Can-Am Ryker: 14 Beginner Questions (Answered)

The Can-Am Ryker is an entry-level, three-wheeled recreational vehicle.

It features an automatic transmission, a high-tech vehicle stability system, a 4.5” digital display, and a buyer’s choice of a 600cc or 900cc Rotax engine.

Today we’ve signed on to answer our reader’s faqs about all things Can-Am Ryker!

Are Can-Am Ryker Safe?

The Can-Am Syder is safe due to its unique “Y-Factor” design and various standard safety features. Its three-wheel setup uses two wheels up front and one driven wheel in the rear beneath an ATV-style chassis providing one of the safest open-air experiences available today.

The Y-factor gives the Ryker more stability and a much sturdier base in comparison to a 2-wheeled motorcycle, which therefore reduces the risk of falling off and gives an added feeling of security.

It also comes with safety features such as:

  • ABS (Anti-Lock Brakes): Prevents wheel lockup and skidding when too much brake pressure is applied.
  • Traction Control: Prevents wheel slippage (or “over-spinning”) when driving on slick surfaces.
  • Stability control: Helps prevent loss of control in curves and emergency steering maneuvers by stabilizing the bike when it begins to veer off the intended path.
  • Display: Monitors performance stats in real-time.

Essentially these systems work to maximize traction, braking efficiency and to keep you heading in the right direction.

There’s no doubt that the Ryker is a safe vehicle however safety is mostly dependent on you the driver – always wear a helmet and ride sensibly.

Is the Can-Am Ryker Good for Beginners?

The Ryker is a good choice for beginners due to being highly user-friendly – its 3-wheel-derived stability and automatic transmission are ideal for inexperienced riders.

Not only is the Ryker easy to ride and learn on, but it’s also insanely fun.

One of the factors that make the Ryker a solid choice for beginners is its ease of operability, thanks to the automatic transmission.

  • With a unique automatic transmission design, new riders don’t have to learn how to clutch or shift or worry about what gear they’re in.
  • The Ryker has a reverse mode, making parking for new riders a breeze.
  • The Y-Factor does the balancing for you, making learning less intimidating than two-wheels.
  • The Rykers ABS brakes are linked – one press of the right foot pedal slows all three wheels.
  • And once again, thanks to the Y-factor, the road surface, lean angle, or direction of the handlebars aren’t critical factors to be mindful of while learning to ride out in the open.

As far as learning goes for beginners, it’s about as straightforward as it gets – you just twist and go.

You may also be interested in our article: Are Can-Am Rykers Reliable?

Do Can-Am Rykers have Reverse?

The Ryker has a reverse function that is very simple to use. Stop the vehicle and use your left foot or hand to slide a lever above the footpeg to put the Ryker into the reverse gear and then use the throttle to start moving backward.

  • Simply execute the process in opposite to go back to forwarding gear.
  • The straightforward, wide LCD screen also adds to the ease of Ryker’s reverse functionality.
  • Not only does the upgraded display screen mean less start-up time than the Spyder, but it also displays the drive, forward, parking brake, and, you guessed it—reverse.

Here’s how to know if you’re Ryker is in reverse gear:

In the upper right corner of the 4.5 display screen, above where the MPH is displayed, you’ll see either an R, D, or P indicating whether the Ryker is in gear for Reverse, Drive, or Park.

Is Can-Am Ryker worth the Money?

Can-Am Rykers are worth the money if you’re in the market for an entry-level, three-wheeled open-air vehicle that’s efficient, safe, leisurely to operate, and a pleasure to ride. Its stripped luggage capacity for touring and more humble electronic package make it cheaper than the Spyder.

That said, if you’re looking for something that will prepare you for two-wheeled motorcycle riding, then a Ryker won’t be worth the money.

  • The Ryker is cheap compared to the Spyder but not compared to beginner motorcycles.
  • While beneficial for learning to feel comfortable in an open-air rec vehicle, the Ryker won’t prepare you for the skillfulness, motorized operation, and balance you’ll have to master for two-wheel riding.

The Ryker is worth the money if you’re its intended market, a consumer looking for an open-air experience without sacrificing car amenities, like balance, traction, reverse-gear, and an automatic transmission. 

Are Can-Am Rykers Fast?

The Can-Am Ryker’s top speed is 165km/h or 102 MPH and owners claim they can clear 0-60 MPH in less than 6 seconds. That said, an automatic transmission will never have the acceleration potential of a vehicle that can downshift manually.

Despite various rumors about Rykers being governed in particular regions more than others, one Ryker owner I encountered did the research and specified that “there is no difference in power for European models compared to North American models or anywhere else in the world.”

The Spyder tops out the Ryker on multiple specs, including top speed.

That’s said, the Spyder is the more elevated model range.

The base model Ryker starts with a 2-cylinder 600cc engine that boasts around 47 horsepower or the 900cc, which pushes out 82.

What is the Difference between Can-Am Ryker and Spyder?

There are notable distinctions between the Can-Am Ryker and Can-Am Spyder. Can-Am designed the Ryker as a beginner model, stripped-down, smaller, less tricked out and therefore cheaper. The Spyder is more luxurious, has more features and storage capacity.

Ryker (top), Spyder (bottom).

Type of Riding

The Ryker is much more compact and is known for its sporty look and feel its ideal for short trips and city zipping.

The Spyder is more comfortable, luxurious and is a better choice for those who are taking longer rides or touring across the country.

However you can use the Ryker and Spyder for any type of riding.


The Spyder is a better choice if you are going to have a passenger – the back seat is very comfortable and some models feature heated handles and heated seats.

The Ryker can be customized to accommodate a passenger although as standard there is only 1 seat.


Price is also something you’ll need to consider.

  • The 2021 Spyder F3 went for $15,999, while the top-shelf Spyder RT went for $23,299.
  • The 2021 Ryker went for $8,799.


The Spyder comes with a semi-automatic transmission which means you’ll need to use a paddle shifter to change gears as your riding – it will downshift automatically as you brake.

The Ryker is fully automatic, so you simply twist and go.


The Ryker comes standard with a Rotax ACE Engine, which produces outstanding gas mileage and dependability. It comes in two engine-displacement options, a 600cc and a 900cc.

The upside Spyder gets a bigger and badder Rotax 1330 ACE Engine, a triple-cylinder configuration increases torque, motor performance, and throttle response.

Related: 9 Most Common Can-Am Ryker Problems (Explained)

Is a Can-Am Ryker Considered a Motorcycle?

The Ryker is considered a motorcycle by legal definition. However, Can-Am categorizes the Ryker as a “roadster” since it utilizes a snowmobile-like configuration and an ATV-inspired chassis.

Some states require a 3-wheel motorcycle license whereas others simply require a car license.

However, Can-Am strongly recommends that every new rider completes its 3-wheel On-Road riding course.

Are Can-Am Ryker Cool?

The Can-Am Ryker is undoubtedly cool. It’s a bat-bike-looking three-wheel open-air recreational vehicle that’s unlike anything else. It’s a snowmobile for the highway that provides an exhilarating ride.

The Ryker is a remarkable machine although some of the online haters pick on the Rykers for all the reasons they were designed; they’re not a substitute for a motorcycle.

So yes, the Ryker is fantastic in the sense that it’s a chill and leisurely way to twist a throttle without being too much of an adrenaline chaser.

Ryker aficionados compare the ride to driving a high-powered, monster-mashing go-kart.

Are Can-Am Ryker Automatic?

The Ryker employs a fully automatic transmission, which provides a twist-and-go style throttle action that doesn’t require shifting. There’s no clutch to modulate on the Ryker.

The twist and go throttle is perfect for novices and can be equally enjoyed by experienced riders too.

The automatic transmission helps keep performance and fuel efficiency in balance and allows the rider to focus on the road ahead instead of worrying about gear changes.

You may also be interested in our article: Can-Am Spyder: 11 Questions Answered (For Beginners)

How Much does a Can-Am Ryker Weigh?

The Can-Am Ryker weighs 616 lbs dry–with no fuel in the tank. It’s too heavy to lift by hand and has a shallow center of gravity. The negative is a Ryker is much more complicated than a motorcycle when it comes to loading it onto a trailer or truck when it’s not running.

On the upside, it’s harder to steal as a person can’t pick it up.

Again, 616 lbs might seem heavy compared to an entry-level motorcycle, but unlike a motorcycle, it is planted securely on 3 wheels and therefore weight won’t be as much of a concern.

Furthermore, unlike a heavy bike that weighs the same amount, you’ll never find yourself in a position where you get stuck under your Ryker and need to lift it off of you, as it’s impossible to tip over sans a critical disaster.

Weight is a much bigger deal on two-wheels than on three.

You don’t have to balance the 616 lbs between your legs, nor do you have to put one or both feet down when you stop, worrying about the heavy machine slipping out from underneath you,

And finally, the weight on a Ryker is less critical thanks to the reverse gear- you don’t have to manually back it up a hill or through a gravel parking lot.

The Can-Am Ryker is a street-legal machine, categorized as a three-wheeled motorcycle. Legal license conditions vary from state to state. That said, Can-Am classifies the Ryker as a “recreational roadster.”

While some states require a Class (M)otorcycle license to ride a Can-Am Ryker, others only mandate a traditional automobile license.

You may also be interested in our article: Are Can-Am Spyders Reliable?

How Much does a Can-Am Ryker Cost?

The Can-Am Ryker base price starts at $8,799. For a price tag of $11,499, riders get the 2021 Ryker Rally Edition which has an upgraded suspension package and various other attributes for more adventurous or technical riding styles.

The Ryker was always geared towards providing a stripped-down Spyder experience for riders on a budget.

This ethos helped Can-Am open up to potential prospects and attract new customers.

Some studies suggest at least half are new to open-air rec riding.

Can a Can-Am Ryker Wheelie?

A Can-Am Ryker can’t do wheelies because the rear wheel is loaded so low; there’s insufficient traction for pulling off a wheelie. Despite its large tires, the Ryker has minimal downforce. Redirecting your weight to the back on a three-wheeled motorcycle that has two wheels up front is an impossible physical feat.

You will find a small handful of Ryker riders in the forums who claim they’ve done some wheelies. They likely mistook the chassis wobbling back onto the rear suspension for a front-end lift-up.

Can you Tow a Can-Am Ryker?

You can not tow a Can-Am Ryker with a tow dolly. The most secure method to utilize a tow dolly for towing a Can-AM Ryker without provoking wear or damage is to remove the drive belt.

Removing the drive belt isn’t something you can do on the fly on the side of the road, and once it’s released, you have to worry about reinstalling it when it’s time to ride, another complex procedure likely requiring a lift and tools. 

If you have to tow you, Ryker, use a flatbed trailer with suspension rated for greater than 800 pounds just to be safe.

What Are Some Alternative Options?

ModelBase MSRP
Can-Am Spyder$15,999
Can-Am Ryker$8,499
Polaris Slingshot$19,999
Goldwing Trike$25,000
Harley Trike$28,499

You may also be interested in our article: Are Polaris Slingshots Reliable?


  • Michael Ta Nous

    I've been weaving words into stories since my early scribbling days, and my journey in the world of motorcycles and their communities spans almost two decades. Living with a talented motorcycle mechanic as a roommate, our garage transformed into a vibrant workshop where I absorbed the intricacies of...