Ability Trikes – Three Accessibility Options

Wheelchair Trike Access

For health reasons, not everyone is able to transfer onto a motorcycle, into a sidecar or onto a trike seat and may be required to remain in a wheelchair.

For this reason, some motorcycles are required to be Wheelchair Accessible. A trike is an excellent option for a wheelchair occupant to ride while sitting in a wheelchair. Disability trikes can be easily classified into three options depending on the rider and the chosen motorcycle to be modified.

Side Entry – Access Option 1

This option would be necessary if the trike is driven by an engine and diff at the rear. Many of these trikes are driven by a Volkswagen or Subaru engine. Volkswagen engines are air-cooled and therefore do not require a radiator, which make them perfect to power a trike.

Entry From Footpath/Sidewalk

Depending which country you live in, parking on the side of the road will be either on the left or right. This will determine which side you will enter the trike. You do not want to be exiting your trike into the traffic flow, as this could be very dangerous.

The example below would suit Australia where traffic moves along the left hand side of the road.

Side Entry Wheelchair Trike

Rear Entry – Access Option 2

This option is only possible when the trike has the engine behind the forks under the fuel tank. Having the engine in the front allows clear space for the wheelchair to enter the motorcycle. Independent Suspension removes the need for a diff and is therefore necessary to allow rear access to the bike.

Drop Floor or Fold-up Ramp

A drop down floor allows a wheelchair to access the motorcycle by lowering the rear of the trike floor to the road. When the rider’s wheelchair has been safely secured to the trike floor, the floor is raised to allow clearance between the trike floor and the road. Although this option is rare in wheelchair accessible trikes, it is sometimes seen in wheelchair accessible cars.

The other rear entry option is to have a fixed floor with a folding ramp. The rider will lower the ramp to the road, move the wheelchair into the trike, secure the wheelchair and fold the ramp up behind them.

An example would be a Nippi. The video on this website clearly shows the process of entering and exiting the trike.

Transfer From a Wheelchair – Access Option 3

The third option a wheelchair occupant has is to transfer from the wheelchair. This option is suitable for riders that do not require a wheelchair that has been specifically modified to suit their requirements.

If the rider can comfortably transfer from the wheelchair to a standard car seat, then they could consider transferring to a trike seat.

Example: Side Entry with Swivel Seat


The trike will either have been modified to suit a wheelchair or the rider will have to make an application to the Transport Authority to modify an existing trike. When the application has been accepted, the rider will then locate an Engineer to perform the modification.

Upon completion of the modification, the trike will be tested for safety and if approved will be certified for use on the road with a wheelchair occupant.

Which Option is the Best?

The best option will depend on whether you currently own a trike to modify, or if you will be purchasing a trike.

If you do not own a trike, and you have chosen your preferred method of access, you could meet with an engineer willing to modify a trike before purchasing.

Custom Trike Modification/Fabricators

There are some companies that will build a custom trike to suit your needs:

BF Customs – Australia

So Cal Trike Center – USA

Wheelchair Accessible & Disability Trike Sales

Another option would be purchasing a trike that has been manufactured for wheelchair access.

Here are some examples:

Nippi – England

Liberator Trikes – USA

Mantoca – China

Second Hand Motorcycles

You should check the following websites often to see if there are any secondhand motorcycles available:

Used Trikes – USA

Other Resources

The following websites provide a comprehensive list of manufacturers and conversions of Motorcycles, Sidecars and Trikes:

Kliktronic Electric Shifter

Together we can make this an accessible world.

The Ability Motorcycles website was created to enable the sharing of information and projects to benefit others. If you believe this world should not exclude anyone, and you love motorbikes, then Ability Motorcycles is the place to share that passion.

We like to hear from readers so please leave a comment below and let us know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

Thank you for visiting Ability Motorcycles. Dave

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4 thoughts on “Ability Trikes – Three Accessibility Options

  1. MICHAEL EICK says:


    • admin says:

      Hi Michael,
      I am not sure what country you live, but the Nippi seems to be an option, here is what it says on the website:
      Manual or electric wheelchairs, up to 27 inches wide, fit into a standard Nippi, but this genuinely wheelchair accessible vehicle can be made wider on request.
      If I become aware of any other trikes able to carry a power wheelchair I will be sure to add it to Ability Motorcycles.
      Good luck and have a nice day

  2. Dominic Pasqualini says:

    Hello there I am very interested in purchasing a wheelchair accessible trike with either the side or rear entrance ramps. How or where do I go to start this process. Any help would be appreciated
    Dominic Pasqualini

    • Dave says:

      Hello Dominic,
      I am glad you have decided which type of motorcycle you would prefer. It will depend on how much money you are able to spend. If you can obtain funding, then the best option would be to purchase a motorcycle that has already been converted for wheelchair access. You can easily spend $70,000 converting a motorbike into an accessible trike. A very affordable Wheelchair Accessible Trike would be a 300cc Riddan Nippi from Australia, priced at $17,000 AUD ($13,000 USD, ?9,700) http://www.nippi.com.au/contact. Another option would be a 125cc Nippi from England, priced at ?8995 ($15,700 AUD, $12,000 USD) http://www.nippi.co.uk/contact-us/. If you can transfer from your wheelchair onto a car seat, then this might be a good choice, Liberator Trikes in the USA, this is more suitable if you would like to ride long distance on the highways as it is powered by a V8 engine. You will have to contact http://www.liberatortrikes.com/contact.aspx to get prices, which would be a lot more expensive that the Nippis I mentioned. However, if you can afford it, it would be an amazing ride. Unfortunately Mobility Conquest no longer manufacture trikes http://www.mobilityconquest.com/index.php. You should visit the following page often to see what second hand motorcycles are available: https://www.disabilitymotorcycleaids.com/accessiblemotorcyclesforsale There is currently a Driven From the Chair available for $3,500 USD. You could get on the road straight away at a very low cost. Good luck and please let me know how you go. Have an amazing day. Dave

      Haul N Ride website was created to help people like yourself to understand the options for wheelchair access. We do not sell motorcycles, we are a directory of information.

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