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  1. #351
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    Mar 2017
    Nashville, TN
    Spyder Garage

    Cool Trailer

    [What is the ideal trailer size for the 2013 RSS?]
    “Do's & Do Not's” for New Spyder Owners:
    Updated December 13, 2016

    This information is for both the 900 and 1330 series engines and will be indicated when something applies specifically to one or the other.

    There are several "things" a Spyder owner needs to know when buying and operating their Spyder to help them have a better experience, and to avoid causing complications later.

    This is a collection of "sage-advice" gathered from various resources on Spyder Lover's and other reliable sources to help you enjoy your experience with your new Spyder; and to avoid "beginner mistakes" that may cause grief later-on.

    Realize what you are buying:
    More and more new Spyder owners have not had any experience with "sport-vehicles", such as motorcycles and such. If you are new to this, then welcome to a new experience for you!

    However, you must realize a few things are going to happen that are just simply part of owning and riding sport-vehicles.

    Do not try to make your Spyder what it is not!
    Your Spyder is...

    • Exhilarating: It gets you out of the house and car and into the outdoors, so enjoy it!
    • Windy: Do not try to hide behind your windshield.

    • Hot: You are sitting on top of a motor, so expect it to be hot at times. All new motorcycles and recreation vehicles run hotter than in the past.

    • A high revving machine: 900 series engine models only.

    Purchase your Spyder from a dealer with a good reputation:
    Endless future problems appear to stem from purchases and service from poor dealers. Do your homework on the dealer you are buying from. Check around to see if others have had good experiences with the dealer; both with the sales and service departments. If you are considering a used Spyder be sure to look at the maintenance records, and be sure it has been thoroughly inspected. Be sure the computer updates and recalls have been done. (This may not have occurred when an individual is selling one. A dealership should be able to tell if the system has been updated and all recalls completed.)

    Check on to see what others say.

    You are excited to ride however do yourself a HUGE favor and read the manual entirely before doing so. You may be surprised what you (and possibly your dealer) may learn. Frequently questions are asked on that are answered in the manual.


    Learn how your Spyder works:
    You do not have to become a mechanic, but having knowledge will help you out in more ways than can be mentioned. is a good place to learn.

    Missing vent:
    There never was a right-side vent for models up to 2014. Increasing airflow is the official reason from BRP.
    The 2014 RTS 1330 model does have vent covers on both sides, due to changes made to the cooling system.

    It is underneath your seat, unless you have an RSS or STS -- then the tool kit is in the Frunk (Front Trunk) mounted on the right side. Read your manual!

    "Humming Sound" after turning the key off:
    You will hear a humming sound for about 30-45 minutes after turning-off 2012-13 Spyders. This is normal and mentioned in the manual -- not to worry about it. Pre-2012's have some humming, but it appears not to last as long as on the '12's and '13's. (It is in your manual.) Later model years do not hum.

    Locking the glove box and handlebars:
    When parked; turn the handlebars fully to the left or right (does not matter which direction), then turn the ignition-key one-quarter turn to the left (counter-clockwise) -- then pull the key directly out without turning it back to the right. (The key will have been in the 9-3 o'clock position when turned to the left.) Your glove box and handlebars are now locked. CAUTION: Avoid putting heat-sensitive items in your glove box. Also avoid over-stuffing or items that may shift and jam the glove box shut. If the glove box jams from something in it... try shaking the Spyder or moving the Spyder forward or backward to move the contents to un-jam it. Sometimes simply taking a ride can be enough to move the contents to un-jam the glove box. A better idea is simply to not overfill the glove box.

    “NANNY & CODES”; WHAT ARE THESE: (Overall, this still applies to the 1330 model. Read your manual.)
    The Spyder’s operations are controlled by a computer system, affectionately referred to as the “Nanny”. The Nanny monitors your Spyder when running for safety purposes and is extremely sensitive to anything operating out of its designed limits.
    When it senses something wrong it may affect the operation of your Spyder by applying system controls. (i.e., brakes, stability control, and etc.)
    When serious problems are detected by the “Nanny system” you will see your check-engine light (an orange dash-screen).
    When this happens, the Nanny may override your ability to operate the Spyder “normally”; or put your Spyder into the “Limp Mode”, which may not allow it to operate at all.

    Limp-mode is a precautionary feature of the “Nanny-system” whereby it will only allow operation within a narrow-band of performance. It is designed to prevent further damage to the vehicle, and get you to a safe place, or to a dealer if possible. (i.e., reduced speed function). Read your manual about Limp-Mode.
    WARNING: The Limp-Mode can kick-in while riding your Spyder and slow it down suddenly and substantially (below highway speeds). Be sure to exit the road immediately to a safe location if this happens.

    This occurs when the system discovers a potential problem. Many potential issues can cause the Orange-Screen to appear.
    Do not confuse the night-screen with the Orange Screen. The night-screen occurs when the sun begins to set or when there is little sun to be seen. When the Orange Screen is displayed the entire background will be dominantly orange in color; not outlined by orange as with some of the night-screens; and will have an "engine" icon displayed in the middle of the screen. Read further...

    CODES: Codes are generated by the "system" when a problem occurs to help technicians diagnose a potential problem. When the "orange screen" is showing, you can find out if there is a “code” generated by the computer to identify the problem. If you do not see the screen, try to reproduce the problem until you get the screen again. If you cannot reproduce the screen, you may likely be able to continue to ride, however you may want to cut your trip short if you do not know what caused the screen warning.
    To reference the problem(s) associated with the various codes you need a Maintenance & Repair Manual; which is not provided upon the purchase of a Spyder -- however, the code-number remains stored in the Spyder's system for your dealer-technician. You do not have to worry if you do not have the manual or cannot retrieve the code. Just get your Spyder to a dealer and they will find the code generated.
    If you can retrieve the code; write it down and post it on, someone will likely be able to look-up the code and its related problem. This is highly recommended, so you know what you are dealing with.
    Footnote: The "system" keeps a record in memory of the functions of your Spyder to include your speeds, rpm's and more. So, if you are abusing your Spyder, the computer's records will let your technician know.

    Available Code List & Description: (provided by Spydercodes, a member of


    RS: (Provided by NancysToys.)
    1. Turn Ignition key to "ON"
    2. Push the "MODE" button to display total hours screen. Start engine and run until check engine light (or other fault indication) is displayed.
    3. Press and hold "MODE" button while pushing the "High Beam Flash" button rapidly five times (within 2 seconds).
    4. The active faults will be displayed or "No Active Fault Code" will be shown.
    5. If you do not get a message, you didn't get the flash beams sequence done during the allotted time. Try again.
    6. Jot the code-number down and check the list in the manual to determine your problem. Share this with your mechanic.
    RT & ST: (RT provided by Jerbear / ST by Billybovine)
    1. Turn Ignition key to "ON" and wait for the multifunction gauge to complete its self-test.
    2. Push the "MODE" "SET" & "Turn Signal" buttons at the same time. (Push all three straight in.) If there was a code generated, you will see it on your screen. You might want to try it a couple times to make sure you pushed the three buttons at the same time.

    2014 RTS: (Provided by MRH)
    Retrieving codes on the 2014 is close to the same as other RT model years, except it works best to first hold the mode and set button, and then activate the turn signal button.

    Clarification on the P0127 and P0217 code messages: (From Steve with BRP customer care) Some have experienced the P0127 and/or P0217 codes on their Spyders so we'd like to provide additional information on what they mean. The following is the link to this thread started by Steve, from BRP Customer Care:

    Follow us on Twitter @BRPCare
    Follow us on Instagram @BRPCare!

    RIDING TIPS (All models and years):

    People's propensity is to squeeze the daylights out of the grips. This will make the Spyder skip from side-to-side causing a "jerky-ride" (lateral movement); which is the first comment heard by new riders.
    Relax your grip and you'll soon see the Spyder's ride will have a reduction in its "jerkiness".
    Relaxing typically comes naturally after riding it for several hundred miles. However; remember, a Spyder will always have some lateral movement to it; which is only part of the thrill of riding one!
    Check tire pressure if you feel there is still too much lateral movement or a lack of steering control after relaxing your grip.
    Some Spyders have alignment issues; do have it checked, or see one of the new “Laser Alignment” specialists that are sponsors on Others have improved their Spyder’s control with various after-market suspension, sway bars, and etc. Look for the sponsors of for solutions to your needs.

    NOTE MOTORCYCLISTS: Motorcyclists are seemingly most affected by the lateral movement associated with the Spyder. They are just going to have to realize the Spyder is not a two-wheel vehicle and it is going to feel different. Also motorcycle riders need to "unlearn" counter-steering when riding a Spyder. It simply doesn't apply to a Spyder.

    Read the manual and follow the suggestions. Lean toward the handlebar closest to the inside of the corner. (Right-bar on right turns; left-bar on left turns.) This shifts your weight on the machine and also puts your head slightly lower to the center of gravity; causing you to have less of the lateral-pull associated with cornering with a Spyder.
    You may find it easiest to push on the handlebar opposite of the turn you are making; while pulling somewhat on the other. Be sure to push harder than pulling. Push the right handlebar for left turns; push the left handlebar for right turns. A little practice and you will get better at it. Pushing is much easier when you are leaning into your corners.
    Use your knees on the sides of the seat to help secure yourself on tight-fast corners.
    Your passenger can lean some also if they wish; however they should hang onto their grab-rails in corners.
    Read the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s guide on cornering a motorcycle. The setup they suggest prior to entering a corner applies to the Spyder.

    DO NOT RIDE THE BRAKE, or touch the brake when riding or cornering:
    Pay attention to whether you are doing this and stop-it!
    Far too many people seem to have this terribly bad-habit (with their cars and other vehicles), and the Spyder’s Nanny doesn't like it.
    The Nanny-system will begin to give you trouble eventually. So blame yourself if you ride your brakes and have problems!

    Apply brake when starting the engine:
    Too many new riders are finding themselves stranded with a Spyder that won't start; until they finally put their foot on the brake and find their Spyder starts right up.
    An SE5 Spyder requires pressure on the brake to start it unless you are in neutral.
    Many make sure it is in neutral before shutting the motor down. You don't have to do that. The SE5 Spyder will go into neutral automatically when started while applying the brake.

    Cruise Control Hint:
    When disengaging the cruise control (i.e., by tapping the brakes slightly) the Spyder makes an abrupt slow down.
    To eliminate this, slightly "roll-on" the throttle (as if slightly accelerating) before tapping the brakes. When doing so, the cruise control will disengage smoothly without any jerking motion of a slow down.
    Practice this a couple times until you see how easy it is to solve this problem.

    Do not ride on gravel roads:
    Despite the fact you are on three-wheels -- you are also "belt-driven". Rocks and belts don't mix. Try to avoid riding on gravel whenever possible, and check your belt right after doing so if you have to ride on gravel.

    Stop Light Activation:
    Spyders sometimes cannot activate stoplights controlled by sensors implanted in the road at the stop; or that have infrared sensors.
    When pulling up to a stoplight, look to see if there is a square or rectangle tar-shape on the road. If there is, pull the center of your Spyder over the top of one of the tar-strips -- preferably at the corner of the square or rectangle. This will expose as much metal of your Spyder as possible to help set-off the sensors.
    If you do not see sensor markings, look for an infrared sensor up near the lights. Typically, they are aluminum-color and look a bit like a camera pointed at the stopping location. If present, position your Spyder dead center of where it is pointing to help set it off.
    Be sure you are not too far back or forward of the area you need to be for either of these sensors -- otherwise you will not set them off.
    Where sensors do not work well, pull forward safely enough to let the vehicle behind set-off the sensors.
    Many states have laws allowing you to move through an intersection after waiting for a specific time. My state (Illinois) has such a law, and I use it any time the lights do not work. Check the laws of the states you are traveling through.

    Pay attention to how your Spyder is running:
    If your Spyder is showing even the slightest sign of not running or operating right; check to be sure you are not guilty of doing, or are not doing any of the items listed here.
    If not, then get your Spyder checked-out soon as possible or risk having problems later -- possibly while on a trip.
    Sometimes a subtle difference is an early sign of something going wrong or out of adjustment. Spyders can be sensitive machines.

    (The shifting-point suggestions for the 1330 and 900 series engines are explained separately.)

    Shifting the 1330 models:

    The “ECO” mode shift coach suggests shifting at the following rpm’s:
    1st to 2nd: 1,800 rpm’s
    2nd to 3rd: 1,950 rpm’s
    3rd and up: 2,200 rpm’s

    When manually shifting the 1330, it seems too many are over thinking it. If you are not using the ECO-mode, then just shift at around 2500-3000 rpm’s. That shift-point falls right at the beginning of the first-level power band, which is perfect. (Funny how that seems to work! See below.)

    1330 Engine Power Band (Dyno-Chart Data):

    1st level power band begins at approximately 2,500 — 2,700 rpm’s and remains flat until 4,000 rpm’s.
    2nd level power band begins at approximately 4,500 — 4,700 rpm’s and peaks at 5,000 rpm’s.
    After 5,000 rpm’s the power declines slightly until reaching 6,000 rpm’s; where the power rapidly declines; thus proving any increase in rpm’s above 6,000 rpm’s on the 1300 is inefficient and fruitless with regard to obtaining additional power and torque.

    What does this mean?
    It means shifting below 2,500 rpm’s can put an extra load on the machine when accelerating above a relaxed pace. While it may appear the engine has plenty of power below 2,500, it, in fact, is not producing peak performance power at that point, thus, shifting below the power band makes the engine work a bit harder. While the manual suggests shifting below 2,500 rpm’s, it is doing so with the thought the operator is accelerating at a very relaxed pace.
    Some have a misperception with regard to shifting a machine within its peak power band. It is often perceived to require harder/faster acceleration; when, in fact, that is not the case.
    It simply means you hold the machine in a gear longer before shifting. One does not have to takeoff from a dead stop like a drag racer to shift within a vehicle’s power band. Again, you simply hold it in each gear for a bit longer until the rpm’s reach the power band.
    American’s have long been known to have a preference to low-torque machines. With that often comes the tendency to want to shift to a vehicle’s highest gear as soon as possible, and leave it there… at least until the engine begins to shake and shudder. Not a good idea with any vehicle.

    Why is this important?
    Over a short period of time and mileage, there would probably be little noticeable affect or damage to a machine operated below its power band under normal, relaxed conditions; however, over a longer-term, there certainly can be a excessive wear along the machine’s drivetrain.
    In addition to seeking peak vehicle performance, expert/professional drivers & riders always operate their machines within its power band at all times for added control and handling. Consider it a safety precaution.
    Any vehicle operated outside of its peak performance band is operated with some loss of control and efficiency — varying, of course, to the degree it is operated out of its power band.
    For most owners of the 1330 engine, its lower torque seems to satisfy the inherent American “need” for an engine operating at a lower rpm.
    NOTE: There is NOT a “Trailer Mode” for the 1300 model.

    1330 "ECO" Shifting:(Check your manual) (Provided by PMK)
    The ECO (fuel economy mode) setting reduces fuel consumption by limiting throttle response and maximum throttle opening to maintain an optimal cruising setting.
    Activating the ECO Mode:
    Press the "MODE" button for 2-seconds while in the Main Screen.
    When activated, a green arrow will alternate with the gearbox position indicator to indicate the optimal timing to up-shift the transmission.
    NOTE: The Gearbox indicator will return when the transmission is shifted.
    De-Activating the ECO Mode:
    Press the "MODE" button for 2-seconds while in the Main Screen.
    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: (provided by Lamonster) The throttle map changes to a more progressive acceleration; rather than a linear one. During hard acceleration there will not be an indication to shift -- the ECM understands you are accelerating and will not recommend a shift at this time. Only when the vehicle speed and acceleration have stabilized for a certain time and the ECM judges there is enough engine torque available in the next gear to keep the same speed and acceleration will an upshift indication be displayed.

    Shifting the 900 series models:

    900 Series Engine Power Band (Dyno Chart Data):
    The 900 series engine’s power band begins at approximately 4500 rpm’s (much higher than the 1330 engine). However, there is a substantial increase in the power efficiency of the engine beginning at around 5000 – 5500 rpm’s.
    There is an additional increase in the power band at around 6000 rpm’s; where it continues to climb until around 7800 rpm’s, after which the power remains flat before reducing after 8000 rpm’s.

    What does this mean and why is this important?
    It simply means the same as mentioned above regarding the 1300 engine’s power band.
    Shifting or operating a vehicle outside or below the power band provides less than stellar performance, less control, and potential wear and damage in extreme or prolonged operation.
    Please read the explanation under the 1330 engine operation.

    Cruise at higher RPM's with the 900 series engine:
    This seems to be a big hurdle for too many owners of the 900 series engine models. Europeans understand high-rev motors – Americans, not so much.
    Get over your fear of running the Spyder's Rotax engine at high rpm's. A properly maintained Rotax engine is designed to run at high rpm’s. Do not listen to anyone telling you otherwise. Far too many reliable experts are on the side of this advice.
    For proof: The RTS SE5's "Trailer Mode" (with fully loaded trailer) won't let you shift out of first-gear until you hit almost 28 MPH! BRP’s own design engineers let you know the machine can run at higher rpm’s; and force it to do so in “Trailer Mode”. Check this link also, where the owner's Spyder suffered problems by running at low rpm's:

    SE5 RTS 900 Series Clutch Engagement and Performance (Does not apply to the 1330 models.):
    The Spyder's SE5 clutch is considered fully engaged (stalled) when the rpm's are at 3200 (+/- 200). See the manual. Running at rpm's at or lower than this range for extended periods allows slippage of the clutch, resulting in premature wear on the clutch. (They are expensive to replace.)
    It is universal in opinion from experienced riders, the best performance is realized when keeping your Spyder's RPM's at 4300 or above no matter the gear you are in at any time (First-gear being the exception, of course). This does NOT mean to shift at 4300 rpm’s; but rather to shift at higher rpm’s so that the rpm’s drop no lower than 4300 when engaged in the next, higher gear. Shifting at 4300 rpm’s will drop the rpm’s close to the “clutch-locked” rpm of around 3500 and is far below the power-band of the engine. Not recommended.

    Engine Lugging:

    Do NOT lug your Rotax engine! Shifting at too low of rpm can easily cause lugging, and the damage related to it. Example: When accelerating quickly, or climbing a steep hill, you can cause the Spyder to “lug” unless you downshift first. Lugging is evident when you hear or feel knocking and vibrations beyond the norm, as well as having a lack of power. Lugging can be done easily in any gear between second to fifth. Downshift to avoid lugging. NOTE: The RTS-SE5's manual may confuse some on pages 71 and 76 (2011 manual) where it mentions 3,000 rpm's as the "magic-number" to shift, and not to exceed 4,000 rpm's. This references someone learning to ride the Spyder for the first time -- not necessarily the normal operating range. 3,000 rpm’s is below the clutch’s locked position; thus causing slippage (wear).

    Just because the Spyder has 5 or 6 gears does NOT mean you have to always use all of them all the time! Apparently there are far too many who assume they have to shift their Spyder up to fifth or sixth gear no matter what their speed is, and this could be a problem. Get over what ever is making you think you need to use all the gears all the time.

    For the 900 series:
    Keep the rpm’s at 4300 or higher no matter what gear you are in. If you drop below that, then downshift and remain in that gear. You do not have to use all the gears every single time you ride.
    Example: When cruising with a 5-speed 900 series around town at 39 to 49 MPH you should stay in 3rd-gear. You can cruise between 39 - 49 MPH all day in 3rd-gear. It is okay to do so. Shifting to 4th-gear in that scenario will drop the RPM's below the 4300 range; which strains the Spyder's ability to perform at its best power-range and diminishes the performance and enjoyment of your machine. If your Spyder feels “mushy” at the throttle, then downshift – and below 4300 rpm’s it will feel mushy.

    1st to 2nd gear: Shift between 22 MPH and 29+ MPH - no sooner!
    2nd to 3rd gear: Shift at 5100+ rpm's (39 MPH) Up-shifting to 3rd gear drops the rpm’s to 4,300 -- exactly the rpm's you want to stay above.
    3rd to 4th gear: Shift again at 5100+ rpm's (49 MPH)
    4th to 5th gear: Shift to 5th only when you reach 65 MPH on level terrain. Upshift and downshifting in 5th is expected on hilly terrain to keep the rpm’s up.

    You can ride ALL-DAY in 4th-gear between 49 MPH up to and including 65 MPH without ever using 5th gear. On some rides you may never use 5th gear -- period. (Some run at much higher rpm's than that.) NOTE: Cruising in 4th gear between 63-65 MPH will have the rpm's in the mid 5,000 rpm range -- which begins to put the engine in its better performance-range (more power) which is what you want for power and control. NOTE: You will find your Spyder will run quieter, smoother and still have power at the throttle in that rpm range, and the dreaded "belt-vibration" might not be a problem when you finally get used to the above suggestions.

    DO NOT ROLL-OFF THE THROTTLE when shifting an SE5 and SE6:
    The manual states you do not have to roll-off the throttle when shifting with the SE5/SE6 system, and it is suggested you do not.
    Hold the throttle steady (do not accelerate or decelerate) when hitting the paddle-shifter at the above recommended shift-points, and you will find your Spyder SE5/SE6 shifts very smoothly when doing so. Try it... eventually, you'll become very good at shifting.

    DO NOT hold the SE5 and SE6 shift-paddle too long:
    A few have had problems when resting their fingers “heavy” on the paddle-shifter; which apparently can confuse the Spyder's Nanny regarding what your intentions are. Hold the paddle-shifter only long enough to shift gears.

    Downshifting with the SE5 and SE6:
    There is a lot conversation about this subject. The SE5 will automatically downshift for you, so you are not required to downshift if you do not want to. However, advanced & professional riders recommend getting in the habit of manually downshifting at all times to help maintain full rider-control of their machine at any moment (by maintaining power and torque-control at an optimal configuration).
    In rare occurrences after a fast/sudden full stop, some found their Spyder may not downshift into first-gear if they did not manually downshift. There is no quick resolution... you just have to repeatedly try to get into first again. Rev the engine, try reverse, try anything... eventually it should shift, while drivers honk at you for not moving!

    Big V-Twin Riders and the 900 Series Rotax Engine:
    Big V-twin riders are often too accustomed to their engine lugging along at 2,100 to 3,500 RPM's, and expect a 900 series Spyder to do the same. Doing so is a killer for the 900 series Spyder engine.

    Gas Mileage at Higher RPM's:
    Any engine’s "power to fuel-efficiency" will be found within its power band. This principle holds true for all engines.
    The 900 series engines are not champions of fuel mileage; so expect to stop more often for fuel. Start looking at around 120 miles.
    Fuel mileage is considerably better on the 1330 models. Many are seeing nearly 35-40 mpg, depending on the conditions and load.

    Simply believe what you just read above about shifting and engine performance for the model you own and do it. You will discover an entirely different, more enjoyable experience when you finally do so.


    Tire Pressure and Shock-Setting:
    Both make a big difference in how the Spyder handles. Tire pressure and shock setting depends on your load-weight, and type of riding. Check these settings often -- and remember no vehicle operates at its best when over-weighted! Sorry... but that is just how it is.
    Tire pressure suggestions: Pre-2013 RTS: 18 pounds in the front tires and 28 pounds in the back tire. (The RT-S SE5 2011 manual recommends 15-17 pounds for the front tire; and 28-30 for the rear tire.)
    2013 models: 15-16 psi in the front-tire (as per NancysToys).
    1330 suggestions: (Updates to come.)
    Front shock settings (for adjustable shocks): For the front (manually adjusted) shock, use 4 or 5.
    Seems the stiffer the better for most, especially if you are “loading” the Spyder (check the manual for load limits).
    Don't forget the RTS has a rear air-shock that can also be adjusted to your liking. (READ THE MANUAL)

    Check your battery cables, fuses, and such often:
    Anytime these get loose from vibration the Spyder's Nanny will "speak to you". These, seemingly "small", issues are often found to be the root of many owners' problem-posts. Do let yourself be a victim of forgetting these simple inspection points.

    Check your windshield brackets often:
    They have been known to fail occasionally. The consensus is if you run with your shield "full-down" most of the time, it will cause undue stress on the middle bracket, which raises and lowers the shield. Move the shield up slightly off the metal-stop to avoid the potential damage. Keep in mind you cannot replace just the bracket. The entire lift-mechanism has to be replaced to the tune of around $600.

    Battery Tenders:
    "Tenders" help prolong a battery's life by “conditioning” it, while keeping it charged. (Short-rides may not always sufficiently charge your battery.)
    Make sure you get a battery-tender -- NOT a regular charger for this purpose. There is a difference!
    Tenders are particularly valuable if you store your Spyder for longer periods of time (typically more than a few weeks without riding); or if your battery is older.
    IMPORTANT NOTE (Pre-2013's): When permanently attaching the pigtail cables for your tender; NEVER loosen the negative jumper terminal connection (found under the seat when you open it); or use it to ground any accessory! You need to connect the battery-tender pigtails to the actual battery terminal posts found only by removing some of the panels. This issue has been well publicized on The following thread is one you can start with regarding this: It is troublesome to remove the Tupperware to get to the actual battery terminals or other ground connections, but it is essential on the Spyder to do so.
    Starting with the 2013's, the battery is now accessible through the front trunk (“frunk”), which makes it a lot easier for get to it.

    Fluid levels (brake, oil, coolant) have to be correct (All models):
    Check the fluids as you add miles and top-them-off; otherwise risk having problems with your Spyder (sometimes fairly major).
    Low brake fluid: Can cause your Spyder to throw a code; thus stopping your trip while you scratch your head wondering why. Brake fluid level can go down as your brake pads wear over time.
    Low Oil can cause SE5/SE6 Shifting Problems: A low oil reading; at or below the ADD mark, on the dipstick has been known to cause shifting problems. Failure to maintain a proper oil level might not only cause shifting problems, but possibly premature clutch failure. Keep your oil properly filled, as per your manual. BRP suggests checking the oil-level every 300-miles.
    Coolant levels: Check this occasionally. Leaks have been known to occur occasionally in the system. A technician, at the first opportunity, should look at any low-level indication for possible leaks.
    RTS 1330 2014 Oil Change: Here is a link to a great tutorial on an oil-change for the 2014 RTS 1330. It notes a few errors in the manual: (Provided by Texas)

    SE5/SE6/Manual shifting problems may = Cracked Vacuum Hoses:
    Cracked (dry-rotted) vacuum hoses are related to shifting problems on the SE5's, SE6's and manual shift Spyders. Heat seems to be the culprit. Have these checked regularly as part of your maintenance program and replace them if needed. No reports on the 1330's yet; but this might remain an issue despite the improved cooling system.

    SE5/SE6 Shifting Sensor:
    The "shifting-sensor" on a few SE5's has failed causing the machine not to shift, or to shift inconsistently. There is no advance resolution for this problem. It is simply suggested you pay attention to your machine's shifting, and have it checked occasionally when at the dealer. (Again, this may also be a maintenance point for the 1330’s.)

    Unlocking a Stuck Frunk (Front trunk): (Provided by Finless)
    This is a link to a thread on providing a video of how to get your "frunk" unstuck; as well as cautionary words about keeping it from getting stuck. Several of the posts within the thread discuss the various differences between models and model-years; however it appears this valuable piece of information would work for most.

    DO NOT Overfill the Gas Tank (Does not apply to 1330 models):
    This causes a few problems. When you get an inch or more below the top of the tank, stop filling it – period!
    Overfilling causes fuel to flow-over into the evap-canister or when the fuel gets hot and expands.
    This can lead to problems with gas-fumes (smell), and a potential fire hazard.
    In late 2012, early 2013, BRP sent owners of all models new gas-caps to seal better and help with the gas fume problem. However, the gas-fume smell can be persistent in some cases. See your dealer if you experience an excessive smell of fuel when riding or after. There are a few threads on the subject that you can thumb-through and share with your mechanic.

    Security Screws on the Body Panel: DO NOT REMOVE THEM! (Provided by NancysToys)
    Any security screws on a Spyder are there for a reason...they are not to be removed.
    On an RT they hold the posts that slip into the rubber grommets that hold the body panel in place. These are angled, and indexed to hold them in the correct position.
    Remove the standard Torx screws then pull the panel out of the grommets. Be careful putting the panel back on...the grommets can be pushed through pretty easily. Wetting the grommets and post first helps.
    Do not lubricate the grommets unless you want to lose a panel...especially the oil check panel and its twin sister.

    Radio Pre-sets: (Provided by Badazzspydee)

    Apparently some manuals have not provided complete instructions on setting presets for radio stations. Here are the instructions to do so.
    1. Press “Mode” button until the “Audio icon” appears.
    2. Use the “right or left command buttons” to find the radio station you want.
    3. A long press will start the seek feature to the next available station. Continue doing performing a seek until the station you want appears.
    4. Here is the missing step. Press the “Set” button longer than one-second to enter the Tune or Setup screen. The word “Record” should appear under the numbers of the current radio station. The shop manual states that you can tune the station in increments of .2 by short pressing the left or right command buttons now.
    5. Short press the “Up” button until the “Preset number” you want appears in the box to the left side of the screen. I noticed this step is touchy when trying to get the number to stay in the box!
    6. Immediately press and hold the “down button”.
    7. Once the preset takes, the screen will exit the Tune or Setup screen and returns to the initial Audio screen.
    8. Repeat steps 2 through 5 for the next preset. Note that doing a short press of the left or right command buttons will cycle through the already set presets. A long press will start the seek feature.

    Listen to the radio without having the key turned-on or engine running: (Provided by szohar)
    Immediately press and hold the MODE button for a few seconds after turning the engine off. The radio will start-up. To turn if off, just turn the Hazard Warning lights on and then off. (Provided by billybovine)

    Fuel Octane:

    This subject is not up for a long debate on this thread. Fuel octane (and what it means) is second only to discussions on oil; and there are as many opinions and misperceptions as there are people giving them -- so if you have an opinion on fuel octane -- put it on another thread PLEASE!
    Fuel octane rating does NOT indicate whether one is superior to another, as many believe. In other words, 93-octane fuel is not a superior fuel to a lower octane fuel. It is simply different and designed for a specific engine use.
    What you should know though, is manufacturers do not just “make-up” an octane recommendation out of thin air for their engines. Using a fuel of an octane rating out of the recommended range can cause: Poor performance, possibly higher fuel consumption, and engine-knocking (damage to the engine); just to name a few issues.
    Your Spyder is an expensive vehicle, so make your own decision.
    Read your owner's manual for the recommended octane-rating for your model and location (U.S. / Non-U.S.)

    Customizing your Spyder for performance, fitment, and looks:
    Too often we read where someone buys a product only to find it does not work well, is not compatible with a Spyder, and/or the customer service from the provider is not good. Custom, after-market, equipment covering just about everything imaginable for a Spyder is readily available for most model types and years from the many sponsors of
    Do yourself a favor and avoid problems by asking other members what they use and their experience with it. It could save you a lot of grief and expense.

    Your Dealer is the First Place To Go When Having a Problem:
    Go to your dealer if you are having any trouble with your Spyder. Let them do their best to work-through the problem you are having.

    As A Last Resort For Problems:
    You can Doing so will connect you with the special group who attempt to resolve your problems. Be sure to go to a dealer first before emailing; because if you haven't, they will send you there first. If after working with a dealer, if you want to communicate with someone at BRP, the use the email address provided. Be sure to be polite and patient. These people are Spyder riders themselves and will attempt to help you; however they cannot resolve every problem.

    Lastly… Be sure to have fun and ride often...
    Which probably is the #1 "MUST DO".

    Disclaimer: The "Do's & Do Not's" is provided solely for informational purposes, and from sources thought to be reliable; however no guarantee is provided or to be implied by the information provided. The information may be updated, corrected, or deleted without notice to the potential end-user at any time. The end-user of any or all of this information remains wholly liable for their actions or inactions relating to the use of this information. The information is not intended to be a complete guide to the operation of the vehicle of reference; thus the end-user must always refer to their user's manual or qualified dealer as the final authorized source., its founder, officers, members, affiliates, and sponsors are not liable for one's use, or lack of use, of any or all information. Any end-user application of, or reference to, this information hereby confirms the end-user's complete knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of their sole and complete liability relating to the use of the information provided.

  2. #352
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Parma, Idaho
    Spyder Garage


    Quote Originally Posted by napper39 View Post
    yiks oh yeh here i am with my 2cents,rember check your battery cable often it vibrates loose,and a loose cable can be a night mare,check your fusess and relays they vibrate loose,and thats a very bad lets say you dont chsck these things,you have trouble on the road wont run so you have it towed to a dealer they push in the relay or tighten up the battery cable.if you would have done these things you would not have had to wait for that tow truck,or had the dealer tell you i pushed in that relay and your good to do these things and you might never have any trouble with your spyder ever. have fun and ride like the wind. i do.
    I'm not sure what, or where my problem lies. The 2012 Can Am Spyder RT-S I own, has a display that went dark. The bike can be turned on, but cannot be shifted into any gear. All others things, signals, head, fog, and tail lights work. The fuses are good, the one battery terminal I can get to, has a tight connection. And as the situation left me stranded, I had the insurance company's roadside service come out and cart the Spyder back to the house. I hope, that it doesn't need a new display.

  3. #353
    Active Member Ramg66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Star, Idaho
    Spyder Garage


    Thanks Illinois boy, When I purchased my Spyder RT I was fortunate to read this during the first week I had it. I really appreciate you taking the time as it has made my experience so much more enjoyable knowing this important information.

    2016 Can Am Spyder RT-S SE6

  4. #354
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Huntsville Ontario
    Spyder Garage

    Default Suggestion

    Thank you for this list of recommendations and for keeping it current. I have a suggestion for us non-US readers. Can you put kph equivalents beside the mph numbers? In Canada our speed limits generally go from 40 to 100kph in increments of 10. ( 40-50 for side streets; 60-70 for main roads; 80-90 for highways; 100 for freeways)

  5. #355
    Member philbtv's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Tigard, Oregon
    Spyder Garage

    Default Do not hide behind the windshield?

    So I am a brand new Spyder owner. I've ridden less than 100 miles on my used 2008 GS SM5. I've done the drills and read the manual. Starting off slow as I learn this new way to ride. I've done some things right and some things wrong already. (Going to shift later and help the clutch and motor live longer!) I don't understand the "Don't try to hide behind the windshield" reminder. Can you give me some context? My used Spyder has an aftermarket tall wind screen which extends out to the grips. On a hot day I get almost no airflow through the vents on my ballistic jacket. I have the original short wind screen. Thanks for the great info. I'm going to check the fuses and battery connections when it comes back from the shop. Thanks again for the info and all of the helpful Spyderlovers out there!
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 01-24-2019 at 10:55 PM.

  6. #356
    Active Member El Dorado's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Spyder Garage


    Quote Originally Posted by rosebelle View Post
    Peter, fellow Australian, don't you realize that our vehicles are under less stress than most of the "up and over" world. Something to do with not having to contend with gravity, I've been told before. Our issues are around requiring stickier tyres to stop us from falling off the earth, aren't they

    Thanks for your detail, I'm still asking for actual figures (% of Spyders) where normal (old fashioned?) revs have been used to cause significant failures/premature wear - I was not initially arguing the "against" the higher revving argument. But I see things creep into people's opinion that may be questionable/illogical.

    The point is made, and accepted, that driving in an optimal rev range produces the best power but economy not necessarily so, and what does fuel economy have to do with the subject anyway?
    Silly examples that don't support the argument:
    I've heard aeroplane engines need to rev. on this thread: what 2700rpm is high?
    You have written not to "lug" truck engines at 600 rpm. Who does that?
    How does trucks running at 1200 - 2400rpm equate to faster running engines? For a few examples.

    Often I hear the implied stupid argument that an engine uses the least amount of fuel at the highest torque or power revolutions. Laws of Physics suggest otherwise.

    Not trying to be too picky but "modern cars refuse to select their highest gears" is not universal at all. The ones that I have come across all do go to the top gear quickly. Yes they have learned behaviour controlling gear changes, based on load/throttle position etc, but that is to maintain adequate power, and control emissions.
    You mentioned 4WD I've had quite a few, just looking at a new Prado (top popular 4WD) to replace the wife's. It is offered with 6 speed (2 overdrives), the 4th gear no different to past 5 speed model, strongly suggesting the designers are targeting economy.
    My Mitsubishi Challenger switches to top very quickly, adding a "chip" has created more power and torque but the engine spends even more time at low revs, and with improved economy. No discernible extra wear. Reading 4WD mags , the Internet and Forums don't suggest revving engines at all, on my readings. First 4WD bought new 1983, probably driven 0ne million Kms in them. My various F100/Bronco's clearly ran most efficiently at low low revs (did probably 400,000 Km's in those (bullet proof). I can go on. You did not mention marine engines - tell me about these modern engines! ha

    Tesla? isn't "don't have any other gear choices at all" because they are electric?

    Maybe I haven't learnt the hard way yet. But the last fifty years of extensive driving numerous types of engine things does not support the argument "revving is better", if I am now to argue the "against" case.

    I'm not saying that you should "lug" an engine at all. Sensible driving of course (I understand what has been said and there is some truth in it all).

    Evidence on Spyders, other than anecdotal please.
    You logic seems to use common sense, but one thing that could enter the equation. There has been no mention of how the computer controls the fuel map and timing. could be very possible that excess rich or lean situations can occur the way it is set up. Note, that I have zero idea how it is set up. I do know that running for long times either rich or lean and or retarded or advanced timing can certainly lead to issues. As the rider, We do not have the necessary sensors and gauges to assess those conditions and must assume that keeping it in the suggested power band will have the engine run at its best efficiency either for power, economy or both. I know this is my first post and I am a NOOBIE to this forum and a Spyder owner, but I have had a career in aviation as a mechanic and Aircraft inspector. Those engines have most of that work done by the pilot through RPM control and manual mixture control and to some extent engine cooling, so it is much different.

  7. #357
    Active Member OKey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Davis, Illinois
    Spyder Garage

    Default Thanks

    More helpful than you can possible know for new riders like me.

  8. #358
    Registered Users classicvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    New Jersey
    Spyder Garage


    Quote Originally Posted by OKey View Post
    More helpful than you can possible know for new riders like me.
    Thank You

  9. #359
    Member GrayAuthor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Spyder Garage

    Default Awesome Thread!!

    Newbie here😀. Thank you so much for sharing your advice!! I am almost finished reading my manual. You have educated me on areas not mentioned in my manual.

    2017 Can Am Spyder F3 Limited (Black)

  10. #360
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Crossville TN
    Spyder Garage

    Default Battery Tender ?

    Would it be safe to have the battery hooked up to the tender with the storage cover on ? Unfortunately it is getting that time of year in the midwest. Thanks

  11. #361
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    North Central Illinois
    Spyder Garage


    Quote Originally Posted by Fire34 View Post
    Would it be safe to have the battery hooked up to the tender with the storage cover on ? Unfortunately it is getting that time of year in the midwest. Thanks
    I have mine hooked-up at all times when not riding, with the top-cover on it. That is the smaller cover that only covers the top-half of the Spyder. A full cover would likely not present a problem since it is a tender instead of a charger; however, for myself, I would allow for some circulation if possible.

    SL #7026
    VBA #652
    HOG #3935417
    2011 Viper-Red Spyder RT SE5 & Trailer
    2017 HD Ultra Limited
    Former Rides: 2014 HD Ultra Limited; '04 Kawa Nomad; '09 HD Ultra-Classic; and many Hondas through the years.
    Spyder Newbies Do's & Do Not's:

  12. #362
    Active Member bscofield84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Aitkin Minnesota
    Spyder Garage

    Default Great thread

    Really appreciated this thread. Had great info, and answered some of my questions. Thanks much for sharing.

  13. #363
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Georgetown, Texas
    Spyder Garage

    Default Can’t move my beloved Spyder

    Any advice on how to get my spyder into neutral when the battery is completely shot?

  14. #364
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Spyder Garage

    Default Start new thread

    Quote Originally Posted by joemcgriff View Post
    Any advice on how to get my spyder into neutral when the battery is completely shot?

    There is a way to do it manually. I thought it was in the owners manual, I searched in my manual with no luck.

    I would suggest start a new thread You will get your answer for sure

  15. #365
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    bangor maine
    Spyder Garage



  16. #366
    aka: akspyderman ARtraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Soon: NW Arkansas
    Spyder Garage


    Quote Originally Posted by chewy52 View Post
    Glad you found the thread. Unfortunately a lot of bad information starts with the dealership. Salesman & mechanics that do not know diddly squat. My favorite from here. A group of riders from the lower 48 visited in 2015. Needed work done on one Spyder. Went to the "wrong" dealer. They did not even know where the battery was located. I fixed them up with the "right" dealer. PS. the "wrong" dealer no longer sells or services Spyders.
    Last edited by ARtraveler; 02-23-2018 at 08:15 PM.

    Currently Owned: 2011 RT A&C SE5 (magnesium), 2014 RTS-SE6 (yellow), 2015 Vulcan 900 LTD

    Previously : 2008 GS-SM5 (silver), 2009 RS-SE5 (red), 2010 RT-S Premier Editon #474 (black) Pictures of 2008 and 2009 Spyders are in Alaska Albums 2009 and 2010.
    5 Spyders, 10 years, 145,375 miles

  17. #367
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Sioux Falls SD
    Spyder Garage

    Default New Spyder

    Thanks for the list of things new Spyder owners should know. Picking my new RT Limited tomorrow. Going from Harleys to the Spyder. I hope I like the Spyder as much as I liked the Harleys.

  18. #368
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    NE ohio
    Spyder Garage



    This is a GREAT article, it helped me Immensely.

  19. #369
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Spyder Garage


    Great information here. I truly have learned a lot.

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