Whether your preferred acronym is TEOTWAWKI (The End Of World As We Know It), SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan) or GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge), a common argument among survivalists revolves around the preferred mode of transportation.
Among those choices, a motorcycle may not be best for your particular situation, especially if your family extends beyond two people. A motorcycle would also be a poor option for protection when plowing through god-knows-what in a post-apocalyptic world and cannot carry much supplies when the situation arises.
But a two-wheeler also has many benefits in survival situations. Here are just a few:
1. Motorcycles Have Incredible Fuel Economy
When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the New York-New Jersey area in October of 2012, residents had to travel upwards of 60 miles and wait for hours in line just to get a few gallons of gasoline for their cars and generators. It even created a black market with gas being sold for more than $20 per gallon. It’s situations like these that justify a motorcycle as the perfect survivalist conveyance.
The 2013 Honda NC700x will easily get you over 60 miles on one gallon of gas, while the Kawasaki Ninja 250R and Suzuki TU250X push the 80 mpg threshold. The key is to buy and store several gallons of gasoline before disaster strikes. The American Petroleum Institute recommends storage in a cool, dry place separate from your main dwelling, like in a garage or shed. You’ll need to add a stabilizing agent to keep the gas from breaking down into a useless liquid. Sta-Bil is one of the most popular fuel preservers, and will keep gas fresh for up to 12 months.
The best practice is to refresh the gas every six months or so while civilization is still intact.
2. Highly Maneuverable on Narrow Pathways
Anybody who has driven through Los Angeles during rush hour knows the frustration of spending upwards of 30 minutes to travel a mere five miles. Those same people are envious (or worried) about all the motorcycle riders weaving their way through traffic and getting to their destinations in minimal time.
A motorcycle is perfect not only for maneuvering through evacuation traffic, but also for getting around fallen trees, wreckage, and other debris that may be blocking your path. You can also use it as an exploration vehicle to scout potential camp sites and refuges in the mountains and woods.
A two-wheeler, however, does not provide heat and shelter from the elements. A motorcycle jacket with both waterproof lining and quilting for warmth is essential for anyone who wants to explore and travel in comfort in a post-apocalyptic world. Or you can use a pickup truck with a loading ramp attached to it to drive a truck with an option of a motorcycle. You should also attach a rear cargo trunk or saddlebags to your bike for storage, as opposed to a cargo trailer that takes away maneuverability.
3. Motorcycles Double As Generator
The longer you’re able to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, the more you’ll have to utilize things for purposes not originally intended. A motorcycle can provide you power for lights and other necessities in a pinch. Simply remove the wheels from your bike, put it on some type of stand, and mount a generator head to it. The tension pulley for the belt will then need to be replaced with a sprocket.
These are the two primary steps, but keep in mind this is a project best suited for someone with a background in electricity. But if you understand the basic concepts of alternating and direct current, along with having a little mechanical inclination, a motorcycle engine can serve as a fuel-efficient generator. Pick up a good automotive electronics book and read a few pages everyday until you have a basic understanding of electricity.
A motorcycle can prolong and even save your life in a survival situation. Just make certain to practice riding before everything goes to hell so you can reap all the benefits.
Note on Safety: Riding motorcycles involve certain risk aspects which regular vehicles do not. With that said it is always recommended to wear a helmet designed for motorcycle use. You just never know.