Monday, March 26, 2007

Lookin' for adventure...the Can-Am Spyder Roadster


My father, in his youth, rode an Indian Motorcycle. (Which is obviously not what's pictured here. That, my friends, is a Can-Am Spyder.)

His motorcycling days were long past by the time he was heading down the highway with a pack of kids crammed in the back seat making fun of every "hairbreath Harry" who'd go sailing by us on his motorcycle. (Hairbreath Harry was a comic strip character out of my father's childhood.) We knew all the words to Black Denim Trousers*, and we'd shout it out the window - once those dangerous bad-boys on motorcycles were safely out of ear-shot:

He wore black denim trousers and motorcycle boots
And a black leather jacket with an eagle on the back
He had a hopped-up 'cicle that took off like a gun
That fool was the terror of Highway 101

While The Wild One was a bit before my movie-watching days, the iconic poster of Brando, motorcycle capped tilted menancingly over one eye, was on plenty of dorm-room walls of my era.

Then, of course, there was Easy Rider, the ultimate "statement movie" of the late 1960's.

All that said, I have never, ever, ever in my life had any desire to get on a motorcycle.

My closest experience was a motorbike in Bermuda. What with the driving on the wrong side, that was plenty scary enough for me.

Still, I'm more than a little intrigued by Bombardier Recreational Products new Can-Am Spyder Roadster, a three-wheeled motorcycle that really put a smile on my face when I saw one in last week's Economist.** (Note: the brief article on the Spyder is premium content, but you're already reading The Economist, aren't you? And make sure you go to economist.com, not theeconomist.com, which brings you to a picture of Alan Greenspan, hailing him as the economist of the century. I'll have to check with my husband on that. I mean, I know that my husband isn't the economist of the century, but he is an economist so he might have an opinion on who the econ-of-the-century might be. I guessed he'd say Keynes. And I went and asked, and I was right. He reminded me that it's too soon to call the econ-of-the-present-century.)

But the Spyder Roadster....

Okay. You're thinking three-wheeled motorcycle? Doesn't that make it a tricycle?

No, no, no.

Just take a look at this baby. It's got two wheels in the front, not the back. So you won't look or feel like an old geezer while you're on it. You'll look and feel like a Hairbreath Harry, an Easy Rider, a Wild One. This one's got Baby Boomer written all over it. With the cool Spyder name, and the slightly retro "roadster" designation that worked so well for all that marketing of the PT Cruiser the Boomers. (Talkin' 'bout my generation.)

Okay. Maybe the Hell's Angels will make fun of you for ridingone, but I bet that in a few short years, plenty of them will want to ride off into their own personal sunset on something that doesn't need a kickstand.

Given Bombardier's other recreational offerings - SkiDoo, SeaDoo, and the Evinrude outboard engine - I'm sure that the Spyder Roadster will make plenty enough noise to satisfy the most ardent Harley fan.

I've already got a marketing campaign for the Spyder.

They're all pre-Baby Boomers, but the Easy Rider principals are still kicking. How about an ad with Jack Nicholson (b. 1937), Dennis Hopper (b. 1936) and Peter Fonda (b. 1940), "heading down the highway, lookin' for adventure."

Like a true nature's child
We were born, born to be wild
We can climb so high
I never wanna die
Born to be wild
Born to be wild***

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*Words and music by Leiber and Stoller, who also wrote Hound Dog, Jail House Rock, Kansas City, and Stand by Me.

**The brief article on the Spyder is premium content, but you're already reading The Economist, aren't you? And make sure you go to economist.com, not theeconomist.com, which brings you to a picture of Alan Greenspan, hailing him as the economist of the century. I'll have to check with my husband on that. I mean, I know that my husband isn't the economist of the century, but he is an economist so he might have an opinion on who the econ-of-the-century might be. I guessed he'd say Keynes. And I went and asked, and I was right. He reminded me that it's too soon to call the econ-of-the-present-century.)

***Born to be Wild, recorded by Steppenwolf, and written - words and music - by Mars Bonfire (Dennis Edmonton). (No, I didn't know this bit or the one about Leiber and Stoller, either. That's what Google's for.)

2 comments:

Maria4lifetime said...
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Anonymous said...

I,m 63 and just bought a new Kawasaki Cruiser, well after going on a couple of demo rides, its getting traded in next year for one of these 3 wheelers! They are great fun to ride. There not for everyone but you'll get more looks and questions than any Harley I've ever owned.

John (Huntington Beach, Ca.)