Stan’s Honda sidecar
has several unique features not seen by 3wheels.org on any other freedom machine, noticeable an auto clutch and gear change adaption allowing a mid-level quad to ride a manual motorbike and secondly a unique solution to the throttle which is controlled by the riders elbow. Stan has taught himself fabrication skills and rather than compromise his choice of bike he has solved the control issues of the bike he loves. Hat’s off to you mate, great job!
by Stan Snodgrass
11 yrs ago I broke my neck in a bmx bicycle jump, leaving me a c5-c6 quad, I have no movement below the shoulders and only partial arm movement, partial wrist function, and no hand function. I used to ride street and dirt bikes before I got hurt, so my love for biking never disappeared; it only got delayed.
Two years ago I saw a Tomco bike sidecar rig for a wheelchair user and thought I’ll bet I could modify it to work for me, so I bought the rig. It was a slow little CB400 Honda, but it got me riding again. After riding a while, I quickly sold my handicap van, determining that I would become a hardcore bike lovin’ fool once more! After a year, that little bike gave up the ghost ‘cause I rode the life out of it, so now I had no transportation at all.
Over the summer I bought a few “fixer upper” bikes to make a bit of money, which I did, then took that money and bought an ‘86 VFR700 Honda that wasn’t running, for 500 bucks. After fixing the dirty kill switch, I had it running the next day. After a good carb cleaning and some oil leaks sealed up, I had a great running bike, so instead of selling it I said, ‘damn… That bike would be awesome if I could drive the beast,’ and made my mind up to make it happen!!
With the help of my good friend, Nick Spano we set my ideas in motion. Nick is my caregiver, and he stepped up to the plate to help me five days a week, but he had no prior mechanical experience. Let’s just say he’s learned a lot since helping me! He and his wife have become really good friends to me, and Nick basically turned wrenches and screwdrivers, and cut metal for me to weld.
Learning to weld by practice, practice, practice I did all the little intricate welds on stuff like my steering outrigger/tie rod connection, my elbow operated throttle, my elbow operated shifter, and many other small things like handle bars, etc.
Garry, the owner of EFM auto clutch, donated a clutch for my bike allowing me to ditch the clutch lever. It works great, and riding this trike wouldn’t have been possible without it, so a great big thanks to Garry and Nick for helping me achieve my goal. You guys rock!!!
A lot of people are inspired by my bike, (and myself, I suppose,) and I love the fact that my bike is way different from the rest, and quite fast and loud. I’ve had it up to 95 mph in fourth, but would love to really push it to see what she can do. Maybe I’ll even set a quadriplegic land speed record someday. Why not, right?
People sometimes say things like “genius” or “incredible” when they see my bike in person, but I’m quick to point out that I’m no genius, or anything too special. What I am is damn stubborn! I’m too stubborn to quit, too stubborn to believe I can’t, too stubborn to just roll over and die, and too stubborn to be sad about life.
I love to ride and show my bike, and I also compete in pool tournaments, which I do very well at. I also like to paint photo realistic art, and once in a while, I like to jam some blues on my slide guitar, keyboard, or harmonica. My philosophy is find something that makes you happy, and pursue that happiness with a stubborn determination, cherish your family and friends, and never give up on doing something new, or something that will make you happy.
Life is good, and it is what you make of it!
Impressive. Video of Stan’s outfit is on YouTube at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qytcK8gDbXs and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Google “Stan Snodgrass” and see videos of Stan welding, play pool, playing guitar and generally enjoying life, living his philosophy. Mate, I don’t know if we’ll every meet on the road but if we do, I’m buying the beer!
I’ve asked Stan for detail shots of the unique adaptions he has developed and he sent thru these annotated pictures.
Wrist stability / hand grip, this one may require some explanation, here is Stan again:
“..as far as the wrist control, I wrap my fingers round the rubber handle grip, then with my other hand, flap the leather over the top of my arm, so the spring lock can be pushed onto its lock tabs….it stays locked while driving then I hit a lil trigger to spring it unlocked…the whole wrist control swivels side to side so I can still turn the bars.”
Latest view with fearing and windshild fitted.