Your motorcycle adventures don’t need to end with a leg amputation. On the other hand, although many riders have lost a limb, they can still hop right on their motorcycles can go for a ride. It’s a matter of making modifications to your motorcycle so it can comfortably adjust to your needs.
The first step is to consult with a local bike shop that specializes in custom bikes. Discuss your specific needs, abilities, and other physical concerns. Because of the limb loss, an amputee rider will use controls on a motorcycle differently than in the past In this article, we will share common bike customizations amputee riders can make to help them get back on the road. Below are some common modifications to consider:
1. Gear shifter
The gear shifter on a standard bike is operated by the left foot with a lift and push of the toes. Riders with below-knee (BK) prostheses can address this issue by adding a heel extension so that they can change gears by both pushing down the heel and toe. Some motorcycles, such as the Harley-Davidson, already offer this setting on their cruiser models. In some cases, riders with left leg prostheses can choose to move the gear shifter to the right side for more convenience.
A more recent alternative is the Kliktronic electronic shifter system. It is a gear changer that has a convenient push-button gear on the left handlebar. The entire kit is removable and can be transferred to another bike.
On a standard motorcycle, the rear wheel brake is operated by a toe lever for the right foot. For right leg amputees, they can either modify the right brake pedal to fit their prostheses or move the brake system entirely to the left side. They can also mount an additional hand brake lever on the handlebar. Newer bikes, such as those manufactured by BMW already come with an anti-lock brake system that seamlessly connects the front and rear brakes.
3. Above-knee challenges
For riders with above-knee (AK) prostheses, they face these two challenges: how to keep the bike upright when stopped, and how to operate the side stand. To address these concerns, some riders choose a prosthetic knee that is stable in an extended position and that connects the side stand to a hand lever extension below the tank. Some AK riders opt to ride a trike instead. It’s not the same as a bike, but sidecars give more stability while providing the riders freedom of movement.
Getting yourself and your motorcycle ready after a limb loss could be quite challenging, but it is certainly not an impossibility. With a few drawings, your trusted bike builder will be able to give recommendations and make adjustments for your motorcycle. It takes a great deal of mental and physical preparation, but with regular practice, you will be able to experience the wonderful thrill of being on the road again!
If you need help in choosing the best prosthesis for your biking adventures, get in touch with us and see our range of products. Our team will be happy to assist you and connect you with our distributors worldwide.
If you’re looking for foot prosthesis solutions for this winter, get in touch with Lindhe Xtend to see how we can help!