What is the NABD?
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, sidecar outfits, trikes or quad-cycles.
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 specially adapted motorcycles.
Within 12 months the NABD had just over 100 members and had helped three disabled people to adapt motorcycles and ride them independently. In those early days each adaptation had to be designed from scratch, and many engineering problems had to be solved.
From this humble beginning the NABD was soon 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 9,000+ individual members with the support an ever-growing number of affiliated clubs and businesses. Since its inception, the NABD has directly helped over eleven thousand disabled people to enjoy the freedom and independence of motorcycling.
The NABD has also been instrumental in disabled motorcyclist support groups setting up in Norway, Sweden, France, Japan and the USA.
Unlike many registered charities, the NABD does not spend donated money on wages, plush office accommodation, or expense accounts. We have two paid employees, an office manager and an assistant administrator - both financed by our own direct fundraising, such as the You’ve Been Nabbed rally and other events. All of the other people working for the NABD are unpaid 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 our membership subscriptions and our own fundraising activities).
The NABD is regularly consulted on issues relating to disabled motorcycling by the DVLA, DfT, VOSA, DSA, and the Highways Agency.
The NABD operates a system of financial grants to help with the cost of special adaptation work to motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/sidecar combinations and trikes; necessary to suit the needs of disabled riders.
These grants range from £250.00 to £2,000.00, dependent on the type of machine and the particular requirements of the rider.
Grants are awarded on a case by case basis by the management committee of the charity. More often than not, these grants are paid directly to the engineers who have been commissioned by the grant applicant to carry-out the adaptation work. Where adaptation kits or specialist components are involved the NABD will often order these direct from the manufacturers at discounted prices and supply them to the grant applicant or directly to their chosen engineer.
NABD adaptation grants are only available to people living in the UK, Eire, Isle of Man and the Channel Isles. No grants can be made outside these areas but we are happy to offer advice on adaptations to people from any part of the world.
Where necessary the NABD can also provide grants to adapt motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/sidecar combinations and trikes to suit the needs of pillion passengers with disabilities.
The range of adaptations 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 that limits the use of a hand.
- Twin lever units for motorcycles and trikes.
- Hydraulic to cable conversion kits.
- 'Easy clutch' kits for riders with reduced strength or mobility in their hands.
- Electrically operated 'push button' gear-changers, for riders with leg amputation/disability.
- Specialised sidecar units and 'full hand control' adaptations, for wheelchair users.
- Specially built 'full hand control' trikes for wheelchair users and riders with 'balance related' disabilities.
- Remotely operated side-stand adaptations, seating/back support adaptations, modified pillion seat adaptations, throttle adaptations and many more.
- Ride from the wheelchair motorcycle/sidecar combination for wheelchair users who cannot transfer from wheelchair to a motorcycle or trike.
See the Adaptations pages on this web site for more detailed information on these and many other types of adaptation.
Assessments and Training:
The NABD is 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' (125cc) motorcycles and scooters which are adapted to suit various disabilities. These machines are loaned to disabled riders free of charge (delivery/collection fee applies) for the purposes of CBT, on-road training and tests. These learner/loaner motorcycles are in frequent use and many disabled people benefit from them each year.
Adapted learner/loaner machines are also made available at our office in Manchester for people to try-out the adapted controls if they are unsure of the type of control adaptations that may best suit their own needs. We also have two trikes that are adapted to full hand controls, suitable for most wheelchair users, which people can try-out before having a trike built or adapted for themselves.
NB. The adapted NABD trikes are not part of the learner/loaner scheme and are never loaned to anybody for any purpose other than (accompanied) assessments.
Advice and Support:
The NABD offers and advice for disabled people on all aspects of motorcycling and related issues including; adaptations to mopeds, motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/sidecar combinations, trikes and quad-cycles, insurance, licensing, trike riding, VAT exemptions for disabled riders, legal issues, rider training, adaptations to protective clothing and safety equipment; and any other issues relating to motorcycling for people with disabilities.
When necessary we will make representations to the relevant authorities on behalf of individual members if they are unable to resolve the issue themselves.
Information and advice stands attend many motorcycle and/or disability shows and related events throughout the year.
We also offer advice to the organisers of motorcycle events in relation to facilities for disabled riders.
The social side of the NABD has gained an excellent reputation over the years. We hold a number of fundraising events around Britain ranging from ad-hoc one-night events to annual rallies.
Our major national showcase event is the 'You've Been Nabbed' Rally, currently held in Cheshire (early May). Attendance has reached a staggering 3,000+ people and it has gained the reputation of being one of the best events on the rally calendar. In addition to the range of 20+ live bands and artistes performing on stages in three marquees, a custom bike and trike show with highly coveted trophies, three disco's, a hugely popular stand-up comedy show, three bars including an impressively stocked real ale bar (prices are kept well below pub prices on all three bars), street entertainers, children's entertainment, and loads of trade stands.
See the ‘Events’ page for information about upcoming NABD events.
The NABD membership is open to everybody. You do not have to be disabled to become a member and support the work of this charity.
Individual membership is £25.00 (renewable at £20.00 per year). Family membership is £35.00 (renewable at £30.00 per year).
Clubs and groups can affiliate to the NABD. (See Club Affiliations page for details).
Businesses can also affiliate to the NABD. (See Business Affiliations page for details).
Publicity & Updates:
We produce a high-quality 32-page quarterly magazine called 'Open House' which is printed in full colour (with final repro courtesy of Red Hen Promotions Limited).
The magazine features articles on grant-funded adaptations, the use of learner/loaners and general NABD news. It also contains occasional articles on related matters of interest, such as other disability support groups and the development of adaptations in addition to useful contacts and details of future plans and events.
The Open House magazine is posted out directly to members, affiliates and other interested parties. We also have plans to offer members the option of receiving the magazine electronically via a restricted web link and/or a special smartphone App.
A number of back issues of the Open House magazine are currently available online via a dedicated website: www.openhousemagazine.co.uk.
In addition to the Open House magazine regular NABD news updates are published and circulated on-line via this web site and the NABD Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/8633626241 and by direct email to interested parties. These updates are usually timed to fall between the publishing dates of the Open house magazine to provide a more regular flow of information.
Over the years we have gained the support of an impressive list of patrons:
- Billy Connolly (Comedian and Trike Rider)
- Lord Rotherwick (Member of the House of Lords and Biker)
- Neil Hodgeson (World Superbike Champion)
- David Holding (Para-olympic Gold Medalist)
- Mark O'Shea (World renowned Herpetologist, TV Presenter, Author, and Biker)
- Mik Scarlet (TV Presenter and DJ)
- Suzi Perry (Superbike and Super-Moto Presenter for the BBC)
- Gary Havelock (Former World Champion Speedway Rider)
- Sammy Miller (Motorcycling Legend and owner of the National Motorcycle Museum)
- Stevie Simpson, (Biker, Troubadour, Singer/Songwriter)
The NABD has become established as the world leader in its field often advising the DVLA, DVSA, DfT, VOSA, the Manx Licensing Authority, the Channel Isles Licensing Authority, the Highways Agency and even the European Parliament.
The NABD believe that when it comes to motorcycling 'a disability need not be a handicap'.
The NABD rely on the continued support of motorcyclists and motorcycling groups to ensure that people with disabilities will always have access to the freedom and independence of motorcycling.
If you would like to know more about the NABD, our contact details are:
The Bridgewater Centre
Tel: 0844 415 4849