Saturday, August 8, 2009

And so the customization begins... with no end in sight!

The stock Can-Am Spyder Roadster is pretty cool looking right off the showroom floor, but there are so many mods and add-ons available. Here's what I have so far.

BRP Tank Bag
My first accessory, and invaluable on my trip across the country! I especially like the clear map pocket on top. It held my GPS and iPod on the trip and now holds a flyer that answers the question "What the heck is this thing?" while I'm away from my Spyder.

12-volt Power Outlet
I also purchased the 12-volt Power Outlet, thinking it had to be simple to install. Wrong. You have to take the trunk off the Spyder to get to the wire harness. Didn't have time to wait for the dealer to install it, so 16,000+ miles later it still sits on my workbench. I'll get around to installing it some day, but haven't had the need yet. It will come in handy on my next long solo trip though.

UPDATE: 17 months after I purchased it, I finally installed the outlet - but only because I had the nose off the Spyder to add the Evoluzione anti-sway bar (see below).

BRP Sport/Touring Windshield
I purchased the BRP Sport/Touring Windshield in Denver on my way home to California from New Hampshire. After 2,400 miles in 3 days, the short stock windshield had me feeling like a bobble-head doll. This taller windshield provides a much more enjoyable ryde. In this photo, I'm holding the stock windshield over the Sport/Touring windshield. The new windshield moves the air flow from mid-chest up to the helmet visor.

Upon returning home with a severe case of Throttle Hand, I purchased a CrampBuster. I wish I had known about this $10 piece of plastic before I came across the country. This completely eliminates hand cramping.

BRP front brake Caliper Trim Kit
And then, the BRP front brake Caliper Trim Kit - my first "Looks only" addition. It's the red on the brake caliper.

BRP Outdoor Storage Bag
I added the BRP Outdoor Storage Bag to keep the Spyder clean and to keep the hot summer sun off it. Fits great and looks great. On and off in no time at all.

Trunk Spring
Next, a Trunk Spring - a very simple addition, but one which allows the use of just one hand to get into the trunk. Without the spring, one-hand turned and held the key while the other lifted the trunk lid open - this doesn't sound like much, but it's a real pain in the butt. Now, I just turn the key and the trunk lid is released waiting for me to open it. Just drop a 1/2" by 1" spring in the center hole - simple as that. You do need to cut two loops off one end, but this is easily done. Any hardware store has this type of spring - at OSH, it is part # C-700 (1/2" x 1" x .062)

Center Tail Light
Next, my first safety feature - the ESI (fka. No Magic Neon) Spyder Center Tail Light. Bright LED brake light. Simple to install and looks like it was made by BRP - fits the tail perfectly.

KewlMetal Radiator Spyder Web
Next, another "looks only" addition, the KewlMetal Radiator Spyder Web. I like the look, but this is as far as I'm going with the "Spider" theme though.

Convex Rear View Mirrors
Another safety item - I added Convex Mirrors to the rear view mirrors. The stock mirrors don't allow you to see around your elbows easily. These convex mirrors allow me to see directly behind me - without impairing the stock mirror view.

BRP Billet Anti-Vibe Bar End Kit
My next mod is really for looks - I like the Y-logo end caps, but the steel bars provided in the BRP Billet Anti-Vibe Bar End Kit and inserted inside the handle bar ends really do smooth out the handle bar vibration.

I'm always concerned about people sitting on the Spyder while it's parked - the semi-automatic transmission does not lock in gear, so someone inadvertently releasing the parking brake could send the Spyder rolling. I'm also concerned about direct sunlight fading the LEDs on the instrument cluster. The solution: a Qwikshade. This slips on easily, in seconds. I have the large size and it covers the windshield and instrument cluster, and prevents people from sitting on the seat.

Update: Unfortunately, Qwikshade went out of business. I haven't found a similar product yet.

Hi-Performance Air Filter and BRP Hindle Silencer

I've only added two performance mods so far: The ESI Hi-Performance Air Filter and the BRP Hindle Silencer. The Hindle sounds great and is not too loud. It makes the Spyder sound like a real performance vehicle (instead of a moped on steroids - with the stock muffler). The combination of filter and Hindle adds a few more horsepower (4-5).

Auto Trim Design Flame Graphic Kit 2
My biggest mod was adding the Auto Trim Design Flame Graphic Kit 2. Took a few hours to apply these decals, but it was easy to do - you just need patience. The kit provides decals for the hood, tank, fenders and side panels. The instructions are very comprehensive and easy to follow.

Nolan N-103 Modular Helmet
Not really a mod, but I swapped out my BRP full coverage helmet for a Nolan N-103 modular helmet with stereo speakers. Excellent in every measurable way. Currently using a cable to attach to my iPod, but will add Bluetooth once I finish the Spyder mods.

The customization continues in an unexpected direction:
Saturday, September 21, 2009: Out of the blue, my wife asked to go for a Spyder ryde - and she really liked it. This is the woman whose only interaction with my Spyder since I got it (over a year) has been to kick a tire as she passes it in the garage. 

So, to ensure her comfort and that she doesn't fall off the back I've added: 
  • BRP Rear Sports Rack
  • BRP Passenger backrest
  • BRP Comfort Seat
The Backrest can be swapped in seconds for the cover plate above. 

In addition, I bought her a Nolan N103 helmet like mine and an N103 Intercom Kit. I'm sure she'll require gloves, ryding gear, etc. - this is going to get expensive... really fast! And, if it turns out she really likes Spyder ryding, I might have to look into moving to the RT.

BRP Rear Seat Bag
A recent addition is the BRP Rear Seat Bag. Comes in handy for my commute to work as it holds my laptop in a special sleeve and eliminates the juggling of my gym bag and laptop bag with everything else I carry in the trunk. It easily attaches/detaches without damaging the passenger hand grips like bungy chords do.

BRP 25" Ultra Touring Windshield
On October 8 2009, I added the BRP 25" Ultra Touring windshield and the included air deflectors.  What a difference! Especially the wind deflectors (these redirect the wind around your legs).

The right-side air deflector (black) can be seen just above the spiderweb radiator grill.  The deflectors work great! Even though it's California, from October through March the mornings are pretty cold - below 40 in the morning when I leave for work.  The combo of windshield and air deflectors really make for a very comfortable ryde.

Finally had to replace the rear tire - got 16,700 miles out of it!  The fronts were replaced at 14,700.  In both cases I went with the stock tire replacements.  I also followed my Dealer's (California Speed-Sports) recommendation to replace the wheel weights with Dyna Beads tire balancing kits.  The tires run smooth, with no vibration.

Evoluzione Anti-Sway Bar
February 6, 2010:  After reading the positive reports about the Evoluzione anti-sway bar, I decided to get it.  Easy to put on, considering you have to take the nose off.  Definately felt a difference on my short test ride.  After taking it on extended rydes on the twisty roads around here, I can say the bar is worth the money ($230).  The Spyder stays flatter in turns and I'm going through my favorite runs much faster, with lower effort.

BRP 6-Spoke Custom Wheel Kit
At 25,300 miles I decided I needed to upgrade the the stock wheels to the BRP 6-Spoke Custom Wheel Kit - they really look good.

So, what's next?
I have on order the ISCI Hi-way Pegs and Clearwater HP-LED lighting.  They should be installed by June 10th.  I'll post my impressions and pictures.  After that, I don't know.  I think I have everything, maybe some of those BRP billet peices - they look pretty good...