Friday, August 21, 2015

First Impressions - Spyder RT-S

In just over a week, actually 1 week and 2 days we have managed to put on 2,200 miles on our new RT-S. So after riding some 175,000 miles on 2 wheels, what is this 3 legged beast all about, other than have a spare tire built in.

Forget everything you have learned about riding on 2 wheels. It just doesn't apply. No countersteering, it is replaced with steering. Yes there is leaning but it is in the opposite direction as the force of a turn pushes your body outward from the turn. On the FJR I am a front brake person, the RT-S has the brake on the side, no hand brake. No shifter on the left, it is a paddle on the left grip. Oh I got the electronic clutch version and I can honestly say good riddance to the clutch handle. About the only thing that transfers from the FJR to the RT-S is the throttle works the same on both.

The most important thing to remember is adapting to the ride, not trying to get the ride to adapt to you. With this in mind things will be good.

After pulling out of the parking lot at iMotorsports we were heading to Lyons, IL for our first National Park stamp to start our fourth IBA National Park Tour. The GPS routed right down to some highway, of course there was a traffic jam. Why would Chicago be any different than Boston. Normally this would be an ugh, but with the electronic clutch one begins to grin, No more feeling that long pull on the clutch in traffic. Simple push the paddle to second, then third, step on the brakes and the bike finds first all by itself. Yes you can downshift, but why bother when in traffic, let the bike do what it was built to do. Oh you don't have to keep pulling your feet up to the pegs as you get going, They can stay firmly planted on the spacious floorboards. Pulling in the clutch and letting it go does not make one a rider.

For my style of riding, which is treasure hunt grand tour driven, the Spyder is perfect. I no longer have to worry about the transition from tar to the berm of the road. Let it be loose gravel onto wet grass, the Spyder handles the transition with ease and safely. No longer have to worry about the pitch of the road and whether the bike on a kick stand will have enough lean so that is will not fall over. Gravel no problem, however one needs to remember you don't want gravel kicking up into the belt driven rear drive. Those long winding roads that all of a sudden turn to dirt, no problem. I feel the release and opportunities to go where  I have shied from in the past. Mind you BRP says this is not for off roading, which I understand, but the occasion traversing of that rough road at a slower pace is OK.

The RT-S is definitely not a FJR when it comes to speed, but it is no slouch either. Highway speeds you will find yourself creeping to 80's and hardly think you are moving. Back roads the RT-S handles those tar snakes, little cracks in the road, frost heaves, and the occasional small pot hole with a simple glide right over them. It does have a tendency to want to drift to the side of the road, but that is easily managed with a slight push or pull to the handle bars.
All in all after 2,200 miles, the RT-S is a KEEPER for me and a nice compliment to my FJR. The only thing I wish the RT-S had was a hand brake and its ability to brush speed off into the corners. My foot is just not as adept and subtle as my hand.

It is going to be tough to decide which one to take out for a solo ride. However, the RT-s has enabled MeAsWe (my SO, aka Crystal) to once again come along for the chase someplace in this big sandbox we call the USA.

First four stops with the RT-S. First one for a National Park Stamp, 2nd for food, 3rd for a Pirate Town, and lastly a Whispering Giant

Friday, August 7, 2015

Spyder Bite

MeAsWe and I flew to Chicago on August 7, picked up at O'Hare, and driven to iMotorsports in Elmhurst, IL. As we pulled into the parking lot, right there in front was our 2015 RT-S Pearl White Spyder. A transaction that I approached with skepticism flowing faster than the rip tide at Bay of Fundy.

Why all the skepticism, simply because the deal was too good to be true. iMotorsports was selling brand new Spyder RT-S 3,800 cheaper than the local dealer, paid for my plane ticket (I did try to get them to pay for MeAsWe's ticket 2, however this would have been two too good to be true) and as the plane touched down in Chitown, I got a text from the cab company that they would be at the door 1G to drive us to Elmhurst.

Jason (sales guy) greeted us at the door with a great big smile, and after chatting for a few, he introduced me to Youthera (finance guy) to complete the passing of the title. He did ask me if I wanted the extended warranty and that was it for the high pressure motor vehicle tactics. I signed a bunch of papers, he produced a temporary plate and we were done. During the closing I asked him about reimbursement for the plane ticket and that's when I met Cheryl (office manager). She asked for an itinerary , I gave her a copy of my VISA statement and she left the office, only to return a few minutes later with a check in hand.

Next was to attach the GPS to handle bars for our 980 mile trip back to Massachusetts, to which I added an additional 1,000 miles to just to make sure our new Spyder was broke in just right. Jason had their service guys come out and consult on the best way to route, which I told them nothing complicated, since this was just to get us back home. A quick routing behind the air wing, tightening of the hose clamps around the 11MM Ram Mount clips and plugging into the 3 port female accessory plug, we have power and operating twin 1490 GPS's.

A couple more minutes of chit chat, Jason throwing us some complementary T-Shirts, a reading and sign off of BRP Can-Am lawyer's statement about us realizing that motorcycling was an inherently more dangerous mode of transportation and we were ready to get the " the really big shew on the road".

I have bought plenty vehicles during my 64 years and I can honestly say this was the most pleasurable experience I have ever had in a usually high pressure back and forth bidding war on who will win the final battle. I have been Autoed 101 more times than I can count and realizing I was on the short side of the transaction as I was driving away. After all, in the end, us car buyer are all rank amateurs when it comes to buying, we just think we are good. This time was different, I still feel good after a week and 3 days in purchasing from iMotorsports. I highly recommend when looking for a motorcycle give them a call and see what they can do for you.

The new ride, no dirt, grim, skuffs or other imposed inflictions. I am sure this is the last time it will look this good.

MeAsWe standing over the RT-S like a kill on an African Safari.