I was spending my Sunday afternoon doing what I normally do on Sundays —watching the supercross race — when a commercial came on the screen. The ad was for the Can-Am Roadster, also commonly referred to as a Can-Am Spyder. If you’re not familiar with the Can-Am Roadster, it’s a three-wheeled vehicle that features two wheels in front and a drive wheel in the back. The vehicle is made by BRP.
Personally, I don’t have a real issue with this vehicle, other than I’d just as soon drive an ice cream truck with music blaring and kiddy signs all over it before I’d throw a leg over one of these things. To me it’s just another, well, vehicle. Sorry that I can’t come up with another acceptable name for the thing. Anyway, what caught my attention was the announcer telling me that I could take my motorcycle endorsement test on one of these —vehicles.
Now I’ve never claimed to be one of the most intelligent individuals on the planet (except maybe when I’ve been discussing issues with my wife a time or two). But it’s always been my opinion that a motorcycle had two wheels. Just to double check, I looked it up, and sure enough, I was right. Wikipedia says a motorcycle (also called a motorbike, bike, or cycle) is a single-track, engine-powered two-wheeled motor vehicle. So how on earth can you successfully pass a motorcycle license test on one of these things? I mean, I can’t go get my commercial driver’s license endorsement by driving a Honda Civic, can I?
The real issue here is that riding motorcycles is a potentially dangerous undertaking. I’ve been riding them for more than 20 years and I know that one small mistake can become a devastating tragedy for a family and the loved ones surrounding that individual.
You shouldn’t be able to get an endorsement without being able to pass the test on the proper vehicle. I had to take my test on GSXR 750, and I remember I was real nervous. But I passed the thing. I also remember there were lots of folks there that day that didn’t pass. They had different bikes, but they couldn’t handle the maneuvering course test. And logic tells me that if they couldn’t pass that simple test in a huge, empty parking lot, they surely shouldn’t be out on the open road. Period!
If they decided to make a special endorsement for three-wheeled vehicles, I’d have no issue with that. But there’s absolutely no way people taking their test on these three-wheelers should be given a motorcycle endorsement. Unfortunately, we’re probably going to have to wait until someone gets seriously hurt before the government steps in and controls another part of our lives due to a stupid initial decision. What a shame.