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  1. #1
    Active Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default 2020 RTL – a most impressive ryde

    Before I begin this commentary, let me explain that I have always been a committed devotee of the F3L Spyder; I bought a 2017 version, mostly because my aged hips could not tolerate the sitting position of previous years’ RTL models.

    On this heavily overcast morning, with my lady’s shopping errands duly completed, I found myself with an hour to spare, and decided to swing by the local Spyder dealer (Seminole Power Sports, 15821 Hwy. 441, Eustis, FL) for a look at the new models. I was keen to see the latest version of the RTL, especially after reading the glowing comments of other SL members who have recently done trade-ins and ridden away quite pleased. After reading BRP literature on how stylistic elements of the F3 had been incorporated into the RT platform, I wanted to sit on one, look at the new colors, check out the features, etc. Yes, I was curious, even though not considering buying one. So, FWIW, here’s my take: an honest assessment from a previously rather biased F3 ryder.

    First off, my troublesome hips found the 2020 RTL sitting position quite acceptable. The saddle itself was soft and comfortable, far from the feeling I got from earlier BRP stock seats. I know I’m not the only Spyder owner who was literally ‘forced’ into going with an F3 bike because our hips/butts couldn’t stand to be in/on an RTL seat. The 2020 RTL now places one’s legs comfortably slightly forward, and those gloriously long new floor boards now provide for ample room to stretch and vary leg position. The brake pedal is in an easily accessible position, and is placed at a much more reasonable height, not requiring lowering or other modification. The reach to the handle bars felt pretty good, too, although I did have some instinctive thoughts that I, personally, might want to try tweaking them slightly.

    I liked the new colors, too. Lovely grey and a striking blue. Loved the improved hinges on the spacious, new, rear top case – a vast improvement over the flimsy structure of the F3 top case. Removeable, too, and even a bit deeper! Layout of the controls and switches was both familiar as well as easily operated. No difficulty seeing the flashing of the turn signals. Delighted by the electronically adjustable windshield; has a memory feature and automatically lowers when switched off. Gadgets galore! So much for my instantaneous reactions gleaned from sitting on a static machine in the showroom.

    There must have been a tell-tale grin on my face, as I was soon approached by a most friendly gentleman, asking if I had any questions. He seemed to know I was liking this thing. No doubt he would be looking to write up a sales contract. Not really looking to spend, I quickly advised him I was just a vacationing Canadian, curious to look, but not about to buy. “No problem”, he said, “but you really should take a test drive. Seriously.”

    Wow; friendly attitude plus!!! Turned out he was the GM. His personality was obviously infectious; all his staff treated me exactly the same – smiling, courteous, very helpful. They all insisted I should put some miles on a demo machine; Ken Ward said it actually was a bonus for the dealership, in the eyes of BRP, to rack up potential customer miles on their demos. So, off I went, complete with a courtesy helmet after signing a waiver and showing my mc license.

    The ryde was most impressive. The RTL was new, and tight, as one would expect. Yet the steering was effortless and the shifting was positively smooth; the engine maybe even a tad quieter. The ryde itself was far better than any previous RT I had been on (I honestly did make a couple of 30-minute attempts in past). Not quite as nimble or sporty as my F3L, but certainly a fun ryde and a pleasure to handle. I didn’t do an overly long trip, but certainly enough to become pretty well acquainted. I would describe this as: “what you might expect if you crossed an F3 with a 2014-19 RT”; i.e., somewhere in between.

    I know from following SL ‘Forum’ threads for the past 3 years, that many of us have had our pet peeves and various dissatisfactions with our Spyders – stock seat comfort, too high brake pedals, steering reach or feel, etc. And, many have also wondered whether anyone at BRP ever ‘heard’ or ‘listened to’ our comments. After ryding the new 2020 RTL, I came away with the distinct feeling that those unseen BRP engineers perhaps had been ‘hearing us’ after all. It seemed to me that many of those oft-expressed issues have actually been dealt with in a very positive manner with the introduction of the new version RTL. And, it seems, more than a few other SL members have recently jumped at the opportunity to buy one. I rather think that BRP has come up with a very solid winner here.

    I haven’t bought one (yet?), didn’t even go looking to purchase. And, I’m not getting paid to write this, but I kind of feel that I may have fallen in love all over again. Well, after all, it is Valentine’s Day!! I have even been invited to come back with my lady and take her out for a test drive. You, too, can have one, if you’re nearby.

    The BRP travelling display team will be hosting a 4-day ‘VIP experience’ at Seminole Powersports in Eustis, FL, from Wed. 19 Feb. to Sat. 22 Feb. You can reserve a test ryde by calling 352-357-1607. Look for Ken, Brandon, Jace and the rest of the Seminole gang – all helpful, immensely polite and willing to make you happy. You know, we often hear horror stories of dealers who don’t seem to care, or disappoint; the good ones, like this, deserve our praise and support!!! That’s why I have written this. And while I’m still having loads of fun on my current F3L, I think I know what the future may have in store for me. Go and find out for yourself.

    Cheers.
    [SIGPIC]
    2017 F3 Ltd. Intense Red Pearl/Metallic Black topside

  2. #2
    Active Member krakum1967's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write up. If I can get my triumph sold and the BMW placed as well, I might pull the trigger on one. I would rather a year or two of development take place, before I buy, but I love the changes, its an attractive machine compared to the other RT's sorry, it just is sportier to me.
    Kraig B. Kumlin, M.M., M.C.P. (Retired)



    Only Two States Left to Visit on MC or Trike, RI and CT

  3. #3
    Active Member Texas Al's Avatar
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    Any body know when the BRP traveling display team will be coming to North Texas?

  4. #4
    Very Active Member IdahoMtnSpyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Al View Post
    Any body know when the BRP traveling display team will be coming to North Texas?
    Your local dealer should know.

    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.

  5. #5
    SpyderLovers Sponsor cptjam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Al View Post
    Any body know when the BRP traveling display team will be coming to North Texas?
    That’s us! We are all over Texas for the next 6 months!
    Joe Meyer



    Dealer for the Outlaw/ROLO laser Alignment system

  6. #6
    Very Active Member al0vely's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cptjam View Post
    That’s us! We are all over Texas for the next 6 months!
    Joe - do you know if this same type of event will be in Indiana?
    Love my Spyders
    2016 F3L SE6 delivered 7/16/2016
    Lamonster - third peg, key cover; BRP - driver and passenger backrest, half cover, vibration damper; Wolo Bad Boy horn; Wrap My Spyder decals; SpyderPops - foam grips, BRT lights, mirror turn signal lights, bump skid; PB1 - F3 Performance Foot Pegs, MBL innovations luggage rack, Autoinbox top case, Show Chrome windshield

    2014 RTS SE6 - Circuit Yellow purch 3/2/2018
    No more 2 wheels

  7. #7
    Active Member AVBIZ's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write -up. Looking to purchase an F3 or 2020 RT later in the year and these types of reviews will help shape my decision.

  8. #8
    Very Active Member PW2013STL's Avatar
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    Bushrat your impressions of the 2020 RT mirror my wife's and mine after we took our test ride. We put 84,000 miles on our 2014 RT and over 30,000 miles on our F3's. We both were very impressed with the changes.
    If I were to purchase one the only changes I would make to fit me better would be
    1) Helibars
    2) Backrest
    3) F4 windshield
    2018 F3L, 2020 RTL

    Isn't it weird that in AMERICA our flag and our culture offend so many people......
    but our benefits don't?

  9. #9
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    Bushrat, thanks for sharing your thoughts, Eustis is not far from me, hour fifteen or 20, I can take a ride u there and check it out. Seems like nice folks that care.

  10. #10
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    I watch two YouTube Vlogs on the 2020 spyder RT Limited one the Smoaks, t Jims trike adventures and both committed on fit and finish issues with the 2020 Spyder RT Limited, you might want to check out their videos before you purchase or if you have purchased you might want to check your unit out to see if it has the same issues.
    Ride safe

  11. #11
    Active Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PW2013STL View Post
    Bushrat your impressions of the 2020 RT mirror my wife's and mine after we took our test ride. We put 84,000 miles on our 2014 RT and over 30,000 miles on our F3's. We both were very impressed with the changes.
    If I were to purchase one the only changes I would make to fit me better would be
    1) Helibars
    2) Backrest
    3) F4 windshield
    I hear you; all three are decisions really dictated by personal comfort and preference. For me, Helibars might be an early, potential change. As I noted, the one really instinctive reaction I had was re handlebar position. I need to explore this further If I do go the 2020 RTL route. As for backrest, I have some degenerative discs in my lower back; this has led to some migrating sciatic nerve pain down my legs (right side in particular). Lately, I have discarded my current back rest and find I have less pain, less sciatic problems. I'm working on the theory that my back rest was too far forward, and was actually aggravating my situation by rubbing against my spine and pinching the nerves even more. I'm now riding without a backrest and feeling better. As for windshield, I sure liked the looks of the stock shield on that new RTL, and its automated adjustment. Not sure I would opt for a change; at least not before riding a good ways and really trying out all the adjustment possibilities first.

    But, hey, thanks for the comments. Isn't this what makes test rides fun? And tempts us to dream??

    Cheers; safe ryding and Spydering.
    [SIGPIC]
    2017 F3 Ltd. Intense Red Pearl/Metallic Black topside

  12. #12
    Active Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marvin24 View Post
    I watch two YouTube Vlogs on the 2020 spyder RT Limited one the Smoaks, t Jims trike adventures and both committed on fit and finish issues with the 2020 Spyder RT Limited, you might want to check out their videos before you purchase or if you have purchased you might want to check your unit out to see if it has the same issues.
    Ride safe
    Marvin, I saw those videos last night after I returned from my test ride. Certainly, they give some cause for concern. I must admit that I didn't look over the 2020 RTL with any sort of critical examination as to fit and finish; nor did I look under any of the tupper ware or have any covers or seat off. I really was just commenting on the outward look of the new model as it sat on the showroom floor; then, the feel of it generally, as I sat on it while still sitting on the showroom floor; then, while actually out getting the feel of it performing on a test ride going down a few miles of countryside roads. Everything I saw and felt was pleasing. Those videos were later somewhat surprising. However, some of those issues seemed to possibly be assembly-related. Perhaps there are also some design issues. What I saw was certainly bothersome, but far from catastrophic in nature. Quality Control? Perhaps. That's unfortunate, undesirable and requires correcting. But it's human error; something we're all susceptible to from time to time. But, certainly, check things out thoroughly before you pay. Have a good dealer who cares about you and the product. And get a good, solid warranty, in writing; don't be afraid to use it. After all, that's part of what you're paying for. You'll have to decide how big, how concerning the issues are, and whether or not they will make or break a sale. And BRP will have to live (or die) with it.
    [SIGPIC]
    2017 F3 Ltd. Intense Red Pearl/Metallic Black topside

  13. #13
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    Great write-up BR. Thank you. I like many of the new features. I am hoping BRP will improve the F3L in a similar way soon.

    Cheers,

    J
    2018 F3 Limited black, dark

  14. #14
    Very Active Member KX5062's Avatar
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    Nice write up.

    For me, I was so impressed with my test ride I bought it months before I expected to do so. (Even knowing about the fitment issues, which I'm fully confident BRP will resolve satisfactorily.)
    2020 RTL SE6

    Previously 2008 GS SM5 and 2014 RT SE6



  15. #15
    SpyderLovers Sponsor cptjam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by al0vely View Post
    Joe - do you know if this same type of event will be in Indiana?
    July 29, Indy, flat out Motorsports. Call them to set it up!
    Joe Meyer



    Dealer for the Outlaw/ROLO laser Alignment system

  16. #16
    Very Active Member bodymanpainter's Avatar
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    Great write up! I share your feelings as well after my test ride today. I will be going back to the dealer next Saturday
    to find out what kind of deal they will give me on trading my F3T for a 20 RTL in chalk dark.
    If they get the numbers right I will pull the trigger also!
    BRP has a real winner here for sure!

    Toby

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cptjam View Post
    July 29, Indy, flat out Motorsports. Call them to set it up!
    Joe, not sure you will be coming to New York or not. Do you have a schedule? Thanks.
    Wayne Bishop

    2015 RT-S Special Series
    2017 F3 Limited


  18. #18
    Very Active Member IdahoMtnSpyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrb3004 View Post
    Joe, not sure you will be coming to New York or not. Do you have a schedule? Thanks.
    I guess you missed the comments. Joe and Ann are in Texas and some surrounding area only. There are several teams around the country so another team who is doing the same as Joe will be in your area.

    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.

  19. #19
    Very Active Member Brentc's Avatar
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    I happened to be at pioneer Motorsports yesterday in Chaffee NY, one of the owners said the Brp event is in July at their store.
    2014 RT-S Pearl White
    2010 BRP 622 Trailer Pearl White


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