Can-Am is being investigated by US regulators (a phrase no business ever wants to hear) over fires involving their Spyder trikes.
Of the 52,000 units affected by the investigation (built between 2008 and 2014) there have been two reported fires, representing 0.000038% of the 52,000.
Though of course any risk of fire should be taken very seriously no matter how miniscule, this one in particular has come under investigation because one of the two bikes was being ridden by a police officer in Morgantown, West Virginia.
According to the report, the officer was riding the Spyder in an urban setting when he pulled off the road due to excessive heat coming from the engine. Shortly after, the bike was engulfed in flames to the point of being a "total loss". No one was injured in the fire.
The other reported fire took place in the Mojave Desert area of California.
The Spyder has seen 3 recalls from 2012-2013, all of them due to fire risk. 8,200 units were recalled due to concerns over a brake fluid leak. 34,000 units were recalled due to poorly fitted fuel caps causing vapor leak. And finally 9,600 units were recalled due to the possibility of a particular vent hose in the engine compartment allowing fuel vapors to escape.
Trikes have seen a boom in popularity in the last few years (inexplicably, as far as some two-wheeled enthusiasts are concerned), and one thing seems for sure: they're here to stay. We can expect this new platform to continue growing, albeit the usual growing pains that are found in the industry.
Additionally, the NHTSA doesn't seem keen to mess around with fault reports these days, given the high-profile neglect from companies like GM, and the implications that these faults were able to skirt below their radar for such a long time.
Certainly most can say with confidence that Can-Am/Bombardier produce quality products regardless of the platform, and the issues that arise will continue to be dealt with as they are found. As for trikes, I'm far from impressed.