Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Can-Am Motorcycles


Can-Am Motorcycles

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Can-Am is a brand owned by the Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) of Canada. BRP knows a thing or two about engines and recreational toys. In addition to Can-Am, BRP owns several other iconic brands including: Sea-Doo (watercraft and sport boats), Ski-Doo (snowmobiles), and Evinrude and Johnson (outboard engines). BRP also owns the Austrian engine maker Rotax, which supplies motorcycle engines for BMW, Aprilia and even Erik Buell Racing.

Using engines from Rotax, Can-Am first started producing motocross and enduro motorcycles in the early ’70s. These models were developed with the input of British motorcross legend Jeff Smith and tested in the deserts of the United States. Can-Am riders immediately found success and actually swept the International Six Days Enduro competition in 1973. Eventually, BRP shifted its priorities, and the Can-Am brand was seemingly pushed to the side in the early ’80s; by 1988 the brand was no longer producing motorcycles.

But in 2006 BRP reintroduced the Can-Am brand by launching a line of all terrain vehicles (ATVs). Then in 2008, Can-Am did something very bold: The company launched an entirely new kind of personal transportation vehicle with two front wheels and one rear wheel—they call it a “roadster.” A roadster is simply a new take on the trike, or three-wheeled motorcycle; there’s no enclosed cockpit, it’s powered by a V-Twin engine (Rotax, again) and it’s designed to carry a maximum of two people.

The first batch of Spyders (the Spyder SE5 and SM5) were technological, sporty and sleek. Power steering, electronic fuel injection (EFI), traction control and ABS brakes were just a few of the standard features, and a transmission-based reverse was optional. Then in 2010 Can-Am introduced the Spyder RT, a more luxurious Spyder built for touring. The RT has about 41 gallons of storage space, plush seats for the pilot and passenger and an electronic windshield—there’s also an optional finger-actuated semi-automatic transmission and optional adjust-on-the-fly rear air suspension. In September 2011 Can-Am announced the 2011 Spyder lineup, adding integrated GPS navigation to select RS and RT models.

Can-Am tries to make it clear to people who purchase a Spyder that they’re buying a truly unique product, and to this day, there is really nothing else on the road like it.

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