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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 2 Feb 2003
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Disabled Rider asks which bike?

I have a permanent stiff right leg (failed knee joint) and I am considering some long distant touring both on and off road. As I can't bend my leg I would need my footrests placed forward,cruiser style.The rear foot brake I can have modified to a handlebar lever or button. Cruiser are out I think they are practical,comfy but too close to the ground for any off roading.So folks give us some help check out your bikes and see if it would be possible to ride comfortably with a stiff straight right leg and suggestions as to any adaptations.
Cheers!...Taffytoo
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  #2  
Old 2 Feb 2003
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When I ride my BMW R80GS I often have the legs on the crashbar. My legs are then totally straight. It should be easy to make some arrangement on the crashbar to avoid the leg to skid.
This will also work on R100 and maybe on R1100 and R1150.


Happy travel!
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  #3  
Old 2 Feb 2003
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Greetings.
If you are not opposed to a side hack rig there is a company in the Seattle Area of Washington State that builds a really serious GS set up using a 1150GS and side car that is serious for "off the asphalt".
Its a great set up for extended touring and dirt roads, etc. I know a gent that has to keep a walker with him and this set up works real fine for him. He can really relax his bad leg. He is an avid fly fisherman so the off road capability really helps out as he needs to ride as close as possible to the fishing grounds.
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  #4  
Old 2 Feb 2003
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When I was in Marocco last May I joined three Germans. One of them was a +50 year old man with a stiff left leg.
He was riding a BMW F650. The only thing they modified was a footrest placed up front. He managed really good on paved roads. They rode all the way down to Erfoud without a problem. When he needed to shift he basicly sat back on his saddle wich allowed him to use the gear-shifter with his stiff leg. The fact that this was a really short guy also helped for this concept (he had souls about 4cm high placed under his Alpinestar tech 8 boots, otherwise he wouln't reach the ground!!!).

On the tarmac I didn't notice a thing of his problem. Only when we started to go on piste and getting the first patches of 'kif-kif' (really soft sand) he got in trouble. Eventlually he took a bad fall and broke his left ankcle.
He couldn't shift gears fast enough I think.
In the end all ended OK, but it took us about 36 to do a comfortable and decent evac from Merzouga to Erfoud.

So conclusions?
It is most certainly possible.
I think in the long end you need to modify more and for ex. should also replace the gearshifter or brake. So that you can use it from you correct riding position and react quickly enough if needed.
Can you do piste-like riding? Hmmm, as the case above tells it might get tricky. But I like a lot the idea of the sidecar that is mentioned above. My Honda dealer rode Paris Dakar twice in a self made sidecar! And they managed to finish twice! That proves a good sidecar can really do some decent off roading!

Hope you find the concept that fits you!!! Good luck.

Pieter

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  #5  
Old 2 Feb 2003
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i offer 2 suggestions 1--install highway pegs. they are available for the KLR650 and i believe will fit other duel purpose bikes with some modification. 2---install en
gine guards or crash bars, with or without highway pegs, and you should have your problem solved. harley davidson sells a kit called foreward control, which moves your brake pedal ( and also gear shift peg) foreward. this could perhaps be modified to fit your bike. its worth considering. do not move your foot pegs as you need these to stand on in rough going--just make sure you are in the correct gear ahead of time.
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  #6  
Old 4 Feb 2003
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Thanks a lot guys for your replies.The sidecar idea was interesting but to me that was like giving in to my disability.I must just as well get an ex-army Landie..4X4..sorted (to non-UK readers a Jeep)..thank you,but no thanks. Since I posted this inquiry I visited my local bike shop and after trying on a few models realised that an off-road XT600E was not suitable.If I sit on the seat my leg sticks several inches out beyond the down tubes and any way jumping from sitting to standing mode would be very difficult and dangerous (Sorry guys but I would like to come back in one piece).So to be sensible any offroading is not on.So back to the cruisers,sat on a couple,yes cool,comfortable and practical but having spent 6 months touring India on an old Bullet many years ago(before my accident)I'm still not happy with their ground clearence on anything but smooth tarred roads.So maybe my answer lies somewhere in between a good old reliable BMW Boxer or a XJ900 and stick to Europe and Russia.
A note for your files Grant and anyother disabled riders reading this:-The National Association for Bikers with Disability. www.nabd.org.uk.A great site worth a look see and your support. Once again many thanks........Safe Riding.
Taffytoo.
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Old 4 Feb 2003
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... and their batch brightens every biker jacket (NABD). Go and get one to support them, their doing a great job!
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  #8  
Old 13 Mar 2003
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A note of encouragement here: there is NO reason why you couldn't also tour South America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Central America, Japan, Turkey, ummm, I'm sure there's more that would be fine on any street bike, even with a stiff leg. Most of Africa could also be done with no trouble, especially Kenya south, and North Africa - Morocco to Egypt. Don't limit yourself - get a bike of reasonable size that you can comfortably handle, and go.

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  #9  
Old 13 Mar 2003
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Hi

This issue of you must have an off road bike to go anywhere interesting is all a bit of hype really, one that i fell for as well!!

While in Goa in january i met a guy from Belgium riding a Honda 1100cc V twin, is it called a Shadow?, custom/cruiser bike from Belgim to Alaska through Asia etc.

He managed by just taking it easy when the roads/tracks got bad and accepting some limitations of it sometimes and enjoying the comfort others!

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  #10  
Old 16 Mar 2003
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Have you considered a quad? They are great off-road, stable, can carry loads of stuff, and best of all, you still get the wind in your face feeling that you don't get in a car.
By the way, has anybody done long distances on one of these machines?
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  #11  
Old 25 Mar 2003
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I must admit that I hadn't visited this web site for several weeks beliving that my long standing dream of riding RTW was diminished due to my disability. But Fate? Luck? No just boredom caused me to re-visit and good old Grant has picked me up by the boot straps, turned me around and pointed me in the right direction. So its out with the World Atlas again and start planning.A big thank you to you Grant and when I pass your way I'll buy you a drink or two. We all know we can do things but sometimes it just takes a kick to get us going.

Cheers...Taffytoo.
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  #12  
Old 25 Mar 2003
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Always happy to supply a kick

For a little more inspiration, see Dave Barr's story - rtw with no legs...

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/davebarr/

Also there's a Japanese photographer with one leg that went rtw on a Honda CT90 a few years ago.

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