Harley-Davidson Spyders

Milwaukee2014-1Milwaukee2014-2“Hello Cyril, I hope all is going well for you…Happy New Year.

I shot a couple pictures that I took in the Harley-Davidson Museum. The pictures were taken in an area where most people who visit the museum do not get to go.

Both bikes are Harley-Davidson Spyders. Only two have been made. Because of hydraulic problems they will not produce the bikes until computers catch up with the technology they need.”


31 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Spyders”

  1. 1 oldernowiser Jan 15th, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Wow, what a tease! Would really like more info on what type of hydraulic problems they encountered, and if they really do intend to produce something similar to this if they can solve the issues.
    My wife has become really interested in the tilting reverse trike concept, and would probably buy one if it could be had at any thing resembling a reasonable price.

  2. 2 tundra Jan 15th, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    These are sitting on the third floor where they store bikes not currently on display. I make a point of going up to see them thru the fence when I visit the museum. One of Jesse James’ bikes is sitting right by these too.

    They had them on display a few years ago where you could see them up close. Pretty cool machines.

  3. 3 MMA Jan 15th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    They did have them out at the Project X Event that they had at the H-D Museum about 2 years ago. I seem to remember that these prototypes were made in the 1980’s or early 90’s.

    My recollection was that the front tires would move right and left like a car, but they also adjusted on the axis; to make them lean like an actual motorcycle (and unlike a Spider or a trike). That was at where the hydraulic issues came into play.

  4. 4 James just another crazy kiwi Jan 15th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Lots of Canam Spyders here, personally I do not like the concept,
    But if you are disabled and cannot get on two wheels fine

    It is not a Motorcycle in the purest sense.

    We have allot of V8 home made Trikes here, they are huge and often try to
    mix it in a group of motorcycles and it all gets very dangerous.
    Even the Touring Canam seems bulky.
    I guess as the age of the Dinosaur comes to an end we will see many
    different examples of three wheelers, hope I never have to ride one

  5. 5 Jan 15th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Hydraulics are not necessary for a leaning trike.Piaggio’s MP3 leaning trike maxi-scooter has been sold in their thousands and works just fine without computer stability controls or hydraulic attitude adjusters.

  6. 6 Jan 15th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    lil john buttera design.

  7. 7 KSW Jan 15th, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Terence Troy said it well. Excuses for Harley are just that, excuses. Same for Polaris. Canting/leaning has been done by many now so only if you have a thing for Snowmobiles would you buy these.
    Personally, I think it was sad that the Carver didn’t make it. That was one sic vehicle that just couldn’t get a dealer network together to do the service best I know of it.

  8. 8 badams Jan 15th, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    @ Mal

    Ya NAILED it.

  9. 9 Jan 15th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Have seen (heard) of this R & D models before
    they were tried a while before Can-Am came out with the Spyder
    So somebody solved the problem?
    Looks like a V-Rod engine in it ?
    Nope besides the H-D faithful NEVER would’ve gone for it

  10. 10 Jan 15th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    The Penster died just short of production for the Tri-Glide.

  11. 11 Jan 15th, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Good Info LiL TT…….Earth shaking….

    (crickets chirping)…….

    Steve Carr

  12. 12 nicker Jan 15th, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Sounds to me like the proverbial “solution” looking for a “problem” that doesn’t exist.


  13. 13 Iron Horse Jan 16th, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Well said nicker!

  14. 14 oldernowiser Jan 16th, 2014 at 9:31 am

    To each his own I guess. If you were unable to ride a normal motorcycle, still wanted the motorcycle experience (ie, tilting), still wanted to ride with your friends, still wanted the wind in your face, etc., etc., you might see a need for something of this type. I know, I know, others exist but come on….I flush better looking things than the Piaggo MP3 every morning. My wife wants to ride and I want her to ride. We enjoy the road. Guess we’re just stupid like that.

  15. 15 Chris Jan 16th, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Totally off topic here, but why the TT hate-fest lately? So he has an opinion for everything and uses words in excess of three syllables.

    Steve, if you are the Steve Carr of Lightning Rod Motorcycles, you are way too talented of a builder and well respected in the industry to spend your time being an internet bully.

    Just sayin. . .

  16. 16 Jusmecuz Jan 16th, 2014 at 11:19 am


  17. 17 fuji Jan 16th, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    To the paerson this best fits
    Something like a Gnat [ the kind one slaps ] to avoid being a pest. He who has a plethora of information that exists on information from the Internet and not in ones mind, but composed to reflect as ones wealth of knowledge on motorcycles’s, but incapable to realize that he is the real form of a Bell End. Who cares how many syllables some one has? being articulate is what we strive to be but not overbearing. Who wants to be around a know it all that is the question ?

  18. 18 James just another crazy Kiwi Jan 16th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Just drove past a new Canam dealership. It is just opening in my small how town, south Island NZ

    They are everywhere, like venereal warts

    Some Arsewipe in the block I work in often rides one to work wearing a WW2
    German helmet and shorts.
    As I age I am losing patience….just sooo want to tell him what a fool he is, but then he
    would run away and bubble, then everyone in the area would think me a bully………

    I wish these were simpler times, and fewer of the bewildered stumbled through my part of the cosmos……..

  19. 19 Chris Jan 16th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    @Fuji, 10-4, well stated. I don’t want to be around a know it all either, but I don’t kick him in the shin, I ignore him and walk away. Big difference. Okay, I’m done. Sorry for hijacking the thread.

  20. 20 Jan 16th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Quick clarification:

    The pics here are not official H-D photo’s nor is the story behind the photos from anyone at H-D which means whatever Bruce said as to why these bikes never made it to market is purely his own conjecture period.

    Why spend so much time arguing reasons when without facts you are pumping out more conjectures and disinformation.

    As to the bikes I think its great H-D spent money working on a concept that never made it to the market. many automotive and cycle makers do spec work never to see the light of day.

    This is not a knock on Bruce he was just sharing some interesting stuff.

  21. 21 Jan 16th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    This site is a place where products and ideas are featured as you all know. The reason I have an issue with Mr. TT is the constant negativity.

    If I don’t like a product featured here, I keep my comments to myself. Not the case with some. Yes…. negative comments are for sure a part of this blog, but there needs to be real reasons to present those negative comments, not simply making statements on something to try and present oneself as some type of expert on every thing Cyril posts here.

    No one, and I do mean no one knows everything about everything that’s posted here.

    Just sayin’ too…..

    I also don’t hide behind a false name so that I am anonymous. I stand behind my comments, and try to bring value if I can to this Blog.

    Internet Bully I am far from, someone who is humble and has some common sense is more accurate .

    Steve Carr

  22. 22 Jan 16th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    +My ’08 Spyder GS shares the garage with two Victorys and a Honda. It keeps me upright in winter weather, but only has ~60,000 miles on it. I’m certain I could outride a good number of riders in the twisties on it, so don’t knock it until you try it… The Penster isn’t the same beast, but I think it’s cool, none-the-less. I imagine the cost/sales figures wouldn’t have been amenable to many, though… RK

  23. 23 Dave Smith Jan 16th, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    OK….now I understand how this is supposed to work…

    If I like it it, its a gorgeous mechanical masterpiece that everybody, including you, should fall in love with and rush out and buy. After all, it is a Harley and anything with that label is truly worthy of a spot in your garage.

    If I don’t like it, its a worthless POS that is not worthy of being named Harley-Davidson and certainly not to be called a motorcycle, It is nothing more than Harley once again abandoning the “real bikers” and giving in to wannabes. posers and shamelessly chasing those evil things called profits.

    SOS-DD !

  24. 24 nicker Jan 16th, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    TT made a valid point.
    i don’t see a problem with that……… ???


  25. 25 Jan 17th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Well said Steve Carr!

    Over & Out,


  26. 26 Jan 17th, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Well they look better than a Can Am for sure….

  27. 27 Randy Gabourie Jan 17th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I’ve had many brands and styles of bikes in my life and have liked most of them. Because of an industrial accident I bought a 08 Can Am Spyder because it keeps me in the wind. It’s a great trike with many features. We as riders need to quit bagging on each other as we all share the same wind, and the love of riding. Harley Trike looks awesome to me and first time I’ve seen it. Bless all of us riders, let,s get along and show others again the love we have for riding instead of my dogs bigger than yours. Thanks for letting me express myself.

  28. 28 nicker Jan 19th, 2014 at 12:15 am


    “… riders need to quit bagging on each other…. instead of my dogs bigger…”

    Don’t think that was the issue here. Trikes are way cool. Some more so than others.
    I saw the point as centering on the issue of a product that was pulled because of a claimed technology shortage:

    “…. Only two have been made. Because of hydraulic problems they will not produce the bikes until computers catch up with the technology they need…”

    So i’m think-en
    -1- what “hydraulic problems” could a world class MC company not overcome…???
    -2- is this a PR problem looking for a market solution……???
    -3- how many other Mfg. have put out a trike product that didn’t need hydraulics & computers.

    “Me thinks they doth protest too much”

    but then its just MHO

  29. 29 rick Jan 19th, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Forget either.
    Morgan Trike is the Only way I’m going out on 3 wheels

  30. 30 Hark Jan 20th, 2014 at 9:02 am

    This message is for Steve the HOG Radio Guy who knows everything…The pictures I took…though they are not taken by Harley Who stinking cares…Harley made the bikes, I saw this to be very interesting. Bill Davidson Jr. told me what the problem was with the Spyder bike…he rode the bike several times, going into corners it did not react like it should…they will not sell a bike that might harm someone…Nuff Said.

  31. 31 Jan 24th, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I like the idea as long the design remains Retro and classic look.

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