Can-Am is a motorcycle producing subsidiary of the Bombardier Recreational Products, a Canadian corporation.
In 1973, under the direction and leadership of an American Engineer named Gary Robinson and former motocross World Champion, Jeff Smith working with a team of California desert racers, Can-Am began producing motocross and enduro bikes using engines provided by the Austrian Rotax company, another Bombardier subsidiary.
The machines made an immediate impact with riders winning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the International Six Days Trial, a form of off-road motorcycle Olympics. The following year, the company swept the 1974 AMA 250 cc motocross national championship with Can-Am riders Gary Jones, Marty Tripes and Jimmy Ellis, finishing first, second and third.
The Rotax motors used a slightly unusual style of intake. A rotary disc system was employed and this plate was altered repeatedly between T'n'T (track and trail) and MX models. This plate is accredited with the horsepower gain over conventional piston port motors used on Japanese motorcycles. The MX3, produced in 1977, was the pinnacle of Can Am. Its 36 horsepower (27 kW) was 6 more than the closest competitor.
However, soon Bombardier changed its priorities, so at first investment in Can-Am was reduced, later motorcycle production was outsourced to Armstrong-CCM Motorcycles (England). 1987 was the final year Can-Am motorcycles were produced.
Though in 2006, Bombardier Recreational Products reintroduced the Can-Am brand with its all-terrain vehicles (ATV). In 2007, the Can-Am brand was also used to introduce the Can-Am Spyder a new three-wheeled roadster.
Thu, 19 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800
The 2011-2012 International Motorcycle Shows tour hits the Big Apple this weekend with a number of debuts, Jan. 20-22 at the Jakob K. Javits Convention Center.
Tue, 13 Dec 2011 00:00:00 -0800
It’s been about a year since Bombardier Recreational Products announced it was developing a hybrid version of the Can-Am Spyder Roadster. Developed in partnership with the Advanced Technology Center at Sherbrooke University in Quebec and with funding from the Government of Canada, the hybrid Spyder is an ambitious project for BRP. We met up with Scott MacWilliam from BRP at the Toronto Motorcycle Show to take a look at a working prototype of the Can-Am’s hybrid three-wheeler.
Thu, 28 Jul 2011 00:00:00 -0700
The U.S. motorcycle industry saw a 4.6% decrease in year-on-year sales over the first six months of 2011, thanks mostly to a 17.3% drop in ATV sales. Motorcycle and scooter sales however saw a 1.7% bump in the first half .
Mon, 11 Jul 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Bombardier Recreational Products announced its 2012 lineup of Can-Am Spyder Roadsters. The 2012 Can-Am Spyder Roadster line consists of two RS models and four RT touring models. All 2012 models come with a new amber-colored display, with the RS models receiving an LCD screen while the RT models get a Dot-matrix screen.
Thu, 05 Nov 2009 00:00:00 -0800
In September, Fonzie brought us a report on the 2010 Spyder RT direct from the Can-Am beehive in Valcourt, Quebec, Canada. With more carrying capacity than ANY motorcycle on the market — even some automobiles —- Can-Am sent touring guru and friend-of-MO, Fred Rau, on a tour of Canada and the United States to promote the new 5-speed luxury touring roadster. For those of you not following Fred’s blog @ SpyderFred.com, here’s a little taste of the scenes and opinions he encountered on his great many miles.
Mon, 28 Sep 2009 00:00:00 -0700
Two weeks ago, I took a break from my regular duties gathering news for Motorcycle.com to fly to Germany to cover the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show for our sister site AutoGuide.com. For two hectic days, AutoGuide editor Colum Wood and I scrambled across the massive 6.2 million square foot Messe Frankfurt trade fair compound, running from press conference to press conference to get the latest on exotic sport cars, futuristic concept models and international unveilings from the automotive world. It was heaven for car lovers, but for me, it meant fighting my way through hordes of photogs, auto-journalists and car show models to get the first photos of four-wheeled goodies from MINI, Ferrari and Lotus.
Thu, 06 Aug 2009 00:00:00 -0700
Irish-American actor John Cusack recently completed a tour of Ireland on a Can-Am Spyder roadster. The star of such films as Runaway Jury, High Fidelity and Grosse Point Blank was in Ireland for his grandmother’s 80th birthday. After the celebrations, Cusack hopped on his Spyder and toured Ireland with his family, visiting places such as Dublin, Kenmare and Galway.
Tue, 30 Jun 2009 00:00:00 -0700
The Can-Am Spyder is an interesting beast (arachnid?). A snowmobile for the road, one might say. In any case, it’s automotive spectacle that is hard to ignore. Do you love it, or do you hate it? If you are at all curious about this beast, head over to the Can-Am Spyder Forums and have a look around. People have already been posting their pictures, reviews, questions and rants about their Spyders.
Wed, 20 May 2009 00:00:00 -0700
Polaris Industries, the parent company of Victory Motorcycles, announced this week it will form a new on-road vehicle division. The official announcement says the new division “maximizes cohesive and strategic growth for Victory Motorcycles and other on-road products and brands”. Which begs the question: what other on-road products and brands?
Tue, 17 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0700
Not only has Bombardier designed and built snowmobiles, planes, trains and the Can-Am Spyder, the privately held Quebec-based company also tinkers with prototypes like the Embrio – the French Canadian answer to the Segway Human Transporter and resembles closely to the “Uno”. Unlikely to ever see actual production, this one-wheeled concept uses gyroscopic technology to balance its rider. The vehicle was allegedly designed to demonstrate what we bipedal humanoids might be using for transportation in the year 2025.