A Winnipeg man says he's afraid of riding his three-wheeled motorbike after encountering a list of problems, from fuel leaks to failing brakes and part recalls.

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) released the Can-Am Spyder in 2008, marketing the futuristic-looking three-wheeler as being more stable than a two-wheeled motorcycle.

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Rob Blundon says he bought a Spyder because he had a spinal-cord injury and believed it would be easier on his back. It cost him about $22,500, including taxes.

But Blundon said problems with the vehicle began to emerge a short time after he bought it.

"I've had fuel smells, I've had fuel leaks, I've had antifreeze leaks, constant brake failures. It shouldn't have that," he told CBC News.

Blundon said he also received a recall notice for his power steering unit.

It was one of eight recall notices that BRP issues for the Spyder since July 2009. Those recalls included:

  • July 2009: First power steering recall was issued after troubles with steering caused some to lose control of the bike.
  • December 2009: A recall notice was issued saying a problem with the ignition switch connector could cause the bike to suddenly stall.
  • June 2010: A recall regarding the clutch was issued.
  • September 2010: A second recall notice regarding the power steering unit urged owners to get the entire unit replaced.
  • April 2011: A recall was issued on the reverse actuator, after concerns were raised that riders could inadvertently go into reverse while driving.
  • April 2012: A recall of the brake pedal pins was issued. A problem with the pins could cause the pedal to fall off and leave a driver without main brake function.

The two most recent recalls were issued last year for the motorbike's fuel caps. Concerns were raised that the caps were not sealing properly, posing a fire risk should fuel vapours escape.


Blundon says he is planning to take his Spyder off the road. (CBC)

In the United States, customers have complained about their bikes bursting into flames without warning. One man was reported to have burned his elbow and legs.

But last month, a new model of the Spyder caught fire while BRP was giving demonstration rides in Pennsylvania.

Officials with BRP said the cause of the fire is still undetermined, but they maintain that the Spyder is safe to ride.

"Once a problem is brought to our attention, we investigate, evaluate its consequences and, if need be, proceed with a recall," the company said in a statement.

But Blundon said he's not taking any chances — he is taking his Spyder off the road.