Can-Am has always been in a somewhat uncomfortable place in the motorcycle industry; they make an interesting machine, but at the same it's impossible to look at a Spyder and compare it to a another liter bike, there's simply too little in common.
That being said, Can-Am has brought motorcycle riding to a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't be involved, and they know this. Their website features information about how to get a motorcycle license as a first-time rider, and they made their name as a company building ATVs and side-by-sides.
The Spyder is an 800 pound machine with two front wheels and a 1000cc Rotax v-twin putting 100 horsepower to the ground through a single rear tire. The handle bars can be equipped with paddle shifters for the semi-automatic 5 speed transmission (with reverse!) and the profile of the tires is square, because the bike doesn't lean into a corner the way a Piaggio MP3 does.
That being said, there's a place for these bikes, and one of the coolest is exemplified by Can-Am's new Project Road Warrior.
Many people suffering from lasting injuries simply can't ride a regular motorcycle, so Can-Am has arranged a trip leaving the 5th of June from Seattle, WA and arriving after 10 days of riding in Tampa, FL entirely for special forces veterans. The route stops in Oregon then travels inland to Idaho and turns south in Wyoming to travel through Colorado on the way to New Mexico and Oklahoma before skirting the Gulf of Mexico en route to Florida.
Can-Am has invited 8 special operations veterans along for the 3900 mile ride, and other riders are invited to join the different legs of the trip. Many of the riders suffered severe injuries overseas and at home and Can-Am is offering them a really cool opportunity to approach a pastime which would otherwise be out of reach.
Check out Project Road Warrior for more info.