All Tests – Spyder F3 Test: the 3-wheeled Power Cruiser! – In dynamics: less effort, more sport

Spyder F3 test: the 3-wheeled Power Cruiser !

All Tests - Spyder F3 Test: the 3-wheeled Power Cruiser! - In dynamics: less effort, more sport

Devastating look, demonstrative 3-cylinder, adjustable Cruiser ergonomics and cutting-edge electronics: the new Can-Am Spyder F3 brings together many assets likely to appeal to motorists and bikers looking for an original and muscular 3-wheeler ! Test.

In dynamics: less effort, more sport

Comfortable to sit and accessible thanks to an ultra low saddle (675 mm) and well designed (especially in terms of lumbar support, perfect), the Spyder F3 puts you at ease. The wide handlebars – a model adapted to our measurements – fall naturally into the hands and offer a generous lever arm, an essential condition for turning the 386 kg (dry!) ​​Without too much difficulty..

The only downside is ergonomic: the feet are set apart enough due to the width of the front part, causing slight tension on the thigh muscles due to their "V" opening. Nothing prohibitive however, but a motorcycle – narrower, whatever the model or the displacement – is less restrictive at this level.

In addition, if the almost completely extended position of the legs turns out to be pleasant at first glance, in the long run it calls on the joints of the knees, which are not fully extended. After several hours of driving, we were several testers to temporarily stretch our "legs" by placing our calves above the footrests. !

Logically, the three-wheelers give the F3 reassuring stability, especially for novices and those unfamiliar with two-wheelers. The machine does not need to be kept in balance, reinforcing a feeling of security that motorists will appreciate. After turning the coded key, starting is done by pressing the starter on the right, like on a motorcycle..

Small peculiarity specific to the entire Spyder range: a security must be unlocked to start, by pressing on this F3 the "Mode" button installed on the top of the left stalk. The big "3-legged" Rotax then snorts in a hoarse and deep sound, the intensity of which is sufficiently pronounced to flatter the owner’s ears without hitting those of his neighborhood..

When the throttle is cut off, the elegant silencer in the low position even lets out delicious cracklings when the throttle is cut … MNC is under the spell: the Spyder F3 2015 has the voice of its physique! To avoid spoiling anything, no parasitic vibration escapes from the mechanics, apart from a few tiny tremors when approaching the gentle electronic regulation placed at 8000 rpm.

Before setting off, a glance at the dashboard confirms that this is the same model as on the previous Spyder. Automotive-inspired, it revolves around two dials with needles indicating the speed and engine speed as well as a digital window which scrolls – via the left stalk – information such as air temperature, gear engaged and two trips (complete list in our technical sheet on page 3).

Fairly supplied and readable, including at night or in direct sunlight, this dashboard suffers only from a certain form of austerity. More modern instrumentation, with TFT dies for example, surrounded by polished metal, would fit perfectly with such a sophisticated and “Premium” vehicle (the F3 is). Ditto for the commodos, certainly functional but hardly rewarding.

However, we quickly console ourselves insofar as it is the only complaint in terms of presentation and finish, remarkable in all respects despite the abundance of plastics. On the other hand, MNC would have appreciated that the scoops which can be dismantled without tools installed at the front are not only used to access the air filter, the oil dipstick and the jar of coolant. A small storage space accessible from the saddle would have been very practical !

This lack is partially filled by the trunk located between the front wheels, the opening of which is operated from the Neiman as on all Spyder. On the F3, this hold has a capacity of 24.4 liters (7 kg max), which makes it easy to slip a full-face helmet inside. Convenient to remain hands-free once at destination.

Surrounded by comfortable grab handles, the passenger saddle – short and fairly firm – opens on its side to a small space, barely sufficient to accommodate summer gloves. However, there is a connection prepared for a 12 V socket … provided that the optional connection is installed. !

Reassuring … or frustrating safeguards, according to taste >

Announced "more manageable"Thanks to the new chassis, the Spyder F3 nevertheless remains quite physical to turn, especially at low speed. Clearly, it is still not the king of urban gymkhana, even if a progression is indeed to be noted. Regarding its "automotive" width, the F3 will always be cramped in town !

The Spyder turning flat – like a quad – the driving is only vested in the arms, unlike a motorcycle on which you use almost your entire body to turn while counter-steer. Hence a certain muscle tone required during maneuvers, or when the pace is accelerating !

The steering is reactive and sensitive to variations in the coating, a phenomenon especially noticeable when one of the front wheels passes over a bump or when driving on a "curved" roadway. In this scenario, it is necessary to constantly make small course corrections to combat the F3’s natural tendency to follow the profile of the road..

Like all Spyder – and road quads – the trick is to hold onto the handlebars with a subtle compromise between firmness and flexibility. The habit comes quickly. Very well calibrated, the front Fox suspensions show rigor and precision, which is not always the case with the rear mono-shock absorber, too flexible in spring.

The whole, however, offers very satisfactory cushioning comfort, significantly less dry than the RS models. The limits of this compromise appear when the passages in curves become more sporty and when the constraints increase: the rear, not adjustable, tends to sag..

However, if it is possible to easily reach the threshold of efficiency of the Sachs shock absorber, the many assistance provided by the F3 irremediably prevent it from being crossed (read our box on the previous page).

Revised to delay and soften their entry into action, the "electronic crutches" are certainly more progressive and less interventionist than on the previous models, but their window of tolerance nevertheless remains quite narrow.

Thus, it is still not possible to enter curves very quickly by relying on the excellent general stability without triggering the trajectory corrector. As soon as the pressure applied to the front axle is judged to be too strong (speed too high or attempt to force in to the chord point by over-steering), the VSS cuts off the throttle.

And if that is not enough, the braking system (formidable in power and efficiency thanks to three 270 mm discs pinched by Brembo calipers) is automatically activated, causing reactions that are sometimes brutal limits in very muscular driving. !

When the device "sets the brakes" when entering curves, the torso is thus pushed forward and out of the turn, that is to say the opposite of the anticipated natural movement! Frustrating for some, reassuring for others, this "ultimate" intervention is in any case perfectly developed: lifting a wheel or drifting forward is difficult … even impossible.

Same thing if the acceleration out of a corner is too pronounced: this time, it is the traction control which regulates the ardor of the mechanics, allowing only a brief "comma" of the rear tire during the most revivals. energetic first! However, the ardor, the 3-cylinder Rotax does not lack: this engine had already seduced us by its trunk on the heavy RT (459 kg dry), but on the F3 it has won us over. !

Thanks to a shorter transmission and a specific injection, the "3-legged" is much more demonstrative, especially from 4000 rev / min where a pleasurable peak of power leads to a real kick in the rear on all reports ! Of all the Spyder tested by MNC (RS, ST and RT, 2 or 3-cylinder), the F3 is the first to enjoy such a muscular and playful mechanical temperament: a success !

Capable of exceeding 180 km / h at a peak and reducing 0 to 100 km / h "in 4.8 seconds", this powerful and lively engine is perfectly supported by an injection with small onions. Supple, it revives vigorously in sixth at 90 km / h at 2750 rpm. The more sporty will have fun boosting its acceleration by downshifting from light pressure with the left index finger on the paddles of the semi-automatic transmission.

Sequential type, this "SE6" gearbox is pleasant and devoid of jolts, except when approaching high revs. The more lazy will appreciate its "automatic downshift" function designed to avoid under-revs. The more dynamic would have liked more responsiveness, especially downshifting where it is impossible to quickly down several gears. A little more discretion, especially in the passage of the first, would not be too much either….

A manual gearbox version with clutch and selector on the left, the SM6, is also available for die-hard manual gear changes. Tested by MNC, this transmission pleased us by its operation and its behavior "motorcycle", but it turned out in the end much less pleasant as the clutch lever and the selection are firm..

Verdict: the most successful and fun Spyder

Like the Ducati Diavel, the Spyder F3 achieves the feat of brilliantly bringing together two seemingly opposed genres: that of sport and cruiser-style custom. Its dynamism, the latest addition to the Can-Am family owes it in particular to its physique worthy of an American "muscle car", but above all to its powerful, efficient and almost captivating engine. !

Regarding the position, it actually provides a touch of originality to a machine that is already not lacking: seen in profile in the windows, the alliance "3-wheels and feet forward" throws a max! However, MNC regrets that the Canadian manufacturer did not go further in the process by proposing a "real" evolutionary ergonomics, adjustable by its own means with a few tools..

Finally, if we can only appreciate the progress made on the many assistance of this F3, they will still appear too castrating in the eyes of many bikers and motorists with the handlebars / steering wheel "sporty". The more so as it is clearly perceptible that the dynamic potential of this original "3-wheeler" is clearly higher than the rigid limits set by all its electronic safeguards….

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