The entry level three-wheeled Can-Am Ryker is proving a “hit” with women, says Can-Am On-Road PR Brian Manning.
While women riders are about 10-12% of the riding population, 30$% of Ryker owners are women.
In Australia it is slightly down at 25%, but that is still more than double the percentage of female motorcycle ownership.
The Ryker comes in three versions: a LAMS 600cc version for $A14,899 (standard colour); a 900cc version at $A17,299 (standard colour); and a 900cc off-road Rally Edition at $A18,999 (ride away prices).
That compares with the current 1330cc Can-Am Spyders which start at $19,990 for the RS and range up to $39,590 for the RT-S.
Brian says about 42% of Ryker owners are new to riding, but in Australia it’s a whopping 54%.
Perhaps the three-wheeled roadster is the saviour of motorcycling! After all, in Australia, the Can-Am Spyder and Ryker are classed as motorcycles and riders require a motorcycle licence.
“It’s accomplishing a phenomenon badly needed in the industry — significant growth fuelled by new, younger, and more diverse riders,” he says.
No, this isn’t two wheels, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun to ride. Just a different type of fun. And everybody should have access to the incredible thrill of riding.”
He says Australia’s Learner-Approved Motorcycle Scheme has provided the company with an opportunity for new riders to own a Ryker.
“That is why 60% of sales are the 600cc model,” he says.
“Females love the ease of use and the customisation.”
Brian says they have had a focus on rider training in North America and have plans to extend to other countries.
So far more than 20,000 people have gone through Can-Am Rider Education at 193 riding schools in North America.
Brian says about half are female.
“We are implementing a training program in NZ similar to what it has been done in North America,” he says.
The Canadian company is short on details, but the Ryker EV (above) appears to be the same structure as the current Ryker, only powered by an electric motor. They also unveiled the TWeLVE electric leaning three-wheeler.
Electric three-wheelers makes a lot of sense because battery weight and size is not as big an issues with motorcycles.
Yet Can-Am also showed the CT1 electric scooter and CT2 electric motorcycle.
While technical details of these prototypes are not available, we expect they feature Alta Motors powertrains.
Meanwhile, Can-Am has revamped their 2020 Spyder RT lineup for better touring capability.
They now include new LED headlights, a redesigned cockpit, extended floorboards, lower seats that are also heated, increased lumbar support, a new adjustable electric windshield with memory function, and upgraded suspension.
Luggage space is now increased to 177 litres and the top box features a quick-release system.
Australian prices and availability for the 2020 line-up have not yet been released.
Boom Trike is getting two new powerplants so former Ulysses Club magazine editor and long-time trike tester Ian Park checked out the new models and submitted this review.
Boom Trike review
Down through the years some of the most fun I’ve had behind bars has been on Johann Kastner’s Oz Trikes machines including the German-built, VW air-cooled Boom Trike.
In recent years the Boom Trike has been powered by various engines from 1600cc to 2000cc and usually with a manual transmission.
The two-litre-powered Peugeot has now been replaced by a 1.6 litre Peugeot coupled to an auto gearbox and a Mitsubishi 1.5 litre turbo-charged power plant with a CVT (continuously variable transmission).
Johann says there is also a Boom Xtreme coming with a two-litre turbo Ford Mondeo engine developing more than 150kW (200hp).
New Boom Trikes
The current two 1.6-litre machines have similar equipment levels. The orange-coloured Peugot is a two-seater, while the red Mitsubishi is fitted for a rider and two passengers.
The turbo Mitsubishi has plenty of acceleration and with the CVT is very easy to ride, but I like to use engine braking.
There is a “tiptronic” shifter on the left switch block which allows you to shift seven ratios, but it was a bit of a waste using it entering and exiting corners, due to the lack of engine braking.
Also, I don’t particularly enjoy the turbo ‘whoosh’ whenever the engine is revved.
Interestingly, those revs change depending on whether you are running along a flat or up a hill without moving the throttle, thanks to the CVT.
You also have to get used to the idle as it holds about 1800rpm for a few seconds after you stop.
Both machines have “pretty” instrumentation with white facias, which made the indicator and other warning lights difficult to see in daylight hours. They were also difficult to read at night under streetlights, but were very good when there were no streetlights such as on country roads.
Speaking of country roads at night, the headlights are absolutely brilliant. High beam would singe the fur on a kangaroo at 100m.
The left hand grip has all the usual switches which are set very close together and can present the problem of hitting more than one when wearing winter gloves.
I also got caught out by the emergency kill switch that operates in the opposite direction to normal bikes.
There’s very few controls to operate; just a single right pedal for all the braking and a simple twist-and-go throttle.
If there is one constant when riding/driving a Boom it would be the width of the rear end. The bum is as wide as a Ford Falcon and can be a major concern if you forget.
Negotiating speed bumps requires a bit of care as you sit very low in the trike. I scraped the heels of my boots a couple of times while heading through carparks.
Sitting this low also means you have some difficulty in traffic seeing through a car’s back window to view what’s in front of them. I also found it surprising that there was very little air buffeting. There was good protection from behind the large instrument cluster.
At around 1000kg, the ideal balance would be for 330kg under each wheel. I placed a scale under the front wheel and got a reading of about 140kg. This means the Boom is well balanced on the three wheels once the rider and or pillion are aboard.
Obviously, with this in mind, front tyres will need to be changed more often (about 25,000km) than the massive rear ones.
With a rear-mounted wing/spoiler and a low centre of gravity this good front-to-rear balance means the vehicle is very stable during high speed cornering.
The Boom attracted attention wherever it went, parked by the kerb or out on the highway where car passengers even snapped photos of us.
It is comfortable, has huge storage, is safe and very stable, has excellent fuel economy and you can even tow a trailer up to 325kg.
I’d love to own one. It would be an awesome super tourer. My favourite pillion agreed wholeheartedly and also loved her time behind the bars. My own view as pillion was similar to hers; very comfortable and enjoyable.
I would add a screen for winter, black or charcoal facias on the instruments with white numbers, an extra set of mirrors at the ends of the light bar and maybe cruise control.
Starting prices are $34,000 for the “old style” 1.6 litre rear-engined Chopper with four-speed manual, although the most popular optioned variant is closer to $37,900.
The base 1.6 litre mid-engined four-speed-manual Boom Mustang is $46,900.
Go with the Mustang Advance and add options like automatic transmission or extra luggage frame and the price can climb north of $55,000.
If you aren’t convinced that a Chopper or Boom Trike is for you, you could hire one to help make up your mind. They cost about $340 for a mid-week day or $630 from Friday lunch to Sunday night.
These trikes can be driven on a car licence in NSW while other states require a full motorcycle licence.
You can contact Johann at Oz Trikes on 02 4372 1100 or visit at 6 Ainslie Close, Somersby, NSW.
The iconic boxer heads sticking out the side are missing on the first electric sidecar prototype from Ural Motorcycles.
Ural Electric Prototype is just the first development phase and there is no word on when — or if — the finished product will come to market.
The Russian company estimates it would take about two years to ramp up serial production upon final design approval.
An electric sidecar makes a lot more sense than an electric bike because there is so much more space to fit batteries.
While this prototype doesn’t have the traditional Ural (previously BMW) boxer engine, or clutch lever, gear shifter or instruments, it does still have a fuel cap where you stick the cord in to charge the vehicle.
The electric prototype is based on the one-wheel drive cT chassis with batteries, controller and other components from Californian electric motorcycles company Zero Motorcycles.
However, it seems they have used the previous model batteries with 165km of range, not the new Zero batteries with about 330km in the city and 155km on the highway.
Ural does not specify how that 165km of range was achieved. However, they say tech specs will change before this outfit comes to market as they will use the latest battery technology available.
Ural says the electric sidecar prototype will be shown at North American motorcycle shows and demo-ride events to collect feedback “before moving to the next phase of this project”.
Ural Australia spokesman Matthew Hodge says they are discussing the opportunity to bring it to Australia. Stay tuned for updates!
Fellow California company ICG designed and fabricated the prototype for Ural while Zero provided engineering support during development and testing.
Ural President and CEO Ilya Khait says a sidecar is “the perfect platform to build an electric motorcycle because it can offer what regular two-wheeled motorcycles can’t: passenger comfort, stability and safety, not to mention more space for batteries”.
“We’re very happy with the results,” he says.
“At a glance it’s still a Ural, but the electric bike offers a totally new experience.”
It is believed the baterries are in the floor of the sidecar which would provide a very low centre of gravity for better handling.
Actually, at first glance, it looks very little like a Ural from any angle thanks to the lack of boxer heads and the big “B” shaped aluminium motor frame.
Ilya points out another difference from the traditional Ural: “It accelerates very quickly – for a Ural.”
Company operations VP Jason Rae says their main goal with the prototype was achieving “proof of concept”.
“We went through several iterations, searching for the best configuration of the electric powertrain package,” he says.
“One of the main challenges was to find the optimal location for the batteries while maintaining passenger comfort, storage capacity and stability distinctive to Ural sidecars.
“The bike was tested intensively in real-world conditions – in the rain and snow, on cold and hot days, on the highway and city streets. We accumulated a lot of data that will be used in the next phase of the project.
“Admittedly, I was apprehensive in the beginning that an electric Ural was something worth putting our resources into, but now I’m totally convinced and looking forward to development of our production intent prototype.”