pearl, Oxford Blue Metallic, Steel Black Metallic (F3-T Limited only)
Price: $26,199 (Limited: $28,399)

References

Can-Am Spyder RT

2018 Can-Am Spyder RT
- image 755869

See our review of the Can-Am Spyder RT.

Yamaha Niken

2019 Yamaha Niken
- image 741643

See our review of the Yamaha Niken.

Harley-Davidson Freewheeler

2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler
- image 722147

See our review of the Harley-Davidson Freewheeler.

Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide Ultra

2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra
- image 720530

See our review of the Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide Ultra.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: yamaha-motor.com, harley-davidson.com, brp.com

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