In the world of three-wheeled vehicles, two distinct designs have emerged as popular choices among riders: the Can-Am Spyder and conventional trikes. While both offer the stability of three wheels, their designs and riding experiences differ significantly.
This guide aims to provide an in-depth comparison of these two trike types, helping you understand their unique features, benefits, and potential drawbacks.
For the purpose of this comparison we are comparing a Trike (Honda Goldwing) to Can-Am Spyder. Let’s dive in!
Can-Am Spyder vs Goldwing Trike: A Detailed Comparison
When it comes to storage, both the Trike and the Spyder offer ample space. The Trike, particularly the Honda Trike, is known for its great storage capacity. However, the Can-Am Spyder matches up quite well. In a side-by-side comparison, we found that both vehicles could comfortably accommodate five storage bags. So, if you’re planning a long trip and need to pack a lot of gear, either option would serve you well.
The Trike’s storage space is more traditional, with saddlebags and a trunk, while the Spyder has a unique front trunk, known as a “frunk,” in addition to its rear storage.
The Trike, especially the Goldwing model, is often likened to a “Barcalounger” on wheels. It’s designed for long, comfortable rides, with a large, bucket-style seat that many riders find more comfortable than the Spyder’s seat. The Spyder, while also comfortable, offers a more sporty ride.
Stability is a crucial factor when choosing a three-wheeled vehicle. Here, the Spyder has a clear advantage. Thanks to its innovative design and advanced stability control, the Spyder offers superior stability, even on steep grades. In contrast, traditional Trikes, like the Honda Trike, can feel unstable on steep slopes.
Some riders have even expressed concerns about tipping over. If you’re new to three-wheeled vehicles, you might also be interested in our guide on how to ride a trike motorcycle.
Both the Trike and the Spyder are fast vehicles, capable of reaching speeds well over 100 mph. However, there is a slight difference in acceleration. In a head-to-head race, the Spyder pulled ahead of the Trike, showcasing its superior acceleration capabilities.
The Trike offers a smooth, comfortable ride, ideal for long distances. The Spyder provides a more sporty, responsive ride. However, some riders report feeling more fatigued after riding the Spyder for extended periods, possibly due to its more active riding position.
The Trike (Honda Goldwing) tends to have better fuel efficiency, with riders reporting an average of 34-42 miles per gallon. The Spyder, on the other hand, averages around 31 miles per gallon.
The Trike, with its six-cylinder engine, has a significant amount of power. It’s described as being able to “tow a car.” The Spyder, while also powerful, does not have the same level of raw power as the Trike.
The Trike, particularly the Goldwing model, is often described as a “beast” due to its powerful engine. The Spyder, while also fast, has a three-cylinder engine compared to the Trike’s six-cylinder engine.
The Can-Am Spyder stands out with its additional features. It comes equipped with stability control, power steering, ABS, and an automatic transmission. These features not only enhance the riding experience but also contribute to the vehicle’s overall safety. On the other hand, traditional Trikes, like the Honda Trike, do not offer these features.
Trike vs Spyder – Maintenance and Servicing
When it comes to three-wheeled vehicles, maintenance and servicing are crucial aspects to consider. The longevity, performance, and safety of both the Can-Am Spyder and conventional trikes depend significantly on these factors. If you’re curious about the legal aspects, you might want to check out our article on whether you need a motorcycle license for a trike.
Regular Maintenance Needs
Like any vehicle, both the Can-Am Spyder and conventional trikes require regular maintenance to keep them in optimal condition. This includes routine checks and replacements of oil, brake fluid, and coolant, as well as inspections of brake pads, tires, and lights.
For the Can-Am Spyder, the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer includes an initial service at 600 miles, followed by regular services every 9,300 miles or annually, whichever comes first. These services typically involve checking and adjusting the drive belt, changing the oil and filter, and inspecting the brake system.
Conventional trikes, on the other hand, may have varying maintenance needs depending on the base motorcycle and the trike conversion kit used. However, most require similar routine checks and replacements, with additional attention to the rear axle and differential if present.
Availability of Parts and Services
The Can-Am Spyder, being a product of a well-established brand, generally has good availability of parts and services. Most motorcycle dealerships that carry the Can-Am brand can service the Spyder, and parts are readily available both in-store and online.
Conventional trikes, especially those converted from popular motorcycle models like the Harley-Davidson Touring range, also have good parts availability. However, servicing can sometimes be more challenging, as not all motorcycle shops are equipped or willing to service trikes. It’s always a good idea to check with local dealerships and service centers about their capabilities and comfort level with servicing trikes.
Long-term Durability and Reliability
The Can-Am Spyder has a reputation for being durable and reliable, with many owners reporting trouble-free rides for tens of thousands of miles. The Rotax engine used in the Spyder is known for its longevity, and the vehicle’s overall build quality is generally high.
Conventional trikes’ durability and reliability can vary significantly depending on the base motorcycle and the quality of the trike conversion. Factory-made trikes from brands like Harley-Davidson are typically very reliable, while the reliability of custom conversions can depend on the quality of the workmanship. As with any vehicle, proper maintenance is key to ensuring long-term durability and reliability.
Trike vs Spyder: User Reviews and Opinions
When it comes to choosing between a Can-Am Spyder and a conventional trike, hearing from those who have experienced these vehicles firsthand can be incredibly valuable. Here’s what riders have to say about both:
What Spyder Riders Love
Can-Am Spyder riders often praise the vehicle’s stability and ease of handling. One rider said, “The Spyder’s two-front-wheel design makes it feel incredibly stable, especially when cornering. It’s like it’s on rails.”
The modern features and comfort of the Spyder also receive positive feedback. A Spyder enthusiast shared, “I love the heated grips and adjustable windshield on my Spyder. It makes riding in different weather conditions much more comfortable.”
The Spyder’s unique look is another aspect that riders appreciate. “I get so many compliments on my Spyder. People are always intrigued by its unique design,” said a proud Spyder owner.
What Conventional Trike Riders Love
Conventional trike riders often express a deep appreciation for the classic style and feel of their rides. “There’s something about the look of a classic trike that just can’t be beaten,” one rider commented.
The sense of community among trike riders is another aspect that many love. A trike rider shared, “The trike community is amazing. We’re a tight-knit group, and I’ve made some lifelong friends.”
Many trike riders also value the customization options available. “I love that I could customize my trike to make it truly mine. From the paint job to the accessories, it’s a one-of-a-kind ride,” said a trike owner.
If you’re interested in more opinions, you might want to read what bikers think of trikes.
While there’s a lot to love about both the Can-Am Spyder and conventional trikes, they also have their critics. Some Spyder riders mention that the vehicle’s power delivery can feel a bit tame compared to traditional motorcycles. “The Spyder is fun, but it doesn’t quite have the same ‘oomph’ as my old sportbike,” a rider noted.
For conventional trikes, criticisms often revolve around handling. A trike rider shared, “Low-speed maneuvers can be a bit tricky on my trike. It’s something you have to get used to.”
In conclusion, both the Can-Am Spyder and conventional trikes have their passionate fans and critics. The best way to decide which is right for you is to take into account these opinions but also experience each ride for yourself.