An Unforgettable Journey -- Aboard the Spyder RT on a 10,000 Mile Ride
“If you can bring yourself to try it once, you’ll be hooked. It’s great being on the open road, seeing new places, and meeting new people.” — Fred Rau
For the Can-Am® Spyder® rider, taking the scenic route is a way of life. The scenic route goes up mountains, down valleys, and alongside oceans, lakes and rivers. It travels by well-known monuments and makes new discoveries. It builds friendships and forges new ones. Touring on a Spyder is an expression of freedom.
But for new riders, the thought of logging a few thousand miles can be downright intimidating. Even for roadster veterans, touring requires considerable planning.
That’s why the Can-Am team tagged along with the world’s preeminent motorcycle touring expert, the Spyder Five’s Fred Rau, for the opening leg of his 10,000 mile coast-to-coast journey. Read on to learn the insights and experience the fun we had along the way.
Take it from the motorcycle journalist who’s ridden pretty much everything over the last 40-plus years — the Can-Am Spyder RT is the ultimate touring platform.
“I’ve toured all over the world on everything imaginable, and I really enjoy the Spyder more than anything,” Fred says.
Ask why, and Fred rattles off any number of reasons he takes the Spyder on his yearly trip across the United States. For one, the Spyder is better equipped to handle all weather types because its peerless Vehicle Stability System. For long distances, nothing tops the comfortable leather seating and backrest. The 990cc Rotax® engine contains enough power for all situations. There’s also a healthy amount of storage on the bike itself, in addition to the best trailer on the market, the RT 622, which makes touring a breeze, he says.
“Going across the U.S., you run into all sorts of different weather and geography,” Fred says. “The three wheels let me handle everything with ease. And the trailer is the best accessory ever made, hands down.”
Fred packs the Spyder RT trunk for the 10,000 mile ride ahead.
His wife and lifetime touring partner, Cherrie, couldn’t agree more. She loves to ride the Spyder. As anyone that’s been married for a few decades can attest, you can’t put a price on that kind of happiness. Cherrie’s smile is as bright as the Hemet, California sun as she explains the joys of touring while looking at the chocolate-brown Spyder parked in the driveway.
“Every time we go, it’s a new journey,” Cherrie beams. “When we close the door, our stresses stay at home and our fun begins. Every time it’s something different. I’m very lucky to be married to Fred because he picks new routes for us every time we go.”
It wouldn’t be fair to say Fred hand-picks all his routes these days. He now uses Microsoft’s Streets and Trips to help plan tours. The program handles each user individually by measuring how much time you have and how far you like to ride. It also analyzes roads you prefer and shares the location of key gas stations. Once the destinations are set, he loads it into his Spyder RT’s handlebar-mounted GPS. It’s important to check the oil on your Spyder roadster before setting out on any long ride.
Once the trip is planned and the route is set, it’s time to pack the bike and prepare their home. Over the years, Fred and Cherrie have developed a pre-tour routine. Fred handles the Spyder. He runs through a checklist every owner should know before leaving: Check the tire pressure, oil levels and the transmission before every ride. Cherrie handles home duties. She makes sure the mail is stopped, the bills are paid, doors are locked shut, and the air conditioning is set to the right temperature.
Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into a tour before you ever leave the garage. Is all the packing, planning, and preparation worth it?
“People are sometimes a little afraid to break out of the cocoon,” Fred says.
Cherrie chimes in: “Have a little fear. Fear is a good thing. That’s part of the excitement, is being a little afraid of the unknown.”
“If you can bring yourself to try touring once, you’ll be hooked for life,” Fred continues. “It’s great being on the open road, seeing new places and meeting new people.”