Nippi – 80cc- 1986(?)

Mid eighties 80cc Nippi

I’m not sure if 8hrs is a record between Brisbane and is close neighbour, The Gold Coast, it is only 100km of good highway after all. My first journey in my newly acquired Nippi had started in rain, finished during a tropical downpore and involved a major dose of sunburn in the middle of the day. I felt like a record breaker, that journey was the hardest, but most rewarding, trip I’d been on before or since.

Smell the power of the rampaging two-stroke!

After 16 years in taxi’s my barn yard find came about from the realisation that choosing to build a house on a hill for the views severely limited ones ability to go anywhere without first calling a cab. For 2 thousand dollars, plus a similar amount to a fabricator got me and my Nippi on the road traveling to work and generally going places.

My particular Nippi was imported into Australia in the mid to late eighties. Nippi, who still build the machines in the UK, are purpose designed, drive from your wheelchair, trikes. Powered, in my case by a 80cc two stroke, driving one rear wheel, the Nippi remains one of the few commercial options if your upper body strength is limited and you can’t, or don’t want to, transfer..

Two major mods were required to adapt my bike; firstly we extended the handle bars rearward with a tiller extension of 30cm.  Together with the flattest, widest, dirt bike bars you can buy, the leverage allowed me to steer, problem No. 1 solved! With my mate Hutch and the fabricator Jeff pushing me around Jeff’s back yard we proved the steering worked but also proved, by a dent in the shed, that the brakes didn’t. These were cable operated drums and I could push for all I was worth, push like a grocer pushing pumpkins at Halloween, but this brakes weren’t doing anything for me.

Jeff’s solution for the brake problem was ingenious, he grafted on the front end, together with disc brake, from a Honda 250cc scooter found at the wreakers. Problem immediately solved! The photo below displays the new front end.

With steering and braking sorted I rode the bike home in a four hour cross-city journey. Not previously traveling faster than 10km/hr (in an electric wheelchair), 20 and 30km/hr felt pretty freaky but with that first journey I had a religious awakening, I’d seen the light and it came from the headlight of a rampaging 80cc two-stroke.

Subsequent trips around the neighbourhood gave me the confidence to tackle the Brisbane – Gold Coast journey. Gradually over three years I got that journey to visit my mums down to 4 hours. I regularly saw 80km/hr downhill coming home from the pub, I wound the odometer three times around the clock, and I recouped all my initial costs from the avoidance of taxi fares in the first six months of owning the outfit. I’ve moved on to bigger outfits but none may be better than the original Nippi in achieving it’s purpose of giving mobility to wheelies.

29 thoughts on “Nippi – 80cc- 1986(?)

  1. i need pieces of honda nippi , i have 49cc but i whant to transform to a 74cc
    can anyone say to me where can i take some pieces? ty

  2. I have m.s I would deerly love too buy a sd

    I live in a nursing home. I am 58 have m.s. and would love too buy Seconhand I can have a quality of life. CAN anyone help PLEASE.

  3. Hi Quadboy just wondering when they changed your front end for the 250cc one with the disc brake did they just replace the the hole front end ie. cut out the old head stem and replace the lot with the 250 one or cut off the center pivot and weld the 80cc one on as the 250 one is a larger diameter

    I have a 80cc one that I have up graded the motor to a 150cc Chinese scooter motor and thought I had better up grade the brakes as well so I picked up a 250 spacy and was going to change everything over any help would be appreciated

    • Hi Don,
      I can’t be definite, the builder solved the braking problem for me, by buying the disc front end and installing it, without my involvement. I’m pretty sure nothing was rewelded, I thought (very vague recollection) he said it just fitted when he changed the bearings. Maybe he turned the downtube down in the lathe? he was a very talented guy. Sorry i can’t be more helpful.
      Your motor changeover sounds interesting, how major was the process? A lot of people would be interested given the age of many nippi’s out there, would you want to write a story for the website?
      Cheers, Brett

  4. I have had an nh80 honda nippi since 1994. Built in mid eighties. Very reliable 2 stroke Standard drum brakes, adequate for around the town. Struggles to get to 80km, then surges, safe at 65/70km. 165km on 4.2 litres. I have a spare one and several scooters for parts. Intend to have it for another 20years.But if you can afford it buy a new 125 honda from nippi U.K. do it. They are a great little wheelchair trike. I live in australia. Any other OZZY Nippi drivers out there? Drop me a line.

    • I totally agree and there are still a few kicking around, I saw one over christmas parked in a drive down Murwwillumbah way. When I had mine in Brisbane I knew of a lady with one out Ipswich way. Keep in contact!

      • Hi brett,
        did you, or have you, still got a nippi. I am thinking of upgrading my nh80 scooter, perhaps disc front wheel. Have you done any mods yourself.
        Cheers Toni

        • Hi Toni, this is my website and the story above is my experience with the Nippi. I’ve moved on now but have very fond memories of the nh80. The disc brake conversion made the whole driving experience possible for me as i couldn’t use the drum’s, so the conversion was very worthwhile at the time for me. But to justify the cost you would have to balance the cost against how much life you can get from the motor of a 20-30yr old outfit. I guess it depends on your situation, I’m loving the sidecars now.
          Cheers, Brett

          • Thanks for the reply Brett.I have 3 old nippi’s. Two with the honda lead nh 80 both built by Mr Gibbs under nippi uk liscence in Australia and one with the 125cc early 1987 2 stroke. The 125cc scoter was only sold in Australia for one year was 80km on 4 litres of fuel.. Used in the U.K., but not in australia.The 80cc gets 160 km on 4 lutres. The 125cc had 50% more h.p. and went like a bullet, 95 km tops, but huge, difference in acceleration to the 80cc. But fuel consumption was 80km on 4 litres.Not nearly as stable on corners only because I drove it harder.Neither vehicle is suitable for hwy speeds of 100km, they could not achieve that speed. Same drum brake set up on front and rear. The old nippi’s are great for town use.Toni

  5. hi my friend has one and needs a new windshield for his do u know where to get one from plus other parts thanks for yr help. ty

    • Hi, I had one made from some plexiglass but most motorcycle shops would have an after market screen to fit. Honda dealers should have engine bits, otherwise a good fabricator.

  6. G’day all, Am living in a remote small town and am having major probs with my shoulders in and out of the car. Am desperately seeking an older type Nippi that’s okay for just getting out to the shops. If anyone has one or knows of one would very much appreciate a call 0408411404. cheers and thanks in advance for any help, Tracy

  7. I bought this nippy from a junk yard advertised on ebay.. About $650 I bought for.. Invited Brett over for advice, checked out his new rig.
    he told me it once was his (above) I replace the motor from a 80cc Honda nh-80 same model..Did it up but found my muscle/nerve damage etc could not handle it.. tried to get someone to buy it in going condition.. Painfully let it go to a S.A. lady for about $750.. I will wait for the joystick model “Kenguru” and import it in parts to avoid our dumb ass vehicle engineer police…Cheers ..

  8. hi there,
    hope you can help me I have just brought a nippi 80cc wheelchair Honda scooter….. do you know if there is a parts or workshop manual available
    I would really them if possible or please send me back contact number so I can call you…r
    Philip j menz

    • Hi Philip,
      Welcome to the brotherhood of the road!
      The Nippi is based on the Honda NH80 (I think) so I’d look for a manual for one of these.
      when I had a Nippi I used to hunt hi and low for parts until I realised you can still get most engine bits from Honda. My suggestion would be to talk to your local Honda dealer and chase bits thru them.
      Best contact is

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  10. I’ve had Nippi’s for years but they are getting difficult to find. If anyone is interested I’m about to import some from the U.K. Drop me a line at I’m on the Tanimi desert in NT very hard country for Nippi’s but use it more than my 4×4. Happy motoring to all. Cheers Stewart

    • Hey Stewart,
      sorry for the long delayed reply, Brett here from the site.
      Best of luck with your endeviours, the Nippi got me back on the road. There are many still about and they deserve to be kept running.

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