Handling - Steering on the Ryker is direct, there is no power assist. In my opinion, this gives a better feel and connection to the road. The lower stance of the Ryker also contributes to this feeling. Normal riding is easy, requiring no extra exertion. There is no slop from the handlebars to the wheels. Twitch the handlebars and the response is laser-quick. Riding aggressively in turns and corners requires a little more upper body strength, but the direction is true. With the standard shocks and sway bar on the model tested, there was some front-end roll on hard corners. The low center of gravity helps lessen the roll but it’s still there. Aggressive riders may want to consider a beefier sway bar and/or upgraded shocks. I still found it exhilarating with the standard equipment. Contrary to my initial concern. deceleration is quick. The weight mechanism in conjunction with the CVT and compression braking unwinds the 900 Rotax in good fashion so less braking is required to slow down. The brake affects all three wheels, same as the Spyder, and are good, but they don’t have the grip of a Spyder due to much smaller rotors and pads.
More of the fun factor. Decelerate to go into a corner at the right speed and approach, throttle up in the curve, then gun it coming out of the apex and you feel like you are shot out of a cannon. Here’s a quote from Hal BikerDoc after a ride we did over some of the curviest roads we could find in Lake County Florida:
“I rode my F3 and Dave Van Verth followed me for 90 miles on the Ryker. I hit every curve at double the posted speed and every start up from 0 to 60 or 80+ as fast as the F3 would go. Congrats to Dave and the Ryker. They stayed right on my tail for every mile in spite of my test to shake them. I no longer harbor the illusion that the F3 can run away from the Ryker. It appears to be quite a machine for the money.”
VSS and Modes - The Ryker is equipped the Vehicle Stability System (VSS) like the Spyder. The VSS consists of the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Traction Control System (TCS) and the Stability Control System (SCS). The Ryker 900 has the ability to select from three different riding modes; Standard, Eco and Sport. In Standard Mode, the VSS systems operate as set up from the factory giving a good balance between ride performance, stability and economy. The Eco Mode reduces fuel consumption by limiting throttle response and maximum throttle opening making for a smoother cruising speed. The rear wheel will spin quite easily in either the Eco or Standard on a quick throttle as long as you go straight. Turn the handlebars and the Traction Control System kicks in to reduce the rear wheel spin. Sport Mode allows for significantly more rear wheel spin and a higher handlebar turning angle giving a drifting-like experience. The road type and surface condition determine the amount of drifting that can happen. Of course, consider where you may be using the Sport Mode and the surrounding conditions. I did most of my test riding in the standard mode and found it more than adequate for my style of riding. Note: The Ryker 600 does not have a Sport Mode and the Rally Edition has an additional Rally Mode for use on loose gravel or unpaved roads. These handling and mode options make the Ryker a “Ride Like No Other” and even more fun to ride.