Shop offers motorcyle for disabled riders

June 21, 2010 4:41:20 AM PDT
Earlier this year, the first wheelchair-accessible motorcycle was introduced to bike lovers in the Chicago area.It is a 1200 series BMW with a lot of power and makes a perfect Father's Day gift.

The 'Conquest' is the name of the wheelchair-accessible motorcycle. It can be yours for $57,000.

Villa Park's Mobility Works of Chicago is the only local shop selling the Conquest.

"We've actually got 30 in production," said Robert Baumgartener, the mobility consultant.

"It comes in black and silver. You can even do some custom color so we can match it to your wheelchair or whatever your color preference is," Baumgartener said.

The Conquest is a highly adapted vehicle. It has a ramp that goes up and down for wheelchair access, hand operating gears and push button handbrakes. It's wider and longer than a standard motorcycle but has the same speed options.

Since it is a new product, Mobility Works of Chicago will set up test driving.

"Illinois requires that any bike rider has a motorcycle license. So, they take a standard test; they'll actually even get on a bike and take a test track. Or better yet, if you've never driven a bike and you've wanted to for years, you go to school, and they'll train you on the bike, and you get your license after that. That's the easiest way," said Baumgartener.

Mobility Conquest representative Mark Roberts recommends that drivers have a strong upper body.

"Chances are, they've had an injury from the waist down, but they have a strong upper body and full use of both hands. Interestingly, we're also having people with no disabilities want to buy the motorcycle just because of the way it looks. We also have some older consumers who may have had hip injury or a knee injury and they can't ride their Harley anymore," Roberts said.

"You can get a custom Harley bike, I think, around 42 to 45,000, but you have to have it adapted so you don't shift with your legs. So, this bike is about $10, 000 more than a custom Harley bike that I've seen in some show rooms," said Roberts.

Sergio Lopez became disabled four years ago.

"I was with the U.S. Army in Iraq, and I was attacked by an IED. My vehicle came under attack, and after an IED explosion, I lost both of my legs," Lopez said.

ABC7 was there the first time he ever rode a motorcycle.

"It's awesome. It's an amazing vehicle. It looks like it was put together amazingly well. I get in my chair, I pull myself very effortlessly, and it's pretty much get on and ride. It's pretty simple, and it's very well made," He said.

"I tell people it's not about the product, it's about the passion. We're helping people reconnect with the passion that they have. So, for a cyclist, a motorcycle, a biker, this is their boat. This is their sail boat. This is what they do to get adrenaline and the excitement in their life," Roberts said.

Bike lovers with physical disabilities, your dream has come true.

For more information go to www.mobilityworks.com.


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