Are Can-Am Rykers Reliable? (12 Important Facts)

The Ryker is the Spyder’s smaller, sportier, entry-level equivalent.

Featuring a twist-and-go automatic transmission, a low ride height and a stylish design – the Ryker defines fun.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at its reliability.

Here is the short answer to whether Can-Am Rykers is reliable:

The Can-Am Ryker is generally quite reliable, they are prone to minor repairs although some owners have reached thousands of miles without encountering a single problem. Maintenance is essential for the Ryker’s reliability and you will also want to make sure you use a reputable dealership.

How Reliable Are Can-Am Rykers?

The Can-Am Ryker isn’t known for cataphoric failures and regular breakdowns but like any vehicle, you can expect the odd annoying problem to occur and you will likely need a repair or two as you clock up more miles.

Some of these might be self-inflicted from minor crashes whilst others will be due to components that have failed prematurely.

For example, some models have required the fuel injector to be replaced after only a few thousand miles, although if you’re within the warranty period (we recommend getting an extended warranty – especially if you’re using it as a commuter vehicle) then you won’t be out of pocket.

Parts of the bike may fade with age such as the handlebars and plastic trimmings, it’s best to keep it covered when not in use although some degree of fading is almost inevitable – and if you spill fuel on the plastic it will discolor it.

The Ryker does get dirty easily so it’s important to give it regular washes. You may see some surface rust on internal components within a few thousand miles but this won’t affect performance.

Some owners have been left stranded due to a bad battery – to prevent this from happening use a 12V trickle battery charger.

A common complaint from Ryker owners is the loud clunking noise that comes from the CVT (continuously variable transmission) – this is caused by the belt and shaft engaging, and whilst it is completely normal and will quieten as parts break-in, it can still be a bit disconcerting.

If you look across Ryker forums and Facebook groups it’s not uncommon to see reports from owners who have been left disgruntled due to a lack of dealership knowledge, you’ll hear things like:

  • Dealer doesn’t know what they’re doing
  • Dealer made mistakes
  • Bike was hastily put together

It’s important you do some background research on your dealership, see what options are available in terms of where you buy your bike and where you have it serviced as this will directly impact reliability and also your experience with the Ryker.

There have also been some complaints relating to electrical issues.

One such issue causes the ECU (electronic control unit – used to control the engine and other components functions) to stall the engine until corrected.

I’ve seen more than a few Ryker owners claim their bike displayed error codes even though everything was fine. 

Due to the ECU overriding engine activity until the error is fixed, an inaccurately-timed error message leaves the owner stranded despite there not being an actual problem with the bike.

Keep in mind though negative reviews online are often magnified as most happy customers don’t post reviews, and for every Ryker rider expressing discontent, many more profess their reliability.

Maintenance, as outlined in the owner’s manual, and good ownership and riding habits are crucial for reliability.

You may also be interested in our article: Can-Am Ryker: 14 Beginner Questions (Answered)

How Many Miles Can a Can-Am Ryker Last?

A Can-Am Ryker can last well over 60,000 miles providing it is serviced correctly, ridden responsibly and is stored appropriately. Using a reputable dealership to carry out maintenance is essential for longevity.

We’ve based our projection on trusted industry data.

Below is a sample of Ryker odometer readings after taking a deep dive into various Can-Am forums and Facebook groups.

  • 49,000 miles
  • 53,579 miles
  • 52,434 miles
  • 58,300 miles
  • 65,721 miles
  • 47,540 miles
  • 65,283 miles
  • 83,987 miles
  • 76,656 miles
  • 129,000 miles

Rykers are designed to be fun, sporty little rippers but being too harsh with the throttle will wear out vital engine components much faster and see its longevity reduced.

They are also more intricate than a traditional motorcycle, requiring technical ECU updates, routine service maintenance, and in-depth experience with the initial assembly.

With that in mind it’s important you choose a trusted dealership for the purchase and servicing.

Rykers get to the Can-Am dealerships in a container, unassembled and therefore have to be built by the techs at the dealership.

Rushed or poorly performed Ryker assembly will subtract from how long it will last, and the same applies to the quality of servicing.

How Long do the Tires Last?

The standard factory tires should last 8,000 – 10,000 miles and are generally of good quality.

This can vary depending on several factors such as road conditions, climate and style of riding.

How Long Does the Battery Last?

The Can-Am Ryker battery should last about 3 years, however some have lasted as little as 6 months whilst others have lasted over 7 years.

To be on the safe side, swap the battery at the first sign of trouble as you don’t want to be left stranded.

It’s also a good idea to invest in a battery tender.

What is Considered High Mileage for a Can-Am Ryker?

A Can-Am Ryker is considered high-mileage after 25,000 miles. The blue book value is a brutal judge for motorcycles and recreational vehicles; they assume they’re all ridden hard. That said, a well-kept Ryker with 25,000 will likely still function fine for years.

Whilst odometer readings are important they don’t give the full picture.

A Ryker that’s been well looked after with 30,000 miles on the clock is a better purchase than one that’s been neglected, poorly maintained and with half the mileage.

If you’re here because you’re considering buying a used Can-Am Ryker and you’re unsure if it has too many miles on it, here are some critical considerations:

  • Was the Ryker stored indoors? If stored outside, was tarped or under a port of some kind? – This should be evident by the amount of fading.
  • How often was it serviced? – The owner should be able to provide proof and documents to support this.
  • What dealership was the Ryker assembled and serviced at? – Check online for reviews of said dealership.
  • Take it for a test ride – Ask the owner to leave the bike cold and listen for worrying noises.

If the previous owner took good care of their Ryker the “high-mile reading” on the clock affects value more than it will longevity.

What Are the Best Model Years to Buy and Avoid?

There’s not a huge amount of choice in terms of which is the best year to buy as its only been out a few years however we’ve outlined our thoughts below.

Best Years: 2022 and the 2020 Ryker 900

The Can-Am Ryker has evolved over time and the latest 2022 model offers the most up-to-date features, tech and styling tweaks and would be our top pick.

We’ve heard great things about the 2020 Ryker Rally 900 too, in particular, how much easier it is to ride compared to the 2019 model.

The 2020 Rally 900 is equipped with Electronic Rider assistance that adds to the ease of operation and features four ride modes: eco, standard, sport, and rally.

Worst Years: 2019

2019 was the first year of Ryker production, and it’s common for any vehicle to see the most problems with the first-year model.

It’s not that it was exceptionally bad, but the 2019 model seems to have the most complaints regarding strange ECU activity, steering problems, seat height, and suspension issues.

  • Can-Am continued to update their Ryker each year, noting customer feedback, upgrading and updating the Rikers software and hardware each subsequent year to follow.
  • Most ECU complaints are fixed via electronic CPU updates done at the dealerships during routine services.
  • If a 2019 Ryker has been serviced regularly, it’s likely that any complaints early on are no longer relevant.

What Problems Does the Can-Am Ryker Have?

The most commonly reported problem on a Can-Am Ryker is due to the clunk sound produced by the drivetrain.

When you put the Ryker in gear the CVT Transmission makes a strange mechanical metal clangor.

Not a thump like the Spyder, a mechanical metal clunk.

One real-life Ryker rider had this to say about the noisy drive train on his Ryker:

“This problem is evident as you let off and quickly re-apply throttle. Perhaps it’s where the CVT clutch splines to the drive shaft? In any case, having this much free play or lash on a brand new bike is not a good sign since this will only worsen as it wears in.”

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

Can-Am Ryker Maintenance Costs

Can-Am Spyder Menu-990 V-Twin Engine
600 Mile Service & Every 4600 Miles-RS/ST-SM5$169.49
600 Mile Service & Every 4600 Miles-RS/ST-SE5$178.49
600 Mile Service & Every 4600 Miles-RT-SM5$195.41
600 Mile Service & Every 4600 Miles-RT-SE5$207.99
Replace Engine Oil & Filter, Inspect & Clean Oil Tank Strainer, Run Diagnostic Software & Provide Service Report, Inspect Throttle, Inspect Lighting System, Inspect Control Switches, Inspect & Adjust Drive Belt, Torque Front and Rear Wheel Nuts, Inspect Steering System, Lubricate Front Suspension Arms, Inspect & Adjust Parking Brake, Road Test
14,000 Mile Service-RS/ST-SM5$586.26
14,000 Mile Service-RS/ST-SE5$596.26
14,000 Mile Service-RT-SM5$631.26
14,000 Mile Service-RT-SE5$636.26
Replace Engine Oil & Filter, Inspect & Clean Oil Tank Strainer, Run Diagnostic Software, Inspect Throttle System, Inspect Lighting System, Inspect Control Switches, Inspect & Adjust Drive Belt, Torque Front & Rear Wheel Nuts, Inspect Steering System, Lubricate Front Suspension Arms, Inspect & Adjust Parking Brake, Clean Air Filter Housing, Inspect Engine Coolant, Inspect Radiator-Hoses & Water Pump, Inspect Throttle Body, Check Fuel Hoses, Replace Fuel Filter, Replace Spark Plugs, Replace Rear Sprocket Bearing, Replace Bearings-Seals-O-Rings-Wear Sleeves in Rear Axle, Inspect Wheel Bearings, Inspect Tie-Rod Ends, Check Ball Joints, Inspect Brake Fluid, Road Test
Basic Oil Change-RS/ST-SM5$152.99
Basic Oil Change-RS/ST-SE5$162.99
Basic Oil Change-RT-SM5$152.99
Basic Oil Change-RT-SE5$162.99
Change Engine Oil & Filter Only-Uses BRP Oil Change Kit
PA State Inspection-PASS OR FAIL-Price Includes Tax & Sticker Fee$53.00
Replace Rear Tire$374.49
Replace Front Tire-Each-14” & 15”$139.49
Replace Front Brakes-2012 & Prior-EBC V-Series Pads$213.68
Replace Rear Brake Pads-2012 & Prior-EBC V-Series Pads$85.95
Replace Front Brake Pads-2013 & Up-EBC High Performance Pads$157.40
Replace Rear Brake Pads-2013 & Up-EBC High Performance Pads$88.95
True Track Laser Alignment$149.95
Source: https://smithmarineusa.com/Dealer-Services/Service-Department/Ryker-Service 

5 Tips to Make Sure Your Can-Am Ryker Is Reliable

Treat it like a Recreational Roadster.

A Can-Am Ryker is, in fact, a recreational vehicle, like a motorcycle and its dependability requires constant upkeep and detailed cleaning.

Buy your Ryker and Have it Serviced at a High-Rated Dealership.

The Ryker is built at the Can-Am dealership so choose your dealership wisely.

Inadequate technicians are behind many complaints we’ve encountered online. 

Store your Ryker Out of the Extreme Weather

Extend your Ryker’s lifespan by storing it away from corrosive weather.

UV exposure destroys seals, grips, and plastics, and dampness and precipitation exposure can rust and corrode components.

If you can’t store it inside, use a good-quality tarp or cover.

Ride your Ryker Regularly and Responsibly.

Be especially vigilant of the manual’s outlined break-in period and procedure instructions.

Also, frequently riding your Ryker will preserve its lines by flushing the fluids through and keeping its motor parts lubricated and the battery charged.

Winterize your Ryker before Periods of Inactivity.

Keep its battery on a trickle charger and be sure you’re maintaining its fluid levels and quality, especially if you’re not riding often.

This keeps your tanks and lines from developing gunk and will keep your Can-Am Ryker trustworthy for years to come.

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