Day 1: 24th Feb 2010 : Gold Coast – Tenterfield
I landed at the Coolangatta airport (Gold Coast) and Todd Webster from Spyder Ryder was already there to pick me up. After a drive of 15 odd minutes I was staring in awe at a garage which had not one, but TWO Spyders restuing like a giant creature waiting to be woken from sleep. My first reaction was, woah, this is humungous.
The Spyders looked like an alien vehicle or perhaps a machine brought by a time traveler from the future. If I were to shoot Back to the Future IV, I would choose this any day over the DeLorean!
I have heard that the Spyder has already been used in sci-fi movies like The Transformers. The Spyder looks best in its profile, which is as long as a stretched limo, and when looked at a rear 3/4 from the right hand side.
Todd was an extremely down to earth person who took all care and time to explain the workings of the machine to me. In his session the only thing which was ringing in my mind was – you have to unlearn everything that you know about riding motorcycles to ride this one.
After getting a few handy tips on handling the Spyder on road and in situations like rain and roundabouts I was ready to go.
Some pointers which first time Spyde owners should pay heed to:
- There is no counter steering, the wheels do not lean withe bike, unlike the Gilera Fuoco’s scissor like action.
- The Spyder features a semi automatic transmission, it downshifts automaticaly at low speed to avoid stalling, but it does not upshift by itself.
- Special care has to be taken at roundabouts, the machine often downshifts due to low speeds, and if you entered the roundabout at a higher gear you might be surprised by the power while exiting due to the auto low gear selection. Trust me, this is not something which you want.
The first 30 kms or so were very scary for me, my brain was telling me its a motorcycle, while the dynamics of the Sypder were totally opposite. It was a hybrid of a motorcycle, a car and a quad.
After 80 kms or so I was pretty confident with it, I started cornering at 70kmph on the twisties in rain. No once the rear lost its line, but it would have slid if I had used all the power the 990CC rotax 106 Bhp engine had to offer.
The traction derived from the Spyder is tremendous, mostly due to the three wheels, the ultra wide rear and the low tyre pressure (15 up front and 28 PSI rear).
More about the riding experience in a later blog. The day today was totally wet and gloomy, most of the time I was riding in rain.
Disclaimer: The Spyder is for sealed road usage only and that any off-road usage is not supported by Spyder Ryder Australia, Brisbane Spyder & CanAm and was done so at my own risk in pursuit of the perfect photo. Most of the off road photos are taken on a side road off the main sealed highway.