According to recently-unearthed patent paperwork, it appears Can-Am is working on a new motorcycle design with a gasoline engine and hub-steered front end.
If you were at the motorcycle shows in Montreal or Toronto this winter, you probably saw Can-Am’s Origin and Pulse electric bikes, which initially broke cover to the public in August of 2022. Those bikes were the first Can-Am two-wheelers since this Canadian company shut down production all the way back in the early 1980s, and there was a lot of excitement as a result.
According to patent drawings unearthed by motojournalist Ben Purvis, Can-Am has been working on a lot more than that! He’s published patent drawings of a hub-steered motorcycle from Can-Am, powered by an internal combustion engine.
The drawings don’t really give away many details on the bike’s engine, but there’s certainly lots to see in the image above. Purvis has several more drawings in the story he’s published on Cycle World (click here to see them) along with some other details, including the name of the designer—who has been involved with Bombardier’s Spyder project for many years. As for these drawings, Purvis says they go back for years; he says the paperwork for this motorcycle started back in 2019. Again, you should check out Purvis’s excellent background digging at Cycle World for more on that.
Remember, this patent is intriguing, but no guarantee we’ll ever see an actual hub-steered motorcycle come to market. These ideas have been tried before, but none have ever been smashing commercial successes; Bimota has probably taken the idea further than anyone else, but the complexity and expense of a hub-steered front end often outweighs the handling benefits for most users.
But, if this makes it easy for Can-Am to recycle their Spyder or Ryker designs into two-wheelers, maybe it’s highly appealing for BRP to try it out anyway. Stay tuned!