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12 December 2014

5 Years and 150,000 Miles on 8 Spyders







Early 2009 – After more than a year of badgering, BRP finally talks me into accepting the loan of a Spyder. Quite frankly, I had tried all the previous versions of three-wheelers and just wasn’t very interested. But since it was sitting in my garage anyway, and it was a free ride, I started to spend some time on it. And the more I rode it, the more I liked it. 

In the end I had to admit that though this Spyder was too small and  sporty for a touring guy like me, it was head and shoulders above any three-wheeler I had previously tried. I wrote it a fairly favorable review for a magazine, ending with my hope that maybe someday BRP would build a touring version.



Late 2009 – My dreams appear to be becoming a reality, as I am invited to BRP HQ in Quebec to ride a prototype of the all-new Spyder RT. They hired a professional photographer that shot about 200 photos of Cherrie and I riding around Quebec – this is about my favorite of the lot.



Soon after the RT went into production, BRP presented us with serial number 003, upon which we proceeded to rack up about 50,000 miles in the next 10 months or so. It was really great fun, as virtually no one in the country had actually seen an RT as yet, so we drew crowds wherever we went. This particular shot was taken at the annual Griffith Park Sidecar Rally in Los Angeles.

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Just for a change of pace, when BRP offered to replace Old No. 003 with a new 2011 model, we opted for a white one. I really liked the way it looked, but it was heck to keep clean. Again we rode the crap out of it, putting as I recall about 45,000 miles on this unit in the next year. These photos are, in order top to bottom, in front of the battleship USS Alabama in Mobile Harbor, in our own driveway in Hemet, California, when I was being interviewed for a TV show, and at the infamous Roadkill Cafe in Seligman, Arizona, just before ordering the “Awesome Possum” breakfast.


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In 2012 we received what I still believe was our most beautiful RT ever, the Lava Bronze. I still think that color is/was the best ever paint job on an RT. The top photo was taken during a dawn ascension of our local hot air balloon club. This is actually just a mile or so from our house. The second photo is the famed Pacific Coast Highway, near the Oregon border. And the last is when I met up with an old friend in Northern California, Craig Vetter. Craig was riding around on his newest prototype ultra high-miler, and I talked him into switching bikes for a while. He really liked the Spyder and did a video endorsement for me.


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2013 brought us the Black Currant (really dark red) model, which as you can probably tell by the photos, we took on TWO coast-to-coast jaunts, seeking out odd and interesting places as part of an online game we played, called “Where in the World are Fred & Cherrie?” From the top, these were taken at the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, North Carolina, the Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama, the lava beds south of Death Valley, California, the Buford Pusser Home & Museum, Adamsville, Tennessee, and finally the saloon owned and operated by Davy Crockett’s Father, somewhere in Tennessee – I really don’t remember where now.


Raggedy Ann You could write a book about the Amana Colonies in Iowa. Several people have. Well worth a stop if you are ever in Iowa, trust me. A unique place. Crossing Oregon and Washington Spyder’s VSS and TCS Kingman, Arizona Roy’s of Amboy Iron Mountain Road in the Mojave Desert Joe Palooka The Roadkill Café Crossing Western Colorado and parts of New Mexico and Arizona USS Alabama Memorial in Mobile Harbor Kill Devil Hill at Kitty Hawk brp-(49) Grand Canyon


And then of course came the 2014, and all hell broke loose! As much as I liked those previous Spyders, this was a total revelation. BRP had obviously been listening and learning along the way, and after almost five years, hit this one clean out of the park! We were so enamored of the new Spyder that we tried to ride its wheels off. In our first 90 days with it, we rolled over 30,000 miles on the odometer. I think some of these photos can attest to that. 


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And then also in 2014, we flew to New Zealand, where BRP was kind enough to loan us another Spyder for a month of riding around both the North and South Islands. Along the way we met up with the Kiwi Spyder Ryders and rode with them for several days and on one giant Toy Run. It was a blast.



Finally, as 2014 fades away, my wife and I just want to thank BRP for the incredibly fun ride. I don’t think it’s over yet – but I would be remiss not to note that none of these adventures would have been possible without their generosity. We truly love the Spyder, and the people that helped create and market it. 

Thanks Everyone, and Happy New Year!


Fred Rau Motorcycling

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