Suggestions for a strange bike mod..... - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Post Suggestions for a strange bike mod.....

Hey all,

Last year I was the very proud owner of an old Kawa GPZ900R, one I'd bought in really bad condition with the intention of fixing it up. Had it running beautifully by the end of last year, and I was loving it... Until I went head on into a car (just my luck, he was an unlicenced driver) at a speed difference of about 160km/h (approx 100mile per hour). I went over the bonnet head first into the road, and the bike went over the roof... Or so I was told when I woke up the next day.

Anyway, long story short... I got some pretty bad nerve damage in my neck (brachial plexus injury) and as a result, my left arm is completely paralyzed. This happened just over 7 months back, and I thought at first I'd listen my friend's and family's pleas of never riding again, but I find it's too difficult to give up. I miss it way too much... So I'm looking for alternative ideas.

Does anybody have any information or photos on custom bike modifications to move the clutch lever and indicator switch to another position on the bike? I've heard of it being done, but never seen it or had a chance to speak to someone who has a bike like that... I've thought of two ideas so far, just wanted to know what you all thought would be the best / safest:

1: Move the clutch lever to the right hand side, as a reversed lever above the accelorator. With the intention of pushing it forwards with my thumb for the clutch.

2: Move the clutch lever to the side of the bike, and use your knee to press towards the tank to clutch. Not sure which side would really be best though...

Oh, and another thing that makes it difficult for me to find out more about this: I live in South Africa, so we don't really have much in the line of custom bike shops. So far I've been met by nothing but crazy looks and sarcastic comments when I asked around the local bike shops...
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 06:49 AM
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I don't know what's available in S.A. so I'll just throw out some ideas. The Honda Interceptor has linked brakes so that the front lever also actuates one piston on the rear and vice-versa. That makes the front lever ideal for most braking situations. You could use the rear brake lever as the clutch and just move the signal indicator to the right side. It wouldn't have to be an Interceptor, it's just easier since it already has linked brakes. You could do the same setup on any bike with the right parts. Of course, lots of people only use the front brake, so just not using the rear is an option too.

I don't know if it's easier to use a hydraulic or cable clutch. Routing may be easier with hydraulic, but you may have to use a different master cylinder to match the stroke of the foot lever, or modify the length of the lever. Using a bike with a cable clutch would require making the lever the right length to pull the cable the proper amount. The Interceptor has a hydraulic clutch while most sportbikes use a cable.

Will you have to make some sort of brace to help hold the left handlebar?

I hope these brainstorming ideas are helpful. Keep us updated on your progress.

-
"We didn't trade shoves; I did all the shoving." -Bobby Knight, 1981
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 07:16 AM
 
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I recommend against the foot clutch idea. You need to use the clutch when taking off from a stop, and sometimes you dont get a choice as to which leg to put down to hold youself steady.
I like the thumbclutch idea. See if you can modify a thumb throttle from a 4-wheeler. The only concern is that you will be working against the clutch springs with just your thumb. You will have a very strong thumb.



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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:19 PM
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An automatic bike would be your best bet or even *ducks anything being thrown* trike. Having one arm to hold/stabilize the bars is gonna be tough in quite a few situations but heres my recommended setup

Linked brakes on rear brake pedal.
Right hand lever becomes clutch
Right thumb control for front brakes
Switches from left of course move to right
Everything else stays the same.

Granted with this setup slipping the clutch and twisting the throttle will be difficult but only other was is either foot clutch or foot throttle--maybe have a dual setup of one, foot and hand.

Honestly auto or trike would be easiest and safest to handle.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Wow... Some very thoughtful comments here... Thanks you guys.

Not too sure about the foot clutch idea though, I don't always put the same foot down when I stop, depends on the surface.

I should just mention that I do have to look for another bike first, don't have one yet, but I'm hoping that this will help me find one that will be easier to modify the way I need it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catback View Post
An automatic bike would be your best bet or even *ducks anything being thrown* trike.
No problem with that, I actually contemplated that idea.... Just, it wouldn't quite be the same. Lol. I like the rest of your suggestion though, a few things there that I didn't think of..

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkeeney View Post
Will you have to make some sort of brace to help hold the left handlebar?
I was thinking of just fitting a gas or oil filled steering stabaliser bar on the front forks, similar to the ones on track bikes I think? Basically just to stop the front wheel shudder over bumps and keep the front from turning quite so fast...

Either way, thanks for the suggestions, very helpful.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catback View Post
Honestly auto or trike would be easiest and safest to handle.
One more thing.... I live my life by one saying: "safe is boring, boring is safe". Just need to find a good balance between those two.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 03:40 PM
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Be the first person in SA to have one of these.




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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well... That definitely is an interesting one. I've been thinking about it though, and as unique and uncommon as a trike is here (especially one that isn't built in a backyard), I fear it'll take away the whole point of a bike for me... Oh well, I've still got a way to go before I can afford to do anything anyway, thanks for the info though.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 04:14 PM
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Aside from their popularity in the general public, handicapped riders that aren't in 'chairs are taking to them, too.

Best of luck in your endeavour to pursue your dream of riding again.




In God, we trust; all others must provide data.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 12:18 PM
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hot start lever

for the clutch you could always use like a hot start lever setup four a newer 4 stroke dirtbike on the throttle side. the lever would have to be longer
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