RT5 UPDATE: FRED RAU HITS THE HORSETHIEF MILE
Spyder Team Spyder Team
This past week, we got the unique opportunity to test the Can-Am Spyder RT on the Horsethief Mile roadracing track at Willow Springs International Raceway in Lancaster, California. After spending about a half-hour indulging my own adolescent fantasies by running the Spyder RT around the track, I reluctantly turned it over to ex-professional roadracer and four-time Daytona champion Walt Fulton, who promptly demonstrated what the machine was really capable of.
I only wish the little Flip video camera I was using had a better telephoto lens and microphone, so you could really have seen and heard the action as Walt gave the Spyder RT a test ride! His only real complaint at the end of his run was that the VSS system kept cutting the power as he tried to push the machine ever more aggressively.
Okay – granted as we all know the Can-Am Spyder RT is a touring machine, and was never meant for the kind of high-performance paces. Still, I find it comforting to note that even a highly-trained professional racer, pushing the machine to its absolute limits, could NOT get the Spyder RT out of control. You have to love safety features of the RT!
On a somewhat-interesting side note: Several days later, as I was headed back home through Palm Springs, a sudden torrential thunderstorm hit. Though it was raining very hard, I still had the Can-Am Spyder’s speed up at around 65 mph (so confident was I at the RT’s handling capabilities), when I suddenly hit a washout on the road, with water about eight to 10 inches deep. The Spyder hydroplaned and started to drift left. I stayed off the brakes and steered into the turn, but oversteered and started drifting to the right. Again I steered into the turn, and got the bike straight as I came out the other side, where I saw two cars off in the ditch beside the road – one of them a highway patrol cruiser. If I had been on one of my two-wheelers, I have no doubt I would have ended up in the ditch alongside them.
I love my RT.