My Name is Nicole Smart, I’m 30 years old, and I live in New Hampshire with my boyfriend Jake. I was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident in November of 2004. I have no sensation from basically the waist down and I use a manual wheelchair to get around daily so I never thought I’d ever be able to ride on a motorcycle or more then that ever be able to drive one. The BRP Can-Am Spyder has totally changed that for me
When we saw the Can Am Spyder and rented one with my significant other, Jake and I were hooked. We went out and bought a 2011 Can Am Spyder RS-S with every intention of me being the passenger since the foot brake wouldn't’t allow for me to stop the machine on my own. We had a rack built to allow for my wheelchair to be attached off the back of the Spyder and still allow me to be a passenger and Jake to drive safely. We did this for the whole 2011 New England riding season.
Well after a season of riding as a passenger we decided to do some research and found the Industrial Specialty Company, Inc. and their aftermarket products for the Can Am Spyder. They had a handbrake kit which would allow me to not only ride the Spyder but to drive it as well.
We contacted ISCI and spoke to them about why we wanted a handbrake and my limitations. They informed us that not only did the have the handbrake in stock but also offered us a disabled riders discount, which was wonderful. They had a few Spyders they had outfitted for hand brakes for paraplegics or amputees and were very helpful.
The ISCI hand brake is currently offered for $1250.00, which may seem like an expensive modification to some but to us it was priceless. The handbrakes quality warrants its price tag, everything was well thought out, designed, and it works flawlessly. The handbrake would allow me to drive our Spyder and for Jake to be able to ride along with me. The hand brake is extremely well crafted. The Can-am brakes extremely well when using it and the handbrake requires no modification to the current Can Am braking system, which we appreciated. We appreciated this feature because Jake still wanted to be able to use the foot brake in emergencies. Both of us also appreciated that the handbrake could be removed and the Spyder be put back to stock if we ever wanted to sell or trade the bike in for a newer model Can am Spyder. The ISCI hand brake is a complete bolt on system that utilizes a master cylinder to actuate the existing brake system. It is offered for not only the Can Am RS and RS-S but also the RT. The install was very easy if you have some mechanical knowledge you could do it yourself or have your local dealer put it in for you. We were very impressed by the directions and ISCI was more then willing to answer any questions we had over the phone or through e-mail. We highly recommend the hand brake modification to anyone even if they aren’t disabled but just miss having a handbrake after riding two-wheeled motorcycle for years.
We have now hand the handbrake on the Spyder for a full season and I have gotten my motorcycle license. I have started to get comfortable riding the Spyder myself. We have found that we need to do two more modification prior to me being totally comfortable which are ISCI Adjustable handlebar risers, which we ordered and are waiting to arrive. Lastly, we’d love to add ISCI Passenger armrests for me when I do ride as a passenger so I have a little more protection, which we plan to order soon. They will be the last step in making the Spyder the perfect one for this disabled rider as a driver or a passenger. I wish we could do all of the modifications at once but we have to save up for them.
Riding has given me so much freedom back. I am looking forward to the upcoming 5-6 months of this season when we get to bring the Can-Am Spyder out of the garage in New England and just ride. We still have some snow right now –I know it’s April 12th it should be gone by now but in New England you never know. It could be 70 by the weekend here and I’m hoping it melts J As a passenger or as a driver the Spyder has given me a whole new appreciation for motorcycling. Companies like BRP, and Industrial Specialty Company, Inc. are helping get more riders like me on the road daily.
I hope you like hearing my story and my review on ISCI Handbrake. Hope it helps others who may have a disability or who are considering the handbrake modification to get out there and try it!
You can check out Industrial Specialty Company, Inc. aftermarket Spyder parts by clicking on SpyderTalk's sponsors link or going to www.isciride.com