NABD: National Association for Bikers with a Disability
The NABD was set up in April 1991 by six bikers from Stockport and Manchester who would not accept the idea that disabled people could not ride motorcycles, scooters, or trikes.
The initial project was to find a way to adapt a motorcycle for a rider who had suffered the amputation of his lower left leg in an accident. A fund raising party was organised and publicised locally and this prompted several other disabled people to contact the group asking whether it was possible for them also to ride motorcycles.
Within 12 months the NABD had just over 100 members and had helped three disabled people to adapt motorcycles and ride independently. Each adaption had to be designed from scratch, the money raised and the engineering problems solved, but from this small beginning the NABD was later to become the world leader in the field of motorcycling for people with disabilities.
The membership of the NABD has now grown to a staggering 5,000+ individual members with the support of over 200 affiliated clubs and businesses. Over the past 15 years the NABD has directly helped over seven thousand disabled people to enjoy the freedom and independence of motorcycling.
The NABD has been instrumental in similar groups setting up in Norway, Sweden, France and Japan.
Unlike many registered charities the NABD does not spend donated money on wages and plush office accommodation. (We now have one paid employee, an office administrator, this post was initially financed by a grant from the national lottery 'community fund' now it is wholly financed from the proceeds of our national rally). All of the other people working for the NABD are volunteers.
Also unlike most charities, all donations from individuals, clubs or companies are used 100% for the benefit of, and services for, disabled riders (the administration costs of the association are met from other sources).
The NABD is regularly consulted on issues relating to disabled motorcycling by the DVLA, DfT, VOSA, DSA, and MAVIS.
By the way, we sometimes get people say 'I can't join, as I'm not disabled'
nothing could be further from the truth - we welcome the support of anyone interested in biking.
The NABD operates a system of financial grants to help with the cost of special adaption work to bikes, scooters, combo's and trikes, necessary to suit the needs of disabled riders.
These grants range from £100.00 to £1,400.00 dependant on the type of machine and the particular requirements of the rider.
The range of adaptions is as broad as the imagination (and technology) will allow including;
Thumb operated brake systems, to allow rear brakes to be operated by hand for people with leg amputations/disabilities. Also used extensively in 'one handed' controls for riders with an arm amputation, Brachial Plexus injury or any other disability which limits the use of one hand.
Twin lever hydraulic units for bikes and trikes.
Hydraulic to cable conversion kits.
'Easy clutch' kits for riders with reduced strength or mobility in their hands.
Electrically operated (Kliktronic) 'push button' gear-changers, for riders with leg amputation/disability.
Specialised sidecar units and 'full hand control' adaptions, for wheelchair users.
Specially built 'full hand control' trikes for wheelchair users and riders with 'balance related' disabilities.
Remotely operated side-stand adaptions, seating/back support adaptions, modified pillion seat adaptions and many more.
Assessments and Training:
The NABD are frequently consulted by the DVLA on matters relating to disabled riders and we are often asked to carry out assessments for disabled people who wish to regain their motorcycle entitlement.
We also have a number of 'learner legal' motorcycles and scooters which are already adapted to suit various disabilities, these machines are loaned to disabled riders free of charge (administration fee applies) for the purposes of training and tests. These are in constant use and many disabled people benefit from them each year.
Advice and Support:
The NABD offer advice on insurance, licensing, legal and any other matters relating to the disability of a rider, and when necessary we will make representations on their behalf.
Information & advice stands attend many, motorcycle and/or disability shows and related events throughout the year.
We also offer advice to the organisers of events as to facilities for disabled riders.
The social side of the NABD has gained an excellent reputation over the years. We hold small fundraising parties around Britain throughout the year. We also run two 'full blown' rallies annually.
Our major national event is the 'You've Been Nabbed' Rally in Cheshire (May). Past attendance has reached a staggering 3,000+ and it has gained the reputation of being one of the best events on the rally calendar. In addition to the range of live music in three marquees, bike/trike show, and disco's we have, a comedy club (courtesy of Manchester's famous 'Frog & Bucket' Comedy Club), a real ale marquee, street entertainers, children's rides, and loads of trade stands and nice cheap beer on 3 bars.
The NABD welcomes all motorcyclists, scooterists, and trike riders, you do not have to be disabled to join and support our efforts.
We produce a quarterly magazine 'Open House' which is printed in full colour (with final repro courtesy of News International and the Sunday Times), which features articles on recent adaptions, matters of interest, loads of useful contacts, and details of future plans and events.
Over the years we have gained the support of an impressive list of patrons. Billy Connolly (comedian and trike rider), Neil Hodgeson (World Superbike Champion), David Holding (Para-olympic Gold Medallist), Mark O'Shea (World renowned Herpetologist, TV Presenter, Author, and Biker), Mik Scarlet (TV Presenter & DJ), Suzi Perry (Superbike and Supermoto Presenter or the BBC), and Gary Havelock (Former World Champion Speedway Rider), Sammy Millar (Motorcycling Legend and owner of the Motorcycle Museum).
The NABD has become established as the world leader in its field often advising the DVLA, DSA, DfT, VOSA and even the European Parliament. We believe that when it comes to motorcycling 'a disability need not be a handicap'.
The NABD are here to stay and with the continued support of all motorcyclists and motorcycling groups we can achieve even greater things.
If you would like to know more about the NABD write (please enclose a S.A.E.) to;
Unit 20, The Bridgewater Centre, Robson Avenue, Urmston, Manchester, M41 7TE.
Tel: 0844 415 4849
Over the years the NABD has helped thousands of people with disabilities to enjoy the freedom and independence of motorcycling. With the continued support of the biking community, the NABD will remain the world leader in this field.
It is our belief that 'when it comes to motorcycling, a disability should not be a handicap'.