Posted on 15 Comments

Modified Controls and Adapted Motorcycles – Paraplegic – Amputee

Modified Controls

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.


Source: klever2

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.


Source: Clake_Clutch

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.


Useful links: Translogic_Products



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.

Stabiliser Bars

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



Reverse Gear

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

Prosthetic Aids

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:

Useful Links:



Amputee Story

Alan Kempster Racing

Engineers: Disability-Spyder-Roadster-Kit

BF Customs





Share Your Project

Submit Photos and Descriptions of your Motorcycle Disability Story to 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

Sharing is caring!

15 thoughts on “Modified Controls and Adapted Motorcycles – Paraplegic – Amputee

  1. Looking for a conversion to move the front brake to be moved to the foot pedal due to problems with arthritis in fingers. A dual conversion to foot control on a 2009 Ultra Classic. Any help would help.

    1. Hi, I have not found a product available to be purchased to achieve this.
      The closest I have found is the hand operated gear change.
      I personally think a local engineer would be able to plumb your front brakes to work with the current rear brakes to operate front and rear brakes with the existing foot brake lever.
      It certainly wont hurt to ask them.
      An issue you may find is that the engineering firm may refuse to modify your ride due to licencing authority in your country.
      If you find an engineer willing to take on the task, a Modification Application and Approval can usually be approved due to disability.
      Please let us know the outcome and feel free to share some photos when your ride is complete.
      Have a great day.

  2. How about a foot throttle for right hand amputees who cannot twist the throttle

    1. What an excellent idea. Can you provide a link to a supplier, or would it require modification?

    2. My name is Brian Shuster. I just came across your website. I lost both of my arms above elbow 10 years ago. I just barely started driving again. I like riding bikes , Mountain bikes etc. The only problem is I need help with attachments. So please if you can give me guidance it sure would be appreciated. My phone number is 215 600. 9646. .THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME

      1. Hi Brian,
        You could try this company:

        This might be a good read for ideas:

        Another option is to contact your local engineer/fabricator who can modify your bike, or even attach a sidecar.

        Please let us know the outcome and feel free to share some photos of your ride when you get it finished.
        Have a great day.

    3. This is for Eric about the throttle question. I have successfully changed three dirtbike throttles to the left side with the tradition twist towards the rider like it would on the right. If that works I can walk him through that.

      I am however looking to get a Harley, I’m going with an 06 Because it still uses a “fly by cable” rather than the new wired throttle assembly systems. Has anyone changed a Harley throttle to the left side with the tradition twist direction? Also Looking for any good suggestions with control switches. I’d like a rocker turn signal, start, stop, horn all on the left.


  3. That’s a good idea to get a caravan mover for your trike. I would think that would be fairly easy to do while converting it. I’ll have to keep that in mind if I turn my motorcycle into a trike.

    1. Hi Tyler, I was actually suggesting this for a sidecar combination, however as you suggested perhaps this idea could also provide reverse for a trike conversion. Thanks for your input. If you do follow the idea to reality, you are more than welcome to share some pictures/videos with Haul N Ride. Have a great day. Dave


    1. Hi Donald,
      You will need to obtain a Modification Assessment Quotation from a suitably Qualified and Certified Fabricator/Engineer. This is necessary as the current foot controls (the foot brake and the gear change) are located where you would like to add a pedal.
      If the rider still has use of the left hand, a Push Button Electric Gear Shifter can be added to the left handlebar and the Pedal Accelerator could be added to the left foot plate in exchange of the gear shifter.
      Here is a post you may like to read:
      Good luck and please let us know how you go.
      Have a great day. Dave

  5. Hi to you fine folks
    :I have recentlybought my son and myself trail bikes . Just before his 3rd Birthday Declan lost all his fingers on his right hand,now an ll Year old , with a dirt bike, This kid lets nothing stand in his way He is left with his Thumb and a partial on his index betweenfirst a second knuckle,to this point I have adapted brakes on his pushbike . As this is my first dirt bike far many years -I am a road rider , we shall join the local club. . I have had 2. mates begin projects for me ideas mainly, trial a error would be okay if it were fore me andildlike to call upon your think tank …. because he is keen as mustard. And there is no point reinv9eting the wheel. I was only reinventing the wheel. Any thoughts ideas. pictures. manufacturing are sincerely appreciated.
    Thanks for doing what yoda.
    Look forward to hear ing from you.We’re registered, seems difficult getting funding for this though
    You may Know of some precedents

    1. Hi John, My first thought is to install a dual clutch/brake lever system on the left handlebar. This is a simple modification that eliminates the need to use the right hand for front brake. The next issue is the throttle. A modification on the throttle would most likely require specialist engineering and I have the perfect suggestion.
      For the Dual Clutch/Brake System please see:
      For the Throttle modification please visit: Quad Quip Solutions.

      I hope I have been of some assistance. Please take some photos and share with Ability Motorcycles the solution you come up with and enjoy riding with your son. Have an amazing day. Dave

  6. Dave, this is the most hopeful and inspiring post ever! As one who spent years in a wheelchair, the idea of this kind of freedom was always so close to my heart. I love the idea that nothing stops us, except ourselves. And with all these adaptive options we just need to ask for the ignition key!
    Great post, so much thorough research. I love this article! Many thanks for doing this. I am sure you will get so many people feeling like their world just opened wide. And I hope there are financial options to help people afford this changes?In peace and gratitude, ariel

    1. Hi ariel, I am very pleased this article has encouraged you. I have begun a webpage to list organizations that assist with funding. You will notice on that page that we received funding to assist with our wheelchair accessible sidecar project for my daughter. You can see our story here: For people that love the freedom motorcycles provide, there is no excuse with modification of the motorcycle. Thank you for your comment. I hope you have an awesome day. Dave

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *