One of my favorite rydes started on a beautiful spring morning. Although it started in Illinois,we took the highway into beautiful Southern Missouri. The highway quickly turned into winding back roads through clusters of blooming dogwoods and red buds. Our destination was "The Abbey" in Arcadia,Mo. We had a fabulous lunch followed by a tour of the historic one time convent on the grounds. During the civil war, it was turned into a hospital for the soldiers. After the war, it had turned into a school for girls. Now closed, it has been partially refurbished and currently is the location for weddings, various events and entertainment. And, that wasn't all! They have a fabulous on site bakery and scrumptious homemade ice cream,that we were "forced" to partake. It was a wonderful day with wonderful friends. That is what our Metro East Il. Spyder Ryders group is about. You are welcome to join us on our adventures!
My ride to Alton IL from River Des Perez area in Saint Louis was about 50 miles to reach the dealership. I was riding on my Piaggio MP3 which performed well at an average 65 – 70MPH although it wobbled a few times when I slowed down enough for large commercial vehicles to overtake me. The ride was exhilarating though. If you don’t know what a Piaggio MP3 is, it’s a three wheeled maxi scooter with two narrow wheels at the front with special suspension that allows the bike to lean into curves like a regular two wheeled motorbike.
It also has a system that allows you to stop at traffic lights etc. without putting your feet down. That system was one of the reasons I was on my way to Alton. I had fallen off this bike three times! Fortunately, I did not hurt myself apart from a few scrapes plus the fact that each time I came off the bike, it was stationary. The system locks the front suspension electronically to allow you to remain upright on the bike at stops and even to park the bike in an upright position without using the kickstand.
Fine, in principal, but in practice does not always work depending upon the camber of the road. Especially if you are stationary. The bike will tip over if you activate the system (with a button press) with the front wheels not in alignment! If one wheel is lower than the other, you’ll fall off.
So, the purpose of my journey to Alton was to pick up a second user Silver Spyder RT SE5 2010. I decided on this bike because it had three wheels (I’m too old to be balancing 1200lbs between my knees) I loved the shape and all the bells and whistles, plus the fact that it only had 1,400 miles on the clock.
I had ridden the bike around the block the day before and loved the way it handled, the semi-automatic gear shifting, the comparative comfort of the seating (with a back rest). I couldn’t wait to get to Ted’s Motorcycle store and acquire my purchase.
The ride back was interesting. Trying to remember where all the switches and buttons were. How many times I had pressed the horn while trying to find the direction indicators I can’t tell you. With drivers looking at me, shrugging their shoulders and mouthing “What was that for?” Keeping alert to the traffic while being aware that you don’t have a handlebar brake on the right anymore. Wow! Slow down for those curves coming off the highway you can’t lean this thing like you used to on the Piaggio!
I’m in love! The Can Am RT was just what I'd been looking for. I had intended to keep the Can Am for 5 or 6 months and then upgrade to a RT SE 6. Maybe I will but, right now, this bike runs as smooth as Dairy Queen’s ice cream and with such low mileage I think I’ll manage without the fog lights and bulkier engine for a while. There is a buoyant secondhand market in Can Am bikes and surprisingly, many have remarkably low mileage. So, when I see the right bike in the 1300cc 3 cylinder range with low mileage I’ll know when to pounce.
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