Thursday, June 19, 2008

Motorcycles for SHTF

With a new bike purchase comes a sorry attempt to justify it. Everyone knows that they're dangerous. Cargo space is at a premium and if you've got a whole family to worry about then you won't be packing them up on the back and hauling them anywhere. They do have several advantages over other forms of transportation, though.

Improved gas mileage is the most obvious advantage over cars and trucks. The biggest, baddest, most gas guzzling bikes get gas mileage that's on par with "economy cars". With the price of gas on the rise and the likelihood of it getting much more expensive the economics of riding a motorcycle is only getting more appealing.

Motorcycles can go places that your car can't. As long as you're not riding an 800 pound cruiser you'll have plenty of maneuverability. If there's a real emergency then one of the worst possible situations could be getting stuck in traffic. In an emergency getting around a traffic jam is a lot easier on a bike. If you're on a dual sport you could even just take it off road. Taking railroad tracks and people's yards to get out of town isn't out of the question on some motorcycles.

When you're on a bike you tend to be more aware of everything that's going on around you. Something about being in the cab of a comfortable car or truck takes a toll on your attention span. When you put yourself on the back of a two wheeler that's completely exposed you tend to be a bit more careful and paranoid. Go figure. You'd be surprised how many things you suddenly realize that you've been taking for granted when you go from a car to a bike. After riding on the street for just a week I've already noticed some improvements that I can make to my driving.

Being more in the open also makes it easier to see what's going on on the road. You need to bug out? Let your wife drive the truck/car and just follow her on your bike. If someone messes with her then you will SURELY be the first to know and you'll be in an excellent position to react. If you get stuck and her vehicle can't go any further then throw her on the back of your bike, grab the bare necessities and keep going.

Bikes can go just as fast or faster than cars. Obviously, you can't carry as much on the back of a bike as you can in a car but a decent set of sadle bags and a good touring bag will go a long way. If you need to go offroad you can. If paying for gas starts to become impossible then you've got a toy to fall back on that will get you home if it's really necesary

18 comments:

vlad said...

Is it feasible to have a sidear with powered wheel (ala WW2 Wehrmaht BMW and Zundapp)?

http://tinyurl.com/4l6dgg

vlad said...

here are two onewheel trailers

http://tinyurl.com/6l46qd

http://tinyurl.com/5bty6o

SurvivalTopics.com said...

With a bike you can also cut across lots, take trails, and even raft it across streams if necessary.

The Urban Survivalist said...

From what I've read if you want a sidecar for your bike you should get a bike that was designed to have a sidecar attached. Those trailers are really cool and I might look into getting one.

Another thing that I forgot to mention is the maintenance involved. A bike is MUCH easier to work on than a car or truck. You can do most of the work yourself with very few tools and you don't need a big shop with things like lifts and cherry pickers. Bigger vehicles have more to break and everything is a lot harder to get to.

Hellfireblogs said...

There's a three wheeled hybrid scooter by Piaggio that supposedly gets 170mpg and can cross rough terrain. I was thinking about one of those as opposed to a motorcycle.

vlad said...

http://www.piaggio.co.za/

Piaggio 3 wheeler 395cc diesel gets 36 km per litre (0.2642 US gal)
or roughly 144 mpg

The Urban Survivalist said...

Good luck finding one of those in the states.. It looks like only a limited market is allowing them to be sold.

theotherryan said...

I would have the bike out front, far more mobile and agile.

Anonymous said...

Survival is key on a scooter. I have been a surgeon for nearly 30 years and ride a Honda VFR. I am really having a good laugh every time I fill up her 5 gallon tank which lasts over a week. I would very strongly recommend a Rider Safety Class!!! The more you ride the greater your exposure to crash trauma. Wear the best gear and stay safe.

Ricardo's Law said...

Not to toot my own horn, here, but the lowly bicycle is certainly an option.

Want it motorized? There are tons of kits out there for that, and many folk simply roll their own in that department.

Picture it - a massively over-built Flying Pigeon with a little gas-sipping two-stroke engine. Stealthy when the engine is off, and still able to move when there's no fuel.

flea said...

I would love a bike but the little woman won't hear of it...

squire said...

I bought a Chinese dual-purpose bike and even though I have a short commute (27 round trip) it will pay for itself in less than 2 years.

Libertarian said...

Kawasaki KLR650 is hard to beat @ less than $7000 for a new one.

fallout11 said...

Saw a new Piaggo gasoline-powered 3 wheeler being driven here just last week. Very cool concept. On the downside, they're quite expensive at nearly $9000, a Fit, Versa, or similar is not much more.

vlad said...

He removed air tube and put tennis bals in motorcyce tire. It worked for him. His company now manufactures Tire Balls.
http://tinyurl.com/6e45tu

Anonymous said...

A good SHTF motorcycle is the Honda Trail 90 or Trail 110.
- Light weight.
- Indestructable (practically).
- 100+ mpg.
- Availability of parts.
- Easy for even the most novice mechanic to work on.
- Secondary 'hi/lo' gearbox. (In low gear it can climb/pull anything)

I wish Honda still offered these versatile bikes in the U.S.

My $.02

Anonymous said...

The Trail-90 is a great idea, actually. those things just keep on going.

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way you can get a "Ural" here in the states, which is a copy of a WW-II German BMW military motorcycle, and yes, the sidecar is powered. All you need is an MG-34 mount...