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home built powerchairpageWELCOME!

This site is for those that want to understand powerchairs better. Or to fix or modify your own powerchair or to build your own superior one as I do.  I sell nothing!

Including related subjects such a disabled adapted vehicles and houses. There's a LOT of information on this site and some very clever helpful people on the forum that can help you, or to share ideas. And that have or are building similar chairs themselves. 

Forum  More stuff here Power Wheelchair Menu


Here is what I am personally doing at the moment:   

This is a finished DIY BM3 (Burgerman 3) powerchair. Built in my bedroom over the last few years - sadly being disabled means even simple jobs are either farmed out or take forever. One of my many chairs.

My own powerchairs are hand made with massive attention to detail & really high build quality. 16MPH (24KPH) & with a HUGE 45 Miles (72 KM) real world measured usable range. Works on sand, snow, dirt, grass and pavements and is compact for indoors. HERE

It uses a few parts from a Sunrise medical F55 chair inc the (modified tubular frame) but the rest is 90% fabricated from metal, or using parts from other disciplines. Including wheels, tyres, motors from a different chair, electronics, and huge capacity SAFE lithium ion phosphate batteries, etc. There's not a lot of this you can buy off the shelf. 

This chair makes any existing powerchair look a bit silly. Since it has greater levels of torque, 3x the speed, better control, 3x the power, 3x the range, and greater outdoor capability than any other powerchair.

And is using puncture proof Kevlar reinforced low pressure tubeless tyres for reliability, comfort, and floatation on soft surfaces. Its also more compact, and shorter than almost any powerchair. It charges in 3 hours to 100% and has a 10 year battery life. there's much more on its own 5 pages are HERE        


I am also currently rebuilding
my 16 year old heavily modified/home designed BM2 powerchair for the 2nd time after 5 more years of serious abuse. and bringing that up to date with a fancy high tech seat back and I decided to go green!

It is much slower than the one above at around 7.7 miles per hour (and so is still running at 24V). But it too is being converted to lithium ion phosphate as it allows a massive 300% range increase over the best lead batteries in complete safety.

It was re-designed primarily for an enormous range, due to new low rolling resistance radial 6 ply road tyres, a lower top speed (lower gearing). Matched to a massive but lightweight SAFE lithium ion phosphate battery of 3.2kwh usable power.

Another picture here and here or click photo! >>

Usable range will easily exceed 55 miles in real world conditions. (Calculated and subject to testing, but based on the above BM3 known chair) and the battery life will easily exceed 10 years of service. It can be charged in 3 hours from dead empty to 100% full and is much lighter (typically 100lb+ less) than other stock powerchairs. This chair was just a cheap refresh, hence lower speed, and was built to "look" pretty...

It also uses wide, low profile wide but larger diameter 16.5 inch tubeless 6 ply RADIAL tyres for a smooth ride and a very low rolling resistance and very low possibility of deflation, with large lightly loaded front casters. This chair is under 24.5 inches wide so very narrow. And is a short 37 long inc footplate.  Which makes it smaller than most indoor only chairs. But much more capable outdoors than almost any powerchair with better floatation on soft ground and range you wont believe! 

Another large picture here & here.  It doesn't have its own page yet. That's coming soon. There are more pictures and discussion on this chair and its lithium battery on the forum pages here until then.



If you wish to comment, help, ask questions or get some real advice we have a healthy forum of well informed and helpful people including myself on the Message Board

John WilliamsonAS A PARAPLEGIC ENGINEER, I have spent the last 19 years in a wheelchair after a bike accident.

I was horrified at the crap build quality and lack of design or modern materials and parts a well as the old fashioned lead batteries prevalent in this industry. All at least 15 years behind the rest of the worlds consumer goods. 

So put my money where my mouth is and  built my own

And since 97 I have used, tested, and abused, examined and pulled apart a great many "high end" power wheelchairs  while looking for the best.  Trust me, nothing much changed in this time and they they are all very much the same as they were in '97.  All just basic clones of one another, with a few minor differences, using the same basic bought in industry standardised & supplied components. It seems a manufacturer just makes a frame and a few brackets. The rest is just standardised outdated components that all manufacturers use.

Nothing has improved to any real degree in well over a decade.  A few more colours, new generation controllers with big (bulky) colour screens that get in the way, but all still way under-powered. Still also using old technology 24v lead acid batteries and hard to access programming tools. Few seating changes, some cup holders? That's about it for development...  

Yet they cost as much as a large motorcycle or small car in many cases. No up to date Lithium technology, brushless motors, tubeless tyres, fancy materials or much else to be seen. No decent indoor/outdoor designs either - its still one or the other. All Built like an explosion in some wild bracket factory, with lots of overly complex steel, heavy, "busy" parts seemingly randomly bolted together. Masses of over complexity & weight, instead of simple clean design and some thought.  So I just built my own properly!




Click image for a larger view of the Dodge Caravan Ramp van by RollxMOBILITY ADAPTED VEHICLESS

(But a bit of everything. Including some vehicles for transporting wheelchair users!)

Adapted Accessible vehicles Menu

As an guy that used to build V8 drag race cars and bikes and SERIOUS race engines for my own customers, I know a good deal about vehicles... So when I started looking around for adapted vehicles that I could easily drive from my powerchair things got interesting!


Chrysler Minivan New Wheelchair Adapted

My own van that I drive from a wheelchair at a local pub in my home town in the summer evening.   Lowered suspension not activated so ramp is steeper than usual

Bigger 1024 | 1920

My van details:

Dodge Grand Caravan

So there's now also a section here on modified vans and cars too. The thing to remember is that these things go together.

A powerchair needs a van to transport it for longer trips. This may be one where you have a driver and ride in the passenger compartment or where you drive FROM your wheelchair. As I do. Trust me driving from a wheelchair, especially a GOOD powerchair is very liberating.

I now have my life and independence back. These things are not just a good idea they are essential!  There are many new designs, and quality manufacturers in 2011/12 as I write this. Unlike the stagnated powerchair market wheelchair accessible cars and vans have become well developed, and there's lots of choice!


close up of a powerchair in position in a vehicle

I drive from a power wheelchair. A simple electronic tie down locks the powerchair in position.


















Roll mouse over image to deploy the ramp and lower the suspension!  This took me ages. Notice Arnie on guard duty...  He is waiting for his walk and wondering what I am wasting time doing.

Lowered floor minivan medium 
Lowered floor minivan large!

Wheelchair van ramp deployed medium  Wheelchair van ramp deployed Large





More on the MENU:
Adapted Accessible
vehicles Menu




  • My newest Lithium Battery 15 MPH Fast, BM3 Powerchair HERE

  • Or see the BM2 modified chair I had been using for years HERE

  • Or the slightly modified BM1 HERE from 16 years ago...


ITS EASY TO JUST BITCH AND MOAN, The difference here is that I know how to do this stuff LOTS better than anything that I could buy. So, I put my own money and skills where my mouth is.

As such I build my own far superior power wheelchairs in my BEDROOM since there doesn't seem to be any choice. As usual I have to do it myself. As a paraplegic guy this really isn't easy, but I can do this for about 1/3rd of the cost of a cheaply built "proper" chair...



And while using modern far better technology as well as hugely better build quality and design, such as Kevlar lined tubeless tyres for smooth ride, and no punctures, stainless bearings and bolts so nothing corrodes or fails, a huge but light lithium battery power for massive range or to just charge weekly like your phone, 150 Amp 45 volt control system for more speed, power & efficiency and much, much more.

Including less weight, very compact truly indoor capable design, rearward C of G good for control and wheelie capability and soft ground, etc.

WAY more of "everything good" in fact than all the chairs offered by the REAL manufacturers. And built to a standard that really should embarrass them. In total it costs me about 2.5 to 3k UK Pounds per chair! (4 to 5k US Dollars?) PLUS my time and effort obviously, doing one at a time at full retail prices. And you wonder why I bother?  #

I can build 3 of these power wheelchairs for the same price as one "official" mobility company bought powerchair!!! 



BM2 REDESIGNED AND BUILT IN A BEDROOM - a heavily modified sunrise F55 powerchair! Very heavily! But still lead powered and slow.



BM3 - A LITHIUM Powered, 15MPH, 45 MILE RANGE, INDOOR/OUTDOOR POWER WHEELCHAIR built by me, and for me, only for my own use. Only the round tube frame is from an F55 powerchair. And a few other minor insignificant bits.

  No cushion here, click for large view!

But I do post all the info and details on here to help others do the same.  And to encourage the real manufacturers to get with the show! (10 years late!)

Have done this for myself for 10+ years since landing in a wheelchair and discovering that all powerchairs were frankly useless, under engineered, overweight, badly designed and unreliable!

The one at the top of this page for e.g. is my BM2 or previous generation chair and the one I am sat in, in the pub, typing this page from. Scroll down to see more info and pages/versions of my own powerchairs should you be interested.

I am just in the process of finally assembling the 3rd incarnation of my latest powerchair!  Called BM3 (for Burgerman 3)  Its quantum leap better in every direction than anything you can actually buy (and follows on from the BM1 and BM2 powerchairs) for the following reasons:

BM3 Home



BM3 Home

  • MUCH Faster! at 15 to 16 MPH

  • MUCH more Power & Torque (about 3x more!)

  • HUGE 2x to 3x the range of normal power wheelchairs @ 45+ real world miles

  • Smaller than most indoor only chairs at 26.0 inches wide, 37 inches long inc. footplate etc.

  • Off road, snow, sand, mud - TRULY outdoor capable!

  • Smoother ride due to low pressure rear tyres (5 PSI with fat sidewalls) and 10 inch front casters

  • Better finish and longer lasting by miles!

  • HUGE Lithium Ion Phosphate 45v battery with ultra fast charge capability & HALF the weight

  • 10 year+ battery life

  • Superior controllability & accuracy

  • Better indoor manoeuvrability

  • In CAR or home charging


More important than all of the above, it is designed SO ALL OF IT WORKS TOGETHER to create a tight, light, capable, compact indoor/outdoor all day (all week!) powerchair that just WORKS WELL, GOES ANYWHERE, GOES FAST, GOES THE DISTANCE...

Ask YOUR wheelchair manufacturer why your chair doesn't do all the above?
See what feeble excuses they give you. There is no excuse!!! Its all possible, better, and available cheaply today!






This Transmitter booster: JR 12X + Wi-Fi Booster

Its for my Quad Copter here: TBS Discovery

Lots of stuff is changed and updated daily, so its hard to say exactly but these are interesting! Just added a page showing where I build these powerchairs. I do it in a bedroom! + Pride's Quantum "Rehab" Q6 "Edge" Powerchair review & Drive from VW + Review of the horrid "Spectra Plus" + Ultimate do everything charger + My T-Rex 500 helicopter! + Why all powerchairs should be off road capable! and manual wheelchair "add on" power-packs (and powered wheels)  + Disabled transport - Peugeot E7 - Save cash! LED home lighting - convert Hyperion charger to Bluetooth and tons more.  See below:










Content, Images, Software & Design (c) Burgerman 1996 & aggressively protected by whatever means needed  --  Message Board

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