Spyder F3 Test Ryde Report
Weather conditions - Temp 43 degrees start, 66 degrees at finish -10 to 20 mph wind - dry pavement.
Power - This machine is an animal. It reeks of power. When you open the throttle sharply, it feels like you will be thrown backwards off the bike if you don’t hang on for dear life. For over 100 miles of my ride I followed a new 173 HP Polaris Slingshot through the backroads of Lake and Marion County Fl. I was able to easily match acceleration from zero to 70 with the Slingshot and I pushed him on the corners so tightly that I honked my horn a few times to suggest that he speed up (couldn’t resist that little irritation)
Ufit - My dealer, Central Florida Powersports, set up the F3 to fit me precisely, and the time to do that was minimal. I will likely buy the extra linkage to be able to adjust the set up myself if I decide to take the F3 on a longer trip. As is was the #3 setting and standard handlebar position was perfect for me on backroads with serious cornering.
Handling - the steering is much tighter on the F3 than prior Spyders. It is not at all flighty or overly sensitive to touch or grip. The suspension is capable of navigating turns at speeds well in excess of all prior Spyders including the RS. Crosswinds have very little affect on the handling and I personally see no reason for adding either elka shocks or a stronger sway bar.
Windshield - I was riding without any windshield and the power of the Spyders acceleration pummeled me. At 80 mph I felt like I had an anvil pushing against my chest. Clearly I will be ordering one of the larger windshields. I was riding with a 3/4 Open Face helmet and it felt like it was trying to pull off my head when i accelerated sharply. If you don’t want a windshield, I highly recommend at least a full face helmet.
Seating- The seat was very comfortable. On previous Spyders I needed a driver backrest for over a 100 mile ride. The deep cut and fit of this seat was such that I did not get a back ache on an over 300 mile ride. However, I will get the driver and passenger backrest simply because I think it is necessary to help you stay safely on the bike while accelerating. At the end of the ride my arms were tired from holding on to the bike against the wind.
Exhaust - The sound of the Spyder is sweet especially while decelerating. ( on my RT I have cat delete and Akrapovic exhaust with baffles out) I will not be getting any other exhaust system for this bike, although I may consider the cat delete, more for the weight reduction than sound.
Mileage/Range - I stopped to fill the tank at 204 miles and it took 6 gallons. Keep in mind this is a new bike (under 1000 miles) and I was riding aggressively with maximum acceleration and speed the entire time.
Monday Dec 1st Update
Today I rode the F3 an additional 93 miles bringing my total to test ryde to 424 miles.. Here are some additional observations>
Start Up - Forgot to mention that there is no 45 second warm up.. Turn on the key, hit mode, start and away you go.. Same time as the big boy bikes
Storage - My least happy discovery was that even a 3/4 helmet will not fit in the frunk and there is no apparent hook on clip to secure the helmet if you wish to leave it with the bike. The frunk will hold your rain gear. If you want to carry more than that, then some other provision will be required.
Suspension - today I rode in severe crosswinds and the Spyder handled great with no pulling or floating. This solidifys my earlier impression that I will not need a stronger sway bar
Acceleration danger - the acceleration is mind boggling whether from a dead start or kicking it hard at 70 mph. I would be afraid to take a passenger on the F3 without a passenger backrest for fear of losing them.