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Thread: Ideas for a would-be rider w no L hand

  1. #31
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    The point is, solutions will come from engineers and medical personnel and not from a motorcycle forum. This all should happen for the protection of the rider as well as the public--it's a valid government function.
    Ideas are born everywhere. But "they" in government, are no more qualified to determine what is safe or unsafe than any one in this, or any other, "enthusiast" forum*. I would suggest that legislators (and that is who we are actually referring to) are less knowledgeable than most here. A sweeping generalization, yes, but a fair one I think. Of the 435 Members of the House of Representatives, 11 (Gabrielle Gifford co-chair) are members the of Congressional Motorcycle Caucus.

    I submit for your consideration a proposed safety motorcycle concept developed at the behest of then Director of the National Highway Traffic and Safety, Ms. Joan Claybrook (1977-1981). Besides promoting this marvel of engineering, you may recall that Ms. Claybrook, a close personal friend of Ralph Nader, sought to completely remove motorcycles from American highways because she considered them inherently unsafe and a hazard to other motorists.

    In a letter addressed to the AMA regarding Rider Education programs Ms. Claybrook wrote:

    ?We believe that the training can and should be presented in such a way that it does not entice people to ride motorcycles who would not ride if the courses were not available. Motorcycle driver training will have little or no effect on total accidents, injuries, and deaths, if such courses substantially increase the number of novice riders. For these reasons we do not believe that motorcycle rider education courses should be required or part of the curriculum in high schools.?
    Ya gotta love the "We" part. Thankfully she didn't have her way and calmer (?) heads prevailed.

    Front-wheel drive (you guess which end is the front (hint: it's not at the left))
    Rear-wheel steering
    Sprung outriggers
    Seat belts (you probably would want to wear one in this contraption)
    Sensors that detects when no one is on the machine (it's not a "motorcycle" at this point).
    Note that when underway, the outriggers are off the road surface.



    I wonder who, in government, taught Wilbur and Orville to fly.... .. ?
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  2. #32
    Nickname: Droid
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    In response to the idea of riding one of the various three wheelers on the market today, be it a sidecar, converted cycle/trike (2-wheels in back) or a Spyder (2-wheels in front): I have ridden all three and all I can say is they all require some upper body/shoulder strength to steer. Especially when manuvering the bike at slower speeds. All three, especially the trikes are self-steer to center heavy. So for a one handed rider it could be a "handfull".

    I too, feel motorcycle licensing is wayyy to easy to obtain here in the US. Though, I came from the era of, get a bike, figure it out, do the DMV parking lot test, pass and good to ride whatever you want back in 74. However, traffic, quiet cars, distractions, un-involved drivers, is MUCH worse now than in 74. That said, we in the MSF at least need to offer training to all that can do it. Licensing is then up to the state and the person. Even that, has to be within reason/logic; if a person complained to the MSF they were refused training because they had no legs and one arm, well let's be real, you really are not meant to ride.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Well gee, you have to take a vision test to get a driver's license. Those with paralized legs need hand controls to qualify. Perhaps some folks qualified in physical therapy and ergonomics and whatever the other related disciplines are could provide guidance regarding riding a motorcycle with only one hand. Those that make/design prosthetic hands could lobby for approval of their product, etc.

    It's, BTW, interesting that one of the solutions proposed, i.e. BMW scooter, has left and right hand braking.

    The "nature of necessary licensing" is changed fundamentally by this situation (manual vs auto transmissions essentially irrelevant) and shadetree solutions proposed here are not the answer although in the long run some could achieve licensing. The point is, solutions will come from engineers and medical personnel and not from a motorcycle forum. This all should happen for the protection of the rider as well as the public--it's a valid government function.
    if she were to take the test on a modified bike, the test will be identical to the test you or I would take. I still don't see why you think the TEST would need modifying. In most/many states, passing the practical riding test on a scooter gives you a m/c endorsement. the test evaluates whether you can adequately/safely control a 2 wheeled vehicle, not whether you can manipulate the various controls (other than steering, brakes and throttle).
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  4. #34
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    something else to consider- all the anecdotes about riders with missing hands/arms that still ride have involved riders who already knew how to ride, had suffered a loss of appendage, and found a way to adapt their bike to conform to their handicap. I think the very premise of learning to ride without a hand or arm would be daunting, to say the least.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  5. #35
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    One thing for sure, any one-handed rider is probably THE best advocate for knowing and understanding countersteering.

    If you right now do not know and understand countersteering, ride your bike across a wide, open, unobstructed parking lot and try to follow an imaginary cone weave pattern with only your right hand on the handlebar. Do it in at least 2nd gear and about 20 mph. No way you can do it without using active countersteering unless you are really good at steering a bike with your feet through the footpegs. Which, by the way, is also countersteering, just done differently.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    One thing for sure, any one-handed rider is probably THE best advocate for knowing and understanding countersteering.

    If you right now do not know and understand countersteering, ride your bike across a wide, open, unobstructed parking lot and try to follow an imaginary cone weave pattern with only your right hand on the handlebar. Do it in at least 2nd gear and about 20 mph. No way you can do it without using active countersteering unless you are really good at steering a bike with your feet through the footpegs. Which, by the way, is also countersteering, just done differently.
    I'd argue that one with you Andy.
    I'll agree that peg pressure is a way to force m/c lean, but it is not countersteering, nor is it nearly as efficient as c-steering.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  7. #37
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    Ok, let me define that a bit more, and hopefully not pirate this into another countersteering thread. The action of countersteering is to cause the bike to initiate a lean angle. Motorcycles lean, not by "pivoting" into a lean angle at the contact patch, but by rotating around the horizontal roll center axis. Think of it this way, when stationary, a bike leans from vertical by leaning over on the contact patches. But we have to support the bike or it falls over. When in motion, viewed from the back of the bike, lets say through a RH curve, the bike leans through the roll center by the rider/upper half of the bike rotating CW into the curve, the lower half of the bike/rider rotating CW out from the curve.

    This rotation can also be done, though much slower in reaction, by pressing hard into the RH footpeg, causing the lower half of the bike/rider to rotate out from the curve, thus initiating the lean angle. It is "countersteering" in effect because the the lean angle initiation is first caused by the lower half of the bike rotating "out" from the curve, much like it does when the rider would input slightly more push/press against the RH grip than the LH grip. That action causes the lean initiation. For a one handed rider, use of footpeg loading for leaning assists the effort required at the one grip to initiate lean angle for cornering. Its also why a one handed rider would do worse on a top heavy bike.

    This affect of roll center axis explains why top heavy bikes are slow to respond to lean angle initiation, as they want to remain upright. But also once leaned in, they want to "fall into" the lean angle. For a one handed rider, a top heavy bike requires a lot more gross muscle action at the grip to initiate and modify lean angles.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    something else to consider- all the anecdotes about riders with missing hands/arms that still ride have involved riders who already knew how to ride, had suffered a loss of appendage, and found a way to adapt their bike to conform to their handicap. I think the very premise of learning to ride without a hand or arm would be daunting, to say the least.
    I was going to post this exactly. This is not a comment on the individual's character or other abilities.

    If the person decides to go ahead with riding a motorcycle, they have all my best wishes and please, be careful.

  9. #39
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    something else to consider- all the anecdotes about riders with missing hands/arms that still ride have involved riders who already knew how to ride, had suffered a loss of appendage, and found a way to adapt their bike to conform to their handicap. I think the very premise of learning to ride without a hand or arm would be daunting, to say the least.
    I think you may be underestimating the ability of this brave young lady. Unlike those who have lost a limb, she has had to do EVERYTHING with one hand her ENTIRE life. Rather than having to relearn how to do everything like someone who has lost a limb, she does everything they way she learned it initially in her childhood.

    I suggested an adapted Burgman 400 because I know how easy it is to ride and control with only the right hand based on riding mine. It would not be difficult to relocate the master cylinder for the rear brake to be used with the foot. A length of brake hose to move it and making it work as a pedal rather than a handle would not be difficult.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35634 View Post
    Since she is a beginner, a 3 wheeler could get her used to the controls without loss of balance being much of an issue. Heindle Engineering, where I got my Ural, has a Piaggio MP3 they took on trade. I was checking it out last week, impressive looking scooter. Leans, but locks upright at stops. 500cc so it probably scoots pretty good.
    MP3s aren't as easy to ride as you would think they are...they are also tougher than most scooters to hold upright. They are relatively heavy and need a wide stance. While they will lean into the turns the wheels do not automatically lock when stopped for a light, the need to be locked manually by a hand lever. I will admit that I am not an MP3 fan to begin with, but many owners love them. I have picked a couple up off of riders that "forgot" there are two wheels up front and had the right one go into a ditch.

    I didn't think about the Hondas either but a nice idea. It would be nice if the Integra was available in the US.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    I think you may be underestimating the ability of this brave young lady. Unlike those who have lost a limb, she has had to do EVERYTHING with one hand her ENTIRE life. Rather than having to relearn how to do everything like someone who has lost a limb, she does everything they way she learned it initially in her childhood.
    I wouldn't underestimate her at all. When I was in college I worked summers at Kennedy cleaning planes...the inside. One of our guys was born without most of his right hand. Believe me...he wasn't cut any slack...and didn't want any. He could do any of the tasks the rest of us did and keep up just fine.

    He also played guitar in a band. He was able to jam a pick in...somewhere...and play. I also saw him tape a couple to his right whatever and he could playsome pretty cool stuff with two or three picks. Was he the best player I have ever seen...no...but they were a better than average bar band and he had fun playing! (No, he didn't quit his day job

  12. #42
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    New bmw650

    I just took a test ride the new 650 scooter BMW has out and its a WOW!!! May work with some missing hand mods, via prosthetics? This new scooter has a ton of power to ride ANY highway at ease. Both hand levers are brake levers only, no shifting. I was impressed by the bikes ability to get r done in the HP department, FAST. Handled beautiful and I would find it in the touring class of bikes quite easy. This is NOT a drive around town/local bike only, as it has much more capable means to go anywhere. I was NOT impressed with its gas mileage, thought to be better in my mind, but its a very fine, powerful scooter that can keep up the pace of its much larger brethren. Randy

  13. #43
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Thumbs up thanx!

    Thanx for all the replies! BMWMOA rocks.
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  14. #44
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    The c650gt mileage gets better with break in. Mine took about 2K miles to really settle in. I get about 55 mpg running at 70 - 80 mph

  15. #45
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    While not a believer in too much guvmint and a sucker for feel good stories, I'd think it ought to be made pretty legally tough for this person to even get a motorcycle operator license. This group of people, obviously. MSF being so cash-strapped, I'd think it difficult for them to come up with reasonable criteria, which if they did ought to be "lobbied" to various governments. Or whoever else with scientific knowledge (and funded) and not just a bunch of us forum guys with opinions and anecdotes.
    Seriously?!?! You DO realize this IS the 21st century... right?
    Why on earth you think the "guvmint" should more deeply regulate ANY one segment of the population more heavily than any other segment is absolutely beyond comprehension...
    No matter how you attempt to justify, qualify, or rationalize this statement, here, in black & white, is your internet "legacy"- for all to see... your words, forever. I'm fairly certain there are more than a few people in this world who are -for one reason or another- missing parts of their bodies, who can & will smoke your butt on any day of any week, at motorcycling... and perhaps at just about anything.



    I, for one, hope this person not only goes on to get her license for operating a motorcycle, I also hope she goes on to live her entire life riding, having fun, and helping others to realize they, too, can AND SHOULD do anything they want to do.
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

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