The thought of an amputee or paraplegic riding a motorcycle may seem impossible. Thankfully this is not true.
There are many modification possibilities that have been designed to suit a rider’s specific needs and allow the safe control of a motorcycle. Perhaps it was a hip replacement or arthritis that made you sell your bike. Well here is the good news, you may need to buy another one.
Let’s take a look at a variety of modified controls, suppliers and engineers to assist in the conversion of your ride.
Modified Dual Brake Systems
Motorcycles registered to be used on the road require a Dual Brake System.
A Dual Brake System consists of separate controls to activate separate brakes. The rider will use their right hand to operate a lever applying the brake on the front wheel, and use their right foot to operate a lever applying the rear brake on the motorcycle’s rear wheel.
A Dual Brake Conversion Kit moves the foot brake control to a hand operated brake lever usually beside the existing hand brake lever. A Dual Brake Conversion will assume the rider has full use of their fingers on the right hand.
Useful Links: kliktronic
Modified Clutch Systems
Ergonomic and Effortless Clutch Levers can be useful for people with limited muscle strength or arthritis.
I remember riding a bike that made my left hand ache after constantly riding the clutch in heavy traffic. If only I knew about this, back then 🙂
Another option is to first control the clutch and then the rear brake with one lever – awesome!
Now that definitely turns disability into ability.
Here is a great example.
Useful Links: EFM_Autoclutch
Push Button Electric Gear Shifters
Operation of electric switches mounted on the motorcycle’s handlebar, electrically activate an electromagnetic solenoid. This solenoid acts as a rider’s foot, shifting the gear selector on the motorcycle up and down.
The shifter I used while riding a wheelchair accessible sidecar combination was manufactured by Kliktronic.
With my left thumb, I would press the green button to change up a gear, and the red button to change down.
It took me a while to remember to not use my left foot.
Stabilizer Bars & Retractable Trike Wheels
We can all remember adding training wheels to a bicycle while a child is learning to ride.
In the same way, Stabilizer Bars and Retractable Trike Wheels, allow a motorcycle to stop without falling over. As the motorcycle begins to move forward, the Stabilizer Bars retract.
Foot Plates also known as Running Boards can be modified to suit an individual’s unique needs depending on the disability. Velcro can be used to secure the rider’s feet to the Running Board and used to secure the rider’s knees to the fuel tank where limited muscle strength is available.
With Stabilizer Bars and Running boards, there is no need to place a foot on the ground when the bike stops.
Video Example: Stabilizer Bars in Action
Landing Gear: Adaptive Motorcycles
Landing Gear: Cross_roads_trikes
Landing Gear: Leg_Up
Semi Automatic Transmission (Clutch-less Shift Systems) & Automatic Transmission
If a motorcycle rider has a disability that affects the use of the left hand or fingers, it may be necessary to modify the motorcycle by removing the need to use a clutch. Some Semi Automatic Transmission Conversions use electronics and hydraulics to operate the clutch automatically. Some motorcycles, such as Ridley in the USA and most scooters, have automatic transmission.
There are different types of Automatic Transmission used on motorcycles such as the Semi Automatic Transmission, Continually Various Transmission and Double Clutch Automatic System. Some Automatic Transmission gearboxes use a torque converter instead of a clutch to change gears.
Useful Links: Flat_shifter
As most motorcycles are not manufactured with reverse gear, riders are required to use their legs to move the motorcycle backward.
Therefore, modification may be required to add reverse gear for some disabled riders. Some after-market products convert the standard gearbox to include reverse.
There may also be a need for reverse when converting a motorcycle to a sidecar combination or trike. A simple solution would be to add a Remote Control Caravan Mover.
The Caravan Mover is bolted to the chassis of the sidecar or trike/outrider in a location that allows it’s wheel with grooves to roll against the rubber tire.
Having a reduction gearbox, caravan movers are able to move thousands of kilograms and are capable of reversing a motorcycle even on sloping ground at the touch of a button.
As they are sold in pairs, you will have a spare for your sidecar.
Visit the following link to select your own Caravan Mover: Click Here
A prosthetic hand is useful to an amputee. An attachment is fitted to the motorcycle handlebars.
The prosthetic hand is an extension to the riders limb, that via a quick release mechanism, will control the attachment on the handlebars.
The Mert Lawwill Quick Release Prosthetic Hand: http://www.mertshands.org/
Share Your Project
Submit Photos and Descriptions of your Motorcycle Disability Story to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. Other builders would be encouraged to hear about your project. 🙂
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. We do not sell motorcycles. 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