Thursday, May 26, 2022

RESPONSES: short TR/ motorcycle

zach harvey

Thanks to those who responded to my post “short TR/ motorcycle”.

Original post: I’m looking for tips on prosthetic design for a recent, young, traumatic short (3″) right TR amputee. One thing he really wants to be able to do again is ride his motorcycle. Questions I have are: Who modifies motorcycles w/ hand ctrls and such? Will a locking terminal device be dangerous since the rider would have trouble bailing out of danger? Those of you w/ similar experience, what have you found to work or work best as far as hooks/ hands, VO/VC, and myos/ conventional? Granted, riding a bike won’t be the only consideration taken for prosthetic design selection in this situation, but this may help me to choose the best components. Thanks in advance. Zach Harvey, CO, BEP


This might be a tough one as I remember from my biking days that you are talking about both the throttle and front brake. A motorcycle chop shop might do this but I would be careful as you might be talking to lawyers in the future. But just for fun in thinking about this, how about hooking the ball and cable to the throttle? He would control speed with shoulder expansion. The foot brake is always more important than the front hand brake but possibly it could be coordinated with the foot brake to work in unison. Anyway, be careful as you are designing something that could be dangerous to your patient as well as others on the road. Check with the local DMV to see what they say. Good luck, John

I can only offer a suggestion on the motorcycle. The right side handlebar has the front brake and throttle. He could easily install a snowmobile or ATV thumb throttle to the left bar. Honda now offers linked brakes which would apply a percentage of front brake, when the rear(right foot) brake is applied. Look for a crashed Honda VFR or CBRXX (98 or newer) for the parts. The starter and horn can also be moved to the left side. He may want to buy new handlebars to find a comfortable, supportive riding position.

Motorcycling takes very specific fine motor skills for the rider with both hand and legs. I’ve done it for 37 years and it is no easy task to manage all the elements. If the rider is missing his throttle/ front brake hand this is going to be tough. Depending on the make of motorcycle the front brake issue can be solved with Honda’s integrated braking system. The front brake provides nearly 80 percent of braking power, with rear for balance and control so I would not take it lightly. Some chopper fellows out there remove the front brake all together but this is not a wise choice. Some customizers might be able to rig the foot brake to operate the front and rear. Then the issue of the throttle. Throttles require wrist extension so the control of the throttle will take some thinking. I have know some fellows to place the twist grip on the left hand bar. It would of course be reversed.
If I were in the same circumstance I would fit the most advanced TR available to my means and search the motorcycle customizers, both low rider and race, for the best motorcycle solutions. Motorcycling is never easy, never cheap.

I have two amps that are BE that race and ride motorcross cycles. One has about a 5″ residual and the other has about 2″ residual. One wears a TRS grip and the other wears a 7LO. I used a WE500SL wrist and carbon consrtuction for the socket and forearm on both. Sockets are modified muenster with ALPS pin liners for suspension and stability. I used fig. 9 harness and HD cable. Neither guy has had any problems with bailing out. These two are very active also with hunting and fishing. Steve

This is for a THA bicyclist, but could have applications. There also used to be a Nat. Handicapped Motorcyclists’ Association, but I could not find it on the web. Last email was [email protected] Last address was 315 West 21st St., Suite 6F, Manhattan, NY, 10011. Also try an internet search for motorcycle and amputee or prosthesis. BTW, I had a patient a while back that was a female off-road endurance racer that was a congenital (L) TRA. She raced with a conventional body-powered design reinforced with plenty of carbon. Her clutch lever was modified (heated and bent) to work with the hook. There are also throttle assemblies that are reversible R to L. Failing that, a thumb throttle from an ATV or snowmobile would work. If you aren’t getting anywhere resource wise, try emailing the major motorcycle magazines. Good luck. Let me know what you find out. David

I am happy to repost your query to AMP-L. There are several cycle riders who still ride and know about mods for one. I still ride but am BK so not much help with arm loss…..let me know if you would like me to repost… Wayne

Hello, I lost my left leg above the knee, so I can not relate to your situation. Below is a website for electronic shifting. Below is a handicap motorcycle list.

I hope these are of some help. Charles

I can’t offer any help about Motorcycle use but if your contact has to use a computer in his work it may be well worth while to have a look at the special single handed keyboards on our web site. I hope we can help. With best wishes, Stephen Hobday PCD Maltron Ltd. 15 Orchard Lane, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 0BN England. Tel/Fax (Int44)(UK0)20 8398 3265 Email [email protected] Web site ‘Millennium Product’ awarded by British Design Council. ‘Health & Safety Product of the Year’ North West Today.

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