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  1. #51
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    I updated a few more suggestions to this basic "beginner's list" of Do's and Dont's that hopefully will save some people unnecessary grief, and possibly further their enjoyment of their Spyder...

    SL #7026
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    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: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Spyder-owners

  2. #52
    Registered Users Robertsepolen's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice! Especially the shift points!
    2015 SE6 RT-S
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  3. #53
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    Well I put my RT in trailer mode and was surprised on how high the RPM was
    before it allowed me to shift and also it downshifted much sooner.

    I know I was guilty of keeping the rpm to low just for a quieter ride.

    I'm thinking maybe I should leave it in trailer mode all the time with or without trailer.

    What other things other than rpm does trailer mode tell nanny to do to the Spyder?
    -Jimmy

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  4. #54
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    Unofficially from what I understand and have read (because I did read the manual from cover to cover as in Rule #1); is that the "trailer-mode" basically lets your RTS-SE5 know you are pulling a trailer; thus many factors come into play with the handling and power of the Spyder.

    Beside changing the shifting points (to higher RPM points to save the drivetrain from undue stresses), it also affects your braking, stability and traction control systems as well. Overall then the nanny system could kick-in quicker when it detects something exceeding the Spyder's ability to remain within specific ranges of operation and safety.

    Thus, I don't know that you want to always run in the trailer-mode. It simply was a suggestion to help understand how high the RPM's can go by design without causing problems.

    SL #7026
    VBA #652
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    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: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Spyder-owners

  5. #55
    Very Active Member napper39's Avatar
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    too many new riders that has not read this grate thred so bump to the top lits help out some moore new riders.

  6. #56
    Active Member viperryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illinois Boy View Post
    Do's & Dont's for New Spyder Owners: Updated July 7th, 2012
    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.


    1. READ THE MANUAL FRONT COVER TO THE BACK!!! The Spyder is fun and you are anxious to ride it; but do yourself a HUGE favor and read the manual entirely before doing so. You may be surprised at what you don't know.
    2. Buy only from a dealer that has a good reputation. Setting-up a new Spyder seems to be a huge problem if not done correctly. Your odds of having a miserable experience increases if you don't.
    3. Learn as much as possible about your Spyder. You do not have to become a mechanic, but having knowledge will help you out in more ways than can be mentioned.
    4. Do not "ride the brake", or even touch the brake when riding. Too many people seem to have this bad-habit, and the Spyder doesn't like it. The "system" will begin to give you trouble. So blame yourself if you ride your brake -- period. It will cause you problems.
    5. Learn to shift and cruise at higher RPM's. Get over your fear of running the Spyder's Rotax engine at high RPM's. The higher ranges of 4,500 -- 6,000 are where you want to shift and cruise at -- period. Problems are likely to arise later if you do not. For proof; the RTS SE5's "Trailer Mode" won't let you shift out of 1st gear until you hit 28 MPH! (The manual for the RTS-SE5 on pages 71 and 76 mention 3,000 RPM's as the "magic-number" to shift; and not to exceed 4,000 RPM's; which may confuse some. The fact is if you shift at that low of RPM you will be bogging-down your engine and drivetrain.) The engine will not run as smooth or have as much torque (power) when shifting or cruising at low RPM's, and can cause other problems later on. Instead, wait to shift until the RPM's hit the high 4,000's (I shift at 5,100 RPM's for all gear changes. It shifts as smooth as silk.). Fourth-gear can, and should be used up to 63 -- 65 MPH and can be held there all day if that is your cruising-speed. Shifting to 5th gear should be only when you are above this speed; and only if you are on level ground and will remain constant above 65. Downshift when on inclines... up or down when in 5th gear. Do not let your Spyder "lug" its way through uphill climbs. Following this advice your Spyder will run smoother, quieter, and still have power at your disposal. (Those who have ridden V-Twins motorcycles -- you guys are too used to your engine lugging along at 2,100 to 3,500 RPM's. That is a killer for the Spyder. The Rotax engine is NOT your old V-Twin. It works best at or above 5,000 RPM's; so get used to it, or pay the price later.)
    6. Remove the key from the ignition (and the spare from the trunk) and walk away at least 15 feet for several minutes to allow the computer to reset itself if you have minor "booting" problems when starting.
    7. For those with the SE5; be sure to downshift when stopping -- especially fast stops, as the transmission may not downshift to 1st gear. You might then experience the dreaded "can't get it into first-gear syndrome".
    8. Tire pressure makes a big difference in how the Spyder handles. Tire pressure depends on your load-weight, and type of riding, but there will be an optimal pressure. Check it often.
    9. Check your battery cables, fuses, and such often. Anytime these get loose from vibration... the Spyder acts badly.
    10. 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 not doing any of the above. If not, then get it checked-out as soon as possible or risk having problems later -- possibly while on a trip.
    11. Get a battery tender and hook it up to your battery in between riding it. "Tenders" condition the battery which helps make a battery last longer and remain charged. (Short-rides do not always sufficiently charge your battery.)
    12. 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. Just simply avoid doing it whenever possible, and then check your belt right after doing so if you have to.
    13. Fluid levels (i.e., brake, oil, coolant) have to be correct. Check them often as your Spyder will not run right if they are not. (Brake fluid level will go lower as the brake-pads begins to wear. While your brake-pads may still look good, your brake-fluid is now low and the Spyder will throw a code for it... while you scratch your head wondering why. Simply top-off the fluid.)
    14. Be sure to relax your grip on the handlebars. People's first 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). JUST RELAX your grip, and you'll soon see that the Spyder's ride will have a reduction in its "jerkiness". Relaxing typically comes naturally after riding it for several hundred miles.
    15. Be sure to have fun and ride often... probably should be the #1 "MUST DO".


    That is a collection of "sage-advice" gathered from various resources to help you enjoy your experience with your Spyder; and to avoid "beginner mistakes" that may cause grief later-on.

    If anyone disagrees or can add to the list... please do.

    I am new to the Spyder, about a year now. My question is " When just driving around the area for fun, can I leave the Spyder in fourth gear and not shift to fifth?" I have been a Goldwing rider for 13 years and this info is new to me. Please help!!!!!!!

  7. #57
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    Yes. The only time you'll want to shift to 5th gear is when you are cruising at a constant speed above 65 on level terrain.

    Too many people think that since a vehicle has 5-gears that they always need to "get to" the highest gear. That thought process is wrong, and can be at the root of several problems for a vehicle later-on as the added stress to the drivetrain can cause eventual failures.

    Re-read the updated version of the list regarding RPM's.

    I never shift until I see the 5,100 RPM range. That includes all gears, except maybe first to second, of which I shift in the 22 to 28 MPH range. Otherwise... it is at the 5,100 RPM range.

    What you will notice is that your Rotax engine will actually run quieter, smoother, and have more power at your disposal at the throttle.

    I have noticed many Spyder owners lugging their engines trying to get to the next gear as soon as possible and then cruising around in 5th gear with the RPM's in the 3,000 range. These people should be treated as poorly as they are treating the engine and drivetrain!

    EDIT: Also you may find when operating at higher RPM's is you will not have the belt-vibration problem commonly heard about from Spyder owners. My first thought when reading about belt-vibrations is that these individuals are likely running at too low of RPM's most of the time for the gear they are in. Belt vibrations typically occur in the 5,000 to 5,500 RPM range. At that RPM range, the Spyder should be in 4th gear if you are cruising at that pace. Higher RPM's while in the "right" gear doesn't guarantee no vibrations; but you'll find belt vibrations are very infrequent.

    Try this advice for a while and see if your experience with your Spyder doesn't "go-up" a notch or two. I believe it will...
    Last edited by Illinois Boy; 07-07-2012 at 11:14 AM.

    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: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Spyder-owners

  8. #58
    Registered Users Robertsepolen's Avatar
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    READ THE OWNERS MANUAL!
    Wait two days and read it again!
    Wait one week and read it AGAIN!

    I am finding answers that even the dealer service department cant answer! This stuff is not in their heads.
    Read it for youself! You will be glad you did!

    I just spent 3 hours waiting for my bike to be fixed when, after reading the manual myself, I discovered it wasnt even broken!

    I did read the manual when we got the Spyder but it is unlikely you will memorize it the first time!

    READ THE MANUAL!
    2015 SE6 RT-S
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  9. #59
    Server Admin AnthonyG's Avatar
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    This thread is very useful the new owners to say the least. One of the best threads i have read yet. I picked up my spyder yesterday morning, but before i did i had already read this thread 2 times. Now i find myself back here this morning reading it again just to make sure i soak up all the info. I have also read the owners manual twice and watched the dvd once. You can never have to much info on this machine. and i believe if you read this thread and treat your machine with respect it will last you a long time and save you time in the process.

  10. #60
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    I've had a few responses to this thread and have added a few new pointers to update the list -- especially shift-point suggestions for the RTS-SE5; as requested. Other Spyder models may have different optimal points.

    As a part of due-diligence... this list on the first post is merely suggestions based on various resources. You may find some ideas can be slightly modified for your personal needs.

    Remember last rule on the list though...

    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: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Spyder-owners

  11. #61
    Active Member OldDog's Avatar
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    Check your battery cables, fuses, and such often. Anytime these get loose from vibration... the Spyder acts badly.

    I have heard much said about loose battery cables and fuses creating problems. Couldn't the battery cables have some kind of connector that assures they are always tight but at the same time removable? Couldn't fuses be replaced with breakers? Am I missing something? It seems from my reading this has always been a setup issue with less than scrupulous dealers.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldDog View Post
    Check your battery cables, fuses, and such often. Anytime these get loose from vibration... the Spyder acts badly.

    I have heard much said about loose battery cables and fuses creating problems. Couldn't the battery cables have some kind of connector that assures they are always tight but at the same time removable? Couldn't fuses be replaced with breakers? Am I missing something? It seems from my reading this has always been a setup issue with less than scrupulous dealers.
    Or, they could be set so they have better vibration dampening.


    Identify what you have control over and find peace with what you don't.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerbear View Post
    Or, they could be set so they have better vibration dampening.
    Or you could stop running the Spyder at low RPM's that might cause the vibration frequency that loosens them...

    Just a thought...

    SL #7026
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    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: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Spyder-owners

  14. #64
    Registered Users Robertsepolen's Avatar
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    I had an experienced biker tell me recently: " the perfect curve or turn is the one where you adjust your throttle and gear choice to the right speed going into the turn to not even need the brakes. Just a gentle float around the bend is what you are after." this has turned out to be good advice. I spend much less time on the brake and much less time have to " manage" the bike in a turn. Makes riding more enjoyable.
    2015 SE6 RT-S
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  15. #65
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    brakes ?????? not unless absolutely required, back off the throttle before the turn and accelerate out of it, man just did a 5400 km trip through the mountains, and it was awesome, even in the rain.

  16. #66
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    Extremely good points. In addition to reading and rereading your manual, you may want to watch the DVD that was included with the purchase of the spyder. Yes, it may be review for most of us, but for some one new to the spyder or motorcycling, it does contain valuable info. Dale

  17. #67
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    Good info

  18. #68
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    Thank you for posting this! it is very helpful.

  19. #69
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    This forum is absolutely great. What a wealth of information and experience and nice, friendly people to discuss issues with. I was a victim of violating #14 as I used to ride big heavy 2-wheelers and I gripped hard and handled hard. A guy with a lot of Spyder experience finally told me to relax and treat the hand grips and steering "smooth and easy". When I tried that and got used to it the Spyder just relaxed along with me and has been a joy to experience ever since. It is amazing how little effort it takes to enjoy this fine machine. I was also advised to keep the RPMs high (5,000) and I tried that and found the bike was much happier. The Battery Tender point is a good one too. They have a harness you can hook to your battery with a plug that is easily concealed that makes it very simple to hook to your Tender. Your battery will last much longer with that. Keeping it at a healthy level means a lot. Keep sharing great advice for us newbies everybody. We appreciate it.

  20. #70
    Registered Users spyderrock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angel View Post
    #2 just an FYI Setup is NOT done by the wrench. It is done by the assembly guys. These are the lowest paid workers in the shop. They simply go by a sheet of the steps needed to uncrate the bike and set it up.
    The man with the wench may make sure all the updates are done and just check it out right before delivery but that's it. The shop will not pay the lead guy to set up the unit it would be foolish and if so none of us would get our bikes fixed when they mess up. Whyis this because the shop needs to make the sale and get the unit to you, and we all want our oil change done yesterday .

    It is the same with cars a get ready person will set the car up and get it out to the buyer not the mechanic

    I had a bike delivered with the front wheel on backwards before

    I do agree you need to pick a shop that has a good rep for repairs made Sometimes that means you buy from one dealer for the sales amount and use another for the repair

    but your info is great otherwise
    I guess in Texas they do things way different, here in Canada where I live all vehicles must have a PDI Pre Delivery Inspection or your (get ready person). These inspections are mandated to be done by a full papered Journeyman-woman no exceptions. I know the can am dealer here all the Spyders are set up by the Journeyman as well. Think about the liabillity a shop would have if the oil change person set up a bike and it was sold and some thing went wrong, no way would a self respecting shop allow this.
    Love the 3 wheels way of life


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  21. #71
    Very Active Member Star Cruiser's Avatar
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    Great post a nd a goodd reminder to all. I have always promoted the higher rpm shift and cruise. No problems through my first RS and now on the RT-S.
    I didn't know about the brake fluid, so thanks for that. also, I never had to worry about the battery tender, but I don't think using one would hurt anything. (has anyone tried one of the solar chargers?)

  22. #72
    Very Active Member Ron2andia's Avatar
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    Great thread... What about inspection? Does anyone know about wah it costs and is it covered under any of the warranties?

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron2andia View Post
    Great thread... What about inspection? Does anyone know about wah it costs and is it covered under any of the warranties?
    I am not sure what an "inspection" would cost; but am most assured it does cost something. It would take time to do a good inspection... and "time is money".

    My dealer goes through a list they use whenever I take it in. Also there is a list of scheduled items to inspect in your manual (which has recently been upgraded for those with older manuals prior to July '12).

    I look through the manual's recommended list and copy it. I take it to the dealer with me when they work on it. I tell them to verify they have gone through the items; plus whatever else I ask them to look at. So far they seem to be doing all right by me. But I still watch closely, because inspections can be "fudged" easily by dealers.

    SL #7026
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    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: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Spyder-owners

  24. #74
    Very Active Member napper39's Avatar
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    take it to the top a lot of new riders need to read,grate thred.

  25. #75
    Very Active Member Ivorspyder's Avatar
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    This is a great thread.I have followed the original advice which was extremely helpful."Thank

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