The Adventure Kid (aka Edward F. Nesta) traveled to Montreal, Canada to experience BRP Powersports Equipment as a member of Club BRP (which should stand for Best Ride Possible), where I had the opportunity to drive their Can-Am Spyder Roadster, and All Terrain Vehicles the Side-by-Side and 800cc and 1000cc ATVs.
In early July 2011, I traveled to Montreal, Canada to participate in the largest gathering of powersports enthusiasts for BRP's Club BRP. The City opened its doors, just weeks after the Grand Prix du Canada, to the casual but eager powersports driver, whose need for speed is just as intense as that of a professional driver. The club participants were treated to seat time on a wide selection of BRP’s powersports equipment, such as the Can-Am Spyder three-wheel open-air roadsters, off-road ATVs (All Terrain Vehicle) and Side-by-Sides, and the Sea-Doo and other assorted boat crafts running Rotax engines. The only pieces of equipment missing was the Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, but there was no snow in the forecast for early July in Montreal.
Edward Getting Ready
With limited time to get the adrenalin going, I opted to stay on land and in the dirt by giving their Can-Am line a run, which included the open road Spyder RS-S (Roadster Sport), the Outlander 800cc and 1000cc ATVs, and the Commander X 1000cc Side-By-Side. BRP uses the word WOW in their advertising, and though wow is not an adjective, in this case, these three letters are an appropriate adjective to describe the look, feel, ride, and experience of their equipment.
I had the opportunity to tour the BRP factory and hear from their designers regarding their expectations when they are creating new or modifying an existing piece of equipment. Safety is always a concern, as is creating a vehicle that is environmentally friendly, but BRP also wants a vehicle that sings WOW to the true powersport enthusiast every time they see and drive the equipment, and they have achieved the WOW level. I toured the facility after I had personally experienced the Can-Am line, so I was already a convert to the feeling of WOW. After the tour, I was immensely impressed with their extensive focus on engaging and stimulating the consumer’s emotions at every chance they could.
Edward Warming Up
My first ride was on the Can-Am Spyder Roadster Sport (RS-S), an open road vehicle that packs a punch. So, what is a Spyder Roadster? Well, it is a three-wheel, two in the front and one in the rear, machine that crosses the stability of a car via the two front wheels, with the freedom of a motorcycle with a 998cc, V-twin, liquid cooled, DOHC 4 engine. Just saying the specs takes my breath away, as did my experience driving the RS-S.
It took very little time to acclimate to the controls on the vehicle that uses a handlebar with the left hand [index finger and thumb] controlling the manual paddle shifter, and the right hand the gas, with your right foot controlling the brakes. It was a smooth tap with the index finger to move up a gear and a slight tap with the thumb to downshift. I have always believed, from my experience driving various hi-performance machines, that once you get into a rhythm shifting gears, be it with your left foot and hand or like on the RS-S with my index finger and thumb, the maneuvering becomes a part of your senses, like breathing and thinking. I found my rhythm immediately and was ready to put the RS-S through its paces, and what a fun ride it was.
What a Ride (WOW)
The Can-Am Spyder Roadster Sport (RS-S) is for the true open road sports enthusiast; this ride is intended for the person who wants to feel the road, and to be a part of the experience, not just a passenger. The RS-S instrumentation was comprised of a multi-function LCD/analog gauge with a digital speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip and hour meters, gear position, temperature indicator, engine lights indicator, electronic fuel gauge, and a clock to keep track of the hours that you will spend riding. In addition, the RS-S comes with a Vehicle Stability System, Stability Control System, Traction Control System, Anti-Lock Braking System, Dynamic Power Steering, and 6.6-gallon (25 liter) gas tank to provide you with more cruising and less stopping time.
Having had my fun on the Spyder Roadster, it was now time for me to venture over to the ATV and Side-By-Side area of the playground. Donning my helmet, sunglasses, and race gloves, I jumped on to the Outlander 800cc ATV and took it for a spin on the makeshift off-road course that included a couple of 3 foot (1 meter) dirt jumps, a couple of hard turns, a series of logs laid across the path, and more. The perfect complement to the open road feeling of the RS-S is the feeling you get being off-road and in command of your environment, and especially when driving a high powered Outlander ATV. The Outlander ATV had handbrakes on the left handlebar, and gas on the right handlebar, a bit different from the Spyder with respect to braking, but easy to adapt to, and easy to roar over the off-road course.
Taking the Outlander Out for a Ride
After a few runs on the Outlander 800cc ATV, I switched vehicles and had some seat time in the Commander X Side-By-Side riding on the same course. The Commander X Side-By-Side is a slick 1000cc, V-Twin, Liquid cooled ride of a lifetime. After riding the Spyder and ATV using handlebars, I now moved behind a small but extremely responsive steering wheel. Requiring one turn around the track to get comfortable with the change from handlebars and my hands working the shifting and throttle, I was ready to take the course with some vigor, and I did. For the driver it is a wild ride to maneuver the vehicle through jumps, tight turns, and over debris, but for the passenger it would be synonymous with an amusement park ride, as the passenger would not know what was going to happen until they were in the midst of the excitement. Unfortunately, there was no passenger on my runs, but I would recommend bonine (helps to settle a queasy stomach) for any first time passengers in a Side-By-Side, no need to make any extra stops.
Time for the Side-By-Sie
To close out my day driving the Best Ride Possible (BRP’s Can-Am series) vehicles, I ran the off-road course on the Outlander 1000cc ATV. I enjoyed laying into the throttle as I ran through a course that I was becoming very familiar with, thus allowing me to push the ATV at all the right moments.
Warming Up on the Off-Road Course
The Can-Am off-road vehicles are a combination of power, control, and WOW, what more can you ask for, except, “when and where is the next open road and/or off-road expedition.” The Outlander ATVs are V-Twin, liquid cooled engines with front and rear ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers for easy smooth stopping. The Commander X Side-By-Side, besides being a powerful 1000cc engine, comes with a sub-transmission with high, low, park, neutral & reverse. The Commander X also has front and rear ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers and a multi-function gauge system with a speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip and hour meters, fuel, gear position, 4x4 indicator, diagnostics indicator, and a clock.
There are many different options that can be added to all of the BRP family of powersports vehicles, along with a series of clothing, helmets, gloves, and more that were specially designed by BRP to complement their vehicles in fashion and functionality.
To view videos of the Club BRP event in Montreal, Canada July 2011: Club BRP 2011 - Montreal.
With dealerships around the world (in over 100 countries), the place to find out more about BRP and their selection of Best Ride Possible vehicles is at www.BRP.com.
BRP Corporate Headquarters
726 Saint-Joseph Street
Valcourt, Québec J0E 2L0
Telephone: +1 450-532-2211
Fax: +1 450-532-5140
For more information on Montreal, Canada, please visit the Destination, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Spas, and Chefs’ Recipes sections.