Search for an Engineer willing to build a Wheelchair Accessible Sidecar – Led to Hire
We were searching far and wide to locate an engineer willing to manufacture a wheelchair accessible sidecar for our daughter to be included in our family rides. We contacted DreamfitFoundation in Perth to see if they could help fund or build Shanniah her own sidecar. Unfortunately Dreamfit Foundation would not be able to assist Shanniah in obtaining her own sidecar, however we were invited to ride the Dreamfit Sidecar.
The Dreamfit Foundation is a not for profit organisation that uses innovative engineering to fulfil dreams and overcome the challenges and frustrations of people with disabilities. Unfortunately this does not include projects that will need to be registered or licenced for the road. The Dreamfit Foundation, had been donated a Yamaha XS750cc motorcycle with a wheelchair accessible sidecar.
Being in need of repair, the Varietyclub were able to assist with the funding required, which allowed Chris and Spider to begin the restoration project. Shanniah, our daughter, was the first to ride in the Dreamfit sidecar at the 2012 Variety Bike Run in Perth.
A big thank you to all that made this possible and a message to anyone in a wheelchair reading this:
You have to contact DreamfitFoundation for a ride, you’ll love it!
Left to Right. Chris, David, Shanniah and Darren
Shanniah “Ready to Ride”
The smile Says it all
C’mon Let’s Go
Up We Get!
Shanniah and David leaving Dreamfit Foundation
Sidecar at Variety Bike Run
Shanniah with Variety Bike Run Riders
A special thank you to Lal who kept Shanniah smiling during her 5 month stay at hospital
Shanniah & Lal
Thank you Jim & Lal for being there on Shanniah’s big day
Shanniah at Cottleslow Beach
Blue Neon Lights Shine Beneath the Side Car
The following year, the Dreamfit Foundation were very kind to allow us to ride the sidecar 572 kilometers from Perth to Katanning and back. Shanniah loved the open road
The Williams Roadhouse
Parked at the Wagin Ram
In Front of the Shire of Katanning
Shanniah’s Wheelchair Accessible Side Car
Shanniah’s Project: To Build Her Own Sidecar
However, her original dream of owning her own side car remained unfulfilled.
Rather than Shanniah being left with a carer while we (her parents) ride around Katanning and surrounding towns, we and Shanniah would like to ride together as a family. Because Katanning is 3 hours from Perth, to continue using the Dreamfit Side Car would involve Shanniah travelling to Perth in her van with her parents, and then in Perth, only one parent would have a bike to ride.
We also would have to find wheelchair accessible accomodation which can be quite expensive. With her own side car, Shanniah could ride more frequently without the expense and challenges of travelling to Perth. For this reason, we purchased a sidecar.
Towing Shanniah’s new sidecar to Katanning on an Erdie Trailer behind a Honda Shadow
Shanniah’s Sidecar Assembled
The first stage in the modification was to cut the back out
With a portable ramp, the wheelchair entered the sidecar to see how it fits
A section of the front was removed to allow the wheelchair to go further forward
The sidecar chassis was lengthened to accommodate the wheelchair rear wheels and some sides were added
It was necessary to see how the princess and her wheelchair fit in the sidecar
The front was measured to allow clearance for her legs
The sidecar was checked to see it with the wheel on
The sidecar was placed beside a Honda XLV750R to see how it looks
A frame was added to accommodate a windscreen and a ramp was attached
Pine boards were added to the sidecar floor and ramp
The perfect size for a princess
Gaps in the body were filled and an access door was fitted to enable the front of the wheelchair to be tied down
The Windscreen was removed
The windscreen frame was removed, because the Australian Design Rules require it to be made of Laminated Glass. Which is strange considering all motorcycle windscreens are perspex or polycarbonate. Therefore we decided to fit a motorcycle windshield at completion. The ramp was extended, as neither an electric or manual wheelchair, could ascend the ramp as it was too steep.
Legs were added to support the 150kgs that will travel across the hinges. The Princess isn’t that heavy, her wheelchair weighs 110 kgs
The sidecar was put on the Erdie trailer and taken to a weighbridge. 140Kgs
Shanniah’s Sidecar beside the Dreamfit Sidecar
The purchase of Shanniah’s Yamaha FJ1200A
To be able to carry the extra weight and for the top end torque, we purchased an FJ1200.
Locating an Engineer willing to take on the project
We approached many engineering firms, asking if they would attach our sidecar, to complete the project, all declined.
Then finally we found someone willing to take it on. Thank you Brendon!
We submitted a Modification Application with the Department of Transport Western Australia to obtain an Approval in Principle which allowed us to begin attachment to the motorcycle.
Funding: The attachment of our sidecar was funded by the IndependentLiving Centre. Thank You ILC!
You may visit our Project Funding Page: Click Here
The Fitting of a Subframe and Attachment Points to the Motorcycle Frame
With the Rear Stand removed, a perfect attachment point was provided
Under Seat Attachment Point
Conversion of Telescopic Forks to Leading Link
Attachment to the Sidecar
We asked Brendon to manufacture us a nice ramp. Much better
Adjustment of Lean Out and Road Testing was carried out using a crate with 170 kgs of barbell weights
Fits Nicely in an ACROD (Disabled) Parking Bay
We added a Window for the ACROD (Disabled) Parking Label
Shanniah, her Mum, Dad and Aunty at the 2014 Vintage Motorcycle Club/Salvation Army
~ Albany Christmas Toy Run ~
Selection of Motorcycle Tyres (Tires USA)
As the FJ1200A will no longer lean or travel at high speeds, we swapped the High Speed Round Profile rear tyre, with a Square Profile Motorcycle Tyre.
This will improve the Load Carrying Capacity and increase the Surface Area between rubber and road for better Traction.
We chose to keep a Round Profile Front Tyre, after reading comments on Internet Forums that stated Square Profile on the steering can cause the motorcycle to follow every contour in the road, especially if the road has been worn by heavy traffic.
We fitted an Excelsior 500/525-16 tyre and tube, purchased from Antique Tyres in Victoria Australia: Website
Manufacturer’s Rear Tyre Details:
Metric 150/80 V16-V250 (V) tires for 240 km/hr and up
Max Load: 345 kgs
Tyre Details: Excelsior 500/525-16 Motorcycle Tyre, 4 Ply Nylon.
L/S Index (load/speed): 74 P
74 = 375 kg load rating
P = 150 km/hr
Complete – Job Well Done!
Brendon has completed attaching the sidecar. We are so blessed to have had Brendon’s amazing skills on this project.
We have obtained our Modification Final Approval and our combination is now registered to carry a sidecar and wheelchair.
Time to paint the bike to match the sidecar
Angela adds her Airbrushing Talent. Shanniah chose her Favorite Musicians promoting Peace on Earth
A Photo Stop in Darkin during a ride from Katanning to Bunbury
Shanniah, Angela, Michael and John
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