Feb 16, 2010
Nothing claims complete freedom on the open road like riding a motorcycle. Until recently, wheelchair users haven’t been able to participate in the sport of riding motorcycles independently. Now, companies all over the United States have formed to make custom wheelchair accessible motorcycles, wheelchair accessible sidecars that control the motorcycle, and wheelchair accessible kits to convert existing motorcycles.
One of the highlights of the motorcycle sport is riding with a group of fellow motorcycle enthusiasts on a ‘poker run’ to a motorcycle show. These shows give chance for motorcycle lovers to show off their prized possessions in a forum of those that completely appreciate them. You can view wheelchair accessible motorcycles at disability equipment shows like the Los Angeles Abilities Expo, Houston Abilities Expo, and Atlanta Abilities Expo. Well known bike shows have also opened their arms to include wheelchair motorcycles like the Chicago Bike Show, Cleveland Motorcycle Show, Daytona Motorcycle Show and the world renowned Sturgis Bike Week.
Companies like Mobility Conquest custom make wheelchair motorcycles commonly called ‘trikes’ due to their 3 wheels. This company’s motorcycle has a 1170cc engine that allows the wheelchair user to go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds and has a top speed of 105 mph as well as the ability to take passengers. They put a high end suspension on both ends of the trike so that the handling and control motorcycles are known for aren’t lost by the extra weight of the wheelchair. An automatic rearward ramp accommodates both the driver and a wheelchair. It features a secure locking mechanism with a push button release that provides a stable driving platform. Since a wheelchair user isn’t able to walk a motorcycle back, a reverse gear is provided for added maneuverability and parking. A push button Kick Tronic shift makes accelerating through a motorcycle’s six gears a breeze.
No other brand of motorcycle is more coveted than the Harley Davidson. One company called ChrisTrikes makes four different kits to adapt Harley’s to be a wheelchair motorcycle. The owner is from Miami, Florida and is a wheelchair user himself after battling polio. In these kits, the floor moves from 3 inches off the ground to right above and in back of the seat making a wheelchair user able to slide and transfer onto the motorcycle. Two of the kits are for those with disabilities that can transfer from a wheelchair to the seat or for a wheelchair user to ride as a passenger. Another kits lets a wheelchair user operate the Harley from the wheelchair itself. The fourth is for able bodied riders. Without a wheelchair in the back, you have 25 square feet of cargo space without the need of a trailer
Adapted sidecars are also available that fit most motorcycles. They are fully customizable in paint color and graphics. The sidecar comes with a wheelchair ramp and controls that allow the wheelchair user to stay in their wheelchair and either ride as a passenger or control the motorcycle from the sidecar.
Now wheelchair users can feel the wind blowing through their hair and reclaim the open road by experiencing the rush of wheelchair motorcycles.