Spydey Sense

Seen parked on the sidewalk of a small city side street, a red Can-am Spyder Roadster is a head-turner.

In fact, the product website for this 2008 entry into the recreational vehicle market doesn’t even showcase it very well. This hybrid of a motorcycle and a convertible looks much more impressive in person.

With its “Y-frame” and three wheels, the vehicle is more agile than a car, but much safer than a traditional bike, with anti-lock brakes and traction and stability control. With an average rating of 35 miles per gallon and a small parking footprint, it could be an environmentally friendly alternative for auto commuters. Prices range from $16,000 to $26,000.

Today, the manufacturer, BRP — Bombardier Recreational Products — is better known for the Sea-Doo, one of the most popular brands of wave runners, but they’ve been making innovative vehicles for almost a century.

In the 1930s Canadian Joseph-Armand Bombardier patented the first caterpillar track snowmobile, and in later years helped turn snowmobiling into a whole new adventure sport.

The company has since made a name for itself with flashy motor-vehicle products. Some motorcycle enthusiasts decry the Spyder’s unusual handling, but are, however, enthused about its “style and grace.” These wheels are perfect for cruisin’ down city streets or beachfront boulevards.

You can take a Can-am Spyder out for a spin at a dealer or at a tour event; find one near you with BRP’s handy online map/schedule.