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tom.and.tim (1)

Make that 2 Spyders please!!!

SAVING MYSELF ON A SPYDER

 

I want to share with you my own unique story of how and why I became a Spyder rider. There are many brands and types of motorcycles and each of us find something in one brand that defines us and meets our inner needs. I’ve ridden enough motorcycles over the years to definitely state that the Can Am is not a motorcycle and in a category all its own. I found that the term Can Am gave it, i.e. “Roadster” gives it a true definition.Now my story and how I got here:

 

Fifty years ago, in 1965, my identical twin brother and I started on a lifetime trip of the love of motorcycling when our parents bought us a Honda 50 to ride to work as lifeguards at a local State park near Logan, Ohio. I can still remember the two of us hugging the seat while we blasted up the hills at a whopping 20 mph. Of course, that was just the beginning, with many more Hondas, Yamahas and various other models throughout the years.

 

Our riding encompassed both on and off road. Back in the 1980s we were both competing in motor cross racing even though we lived in different parts of the country. During one of those races, Tom crashed off a railroad bridge and had to have reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder. In 1993, being a true twin and not to be out done, I wrecked an ATV while vacationing at Rocky Point in Mexico which resulted in the same type of surgery for me but on my left shoulder.

 

From 1967 to 1977, I was in the Air Force stationed in Tucson, AZ, thousands of miles from my brother back in Ohio. However, we both continued pursuing our love of riding. We both discovered the world of ATVs during this time when they first came out with their 3 wheel models and while my brother rode the strip mines in Ohio, I was blasting down the dry riverbeds in Arizona. Forty years after I moved to Arizona and we reconnected when Tom moved his family west. Then came our next big adventure in riding.

spyder tv article jumeaux rollinOf course Harley Davidson Ultra Classic motorcycles were the next logical step for both of us since we had never owned an American motorcycle. All of Arizona became our stomping grounds as we rode these big machines with family and friends. The trips I made to Laughlin, Nevada for the annual River Run with my son and his wife, both on their own Harleys, along with other family members will always be a high point in my life. I’ve always appreciated my brother allowing me to join his groups in exploring the many spectacular sites here in Arizona, such as Tombstone, Bisbee and Patagonia. The throaty sound and feel of that American iron will always be there for me and I still get a thrill when I hear or see one of those beautiful twins go by.

But as the years go by, so too comes age and the aches and pains that we have built up over a lifetime. In my case, I started showing symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis {RA} at the age of 60, which has progressed each year since. This started taking its toll on my riding. I’ve ridden over 13 years on my beloved Harley. The effects of my RA on my riding became more obvious to me this past year when I had the opportunity to bring my sister west for the first time on a visit. I found myself uncomfortable managing the Harley with our combined weight and became extremely nervous about our safety instead of enjoying the ride. I knew then that if I wanted to continue feeling the wind in my face and the thrill of the open road for another 10 to 15 years that I needed to do something.

 

So my brother and I started researching moving into the world of three-wheel machines and quickly discovered there are only two manufactures, Harley Davidson and Spyder Can AM, who build these type of bikes. All others are add-on modifications and provide no manufacture warranty. Fortunately, Tom is not facing the same health issues that I am but being a brother means being there and supporting each other and that is what he’s done for me. Even though he kept his Harley, he wanted to share this entirely new adventure with me of moving from two wheels to three. So he followed the same path I did in acquiring one. He has been my guiding light through all of this, from the sadness of selling my Harley to the excitement of my next big step in life.

 

Obtaining our Spyders proved to be more of a challenge then we had imagined. I test rode a 2013 model and enjoyed it but after reading about all the upgrades that had been done for the 2014 model, I convinced us both to wait for it. And we did. Wait. Wait and wait. We placed our deposits in November and were told by our dealers to expect delivery in early December. Unfortunately, December came and went. The excitement made it all worthwhile. There were many sites to go to help in our research and one of them I’ve got to say, Spyderlovers.com, provided us the feedback that helped make our decisions. Reading forums posted by other riders about their similar plights in buying one helped us along. Feedback from that forum provided us more insight into what to expect then the dealer did.

tom.and.tim (1)In January 2014 our Spyder RT Limiteds finally arrived. My brother chose the Cognac with chocolate seat while I gravitated to the Silver Platinum Satin with burgundy seat. A great contrast for us since even though we’re twins, our tastes are not exactly the same. In our short time as Spyder riders, we have participated in a group ride with 20 motorcycles, 6 Spyders and 1 Harley Trike. There was such a big difference in the formation of the Spyders. With a tight one second interval between us, it seemed as we were all joined. Folks always stop and watch as a group of motorcycles ride by, however many of them did a double take of the Spyder group in the rear.

 

The ride and operation of the new drive train is superb. As mentioned, I had only one limited ride on an earlier model but could feel the difference in the handling and power. I’m sure the high revving 988 Rotax is a superb engine and I am not trying to downplay it. However, for us ex-big twin riders, the 1330 is a step over that doesn’t feel that much different due to the torque and low idle. I again have the wind in my face while feeling safe and secure on my Spyder. My nervousness is gone and I’ve got a big smile on my face again being able to go anywhere with or without a passenger. I am already planning a cross country trip. The other added bonus is my wife’s first ride and impression of this machine was a hit. The two wheel motorcycles took a toll on her due to neck surgeries. By adjusting the air ride suspension to its softest setting, I finally got the smile back on her face again. We are back enjoying riding together after a long absence. Thank you Can Am for listening to customer’s feedback, redesigning and manufacturing the new RT Spyder. My future looks bright as my wife and I ride off into the sunset on our new ride.

Tommy and Timmy Rollins

spyder tv article jumeaux rollins 2

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2 Responses

  1. Dan McNally says:

    Great article, and it pretty much mirrors my experience, although I ride the 2013 RT Limited. Can’t wait to get to Tucson, next year and ride with my USAF PTS brother . . . and his biological brother!

  2. Mike says:

    Hi T&T

    I enjoyed your story. You are lucky that you’ve stayed close to each other as brothers over many years, not many folks are not that fortunate.

    All the best with your new bikes. Sorry to say I like the Cognac better. Be safe.

    Cheers

    Mike

    PS. Im flying to the Spyderfest from Australia. If you happen to be attending, I might see you guys there.

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