BRP Can-Am Spyder Grand Sport Roadster

BRP's Streetworthy Surprise

Can-Am Spyder-mutant motorcycle or hopped-up snowmobile? OK, it's not quite either, but the unusual, somehow sexy 2008 BRP Can-Am Spyder Grand Sport Roadster incorporates some very sled-like bits: a fat tire on the back mated to a long swingarm, a large cowl up front and wide, flat handlebars. BRP thinks middle-aged guys who like the idea of open-air touring will flock to this concept in droves.

The design's not surprising if you're familiar with Bombardier Recreational Products (we say bom-ba-deer, they say bom-bar-dee-yay), the Canadian company responsible for Sea-Doo watercraft, Ski-Doo snowmobiles, scores of ATVs and the Rotax engines used in small aircraft and certain BMW and Aprilia motorcycles. Since 2003, BRP technically has been a subsidiary of parent Bombardier (which also used to churn out a line of Can-Am motocross bikes fitted with rotary-valve two-stroke Rotax engines back in the 1970s).

A quick look will confirm that the Spyder is a three-wheeler, but it's hardly a Harley with a sidecar, and it's sure not one of those nutty Corbin Sparrows. The Spyder is its own thing-one cradling a 106hp, liquid-cooled, 998cc, DOHC Rotax V-twin motor with a rated top speed of 130 mph.

The Spyder's two front wheels do the steering, while the single rear wheel is driven via a toothed, carbon-reinforced belt. The Spyder features three-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, traction control and vehicle stability control. All this is arrayed around a Y-frame (those in the know call it a motorcycle mullet layout-business in the front, party in the back) with a 68-inch wheelbase and a dry weight of 697 pounds.

Want a closer look? The Can-Am Spyder goes on sale this October, but only in a dozen states (including Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and New York, along with several Canadian provinces). A model with manual transmission will run $14,995; an electrically operated transmission will fetch $1500 more. Get more info at www.brp.com.

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