Can am Spyder

10 Most Common Can-Am Spyder Problems

10 Most Common Can-Am Spyder Problems

Can-Am Spyders are motorcycles with a three-wheel configuration, also known as Trikes. The most classic type of trike is the regular trike, with a single wheel towards the front and two wheels in the rear. However, the Can-Am Spyder features an unconventional three-wheel configuration known as the reverse trike, with two front steering wheels and one rear wheel. This wheel configuration is also referred to as a Y-configuration. Having an unconventional design, the Can-Am Spyders are not as common as two-wheelers and are difficult to maintain.

The Can-Am Spyder has a wider front end, resembling the front of a mini-car. They are quite different from two-wheelers as they do not require balancing with your feet when stopped. If you are looking to buy a Can-Am Spyder trike, you should have an idea about how reliable they are and potential issues that may arise. This article discusses the 10 most common Can-Am Spyder problems.

1. How Reliable are Can-Am Spyders?

Can-Am Spyders are not as reliable as standard motorcycles due to their complex designs resembling snowmobiles with an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) style chassis. They are ranked the lowest when it comes to the most reliable motorcycle brands.

2. 10 Most Common Can-Am Spyder Problems

2.1 Battery and Connections Issues

The Can-Am Spyder’s battery may look simple but often suffers from connection issues. The Can-Am Spyder has a lot of parts that require electricity to operate and riders may also add aftermarket parts like lights, a horn, and a charging option. It is recommended you check the battery connection before the winter or riding seasons. Any issues with the power, steering, and lighting will be indicated by error codes on the dashboard screen. Make sure to charge the battery every once in a while during the winter and replace it after every 4-5 years.

2.2 Sprocket Red Dust Issue

Sprocket Red Dust Issue
Photo Credit: @spyderlovers

On older Can-Am Spyder trikes, red dust starts to gather on the front sprocket due to rusting and oxidation. Red dust can be an indication of possible mechanical failure. The front sprocket should be changed every 25,000 miles to prevent red dust. This problem arises as the belt moves against the sprocket and a cloud of powdery red dust is generated due to the constant grinding. If you find red dust coating the front sprocket, it should be changed out as soon as possible. The red dust can also be treated using Loctite chemicals used for surface treatments. It is best to replace the sprocket every 25,000 miles.

2.3 Squeaking Brakes

Most Can-Am Spyder models suffer from squeaking brakes that reduce performance and make an irritating noise. If you are an aggressive rider, it can be dangerous to ride a Can-Am Spyder with squeaking brakes as they can destroy the rotors. Squeaking brakes indicate that they need to be replaced immediately with floating, ventilated rotors, and larger brakes. However, if you are not an aggressive rider, try acquiring brake cleaner to help maintain the condition of the brakes.

2.4 Malfunctioning Ignition System/Key

A malfunctioning ignition system/key is one of the major issues with the Can-Am Spyder RT as it can happen anytime without warning. This problem can occur due to a faulty ignition system or key. If you attempt to switch on the Can-Am Spyder, a bad key error code may appear on the dashboard screen. If this happens, wait for 3-4 min before trying to switch on the motorcycle again. However, the best solution is to reprogram the key function or replace the ignition system, which can be expensive if you do not have a warranty.

2.5 Belt Vibrations

Belt vibrations can negatively affect the Can-Am Spyder’s performance. This happens due to a loose belt drive that causes heavy vibrations while riding. The belt drive also starts to make sounds which may not be possible to adjust if the problem is left unfixed. The only solutions are to replace the belt or adjust its length using a belt tensioner.

2.6 Coolant Leaks

Coolant Leaks
Photo Credit: @spyderstuff8398

If you have a Can-Am Spyder, keep an eye out for leaking coolant or the smell of an old battery, especially in the Can-Am Spyder F3. Most coolant leaks occur due to cracks in the reservoirs. This also occurs due to low-quality and brittle clamps, sealants, and worn-out pipes. To fix coolant leaks, replace all the tubes, pipes, reservoirs, and housings.

2.7 Paddle Gear Shifter Problem

The Can-Am Spyder F3 series comes with a semi-automatic transmission that allows the riders to quickly shift between gears using a thumb-controlled paddle shifter. This feature continuously shifts between gears when pressed several times. However, it does not function properly while riding in the rain or when still wet after being cleaned. The paddle shifter can become stiff and less responsive.

2.8 Broken Joystick

On rainy days, the Can-Am Spyder’s joystick can malfunction. The joystick helps control the LCD while riding. However, a faulty joystick and other handlebar-mounted controls can be frustrating and distracting to operate while riding.

2.9 Loose Mirrors

Most Can-Am Spyders, especially the Can-Am Spyder F3-T models, are fitted with loose side mirrors as they tend to vibrate and fly off while riding at high speeds. To prevent loose side mirrors from constantly vibrating at high speeds, you can buy side mirror locks or replace them with new ones for a better riding experience.

2.10 Fuel Tank Cap Problem

The most common Can-Am Spyder problem is its fuel tank cap not closing properly. You can replace the stock fuel tank cap with a suitable aftermarket fuel tank cap that closes more easily.

3. Takeaway

Can-Am Spyders offer a unique riding experience and have an unconventional design that makes them popular among women and older riders. They are easier to handle, balance, and control than two-wheelers. However, due to their unorthodox construction and unique frame, Can-Am Spyders are difficult to maintain and repair, which makes them less reliable. Most Can-Am Spyders are prone to the issues covered in this article. Most Can-Am Spyder issues require replacing certain parts which can be expensive. If you love riding a Can-Am Spyder, you can easily install specially-designed saddlebags for the Can-Am Spyder F3 and the Can-Am Spyder F3-S available at Viking Bags.

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