Bike is Star of Show
Geoff Adams-Spink, BBC News, July 8, 2005
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British-made motorcycle for wheelchair users was the start of
this year's Mobility Roadshow in the UK.
The Conquest is based on BMW 850 or 1150 motorbikes which have
been integrated into a racing car-type aluminum body shell.
Its creator, Alan Martin, came up with the idea after his son
became disabled following an accident.
The company will be launching the Conquest in August and hopes
to sell 100 in the first year of production.
The bike was on show at the Mobility Roadshow, an exhibition of
products for people with mobility impairments, at Donnington
Park in Derbyshire over the weekend.
"My son's now walking again so he doesn't need it," Mr. Martin
told the BBC News website.
"But I've built this beautiful machine which I feel will enhance
the lives of so many disabled people."
'Steady as a rock'
The Conquest is designed to be driven from the rider's
wheelchair and should be suitable for people without the use of
their legs but with good upper body mobility.
It has been developed with assistance from the National
Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD) and the
Manchester Business School among others.
Young theme for roadshow
Although it was in the planning for four years, Mr. Martin could
always see the finished product in his mind's eye.
"I have to admit I'm so proud of it because it's come out just
as I visualised it."
The 'trike' will cost £18,500 - about the same as a new family
car - and Mr. Martin hopes it will appeal to former bikers who
are no longer able to climb into the saddle, as well as aspiring
The 1150cc version will accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.6 seconds
and has a top speed of 85mph.
But Mr. Martin says the one he drove on a test track topped
100mph and was "as steady as a rock".
Freedom of the road
The first person to buy a Conquest is former climber, Carl
Brunning from East Yorkshire.
Before his climbing accident, Mr. Brunning was a keen
motorcyclist and he says he cannot wait to start riding his new
"This is a totally new concept, a trike that is safe and which
gives you independence and the freedom of the road," he said.
Mr. Brunning's only other experience of motorcycling after his
accident was as a side-car passenger.
He says with the Conquest he feels like an integral part of the
The manufacturers, Martin Conquest Ltd, have begun negotiations
with Motability, the organisation that provides lease vehicles
for disabled people.
If the Conquest is accepted, it could be become available to
thousands of disabled people who are eligible for assistance
from the scheme.
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