There is a Need
Being a parent of a person in a wheelchair, and a lover of motorcycles, it made sense to hire/borrow an accessible motorcycle to try it out. It took no time at all to discover that wheelchair accessible motorcycles, available for hire, are very few and far between.
The Need is Not Being Met
Australia is approximately 4,000 kilometers wide (2,500 miles), and I live on the West Coast. The only Wheelchair Accessible Sidecar that I could find in the whole country was on the East Coast. Wheel Adventures.
With only one provider in a country of 24 million people, I was surprised to realize the need is not being met and that we need to improve our focus on disability services and the options available.
The Solution is Not Available, Rare and/or Expensive
Therefore, I decided to investigate how much it would cost to purchase an accessible motorcycle. I was unable to find a Wheelchair Accessible Trike anywhere in Australia. So I began my search for a Wheelchair Accessible Sidecar. The only one available in the whole country was on the East Coast. This company SRK Engineering had built the Sidecar for Wheel Adventures.
They were kind enough to send me a quote (approx $18,000 AUD), but I would have to get my bike there to be fitted. I would have to add $1,000 to transport my bike across Australia, have the sidecar fitted, and another $1,000 or more to return the combination. I soon realized this was a very rare and expensive hobby for persons with a disability and their carers.
[UPDATE: I have located some more affordable options here: https://www.abilitymotorcycles.com/product-category/motorcycles/sidecars ]
My Plan – Raise Awareness and Find a Solution
To raise awareness and provide information to help others, I created the Haul n Ride website. I gathered anything to do with disability access and motorcycles and uploaded it to the Haul n Ride Website, which has now become abilitymotorcyles.com. Haul N Ride is now a website dedicated to interesting and unusual motorcycles and projects.
However, I still needed to ride with my daughter. I began my search for a more affordable option to get my daughter on a bike. My first attempt was a mistake. I bought a WLA World War II, Harley Davidson Sidecar Chassis for $650. But later realized the importance of having a suspension on the sidecar wheel, to cushion the bumps for the occupant. I was able to recover the money I spent on it, as I sold it to a neighbor who collects vintage bikes.
Gumtree to the Rescue – The Perfect Tub
I continually searched online relentlessly for a cheap sidecar. Then it happened….
Wow, I actually found a sidecar on Gumtree for $650 AUD. And it was in Perth, Which is only a 3-hour ride. Of course, I put my Erdie motorcycle trailer on my Honda Shadow and headed off to Perth to collect it. It was a beautiful ride home. All I could think about was the finished sidecar and the smile on my daughter’s face when she would be riding in it.
The full story explaining how I modified this sidecar, located an engineer and obtained approval from the Transport Department, can be seen Here.
The Tub Led to Dreamfit Foundation – Dreams Come True
While searching for an engineer to modify the Tub I had purchased, I came across Dreamfit Foundation.
Although they were unable to assist with the modification of our sidecar, they did have a Wheelchair Accessible Sidecar/Motorcycle Combination that had been donated to them. They had decided to use it as a hire/loan vehicle for people with disabilities. Darren from the Dreamfit foundation was kind enough to allow me to ride it home and back to Perth. A 600 kilometer (370 mile) return trip.
Now my daughter had finally experienced riding on a motorcycle. It also provided my first hire wheelchair accessible sidecar in Western Australia to add to Haul n Ride.
There you go folks. That is the story explaining how the Wheelchair Accessible Motorcycle Directory began on the Haul N Ride website. After so many years, there are still only a few links to Hire/Loan Wheelchair Accessible Motorcycles.
So I decided to create Ability Motorcycles as a WordPress Blog, to hopefully allow other people throughout the world to help me collect a list to add to this page.
Here is what I have:
Dreamfit : Perth Western Australia
WheelAdventures : Sunshine
Coast – Brisbane – Gold Coast – Ipswich Australia
Broome Trike Tours : Broome Western Australia
Wheelchair Accessible Expedition Vehicle : New South Wales Australia
Tours on Trike : Melbourne Victoria Australia
Rebound WA : Perth Western Australia
Rebound Sailing and the Bigfoot Expedition Vehicle are not motorcycle related, but I had to include them.
If you know of any Wheelchair/Disability Hire/Loan Motorcycles or Businesses (anywhere in the world), please add to comments below and I would love to add the details to the list. United we can make a difference.
Let’s raise awareness and “Together we can make this an Accessible World”.
Check out my other website, click the link below 🙂
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