Okay to drive a motorcycle with ICD?

I've been considering getting an ICD because of my cardiomyopathy and as I was reading posts in this group about all the false positives -- shocks -- people were getting it made my wonder what the heck would happen if I were driving my motorcycle and the PM decides to zap me?

If I get an ICD will I have to give up motorcycles?




OK To Ride Motorcycle

by SMITTY - 2007-07-13 09:07:46

Hello Jim,

Let me start my reply to your question with a question. What does your doctor say about this?

I never heard of an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) being prescribed for cardiomyopathy. Of course I'm not a doctor either. A pacemaker possibly and a pacemaker does give out shocks, or at least it is not supposed to. If it does shock you it will be more like a bee sting and not anything like what you would get from an ICD. I don’t have an ICD but from what I have heard people say about the intensity of the shock, I --- well let’s just say I sure as heck would not want to be riding a motorcycle when that thing fired.

Now I’ll sit back and see what other have to say about your question.

Good luck,


Driving and ICD

by jellybean - 2007-07-13 11:07:33

Dear Jim,

If your doc is recommending an ICD for your cardiomyopathy it is usually due to being at high risk for life-threatening arrhythmias or sudden cardiac arrest.

Have you had any syncope (fainting) or recorded runs of ventricular tachycardia? You need to ask your doctor about driving. Laws differ in each region and sometimes you will have limits on driving and sometimes just after recovery of a week you may drive again.

As for driving a motorcycle and the risk of getting zapped....the risk is there. BUT- if you're getting and ICD the risk is also there without the ICD that you could pass out from a rhythm problem.

Discuss with your doc these concerns. It may just be that a chance to adjust to the device and be sure your rhythm probs are controlled and you are safe is what you have to do before riding again.

Best of luck!

When EF is below 35% and ICD may be indicated

by logisnews - 2007-07-15 01:07:08

At least that's what my new cardio indicated. My dad died of "sudden dealth syndrome" (a hell of a name, huh...) from his cardiomyopathy.

My EF has been as low as 30% so I am considering an ICD.

I don't want to give up my motorcycle unless there is no other choice

thanks for the feedback.

I also ahve constant AF

by logisnews - 2007-07-15 12:07:12

The doctor is looking at a pacemaker and AV nodal ablation to give my heart a rest and that's where the discusssion of the ICD came in. I didn't think to ask abuot the motorcycle because I didn't really think there was much of a chance of a false zapping...

but after reading comments in this group it seems that situations where the ICD goes off when it shouldn't happen more frequently than I thought.

It may just be the nature of newsgroups/forums like this wehre the people who DON"T have a problem with their ICD are less likely to be in here and less likely to post a message. I don't know. I have no problem or history of vfib or fainting just worsening afib and a lowering EF. I had an ablation and that plus dofetilide kept me in normal sinus for a couple of years but the dofetilide wore off and I gave it up 6 months ago and am now in permanent afib. I dont feel nearly as good as I did in normal sinus... i really notice the difference.

Cardiomyopathy Patient with ICD

by Melissa M - 2007-08-21 12:08:15

I wanted to start out by saying every case is different. Both my brother and I have cardiomyopathy and an ICD is definitely what they suggest for both of us. I was diagnosed 15 years ago and just had the ICD put in this past June and my brother had his put in 3 years ago. All my echos, stress echos and halter tests came back fine, until this past year when my halter showed runs of ventricular tachycardia while I was sleeping for the first time. They were minor, but since there was family history (my brother had multiple ventricular tachycardia and symptoms) they suggested doing it. It is really looked at as an insurance policy, a seat belt. I really debated it, and have my moments where I wonder if it was the right thing, but with your family history (your dad), I really think you should consider it.
As for riding a motorcycle, I agree with JellyBean, there is a risk of the device going off while driving, but if you don’t have it, you could pass out, go into cardiac arrest or worse, die.
I have only had it for 2 months and still feel pain and discomfort and definitely adjusting, but haven’t felt any zaps. My brother has had his for over 3 years and he says for the last year, he forgets he has it. His did go off around 3/4 times, but two were when he was playing hockey and one during baseball, part of it was his heart rate got over 200 and initially his was set really low. The other time it went off was because it was set to low and he was at the airport, pushing luggage and was really stressed. Mine is set to 220, so basically, it won’t do anything unless my heart gets over 220. No ones heart rate should be that high, especially with your condition and history.
Hope that helps!

Personal Choice

by mongoose - 2007-09-18 01:09:21

I had a motorcycle when my ICD was put in. Didn't ride for several months waiting for the ICD to do it's thing so I could guage the strength of it's shock. Finally came to realize the level of shock would be determined by the event.

I discussed weather to keep the bike or sell it with my wife. She said that she wasn't going to tell me to sell it or keep it. It should be my decision and mine alone. Finally after much soul searching and thought I decided to sell. That was NOT an easy decision. I love to ride.

The decision came down to a single simple thought....
Getting zapped while behind the wheel of a car could be a dangerous thing. Imagine being out on the road on 2 wheels? I couldn't take that chance.

BTW - I know my wife is happier that I made the "right" decision but I will always miss riding.... Better safe than sorry.


by Aztec - 2007-09-21 01:09:25

they also told me no lanmowers so mybe no bikes ? you have to ask the doctor , but i would not want to in traffic or going fast when i got zapped ..

Sounds like mine ...LOL

by Aztec - 2007-09-21 01:09:41

Hi there i also have cardiomyopathy i was born with it (my brother also) and my whole life ive been fine just taking inderal 20mgs 2 x a day , But a few months ago i started having palpaitations and felt like i was gona pass out but dint, went to my doctor and had a st jude icd put in as a insurance policy, its been 3 weeks now and i still have pain its gona take a while i guess mine is set to zap me at 188 BPM maybe i should have it set higher since iam very active also

take care

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