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  1. #26
    Active Member Don'tPanic's Avatar
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    w6ada - you gotta remember that people mostly post questions about problems they're having on forums, not to brag how reliable or great something is. Also, negative news travel faster and prompt more replies than something positive, so by definition you'll find more problems on forums.

    I wouldn't worry about it.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by biker01red View Post
    I am also in Ohio.. Whois your Dealer ?
    PM sent

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4 MARIE View Post
    Tell the lady of the house to relax and enjoy the Ryde.
    TELL ??......My experience with 50 years of marriage tells ME that would NOT be a good idea.

    Hint maybe.....suggest maybe.......but TELL, never.

    Once she has made up her mind that she doesn't like it......you're done.
    My ride: '17 Spyder RT

  4. #29
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    This is a very good thread, an yes, I've been lurking on spyderlovers for some time. For those of us, or maybe just me, can someone post exactly what the DESS is, is that when the machine goes in to the limp mode? Subscribed.

  5. #30
    Very Active Member trikermutha's Avatar
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    Bill

    Copied from my manual.



    D.E.S.S. SYSTEM DESCRIPTION The D.E.S.S. system is an electronic anti-start system that allows engine starting only with a programmed key. It is composed to the following components: – The ignition key(s) – The D.E.S.S. antenna – The D.E.S.S. module – The ECM. rm

  6. #31
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    Thanks, I read a lot references to it on this forum, so from your comment, I'm thinking the machine just won't go or start unless all well within the machine.

  7. #32
    Very Active Member Bob Denman's Avatar
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    If the OP didn't do his research before he bought the bike: it probably was a mistake for him to buy it!

  8. #33
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    Some of us have made the same mistake, there are times no matter how much time dedicated to research, the buy doesn't work out. I know I've screwed up, riding since 1968 and not every motorcycle I've owned has made me content.

  9. #34
    Active Member fjray's Avatar
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    It was a mistake for me. It only left me stranded once but it was in the middle of Wy. on a reservation about 400 miles from help. I tried all the good stuff but never could make it handle with any confidence. After 15,000 miles I threw in the towel and went back to two wheels. When I can't hold the bike up then if they still let me drive I'll get a convertible.

  10. #35
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    Default Dealer problems

    Quote Originally Posted by w6ada View Post
    I have been a Spyder owner for about two months. I bought a 2014 Spyder RT with less than 3,000 miles. I loved it!. I have been riding two wheels for about 50 years starting with a Honda 305 to many other Honda's, lots of Goldwings and toured my entire adult life. Got into Harleys at "middle age" and had a bunch. I had a number of Harley's over the years and left two wheels (except for a Vespa, so much fun) for about ten years. Now, why am I telling you all this? Well, I guess to say I am not new to motorcycling, but I may have made a mistake paying well into five figures for a Can Am Spyder.

    Within 300 miles of purchase, I began having the "DESS Key Error" Then I learn this is frequent for 2014 to 2016 Spyder RT's and it really wasn't until 2017 or 2018 did BRP correct this problem. So,right now, the Frunk is off and I am awaiting a DESS module and hope this resolves this issue. Never mind that my wife of 40 plus years now views the Spyder as "unreliable", and for those of you married a long time know the life span on that is, well, a long time.

    But, more importantly, some extensive reading around this and another CAN-AM Spyder forums find some frequent threads regarding some significant and serious reliability issues. Looking further shows what seems to be an inordinate feeling the majority of Can-AM dealers are sub par, uncaring, and some even lie to customers. This cannot be true for no manufacturer could remain in business with such a reputation. Yet, the thread seems to be true.

    I live in California and I have three Can-Am dealer/ service centers within 150 miles. None closer. The first is where the Spyder was sold new in 2014. I called them to see what service my Spyder had and when. After about ten days and six messages, no one from the dealer ever even called me back. Hmmmm... my first experience with a Can-Am dealer not good. The other two dealers had a waiting list of three to five weeks just for an (3,000 miles service) oil change. I could go on. I am doing the DESS module change myself mostly because now I don't really trust the dealers. But as alarming as this is was the Spyder owners making statements that "It isn't like a Goldwing" (ie reliability), or "I don't ever take it more than 75 miles from home". And many others I have read, irrespective of the irony of a Touring Bike not being reliable enough to travel more than 75 miles from a trailer to take it home!.

    Anyway, I guess I am looking for the real owners picture of the Can-Am Spyder, specifically from 2014 on. I know people who find their product great don't often write in forums (or at least I hope this theory is true), but please tell me if your experience with a Spyder (or and a dealer) was positive, and most importantly, are they really a "Touring" motorcycle, or are they just too unreliable to trust them on a trip.
    I bought a 2018 RT Limited July 9th 2018. I’m 304 from Panama City beach Florida and have been 2wice. I drove it 138 miles home right after purchase cause I had to go to Atlanta to purchase a Spyder just because the local dealer in B’ham, AL would not schedule me a test ride even after telling them I was gonna get one that week. I called 3 or 4 times for the next week with no reply. So off to Georgia. I had my brand new Spyder for 2 weeks before the B’ham dealer called me back. I was nice and said no thank you, I don’t need to test drive one because I got one I can ride everyday. They were floored.
    Had one service done at 4500 miles been on 3 trips the shortest was 200 miles and I’m fixing to go 346 to Maggie Vally NC.
    So I’ve had no issues with my Spyder. Just a few issues with certain dealers. Trust has to be earned. I’m not giving it to a dealer for free!!!

  11. #36
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    I feel your pain brother. It was like the commercial :can we fix transmissions we fixed this 11 times this year; At Spyder fest this year told CAN AM rep our trials and tribulations. They had KC MO dealership get in touch when to hammer it out. There is a recall on 014 viin # I do not know I Told them I beg to differ on extended warrenty copay My point was it was never right from new. It was resolved no copay thanks to CAN AM. THANK YOU CAN AM rep. he kept word. What it turned out to be was the pick up surround the ignition! Had keys changed,reprogammed. etc etc. There is a recall on some. Got it back went to SPYDER JAM Cuba MO. Made sound and told BROS what up with this sound? Told me that is normal comp, processing. Now it works great. Never heard the sound before I hope and think it fixed. DESS came up 59 times. FOR REAL no joke and its not funny. Been all over and do not want to be in Dead Wood Blue Ridge Mtn. or any where far from KC and be stranded. Go to good CAN AM dealer tell them your issue Call Canada they now know how to fix and if it under recall. Hope it helps . Safe and joy on your journey where ever it might be. DC KC SPYDER RYDERS

  12. #37
    Very Active Member ThreeWheels's Avatar
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    Default I'll be a bit contrarian

    In life, I'm a big believer in the power of "Hell Yes !"
    That is, if you can't say "Hell Yes !" to something, then the answer is no.
    Any wishy washy yes, or a doubtful yes, or a guarded yes, all mean NO.
    In essence, if you have any doubts about your Spyder's reliability, or doubts about your Spyder's comfort, then YES, you've made a mistake.
    You will never enjoy riding it because doubt will constantly ruin any good experiences you might have otherwise had.
    Get out now before you sink any more money into your machine, and find something you like better.
    I know that's probably not what you want to hear, but there you have it.
    As for me, I love my machine, and am always eager to ride it along with the remarkable Susan.
    I've ridden as far as 1500 miles away from home on trips that last a week, with no cares or worries, except for an annoying hiss in the BRP blurtooth system, and I've just solved that problem as well.
    As always, my free advice comes with a doube your money back guarantee.
    My Gas Tank Is Full; My Bladder Is Empty
    Time To Motor On
    IBA #47122

  13. #38
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    Hi w6ada,

    You are inside my head. I've had my 2017 RT Ltd bought new for 13 months now and over the last 3 months have been wondering the same thing. I've had more issues with my RTL than I've had combined with all the motorcycles I've owned in 54 yrs. I struggle to trust the bike in terms of "waiting for the next issue to crop up" and have had my share of random error codes, poor handling, ball joints failing at 10,000 kms, park brake coming on when it felt like, VSS cutting in at some of the most dangerous times, and almost lead to the loss of my wife and I's life on 2 occasions. Then there's the tires, which are more suited to a wheel barrow than a touring motorcycle. Even my wife who loved the RTL to death when we first bought it has lost a lot of trust.

    I miss the fact that on my tourer's (Honda's too) reliability just wasn't something I had to think about, nor as is the case in Australia, the price of spares and accessories at prices that defy belief which only adds to the discomfort - knowing you'll be buying them often and the minimum 30 day wait for a part to arrive.

    Almost weekly something comes along and makes the BRP product look bad - my daughters $700 car, built in 2007 and has clocked up 200,000 kms in, has never had a problem, my wifes car, a small buzzbox for town running in 4 years no issues, my history with Lexus, cars that just don't have problems - these show its possible.

    Theoretically and according to our BRP people in Australia, the RTL is BRP's flagship product; the "best we make" and "sell", feature rich, purpose built, high priced luxury.... well in reputation but not reality.

    One thing I can say is that one savior was changing dealerships. The Service Dept at the dealership from where I bought the RTL are 130kms away, were hopeless and it wasn't until I took it to another dealership (600kms) that issues with Handling, VSS and dangerous habits were rectified. It restored my confidence, but it gets shaken when I spend a lot of time touring with other Spyder riders and the topic of conversation most days on FB, forums and gatherings is "this has broken or failed or is reporting an error".

    I really really really wanted the Can-Am experience to be one that matched what the bike appears on the surface to be - but its fading over time.

    I also state this is my opinion and experience only - I am not expecting everyone to agree. Perhaps there are Spyders that run without issue - I just haven't met one yet.

  14. #39
    Active Member 007james's Avatar
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    Askitee, ....I agree with you. I have bought 2 new Spyder RT Limiteds. A 2012 & 2016, and after riding a combined 90,000 miles on them, I STILL do not have enough trust in ANY Can-Am Spyder to venture any further away from my house than a hundred mile Radius, because I never know when the next problem will shut me down completely, or put me in to a Limp Mode, or ever allow me to be comfortable enough to head on a long Cross Country Trip as many Spyder Owners Brave Souls report here. Hell, just needing a new rear tire every Oil change on the 2014s and up, should scare any one away from buying a new Spyder!! ) My Wife rode with me on my new 2012 RT Limited for the first 3000 miles, but after the constant problems, she refused to ride any more with me. I could have purchased a fully loaded new Corvette Sports Car for the money I have spent on my 2 Spyders, but its too late now. And Corvettes Appreciate in Value, rather than depreciated by at least 50% the first 3 years. My $31,000 2016 RT Limited would not bring me 50% of that from most Dealers on a Trade, and Car Dealers won’t touch Spyders on Trades, unless we almost give them away to them. Spyders are insanely expensive Toys, to buy, own, and maintain, and unless any Buyer has an extremely friendly relationship with a Dealer who has at least ONE Factory trained compete Tech. they better be real knowledgeable in not only simple mechanics, like oil and filter changes, but better be an Electronic Whizzard to be able to diagnose and repair all of the Codes that can pop up and leave us on the road in Limp Mode. Sure, Spyder Lovers can ignore the crappy Kenda tires BRP refuses to change, plus the Belt Chatter with shaking of handlebars, etc., and Sprocket failures, as is happening around the 20,000 mile mark on RTs and Fs, as my 2016 in in the shop right now for the 2nd Sprocket Failure ,waiting for BRB to approve another “ Case” for the Dealer to diagnose and repair under Warrantee. I lost 10 weeks of my Summer riding last year, ( 2018) because of Sprocket failure, on my 2016, and will most likely loose a good part of my 2019 Summer riding again because of Sprocket Failure. I could go on,.....but don’t want to further irritate the Die Hard Spyder Lovers that refuse to see their Spyders with out looking at them through Rose Tinted Glasses. Will I ever trade my 2016 for another new Spyder? ( Will the Pope ever convert to Protestantism?, )




    Quote Originally Posted by askitee View Post
    Hi w6ada,

    You are inside my head. I've had my 2017 RT Ltd bought new for 13 months now and over the last 3 months have been wondering the same thing. I've had more issues with my RTL than I've had combined with all the motorcycles I've owned in 54 yrs. I struggle to trust the bike in terms of "waiting for the next issue to crop up" and have had my share of random error codes, poor handling, ball joints failing at 10,000 kms, park brake coming on when it felt like, VSS cutting in at some of the most dangerous times, and almost lead to the loss of my wife and I's life on 2 occasions. Then there's the tires, which are more suited to a wheel barrow than a touring motorcycle. Even my wife who loved the RTL to death when we first bought it has lost a lot of trust.

    I miss the fact that on my tourer's (Honda's too) reliability just wasn't something I had to think about, nor as is the case in Australia, the price of spares and accessories at prices that defy belief which only adds to the discomfort - knowing you'll be buying them often and the minimum 30 day wait for a part to arrive.

    Almost weekly something comes along and makes the BRP product look bad - my daughters $700 car, built in 2007 and has clocked up 200,000 kms in, has never had a problem, my wifes car, a small buzzbox for town running in 4 years no issues, my history with Lexus, cars that just don't have problems - these show its possible.

    Theoretically and according to our BRP people in Australia, the RTL is BRP's flagship product; the "best we make" and "sell", feature rich, purpose built, high priced luxury.... well in reputation but not reality.

    One thing I can say is that one savior was changing dealerships. The Service Dept at the dealership from where I bought the RTL are 130kms away, were hopeless and it wasn't until I took it to another dealership (600kms) that issues with Handling, VSS and dangerous habits were rectified. It restored my confidence, but it gets shaken when I spend a lot of time touring with other Spyder riders and the topic of conversation most days on FB, forums and gatherings is "this has broken or failed or is reporting an error".

    I really really really wanted the Can-Am experience to be one that matched what the bike appears on the surface to be - but its fading over time.

    I also state this is my opinion and experience only - I am not expecting everyone to agree. Perhaps there are Spyders that run without issue - I just haven't met one yet.

  15. #40
    Active Member Wahrsuul's Avatar
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    The "Die Hard Spyder Lovers" are that way because they haven't had the issues you're dealing with. Seems you've put an awful lot of miles on an unreliable vehicle. Why didn't you get rid of it when it became such an issue?

    Though I will say it's why I bought used the first time. If it becomes too much of a maintenance nightmare or unreliable, then I can get rid of it without too much loss.

  16. #41
    Very Active Member Freddy's Avatar
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    Well it looks like we're successfully scared the OP away and I can't blame him for that. Reliability certainly ain't the Spyder's strongest point of appeal. Just as well for BRP we buy em (7 in honda's case) for other reasons primarily.
    The best substitute for brains is....................what?

  17. #42
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    On my 2nd Rt the first one had 25000 miles when it was killed hitting a deer at 60 mph, bent the frame, I was hardly shook. The replacement 17 has 19000 miles on it. Neither one has seen the dealership except for routine maintenance and to put car tires on. Luckily I have a dealership 35 miles away that seems inexpensive compared to what I see in the forums. No mistake buying the Spyder. Getting ready now for 2k trip west. While my 84 yo cousin is getting ready for a 2500 mile tour of East Coast on his 14 RT with 45000 on it. Neither of us would even consider trips like these if we felt there was any reliability issues.

  18. #43
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    I have a love/hate relationship with mine sometimes. I love how it rides, handles, corners and of course how it looks. I hate how much it costs to fix anything on it and the service calls. Hubby wants me to try a 3 wheel goldwing. He only changes the oil.
    I would rather be lucky than good, being lucky means I don't have

  19. #44
    Active Member Wahrsuul's Avatar
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    I just couldn't get into the idea of a GW trike. They're more expensive and I've heard that a lot of dealers won't work on them.

  20. #45
    Active Member Raprider's Avatar
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    With only a year and half and 5k miles, my dog in this fight is minimal. I did a decent amount of reading here, but nothing I found scared me away. I'm not really mechanical and don't do or plan to do too much on my own (yet), but my dealer (dedicated Can-Am) is 40 miles away, another dealer (multi-line) is within 15 miles, and a third (also multi-line) within 30 if needed.

    Considering that the 100,000th Spyder was sold sometime in 2015, maybe total sales to date (ex-Ryker) is 140k-150k. Even if I would imagine the overall volume of incidence to be somewhere between 10-20%, while high, it doesn't strike me as unusual for a completely new vehicle over a slightly more than 10-year period.

    Anyone remember all the issues with early year Hyundai? Why do you think they now have a 10-year powertrain warranty? Simply to raise the overall level of confidence in a product thought to be quite unreliable...and it clearly worked for them!
    How about Suzuki 4-wheel vehicles? Or Saturn? Neither was every really able to cross the threshold from unreliable to desirable. Honda has been selling 4-wheel vehicles for decades...Ford claims Quality is Job-1...etc...but all vehicles and mechanical products have corner cases (and worse...anyone remember the Pinto? Or the Boeing Max8).

    Forums like this are great places to gather, but more likely collect problems than praise.
    I'll take what I got and hope for the best, plan for the worst, and whip out the ol' credit card as and when needed.
    That's the American way!
    Raprider (Rich)

    2016 Can-Am Spyder ST-S SE5 Steel Black Metallic (Blackbird)
    BRP Audio, Heated Grips, Fog Lights, Passenger Backrest, Givi Saddlebags/Top Case
    BajaRon Swaybar, Wide-Vu Mirrors, Lamonster Ram mount and X-grip, Sena 20S Evo Dual

    1996 Yamaha Virago 750 (Vera) - still riding
    1987 Honda Shadow 500 (Shady) - sold
    1982 Honda Rebel 250 (Little Reb) - sold


  21. #46
    Member w6ada's Avatar
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    Well, It is about ten days after I posted the “mistake” post. While I have not formed any decision regarding the reliability of the Spyder, I have removed and replaced the DESS Module and I relocated in to a location where it is very accessible. The Spyder started several times after I got it buttoned up and no orange screen of death so so far so good

    A couple of comments and observations.. First, the original DESS module has a small toroidal with the end of the antenna wrapped one turn before the module itself. Now, I may not know anything about motorcycle mechanics but I have been a ham radio operator for about 50 years. A torrid is wha theY call a choke. It is used to block signals you don’t want to enter the electronics. While one turn would do absolutely nothing (need about 5-6 turns to act as a choke), it seems clear either BRP or the DESS module manufacturer had a problem from day one with interference. The new module manufacturer in 2017 does not come with a toroid.

    Secondly, BRP dId nothing for its customers to resolve this issue and allowed it to fester for about three years...shame on them. Same goes for the parking brake switch, same high rate of failure with no recall. Lastly and most I importantly, BRP dealer network or lack of same shows just how little the care about the Spyder customers. It seems they have taken a page from the RV dealers who are all the same...It is sell the new product as fast as possible however poorly they are made,and have a tech or two at most the repair new RV s after weeks to months of waiting for so called “warrantee repair”. BRP have too many products and too little support.." So, I learned that if you like the Spyder, you better be prepared to work on it yourself....As for me, I like the Spyder but time will tell if I recommend one to anyone else.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by w6ada View Post
    Well, It is about ten days after I posted the “mistake” post. While I have not formed any decision regarding the reliability of the Spyder, I have removed and replaced the DESS Module and I relocated in to a location where it is very accessible. The Spyder started several times after I got it buttoned up and no orange screen of death so so far so good

    A couple of comments and observations.. First, the original DESS module has a small toroidal with the end of the antenna wrapped one turn before the module itself. Now, I may not know anything about motorcycle mechanics but I have been a ham radio operator for about 50 years. A torrid is wha theY call a choke. It is used to block signals you don’t want to enter the electronics. While one turn would do absolutely nothing (need about 5-6 turns to act as a choke), it seems clear either BRP or the DESS module manufacturer had a problem from day one with interference. The new module manufacturer in 2017 does not come with a toroid.

    Secondly, BRP dId nothing for its customers to resolve this issue and allowed it to fester for about three years...shame on them. Same goes for the parking brake switch, same high rate of failure with no recall. Lastly and most I importantly, BRP dealer network or lack of same shows just how little the care about the Spyder customers. It seems they have taken a page from the RV dealers who are all the same...It is sell the new product as fast as possible however poorly they are made,and have a tech or two at most the repair new RV s after weeks to months of waiting for so called “warrantee repair”. BRP have too many products and too little support.." So, I learned that if you like the Spyder, you better be prepared to work on it yourself....As for me, I like the Spyder but time will tell if I recommend one to anyone else.
    Thanks for persevering and for posting the info about the DESS module. I agree whole-heartedly with the bolded sections above. With any luck, the BRP customer service folks that lurk here occasionally will see this and send a red flag to corporate.

    At some point, marketing and PR (spin control) HAS GOT TO TAKE A STEP BACK and let Engineering fix some things!!!!!!!!!!!

    2014 RTL Platinum & 2014 RTL Cognac
    Northern Utah in summer; Yuma, AZ in winter.

  23. #48
    Active Member SmoovOpRatoR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKMSPYDER View Post
    I have owned two Spyders, the latest being a 2015 F3S which I bought new. It now has over 39,000 miles on it and I have never been stranded. I have ridden all over the US and even to Canada and have never worried about a breakdown. In September I will be riding to California for a Spyder rally and then to the Pacific northwest. I have had a few issues that were taken care of under warranty, but nothing major. I would ride my Spyder anywhere with confidence.
    If you haven't already researched it, the North Cascade Loop is a must for two or three wheels when in the PNW.

  24. #49
    Active Member 007james's Avatar
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    I never got rid of either Spyder ....,because I never was ready to cut my losses, ......as long as I could either keep what I had running, or up grade to the next Hyped Model. That’s exactly what I did with the 2012 , i.e. upgraded it to the 2016. But I can afford to pay to Service my Spyders, and I live in an apartment, so no longer have tools and facilities to work on them. I am an honest kind of Guy, that has been to many Rodeos, and call a Shade a Spade, and don’t sugar coat any thing I own and have had experience with, good or bad, in order to do free marketing for BRP or Dealers. I don’t sell Spyder Farkles either. So I think that sharing 90,000 miles of my hands/butt on experience with new entry level Spyder Buyers or Lurkers should not be insulting, just because I expose my dirty Spyder laundry along with praise shared by the “ Die Hard Spyder Lovers.” Hopefully, considering I have spent enough money , between buying and maintaining my two Spyder RT Limiteds to buy 7-8 Rykers,....shared experiences and opinions on Spyders should be at least as acceptable is sharing Tire Pressures!
    007james



    Quote Originally Posted by Wahrsuul View Post
    The "Die Hard Spyder Lovers" are that way because they haven't had the issues you're dealing with. Seems you've put an awful lot of miles on an unreliable vehicle. Why didn't you get rid of it when it became such an issue?

    Though I will say it's why I bought used the first time. If it becomes too much of a maintenance nightmare or unreliable, then I can get rid of it without too much loss.

  25. #50
    Very Active Member IdahoMtnSpyder's Avatar
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    I bought my 2014 RTS used with 650 miles on it in December, 2014. I've put nearly 32,000 miles on it since. The only problem was a parking brake motor failure at about 3000 miles and front tires that wanted to pull to the right. Neither problem left me dead in the water. Mine was an early 2014 build in the time range of a lot of the DESS problems. I've never had a DESS error show up except when I deliberately caused one. I traveled to Valcourt, Quebec, Canada for the 10th Anniversary homecoming in 2017. Nary a problem the entire round trip of something like 8000 miles.

    I had a 2013 RT before the 2014. I put over 25,000 miles on it, including two round trips from Idaho to the Gulf Coast, with the only problem being a failure in the power steering unit.

    I would have no hesitation in taking off on a cross country trip any day now.

    2014 Copper RTS

    Tri-Axis bars, CB, BajaRon sway bar & shock adjusters, SpyderPop's Bumpskid, NBV peg brackets, LED headlights and modulator, Wolo trumpet air horns, trailer hitch, custom trailer harness, high mount turn signals, Custom Dynamics brake light, LED turn signal lights on mirrors, LED strip light for a dash light, garage door opener, LED lights in frunk, trunk, and saddlebags, RAM mounts and cradles for tablet (for GPS) and phone (for music), and Smooth Spyder belt tensioner.

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