At The Bike Experience we have a fleet of four motorcycles that have been adapted for disabled use.
Suzuki SV650 – the learning bike
This 1998 SV650 has a set of bar risers and wide MX bars.
After a few TBE events we learned from the riders that they felt a lot of weight on their wrists, which made riding for the first time quite difficult. With higher bars, the rider is sat upright, with little pressure on the wrists, so control is far easier to attain.
The bike is fitted with a Kliktronic Gear shifter and thumb operated switch.
The feet are held in position with old fashioned bicycle toe clips with Velcro stuck on toe area. All rider’s boots have Velcro taped to the underside of the toe, and this stops the foot from slipping off the peg.
The weight of the bike is taken on the actual peg, but the Velcro prevents slippage.
There are two straps either side of the petrol tank which have a ‘tail’ by the knees. This wraps around the end of the knee and attaches to the Velcro patch that the knee slider would have secured to.
This prevents the knee from falling away from the side of the bike. It is important to note that the Velcro is strong enough to hold you on the bike, but not strong enough to keep you on the bike should an accident happen.
Talan has crashed tested this system at 80mph and is happy to announce that you come away from the bike and simply slide down the road. However, we have a 100% safety record when it comes to riding on a track or airfield circuit at pace.
Suzuki SV650 – Fully Faired
A light bike with plenty of torque, the SV650 is an ideal bike to teach with. The characteristics of the bike allow a rider to accelerate up to fourth or fifth gear and stay there for the whole of the circuit, concentraing on riding again rather than worrying about which gear they need to be in.
With good engine braking it is easy to cruise around the circuit simply by rolling on and off the throttle (which is actually one of the exercises done on the day).
Aprilia Mana – Fully Automatic
A fantastic addition to the Bike Experience garage. This 850cc twin uses some clever technology to be a truly automatic bike.
It has no clutch lever and you simply twist to launch.
There are gears, and you can select a mode that means you change up and down through the gears by means of thumb buttons.
One bike has been adapted to left handed controls, so even if you can only use your left hand, there is a bike ready for you.
So far all the riders have spoken highly of the Mana as it can be turned from Drive-Rain to Drive-Commute to Drive-Sport at the push of a button, which sharpens up the gear shifts and allows for higher revs.
It prevents stalling and provides a wonderful riding experience.
We are very grateful to Aprilia for the loan of two Mana’s and hope that this is the start of a long term relationship.