Motorcycle Adaptations for People with Disabilities

Riding with disabilities is anything but simple. However, there are ways to make the experience safer and more comfortable.


You probably already know that the disabled can drive cars. Well, riding a motorcycle is pretty much the same as well. It takes a few modifications to turn your bike into a vehicle more suitable for the disabled.


Although this sounds complicated, it’s not. These are minor modifications but can make it much easier for people with specific disabilities to ride.


We’ve prepared a little guide for people with disabilities looking for how to modify their motorcycle. You may need some professional help with some of these modifications, but most are quite simple to do.

Modified Motorcycle Controls for Disabled Riders

Prosthetic Aids

Illustrations of Artificial Arms

If you’re an amputee, you may want to consider getting a prosthetic hand. It’s a sturdy attachment that supposed to be mounted on the motorcycle handlebar.


A prosthetic hand is an extension of your limb. It features a quick-release mechanism and is easily controlled.


The quick-release mechanism helps you to control the attachment. However, this may take some time to get used to. There’s a learning curve, that’s all.

Clutch System

People who have arthritis or limited muscle strength should consider an ergonomic clutch lever. This can be especially useful if you often ride in heavy traffic because frequent use of the clutch can be a bit tiring.


A clutch system would assist you in these situations, making it easier to ride without feeling as much pain as you probably would without this type of help.

Dual Brake System

A dual brake system includes separate controls that allow you to use separate brakes. Using a lever with your right hand applies the brake on the front wheel. Using your right foot activates the rear brake, applying it to the rear wheel.


This system allows you to use the foot brake control with your hand. However, it does leave the existing hand lever.


It’s meant for people who can use all fingers of at least one hand.

Stabilizer Bars

Stabilizer bars are meant to assist in keeping control and stopping without falling over. They also help with reducing rider fatigue. These bars aren’t only used by the disabled, since people who ride on rough terrain benefit from them just as well.


It’s like a damper device that absorbs shock, increasing the overall safety of the rider. It’s one of the best additions to a bike for the disabled.

Push Button Electric Gear Shifter

This switch is mounted on the handlebars, activating an electromagnetic solenoid. It acts like your foot, making it easy to switch gears up and down.


In most cases, the switch has two buttons, one of which is red, and the other is green. The green button is for changing up a gear, while the red one is for changing down.


Again, it’s quite useful, although it may take some time to get used to.

Reverse Gear

We all know that the only way to move a bike backward is by using your legs. Motorcycles don’t have a reverse gear, which makes it tricky for the disabled to go backward.


Luckily, you can modify your motorcycle so that it has a reverse gear. Still, this does require some modification of the standard gearbox.


It’s a simple solution that makes all the difference for people who may not have both legs to move the bike with.

Retractable Trike Wheels

Trike wheels resemble training wheels that most of us used to have when learning how to ride a bicycle. These wheels serve to help the rider to stop without the bike falling over.


You know that riders have to place their feet on the ground each time they stop. If not, a motorcycle is likely to fall over.


Having retractable trike wheels helps disabled riders to stop even if they can’t place their feet on the ground.

Automatic Transmission

An automatic transmission isn’t really as common on motorcycles as it is on cars. However, there’s an option to add this to your bike if you can’t use your left hand or fingers.


You could modify your existing motorcycle, although it may be easier to buy an already automatic bike. Sadly, only a handful of motorbikes have automatic transmission.


These systems differ, although most gearboxes don’t use a clutch but a torque converter.

Foot Controls

Foot controls are an easy way to modify your motorcycle. However, the price of these devices, along with the cost of mounting them, varies depending on the bike you have.


These are made to assist you when it comes to keeping your feet in place. However, the foot control panel helps to control the vehicle as well.


It includes brake and gas pedals and is suitable for everyone who struggles with using hand controls.

Dual Kickstands

Managing a motorbike at slow speeds can be a struggle for everybody, more so for the disabled. It could be quite tricky to use a kickstand, which is why you should consider getting an automatic dual type.


These aren’t that expensive and are also relatively easy to install and use. They are far easier to use than regular kickstands, more so if you’re having difficulties using your feet for the job.


There are many different sidecar styles, shapes, and designs. They’re made to accommodate people with different disabilities.


These can be attached to your motorcycle so that you can accommodate a passenger. In most cases, the passenger can be in a gopher or a wheelchair. It can be only a platform or an enclosed sidecar.


Sidecars differ, so you may need some time to learn how to use one properly.


Trailers work much like sidecars since they’re made for the same purpose. Choosing one or the other depends on your preferences and the particular motorcycle you ride.


Mounting a trailer is the same as installing a sidecar. It’s designed to be pulled by a motorcycle, although not every bike can handle this without any modification.


Trailers are typically aerodynamic and safe to use.

Steer Kits

Steer kits are made to assist disabled riders in steering a motorcycle. It’s a form of adaptation that is the most useful for one-handed people who struggle to steer on their own.


These kits are widely used and easy to find. The kit can’t replace your hands, but it’s there to assist you and make steering easier.


Also, most motorcycles are suitable for this type of modification.

Motorcycle Wheelchair Carriers

Motorcycle wheelchair carriers make it easy to load and carry a wheelchair on your motorbike. Lifting a wheelchair into your bike is rather stressful and not at all simple. For this reason, you may want a carrier.


These platforms are sturdy and durable. They’re usually made of steel and have powder coating for some resistance. In most cases, carriers are simple to attach and detach.

How to Ride a Motorcycle With a Missing Body Part

Left Leg

A standard motorcycle has the gear shifter on the left foot. People who have below-knee prosthesis should modify the shift lever by adding a heel extension.


This would allow you to change gears by pushing with your heel and toes instead of just toes. Some Harley Davidson models already have this system.


As we mentioned, you can move the gear selector to the handlebars as well.

Right Leg

There are many useful modifications for right leg amputees.


Modifying the braking system is among the first things you should do.


Try to move the brake to the left and use the right brake pedal with the prosthesis.


If not, you can mount another brake lever along with the front brake lever on your handlebars.


Using a side stand and keeping your bike upright is probably a struggle if you have an above-knee disability. By far, the best solution is to opt for a prosthetic knee that’s stable when extended.


AK riders often choose trikes and sidecars as another option. It’s a reliable option and probably the safest if you have an above-knee disability.


Arm amputees have to modify their bikes more than anyone else. These modifications include changing the throttle, brake and clutch controls so that you can operate them with one hand.


These customizations allow the riders to operate a motorcycle safely. There are many things you can do in different ways to make the entire riding experience easier.

Is Motorcycling Safe for Handicapped Riders?

Handicapped riders can ride safely and easily. However, they almost always have to modify their bikes in several ways, depending on the type of disability they have.


Riders who don’t have an arm or leg can still ride and safely so.


Plus, many of them perform stunts and do professional riding and racing as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a wheelchair motorcycle?

A wheelchair motorcycle allows people with certain disabilities to ride. These three-wheel motorcycles are made specifically for riders who need them the most. They are specially made with different controls to fit the particular needs of these riders.

Are one-handed motorcycle controls safe?

One-handed motorcycle controls are entirely safe when installed properly. For this reason, you should always have these modifications done by professionals.


Also, it may take you some time to learn how to use these controls. Take your time to learn before you ride in traffic.


People with disabilities can still ride and enjoying riding every day. However, most disabled people can’t ride standard motorcycles. Instead, their bikes require some form of modification to make riding safer and more comfortable.


Many disabled people choose motorcycling because it’s relaxing and freeing. For this reason, it’s a good thing to know that you don’t have to stop riding in case of a disability.


If you’re looking to modify your motorbike, you should carefully consider what should be done. Have a professional do these modifications for you so that you’re sure they’re done properly.

Road Racerz