The Bikers Den

State of Maryland Legalizes Autocycles

After a year has long passed the Maryland lawmakers in Annapolis have finally accepted the Polaris Slingshot as a registrable, legal vehicle.  Not that anyone was slowed down in getting one while the debate on the vehicle was underway- just drive north or south for about an hour to either PA or VA and the Polaris dealer located there would gladly sell you a Slingshot.  Since the release last year you didn’t need to search too hard to find an “illegal” slingshot.  Just roll by a biker bar, visit a biker meetup or look around at a popular attraction like the Inner Harbor and you were bound to find a few Slingshots.

Much of the debate surrounded on how to classify the vehicle- a motorcycle or a car?  It took all of the time to determine it was neither!  It’s designated as a autocycle- 3 wheel, side by side seating, open cockpit, no state emissions testing required and a modified set of inspection criteria.  The required license for a Slingshot is a car license or higher- if you only have a motorcycle license you can’t legally drive a Slingshot.

While all of this was being put together:

  • MD lost considerable tax revenue since dealers were not selling these and collecting tax for the state
  • Polaris dealers in the state lost the sales to neighboring states
  • MD lost registration fees for the Slingshots bought and registered out of state
  • Rider safety was compromised- I did not see one Slingshot rider wearing a helmet

Its all just a bit sad.  Maryland was one of the last states (if not the last) to address the classification.  They had at least 48 other state laws to use as a model but the feet dragging was mind numbing.  It will be interesting to watch how they handle to next new vehicle types that are inevitable to hit the market in the next few years.


What I’ve learned after performing a few dozen Spyder laser alignments

With over 2 dozen Spyder laser alignments under my belt I have made a few interesting observations:

  • Only 50% of Spyders I’ve seen have matching tire pressures (<0.5 psi difference) on the front wheels.  Non matching pressures can lead to pulling to one side, excessive tire wear, poor turning, etc.
  • 15% of the Spyders have off center steering sensor reading before any alignment actions.
  • around 20% of the Spyders have had some error code(s) in BUDS history
  • no belt adjustments have been needed
  • 100% of the Spyders seen have needed alignment adjustments
  • perdicting how long it will take is a fools bet- you never know until you’re done.
  • 100% of the Spyder owners are pleasant!

Solar LED Wheel Lights for any Can-Am Spyder for under $20

When you see something really cool for your Spyder the 1st question is “how much?”.  This either turns into a BUY or thanks but no thanks.  When I first saw LED wheel lights for the Spyder the 2nd was my reaction (at $200 for special finish and shipping).  Then I found these:LED Wheel Lights

Delivered from China in about 3 weeks the lights arrived in good condition.  Only a set of 4 (for a car) was offered and for much more than they sell for now.  They had a partial charge to the battery so testing can be done right away.  An adjustment to the prongs was needed to fit the Spyder wheel center.  Then 4 retainer clips and a ring are snapped into place and the light is ready to install.  The most tricky part of the install is removing the existing whee caps.  I have a small suction cup I use to get a grip on the gap and use a plastic wedge to pry the stock cap off.  Then its just a matter of pushing the Solar LED into the hub.

Each unit has one control button to test the unit and change the color mode.  Otherwise the light will auto-activate to its last mode when it detects low light conditions AND movement.  If either of these conditions stop for 30 seconds the LEDs turn off.

Battery charge time is stated as 3 hours of sun exposure.  I’ve not tested this or how long they last until they shutdown from battery depletion.  The lights are rated as waterproof and have been put through 1 bucket and hose washing with no issue.

The look of these is good.  They are all plastic bodies and the top surface is chrome finished.  Black would have been a better choice but this is not an available option.  I may cut a carbon fiber vinyl skin for mine to match my styling of my F3 at some point.

Video demo that really does not do these lights full justice but its the best video available.

Click below to buy via Amazon.  Remember you need 2- 1 for each wheel.

Solar LED Wheel Lights for any Can-Am Spyder for under $20


I also sell pre-tested, assembled and adjusted for the Spyder sets of 2 units in The Other Wheel Store.

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