On July 1st I picked up my new 2015 Can-Am Spyder F3-S from Motorsports Inc. in Hanover PA; just a 55 mile trip from my home. A few weeks earlier my 2009 Spyder RS died on me and I just didn’t have it in me to go the full repair route with it. My 09 had served me well and I had tons of fun with it- riding, modding and showing her off.
My 09 Spyder Phantom was decked out with a ton of modifications- Custom Dynamics (CD) Double Play, CD Triple Play, CD LED turn signals, CD Brightsides, CD Mudflap LEDs, Hindle Exhaust, Two Brothers Juice Box, F1 Windshield, Handle bar extensions, Corbin Sidebags, Corbin seat w/backrest, Corbin Topbox, Highway Pegs, floorboards, black/chrome pegs, pedals, reservoir cover, LED driving lights, sway bar, RT shocks, KewlMetal Air Filter, and more. She was a mean powerhouse built for comfort and visibility. She is what I have to compare my new F3 to along with my wife’s relatively stock 09 RS.
It took Motorsports Inc. a bit over a week to get, setup and put my wanted upgrades onto the bike. Unlike most dealers I am hearing about they offered a 15% discount on the total of add-ons and did not charge labor for installing them. When we arrived they had it parked in the showroom waiting for me. They gave a real thorough walk through of the Spyder, its features and function.
My add-on/upgrade list included: Blue Ridge Windshield, Battery Tender, Power outlet, Cannonball Seat, Drivers Backrest, Passenger Backrest, Drivers Floorboards (black), Aux. Lights, Akrapovic Straight Shot Muffler, Long Reach Handlebars, Heated Grips- all installed by the dealer. I also had a collection of add-ons I purchased and installed on my own: Cross Country Saddle Bags, Show Chrome Saddle Bag LEDs, Show Chrome Fender LEDs (both side amber and rear reds), Custom Dynamics (CD) Dual Driving/turn LED strips (for A arms), RAM mount for Phone. I am sure more will come…
My impressions on the various aspects of the Spyder F3, add-ons and upgrades:
Straight out of the showroom onto the road I realized something is different. The F3 has an extra cylinder giving it 340 more cc’s over the RS and the gearing is quite different. The F3 is a 6 speed with reverse compared to the RS’s 5 speeds with reverse. However, this difference is not a simple add of a gear onto the back side of the range. Its a complete change in the gear ratios and the shifting bands a different. The drive system for all Spyders is a sprocket and belt system- on the F3 the rear pulley is larger than in prior models further changing the drive of the bike. I am very accustom to running the RS in the 4K rpm range but the F3 is optimal at rpms almost 1/2 of that. For my 1st 100 miles or so I ran in ECO mode which displays an indicator when an up-shift is optimal to help me learn when best to shift and get a feel for the new gearing. I find it instructs you to jump through the gears pretty quick compared to the older 990 engine and tranny.
Regardless of which gear I was in the F3 did not disappoint in the power department. Yes, the F3 is plenty fast but it really impresses in the full out power department. A twitch of the throttle results in an impressive push from the rear tire. My RS had great power and was lots of fun but this is a new class of power for the Spyder family. I love rolling through turns with the F3 increasing throttle as I hit the middle of the turn. A bit like a 2 wheeler it pulls you through and up for the next part of the run.
The exhaust of the stock F3-S is pretty with chrome accents but I opted for the Akrapovic Straight Shot Muffler as an immediate upgrade installed by the dealer. My RS was loud with its Hindle exhaust. As I get older I found it a bit too much. I like the new muffler sound- it has a deep growl to it without being overbearing. When you let off the accelerator it has a really nice sound as it winds down.
My RS was decked out for comfort with the Corbin seat and backrest, multiple pegs and floorboards and handle bar extensions. From the start the F3’s Ufit delivered a “wow!”. I jumped on and said- this bike was built for me! I used the Ufit guide on the Can-Am site to determine I was a standard fit with position 3 being optimal. Still, I opted for the long reach bars thinking I wanted a bit more of a forward position. I was wrong and after the first 150 miles I switched back to the standard factory bars. The switch was easy requiring 4 hex bolts to be removed from the bar clamp and 2 more hex bolts on each bar end to remove the controls. They easily slid back into place and the covers bolted back on while the bar clamp also bolted down with the same ease. I did notice the dealer pinched the heated grip wire on one side exposing some of the copper wire- I made sure the wire itself was not damaged, taped it up and properly tucked it- preventing the possibility of a short that could have been problematic down the road.
The riding position with the factory bars and pedals in the #3 position is perfect for me and allows me to sit up while resting my back on the backrest when cruising and I can either hug the body with my legs or widen them out for a more relaxed stance. I also found myself shifting my position somewhat depending on the riding type- tightening my legs on the body and leaning forward a bit for turns and relaxing my legs and leaning back for commuting/cruising. The only thing I added, and think is the best add-on for me, is the Black Carbon Floorboards. I was a bit unsure if they would be comfortable in place of driver pegs but they are awesome. Simple and sturdy, these platforms let your foot rest at a natural angle and move around a bit for comfort. I have no desire to add additional pegs or boards for the driver since these are so damn comfortable. I will be adding the carbon black passenger boards so my riders can be comfortable too.