"Now You Can Take Your Motorcycle Test on a Can Am Spyder Roadster
and be riding by the next day!"
As I write this I have just gotten off the phone with a BRP Can-Am representative. I wanted to confirm this unholy possibility that yes you can do your motorcycle test on a Can Am Spyder Roadster. The official word from Can-Am is... "No, you cannot use a Can Am Spyder Roadster to pass your 6A license." Not yet anyways! Apparently the powers that be behind the Spyder Roadster has already changed policy in Quebec in 2010 to allow for anyone with a motor-vehicle licence (i.e. Class 5) to use one. All you have to do is take a seven hour training course with a Quebec Recognized Drivers School.
|Photo © DGY Motosports|
Like their television commercial their website is also somewhat misleading. The official word on their website is that yes you can use a Can-Am to pass your skills test. However, they don't specify what class of motorcycle skills test you can do, although I assume its a 6E Trike based licence. The customer representative himself could not answer this question. In Quebec, anyone who prefers a traditional three wheeled trike must hold a 6E licence. Can-Am has a link directly to the SAAQ website regarding this. Curious, I wanted to determine whether you could do a seven hour training course with a certified driving school with your regular Class 5 licence with any three wheeled vehicle that they list on their website as a trike. This included the Can-Am Spyder Roadster, or any motorcycle whereby "...a conversion kit has been installed, composed of a metal structure and a pair of auxiliary wheels aligned on the axle of the motorcycle's back wheel." The official word from the SAAQ is... "I don't know..." hmm... seriously, really? The almighty SAAQ has no idea. Guess reports of them being pussy whipped by Can Am is true?!
|Photo © santiagochopper|
So I started calling schools. (no, I don't have much of a life.... I know....) Sur 2 Roues (819-565-5353) in Sherbrooke has said that they would get back to me. I spoke with Tecnic-Moto Montreal Est and the receptionist told me they in fact do not offer courses for the Can-Am. This is despite being listed on the Can-Am SAAQ certified school list. She did give me the number to their Tecnic - Laval branch (450-682-1808) According to the receptionist at this particular Tecnic what ensued was a rather annoying discussion on whether or not Harley-Davidson made the Spyder Roadster. Apparently, if H-D makes the Spyder Roadster than yes, you can do the seven hour course with just a class 5 licence. After explaining to her that the Spyder was a Can-Am bike and that H-D was in and of itself a motorcycle company in its own right that didn't make the Spyder Roadster this seemed to confuse her even more. She than tried to explain to me what a trike was. I hung up.
Do not get me wrong, although admittedly the Can Am Spyder Roadster is not something I would particularly own per se, I can appreciate the market it targets and it is a novelty of sorts. I have seen them all over Quebec roads, particularly in the Eastern Townships. Retailing at $18, 499 for the RS and $24, 399 for the RT and its clearly a very expensive toy for a niche market. However, everything about this has become so convoluted that I have almost forgotten why I started this blog post at all. What's the point, you may ask yourself? Well, the point is there seems to be a general agreement amongst two wheeled motorcyclist that the Can-Am Spyder Roadster has created a double standard of sorts in the motorcycling community.
|If anything goes...?!|
Photo © redbirdacres
I agree. After all, the process of obtaining a motorcycle licence in Quebec, let alone the rest of Canada is difficult enough. Yet, apparently you need nothing more than a wallet full of cash, a regular Class 5 licence and seven hours of your time with a certified driving school (who apparently don't even have the basic answers) to hop on a trike and roll off into the sunset.... or your demise, depending on how intelligent you are. Furthermore, after calling several schools and asking to take the day course with a regular trike, not one school would allow me to do so, bar Sur 2 Roues. They just called! However, like all the other schools the school's owner did tell me that I should in fact check with the SAAQ beforehand to confirm this. :-) Oy Vay!
Just so you don't feel like you have completely wasted your time reading this allow me to end this on a positive note. I'd like to dedicate this particular song to the powers that be that have introduced the Can-Am Spyder Roadster and who, in doing so, have supported and encouraged the double standards that have left us two wheeled motorcyclist (and from what I can tell all traditionally three wheeled inclined folks...)... inevitably paying the price. Know that at least I'll be watching you BRP Can-Am! No, I don't have anything better to do apparently and yes...
I'm an asshole...