Disability can be from birth or due to an accident. In either case, there will be people that are unable to transfer onto a motorcycle or onto a sidecar or trike seat and may be required to remain in a wheelchair.
In these situations, the motorcycle would be required to be Wheelchair Accessible. A good example is Scoliosis. Scoliosis is the twisting of the spine and requires special cushions and supports fitted to the wheelchair.
Such a person would not be able to spend any length of time in a sidecar or trike seat and must remain in the wheelchair.
There are a number of methods for disability access into a sidecar. A Wheelchair Accessible Sidecar is an excellent option for a passenger to ride in a sidecar, while remaining in a wheelchair.
Another option is a Sidecar Driven Wheelchair Accessible Sidecar. This adaption will allow the Wheelchair occupant to control the motorcycle from the sidecar.
And finally there is an option for the wheelchair occupant to ride the modified motorcycle. Let’s look at each option more closely.
Wheelchair Passenger – Option 1
This is the most common option for a wheelchair accessible sidecar. The reason for this is mainly due to the wheelchair occupant being unable to obtain a Drivers License either because they are too young or due to a disability. As I have a daughter in a wheelchair, this is the option we have chosen, that she may ride with us as a family and with friends. With this option, because the passenger will be driven by the rider, the rider will be able to secure the wheelchair to the sidecar floor via securing straps.
Motorcycle Driven – Option 2
This option allows the wheelchair occupant to transfer from the wheelchair onto the motorcycle seat, while leaving the wheelchair in the sidecar. For many people that are bound to a wheelchair, the use of lower limbs is either limited or not possible.
Therefore, the motorcycle will require modification to allow the rider to control the bike. Dual Brake Systems move the foot brake beside the clutch lever on the handlebars. Gear Shift buttons are added to the handlebars and a solenoid is installed to shift the gears.
Another thing to consider is that the rider must be able to transfer unassisted from the wheelchair to the motorbike. Also a system must be designed to allow the rider to easily secure the wheelchair to the sidecar.
Sidecar Driven – Option 3
Most sidecars require the operator (rider) to sit on the motorcycle. A sidecar can be adapted to allow the motorcycle to be operated by the sidecar occupant. By transferring the motorcycle controls & handlebars to the sidecar, the occupant can remain in his/her wheelchair.
The linkages necessary to move the handlebars to the sidecar should be installed by a qualified engineer before using on the road. There are two common methods a motorcycle can be driven from a sidecar.
Source: Pashnit Website
Securing the Wheelchair
In the case of a Driven from the Sidecar Combination, the wheelchair occupant will ride the motorbike alone. Therefore will not have another person to tie down the wheelchair straps. To overcome this, the sidecar will need a Central Wheelchair Securement fitted.
This will require fitting of a striker to the wheelchair and a receiving latch to the sidecar floor. As the wheelchair enters the sidecar, the receiving latch locks the wheelchair in position.
Ability Motorcycles Wheelchair Occupant Restraints: Click Here
Disability Sidecars Provide Options
As you have seen, there are many options available to consider if you wish to remain in a wheelchair or carry a wheelchair, while riding a motorcycle. A wheelchair accessible sidecar can be a cheaper alternative to a wheelchair accessible trike. Whichever option you choose, you will be thankful you took the time to save the money necessary to build or purchase a wheelchair accessible motorcycle.
Together we can make this an accessible world.
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Thank you for visiting Ability Motorcycles. Dave