I’m excited about our new feature story
compiled and written by TRN Editorial Assistant Amy Mortensen about trikes for disabled riders. More and more we’re seeing disabled individuals riding in the wind thanks to the ingenuity of a handful of companies. These companies are modifying trikes to give riders with reduced or limited use of their legs, feet or lower bodies—among other disabilities—the ability to enjoy the exhilarating benefits of riding a three-wheeler.
I was inspired to do this story for TRN by people I’ve met in my travels who ride a motorcycle or trike in spite of their disabilities. While our feature story focuses on companies that specialize in creating these types of trikes, some riders with mechanical know-how are modifying the trikes themselves. Here are a couple of guys I met during the Sturgis Rally who’ve done just that.
Mark Khayat became a paraplegic after being injured in a car accident. He modified a Harley-Davidson Street Glide trike. This is his third trike.
|A proportioning valve Mark installed allows him to engage the front and back brakes at the same time with the right brake hand lever (60% front, 40% back). |
|Mark installed a hand shifter from Pingel on the left handgrip, seen here as the chrome buttons to the far left of the switches.
|Here’s the shifter mechanism, located by the transmission. In this photo you can also see an aluminum foot guard and an elastic strap to hold Mark’s foot in place on the footboards. |
|Mark shows the rear trunk he fabricated to hold his wheelchair. He manually reaches back to put the chair in and take it out, but he’s researching ways to automate the process, as the current method requires a lot of upper-body strength. At age 25, Japheth Baker lost his legs when a drunk driver hit him head-on while he was riding a motorcycle. He’s 32 now and has been riding a three-wheeler for the last few years.
Japheth rides a 1988 Harley-Davidson FXRS with a trike kit from a company that’s no longer in business. He’s made upgrades on a lot of the basic components, like installing an S&S Cycle 96-inch motor. To accommodate his disability, he runs only a rear brake, engaging it with the right hand lever. He also installed a larger brake reservoir because a lot of fluid needs to be pushed back to the dual discs (one on each wheel). He says the rear brakes are more than enough to stop the trike.
Here is the jockey shift that Japheth’s machinist friend created. It’s a hydraulic clutch and shifter in one.
Japheth carries his wheelchair on a rack he created by extending the sissybar mounts to create a rack on the rear of the trike. He hops on his trike side-saddle and lifts his chair to the rear rack, and straps it in.
If you want more information on these modifications, both men are available to answer any questions. To get in touch, email Mark Khayat at firstname.lastname@example.org or Japheth Baker at email@example.com.
More on the Sturgis Rally
There was a lot going on at the Sturgis Rally. I participated in Lehman Trikes’ all-brands trike rally and shot video and pictures. I will have a full report on that posted to TRN in the next few weeks. Be sure to sign up to receive the TRN Newsletter so you are the first to know when the story and accompanying video posts.
More than 80 trikes line up in the Lehman Trikes parking lot despite a storm looming in the background. A short, light rainstorm started as the ride commenced. A colorful line of trikes snakes off the interstate at an exit.
In addition to the all-brands trike ride, the formal presentation of Lehman’s Good Turn Trike Award took place at the Buffalo Chip. We’ll have more details on that in the coming weeks.
And speaking of Lehman, I just noticed the company is running a major sale through the end of the year. Visit LehmanTrikes.com
for major discounts on 2010 and 2011 CrossBows.
Lastly, I tested two Roadsmith trikes recently and will have a review of those in the coming months on TRN. You won’t want to miss out when those stories go up on the site, so sign up for our newsletter
and you’ll be automatically entered to win our $3,000 Performance Machine trike wheel giveaway.
I test rode the 2011 Roadsmith Gold Wing conversion. What an amazing trike. My review will be posted soon on Trike Riders Now.