More Horsepower Means More Fun

The Spyder F3 and F3-S have always been all about that sport-rider life, and Can-Am takes it up a notch again this year with its newest iteration of the F3-S Special Series. Y-frame construction delivers the stability that trike users are looking for while a souped-up engine provides the fun-factor for the fiery-eyed pegdraggers among us. With great power comes great responsibility, so the “SS” comes with a robust electronics suite geared toward helping you keep it dirty-side down and between the lines. BRP is in a great position to shape the Delta-trike market, so let’s take a look at the details and see what kind of competition this special Spyder can expect.

Continue reading for my review of the Can-Am Spyder F3-S Special Series.

  • 2019 Can-Am F3-S Special Series
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Rotax 1330 ACE
  • Displacement:
    1330 cc
  • Price:
    19599
  • Price:

2019 Can-Am Spyder F3-S Special Series Design

2019 Can-Am F3-S Special Series
- image 796430
Can-Am's UFit system lets you customize the rider triangle, 'cause let's face it, we don't all fit the one-size-fits-all category.

True to form, the SS leads the way with a Volkswagen-esque cargo trunk that’ll pack away up to 6.5-gallons (24.4-liters) of whatever. It rides nestled between the roadster-style front wheels and independent fenders with a sporty grille that emphasizes the aggressive nature of the SS. A set of LED lights mark the fenders, but the forward illumination is managed by a pair of recessed halogen headlights that split the night and provide ample visibility to help you see and be seen.

The control area sort of resembles a jet ski in its layout — which makes sense given that Ski Doo falls under the same BRP umbrella — and it carries a pair of molded-in mirrors with a flyscreen to protect the new-this-year 7.6-inch LED instrument panel. All of the pertinent metrics are reflected in this single display and I gotta’ say I’m a fan of the clean look and enhanced visibility.

Because of the angle of the steering column, the handlebar rise actually pushes the riders hands back to encourage an upright riding position and the forward foot controls certainly helps to form a relaxed, upright triangle. Best of all, Can-Am’s UFit system lets you quickly adjust the foot position and handlebar size to customize the triangle and get it dialed in to suit your body type. That’s what I call a win-win folks, ’cause let’s face it, we don’t all fit the one-size-fits-all category, and since the Spyder series is supposed to be about enticing a new type of rider, I’d say it’s a good move to make it as inclusive as possible.

The seat slings the pilot’s butt at a low 26.6 inches off the ground with a slight rise to the pillion area that can be a seat or a tail fairing that gives the tail end a nice race-tastic finish. You’ve got a set of great big grab handles and flip-out footpegs to finish out the passenger’s gear and a hugger fender that allows the subframe area to end with something of a bobbed tail and even more sporty panache.

2019 Can-Am Spyder F3-S Special Series Chassis

2019 Can-Am F3-S Special Series
- image 796433
It looks good in profile, but when viewed head-on, the exposed A-frame linkages really sell it.

Much of the sporty look is owed to the visible frame members that come shot with orange paint in stark contrast with the achromatic palette that dominates the rest of the body panels. It looks good in profile, but when viewed head-on, the exposed A-frame linkages really sell it. It all ties the machine together visually from the front, through the handlebar and on back to the swingarm.

The SS has an anti-roll bar for stability and a set of coil-over, gas-charged FOX PODIUM shocks to tame the front wheels with gas added to the cylinders as an anti-foaming agent meant to prevent shock fade. Suspension travel is 5.1-inches up front with 5.2-inches out back from the coil-over Sachs shock, but neither offer anything in the way of adjustability, so what you see is what you get, forever.

Automotive-style tires round out the rolling chassis with a pair of 15-inch, 165/55 hoops to lead the way ahead of the single 225/50 that delivers the power to the pavement. Needless to say, the collective contact patches represent quite a bit of real estate, and the safety electronics help you get the most out of it. The Stability Control System individually feathers the brakes and modulates engine power to prevent the SS from rolling over in a hard turn. Additionally, an ABS feature works with the all-in-one brake system that uses a foot pedal as the single point of control, so there’s no need for a separate hand-control lever to clutter up the bar.

All-around 270 mm discs slow the wheels with a pair of four-pot calipers up front and a single-pot anchor out back, plus there’s a parking brake that locks the rear wheel for stress-free parking, even on a grade, and a Hill Hold Control for stress-free, inclined starts.

Front Suspension: Double A-arm with anti-roll bar
Front Shocks Type / Travel: Gas Charged FOX PODIUM shocks / 5.1 in. (129 mm)
Rear Suspension: Swing arm
Rear Shock Type / Travel: SACHS shock / 5.2 in (132 mm)
Electronic Brake distribution system: Foot-operated, hydraulic 3-wheel brake
Front Brakes: 270 mm discs with Brembo 4-piston fixed calipers
Rear Brake: 270 mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper with integrated parking brake
Parking Brake: Electrically actuated
Aluminum Front Rims: 6-spoke, Deep black, 15 x 5 in. (381 x 127 mm)
Aluminum Rear Rim: Deep Black, 15 x 7 in. (381 mm x 178 mm)
Front Tires: MC165 / 55R15 55H
Rear Tire: MC225 / 50R15 76H

2019 Can-Am Spyder F3-S Special Series Drivetrain

2019 Can-Am F3-S Special Series
- image 796428
The factory graced it with an extra 10 horsepower over the F3-S, for the best power-to-weight ratio in the Spyder lineup.

You may or may not recognize the Rotax marque from its personal watercraft, snowmobile, and even aviation applications, but I assure you the brand enjoys an outstanding reputation for building reliable powerplants. This particular mill rocks an inline-triple configuration with an 84 mm bore and 80 mm stroke for a slightly oversquare ratio.

The Rotax 1330 Advanced Combustion Engine relies on water cooling and electronic engine control to meet emission standards, and that enables a Traction Control feature for yet another layer of protection. Power flows through a semi-automatic, six-speed transmission that delivers push-button shifts sans clutch to make the SS a supremely rider-friendly machine. Since this is a “Special,” the factory graced it with an extra 10 horsepower over the F3-S for a total of 115-ponies at 7,250 and 96 pound-feet of torque, and that’s plenty for some pretty thrilling holeshots and impressive light-to-light times.

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: 6-speed semi-automatic

2019 Can-Am Spyder F3-S Special Series Pricing

2019 Can-Am F3-S Special Series
- image 796431
Can-Am's top-of-the-line sport cruiser starts at just under $20k.

A 2019 Spyder F3-S Special Series will set you back at least $19,599, and it comes in Liquid Titanium with black trim and orange framework.

Standard Equipped: Traction Control System, Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Power Steering, Digitally Encoded Security System (D.E.S.S. ™ ), Hill Hold Control
Instrumentation: 7.6” wide digital display; Speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trips, gear position, distance to empty, engine lights, fuel gauge, clock, ECO mode and Sport mode.
Features: 2 halogen headlamps (55/60-W), Front fenders with integrated LED lights, Black perforated seat with orange stitching, Electronic cruise control, Mono seat cowl, Gauge Spoiler, Special Series Graphics
Warranty: 2-year BRP Limited Warranty with 2-year roadside assistance (optional BRP’S B.E.S.T. extended service term available from 12 to 36 months.
Colors: Liquid Titanium
Price: $19,599

2019 Can-Am Spyder F3-S Special Series Competitors

2019 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler
- image 792881
2019 Yamaha Niken
- image 741658
2019 Can-Am F3-S Special Series
- image 796434
I expect that anyone who is interested in a Spyder would probably lean toward the Yamaha before looking at the Harley.

What to pick as a competitor? The SS clearly has a sportbike bent so I suppose I could make arguments for the Freewheeler, Harley-Davidson’s hot-rod trike, even though it rocks an old-fashioned two-in-back configuration that is so last century. In Harley’s defense, its go-fast three-wheeler brings cornering ABS, traction control and drag-torque mitigation to the table this year (finally), but all of that lies under the hood so visually the Freewheeler looks like same-old/same-old.

At the other end of the spectrum lies the Yamaha Niken. The name literally means “two sword,” a clear reference to its unique, four-fork front suspension that groups the struts in pairs and allows the Niken to actually lean into the corners more like a proper motorcycle, or like Piaggio’s MP3 scooter. Naturally, this puts the Niken in a slightly different category, but I expect that anyone who is interested in a Spyder would probably lean toward (see what I did there?) the Yamaha before looking at the Harley.

An 847 cc CP3 engine drives the Niken with the same claimed power of 115-horsepower at the shaft, so neither gain an edge there, and the engine-control electronics and safety gear is likewise similar. Really, it comes down to whether or not you want your trike to lean or not.

He Said

“I’d opt for not. It seems like Can-Am has found a niche to develop, and thus far, it’s a very narrow field. I know there are a number of leaning front-end kits and two-in-back kits, but I prefer not to include those since they are all aftermarket jobs. As for the SS, it’s a nice-looking ride that is bound to appeal to the adrenaline junkies out there.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I like the exposed frame painted orange. It puts me in mind of KTM. These Delta trikes are awesome, but price put them out of reach for a lot of buyers...until now. Can-Am’s new Ryker is well under $10k and makes three wheels affordable for a lot of folks who wish they had a trike but don’t have a big budget. The F3-S Special Series is serious fun, but if your wallet can’t swing it, with a few compromises, you can have a Ryker.”

2019 Can-Am Spyder F3-S Special Series 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: 6-speed semi-automatic
Chassis:
Front Suspension: Double A-arm with anti-roll bar
Front Shocks Type / Travel: Gas Charged FOX PODIUM shocks / 5.1 in. (129 mm)
Rear Suspension: Swing arm
Rear Shock Type / Travel: SACHS shock / 5.2 in (132 mm)
Electronic Brake distribution system: Foot-operated, hydraulic 3-wheel brake
Front Brakes: 270 mm discs with Brembo 4-piston fixed calipers
Rear Brake: 270 mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper with integrated parking brake
Parking Brake: Electrically actuated
Aluminum Front Rims: 6-spoke, Deep black, 15 x 5 in. (381 x 127 mm)
Aluminum Rear Rim: Deep Black, 15 x 7 in. (381 mm x 178 mm)
Front Tires: MC165 / 55R15 55H
Rear Tire: MC225 / 50R15 76H
Dimensions & Capacities:
L x W x H: 104 x 58.9 x 43.3 in. (2,642 x 1,497 x 1,099 mm)
Wheelbase: 67.3 in. (1,709 mm)
Seat Height: 26.6 in. (675 mm)
Ground Clearance: 4.5 in. (115 mm)
Dry Weight: 899 lb (408 kg)
Storage Capacity: 6.5 gal (24,4 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
Details:
Standard Equipped: Stability Control System, Traction Control System, Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Power Steering, Digitally Encoded Security System (D.E.S.S. ™ ), Hill Hold Control
Instrumentation: 7.6” wide digital display; Speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trips, gear position, distance to empty, engine lights, fuel gauge, clock, ECO mode and Sport mode.
Features: 2 halogen headlamps (55/60-W), Front fenders with integrated LED lights, Black perforated seat with orange stitching, Electronic cruise control, Mono seat cowl, Gauge Spoiler, Special Series Graphics
Warranty: 2-year BRP Limited Warranty with 2-year roadside assistance (optional BRP’S B.E.S.T. extended service term available from 12 to 36 months.
Colors: Liquid Titanium
Price: $19,599

Further Reading

Harley-Davidson Freewheeler

2019 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler
- image 792874

See our review of the Harley-Davidson Freewheeler.

Can-Am Spyder F3 / F3-S

2018 - 2019 Can-Am Spyder F3 / F3-S
- image 795686

See our review of the Can-Am Spyder F3 / F3-S.

Yamaha Niken

2019 Yamaha Niken
- image 789393

See our review of the [Yamaha Niken-<art178134].

Piaggio MP3 500 Sport

2016 - 2018 Piaggio MP3 500 Sport
- image 786856

See our review of the Piaggio MP3 500 Sport.

Can-Am Ryker

2019 Can-Am Ryker
- image 795076

See our review of the Can-Am Ryker.

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- image 795083

Read more Can-Am news.

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

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