3 Wheel Inspiration
This story is an inspirational account of one who has overcome so much and the family and community that have stood by him. My brother, Barry, was injured in a snowmobile accident in 1993. The accident left him mostly paralyzed below the chest area. Prior to this event Barry was an avid water skier, snowmobiler, jet ski enthusiast and rode a motorcycle most sunny days.
He is an inspiration to so many, because he did not let this set back stop him from snowmobiling or jet skiing from then to this day. Getting back on a motorcycle was a problem of course, which brings me to the focus of this story. Our whole family rides and Barry was left out. As active as he is, this was very difficult for him. Bombardier introduced the Can-Am 5 or 6 years ago and in 2008 Barry started showing quite an interest in the possibility of riding again. The Can-Am seemed like it would be a good fit for Barry, however there were a couple of hurdles; The Can-Am’s have a foot break and there was no way to attach his wheel chair to the bike. Also, he wanted to go to Sturgis with us and really couldn’t afford the bike and a trip that expensive.
Keith Wong, owner of Zackys Custom Rods in Seattle, was gracious enough to add a hand brake. We got a local fabricator to make a side mount for his wheel chair to solve the engineering problems, but the really amazing part of family and community is that we raised enough money between our family, Sunland Estates residents and Reyes Del Sol (the local bike club in Sunland) to enable Barry to go to Sturgis.
That 1st trip was a learning experience for Barry as well as those of us that rode with him. He rode 4,100 miles from here to Jasper Alberta, then Sturgis and back and that was just the beginning. Since purchasing the bike in 2009 he has riding over 35,000 miles and rides all the time. That Can-Am and Barry turn heads wherever he rides. We attended the Red Horse Diner bike show in May and a retired Marine came up to Barry and said, “I just want you to know that you have had more impact on this event than any one person here. When you rode that bike around back through the vendor’s area, everyone was watching and talking about you and that bike”. Very kind words and very much appreciated, but people wherever he rides are inspired by his attitude and ability to overcome his physical disability. We are all very proud of him and love riding with him any chance we get.
For you motorheads, the Can-Am is 990cc’s, 106hp and can out corner a Harley. Unlike a traditional trike you almost can’t turn a Can-Am over. There is a computer chip that applies the outside brake and cuts the throttle. It also has an automatic transmission with reverse. Barry is an excellent mechanic and like any Harley rider has made alterations to his bike including after-market exhaust. (It is a V-twin and very loud when you remove the baffles) Many of you have probably seen him on the road and wondered how that is possible. Don’t be a stranger, Barry loves talking about his bike and the places he has been.
Anyone who might be interested in knowing more about the bike or his story can send me an email to email@example.com and I will give you contact info.
Ride safe and we’ll see you down the road,
Submitted by Jim May