Adaptive Modifications for Motorcycling
(hacked from an article by Jeffrey J. Cain MD )

 Getting your motorcycle ready for adapted riding is not necessarily difficult once you understand how the controls on the motorcycle operate and how to modify them to work within your limitations.

This page takes a brief look at common motorcycle modifications for adaptive riders and how to prepare yourself for the road. An adaptive rider’s best friend is a local cycle shop with a craftsman able to modify your motorcycle, because there are few formal adaptive motorcycling organisations around. The market is too small to find most motorcycle adaptations “off the shelf” and you may need to customise your bike for your specific needs and abilities. Let’s start by looking at how a rider uses the controls on a motorcycle, and some common modifications:

Left Leg
On a standard motorcycle, the left foot operates the gear shifter by lifting up and pushing down with the toes.

Right Leg
Most motorcycles operate the real wheel brake with downward pressure on a toe lever on the right side.

Other options for Leg or back damage

Two major challenges for AK and spinal damaged riders are keeping the bike upright while stopped and operating the side stand.

Arm Challenges

Riders with arm damage, even more than those with leg damage, are faced with the choice of modifying either the motorcycle or modifying their prosthetic.

Getting Started

Riding a motorcycle is a thoroughly exhilarating and fun experience. Along with the thrills come some additional risks. Before starting adaptive motorcycling, consider a motorcycle safety course to go back over the rules of the road and tune up on skills, and check with your state motor vehicle department to find out if there are additional testing requirements for adaptive riders. Buy the best helmet that is comfortable for you to wear, and wear it every time you ride. Start on side roads away from traffic, and move up to higher speeds and traffic as your skills progress.
See you on the road, and keep the shiny side up!

Adapted from an oft quoted article by Jeffrey Cain, a bilateral BK amputee and a member of the ACA board. He rides a Vespa scooter for urban commuting and on the weekends a Kawasaki W650 with a modified shift lever.



The shifter is modified by elevating the toe lever and adding a heel lever. This allows shifting gears with the prosthesis by pushing down on the toe lever (downshift) or by pushing down on the heel (upshift) Jeffrey Cain and his (2001) Kawasaki W-650 twin

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