If you already have a motorcycle you have probably already considered the value of having two wheeled transportation if T-SHTF. Motorcycles have many advantages over cars and those will be amplified many times over when times get tough and the rules go out the window. If you do not have a motorcycle or license the good news is that it is not too late to make that happen. Second hand bikes off of Craigslist or Cycletrader.com can be had for cheap and MSF training courses are readily available in most areas around the country. Knowing how to operate a motorcycle proficiently definitely falls into the Prepper skills category, but this takes time and dedication. Those who think they will hop on a bike when the time comes and roar off into the sunset are in for a rude awakening,
Since I first obtained my motorcycle license I’ve owned many bikes ranging from sportbike, sport touring, to cruiser. I’ve owned bikes that had 4 cylinders, 2 cylinders and even 1 cylinder ranging in CC’s from 250 to 1600 with HP output from 25 to 180. I easily have 75k street miles under my belt in all types of conditions and have done some hobby road racing as well. It’s safe to say that I know my way around a motorcycle although I do not claim to be the best rider out there, as overconfidence can get you killed on a bike very quickly. For what it’s worth my wife also rides (and has a bike) and we plan on putting our two wheeled experience to use when T-SHTF. Here are 5 reasons why I believe motorcycles will be the vehicle of choice if things go sideways.
1- Gasoline Sippers. Motorcycles get excellent gas mileage. A standard tank usually holds 3 to 5 gallons, combine that with up to 50mpg and you’ve got quite a bit of riding that can be done locally off of one tank.
2- Recon / Scout Vehicle. If you’ve ever watched The Walking Dead you’ll see a perfect example of how this is done. The character Daryl rides ahead of the group on his motorcycle to scout out possible routes or roadblocks. The main party can keep moving as he scouts out routes ahead and darts back to let them know which way to go. Additionally if you were to bug in a motorcycle could be used to scout out dangers beyond the neighborhood or used to seek out essential services (medical etc).
3- Speed / Elusiveness. One of the main reasons why motorcycles work so well as scout vehicles. Even slower and heavier bikes can out accelerate most cars very easily. If highways are blocked with cars this does not present a problem to a motorcycle rider who can simply weave in and out of the obstacles. If a rider comes into danger while out on a mission, the possibility of a band of evil doers chasing down a rider (assuming the rider is skilled) is slim to none. The bike will outrun, out corner and simply leave those evil doers sucking dust particles.
4- Mechanically Simple. Troubleshooting a motorcycle engine, or even tearing one down to change out a part is relatively simple versus conducting the same operation on a new 4×4 SUV. It takes less than 30 minutes to remove the fairings and gas tank from most bikes, after which you pretty much have access to the entire motor and fuel delivery system. I pulled the rear tire, brake and swapped out the swingarm on a bike in a couple hours (taking my time). How long would it take to swap an axle on your SHTF 4×4?
5- Versatility. This really depends on the type of motorcycle which you own, but with the exception of the most dedicated sportbikes most two wheeled vehicles should be able to handle most road surfaces relatively well. Pavement, gravel, dirt and (if you have a dual-sport or dirtbike) even mud shouldn’t present a problem giving the rider the opportunity to travel over various terrain very quickly. Many motorcycles can be outfitted with tank and saddle bags, enabling the rider to carry quite of bit of equipment.
I’m not here to proclaim that the motorcycle is the be all, end all in SHTF vehicles. Motorcycles obviously have their limitations but those aside they do make an excellent compliment to any Prepper contingency plan. They provide yet another option when considering transportation needs after a catastrophe or even a TEOTWAWKI event. If you do not yet have a motorcycle or license I suggest looking into it. Here are a few tips to help get you started.
- Think small and cheap. If you are looking at your first bike, buy something you won’t mind laying down a few times. Shop second hand bikes, you should be able to find something under $3k easily.
- Wear good protective gear. That 10 year old helmet that your buddy had in his basement is not what you want on your head. Imagine jumping out of a moving car at 60mph while on the highway, what would you prefer to be wearing? Shorts, sneakers and a T shirt, or proper protective equipment? I’ve hit the race track at around 100mph and the sensation of heat (while sliding) was almost instantaneous, and I was wearing full leathers. I can’t imagine what it would have done to jeans or bare skin.
If you have additional questions or want to share your thoughts about two wheeled transportation after SHTF please feel free to comment below.