BRP teased the dealers at the 2018 product line announcement called Project S, which will be a sub-$10,000 USD Spyder that’s being released next year as part of the 2019 lineup. I contacted BRP, and they said that this is all the information that is currently available.
Some people say this is a sell-out, or that it will cheapen the brand, or some other disparaging remark. But when I saw the announcement, I got excited for the Spyder community. Think about it.
The Spyder is a wonderful machine, with technology and features like no other motorcycle. It opens up new worlds of safety and convenience, and allows experienced riders and new recruits to ride safer, while still enjoying that “wind in your face” feeling. This does make it complex however, and therefore quite expensive.
When an injury made me (and the Missus) nervous about supporting and riding on two wheels, I was looking for something I could ride and have a better chance of staying upright. I found the Spyder to be a great option, but far too expensive for a “Let’s see if I like it” approach. In case you haven’t noticed, Harley and Goldwing trikes are also prohibitively expensive. Fortunately for me, I found a used 2010 RTS in great condition and took the plunge. After about 500 miles getting used to it, I was hooked. BUT, I would have never taken the same chance on a $20-30K machine.
I don’t know the actual demographics on Spyder ownership, but the community of Spyder owners I know tend to be somewhat older and more established. This is partially due to the need for three wheels that we have, but also due to the fact that you must have some pretty substantial resources to afford a Spyder. Unfortunately like a luxury car, Spyders tend to drop in value due in part to a limited resale market.
In comes the Project S Spyder. It is hard to put into words what a boon I think this will be to BRP, and the Spyder community in general. A lower cost model, while still offering the benefits of 3 wheels, will be alone in the market at least for a while. It will attract a younger rider, more female riders, and many more “on the fence” riders that just can’t commit the big bucks for an RT or F3, or even the early models on the used market.
Once these riders have had some experience on the S model, they will either decide it’s not for them, at which time I think they will be able to sell with less depreciation loss, or they will decide that they are a Spyder Ryder for life. These are the people that will be trading up for a more expensive model (like I did) such as a used RT or F3, and then down the road, going for a new Spyder.
We will all benefit from having more members of our wonderful Spyder community. From increased markets for our used machines, to more interest from 3rd party vendors and shops, along with additional cash at BRP for research and development of even more fun models!