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Are Can Am Spyders Reliable? [ Know Everything Here ]

Are Can Am Spyders Reliable? [ Know Everything Here ]

The Can-Am Spyder looks appealing to automobile enthusiasts with its unique build. This trike is three-wheeled, but it appears to be an inverted trike motorcycle. There are two front wheels and a rear wheel in this vehicle. Can-Am has come up with this innovative design of the trike. The design shares some similarities with snowmobiles, and the chassis looks like those in ATVs.

Now, if you are willing to purchase one of these trikes, it pays to know their reliability. In this article, you will get to know whether or not Can Am Spyders are reliable.

How reliable can your Can Am Spyder be?

Although Can Am Spyders caters to a narrow niche market, they are not dependable vehicles. This inconsistency in their reliability stems from various factors, such as electrical failures, inadequate support from the dealerships, unreliable warranty coverage, and quality problems. However, certain model years have proven to be more reliable. Moreover, service negligence led to several failures in these vehicles. The maintenance costs are pretty high, which further justifies why these vehicles are not too reliable.

The information available in the forums reveals that electrical issues continue to haunt the owners. The CPU-oriented design in these vehicles is complex. Therefore, wrong code errors can leave you stranded. Besides, some owners complained of these vehicles showing error codes when there wasn’t any problem in reality. In case some specific error comes up, the safety features stop the Spyders from riding or firing up. Even when there’s no failure, these vehicles show codes that hinder operation.

Spyders are more complex, compared to motorcycles. This calls for meticulous maintenance, and the processes involve expert mechanics. With laser wheel alignments and other maintenance works involved, owners need to channel adequate resources to keep them in good shape. Besides, the chances of technical glitches in these vehicles are greater as compared to standard bikes as they are more complex. It is this high maintenance expense that refrains some owners from tuning up the trikes as per the recommended maintenance. Besides, these vehicles need a laser wheel alignment, so you cannot get them serviced at local workshops.

The reliability issues of Spyders primarily stem from manufacturing defects and poor-quality parts.

What is the expected mileage from a Can Am Spyder?

With adequate maintenance and timely servicing, you can expect your Spyder to serve you more than 60K miles. Responsible and conservative driving habits and proper storage add to the lifeline of these vehicles. Owners should note that the engineering behind these trikes is quite complex, so proper maintenance turns out to be indispensable.

Some of the satisfied Can Am Spyder owners shared their odometer readings as high as 73,300 miles, 86,000 miles, and 138,000 miles.

Based on the reports from customers, you need to calculate the longevity of these vehicles depending on certain factors.

  • The responsiveness and capability of the dealership you communicate with.
  • Compared to standard bikes, Spyders involve more complexity. The maintenance and repairs are also expensive, so owners need to be prepared with the respective costs.
  • The trikes remain disassembled when they reach the respective dealerships. Unless the dealers assemble them properly, the mileage comes under question.
  • As evident from the odometer figures, a properly assembled Spyder can last more than 100K miles. Therefore, you need to choose a dealership having passionate and capable mechanics.

To make sure that you can cruise along for at least 60K miles on your Spyder, check the reviews of the particular dealership and ensure that it is within your reach. Refrain from aggressive riding and stay abreast with the maintenance schedule.

What is a high mileage for a Can Am Spyder?

High mileage for a Can Am Spyder is around the 25K mile mark. When it comes to judging recreational vehicles, the second-hand market looks harsh enough. The reason is, people generally consider that the previous owner subjected the vehicle to aggressive riding. Under such a situation, it would be good to go with a Spyder with 25K miles on its odometer.

Guidelines to buy a reliable Can Am Spyder

Apart from looking at the odometer, you should consider certain other factors to assess the health of the vehicle. This includes their climate exposure, driving habits, storage conditions, punctuality of maintenance, and the professionalism behind their assembly. It would be wise to ask the previous owner for relevant documents showing its repair and maintenance records. In case the Spyder received proper maintenance and care from the previous owner, the odometer readings shouldn’t bother you. So, even if the mileage looks high, the trike can be reliable enough if the maintenance was on time.

Best models to purchase and avoid

Best model year

If you prioritize reliability, go for one of the Can Am Spyder models between 2015 and 2021. Particularly, the RT models have proved to be reliable. The brand has ensured better engines, tires, and brakes in the later models. These vehicles also have six-speed transmissions, reverse radiator, fans and dual radiators. With the RT line, you have comfort, storage space, safety, and even passenger accommodations. Besides, the number of code malfunctioning cases is relatively lower in the models that the manufacturer launched after 2014.

Worst model year

For the Can-Am Spyder, 2013 happens to be the worst model year. The manufacturer had to recall as many as 5,165 Spyders as their engines generated excessive heat. This problem was so severe that some of the riders even burnt their legs. Excessive heat from the engine even resulted in fires in some of the units. Besides, owners had to use heat shields in the affected models to prevent their legs from sustaining a burn. The manufacturer recommended the 2013 model owners not to idle with their vehicles for long and refrain from diving in the traffic.

Common problems that Can Am Spyders have

  • Apart from the heating issues with the engines, Can Am Spyders have some other technical glitches as well.
  • Sometimes, there might be a leak under the front trunk, as the cooling fluid tends to leak.
  • The brakes might turn out to be squeaky, and there’s not much that owners can do about this issue.
  • The mirror plastics may become loose after you drive the vehicle for some substantial distance.
  • In some models, the parking brake sticks to its place and unless the rider gives any input, it refuses to release. So, you might remain stuck till the trike cools down.

Tips to make a Can Am Spyder last longer

When you prioritize the Spyder’s longevity and reliability, you need to consider the design and materials. Here are some guidelines that would keep your Spider in a proper functional condition for a long time.

1. Maintain it like a sports bike

In reality, the Spyder is a sports bike, and this calls for adequate attention while you focus on repairing and maintaining it. For passionate owners, collecting sports vehicles might be a hobby. With detailed cleaning and constant upkeep, you can enhance the lifeline of the vehicles.

2. Get it from a reputed dealership

Experienced mechanics need to assemble the Spiders at the respective dealerships. Inexperience or amateurism on the other end can lead to quality issues and system failures. Most of the owners who reported quality issues had purchased them from dealerships that are not too dependable. So, carry out enough research about the dealership’s track record. The experts need substantial knowledge in assembling the parts.

3. Follow up regular servicing

The Spyder has a complicated mechanism working inside it. Besides, the CPU is complex and needs specialized hands to work on it. When it comes to sensitive machine parts, make sure not to overlook the scheduled maintenance.

4. Ensure proper storage

Store your Spyder away from any element or corrosive chemicals. This would add to the lifeline of your trike. Sometimes, the acidic fumes from chemicals can inflict damage to the vehicle. Exposure to the sun might degrade the leather, grips, adhesives, and seals. They tend to wear out faster when it comes in contact with precipitation and moisture. This can also result in premature rusting of the parts.

Even if you don’t have a proper garage, get a good trap for the motorcycle. Get one with adequate ventilation, so that the condensed moisture doesn’t remain trapped on the metal parts and lead to corrosion.

5. Adopt responsible riding habits

In the owner’s manual of the Spyder, you will come across certain recommendations. Besides adopting sensible driving habits, comply with the norms regarding the break-in period. This would enhance the lifeline of the Spyder. When you ride the vehicle regularly, the fluids remain clean, and the components of the engine remain lubricated. This would also juice up the battery, adding to its lifeline. However, if you need to keep it idle for a long time, make sure to tender and winterize the battery.

6. Maintenance cost and performance

One can acquire a used Spyder at prices ranging from $8,000 to $31,000, depending on their conditions and functional capabilities. The maintenance cost after approximately 50K miles or 2 years comes to around $1,800. Most of the problems in these bikes come from the brake pads, rear shocks, and transmission. On average, a 3000-mile service will cost you anything between $216 and $239.

Which components break first in a Can Am Spyder?

Existing owners have reported that the radiator hose or clamp, disk brakes, and different electrical components break first in a Can Am Spyder. In case of electrical problems, the CPU can detect the glitch. Sometimes, this might cause the Spyder to become immobile.


If you are passionate about innovative bikes and automobiles, you can try using the Spyder. However, you are already aware of the low reliability and high maintenance costs that come with its ownership. Accordingly, you can weigh your priorities and make an intelligible decision. For automobile enthusiasts, the quality of rides might be worth experiencing, if you are fine with the above-average maintenance expenses.