Thursday, February 24, 2011
Praxis: More on motorcycles from Fragraf in Michigan.
I have two motorcycles, and would like to help Sipsey Street readers understand the value of having a lightweight, fuel efficient motorcycle capable of off-road travel. Specifically, I would highly recommend an on/off road bike that is capable of keeping up with traffic on most state and county roads, and have the ability to travel on lesser unmaintained roads and trails. My motorcycle is a Yamaha TW200, that comes standard with a very wide rear tire, is very low geared and is very comfortable off road and on backroads. The stock Yamaha lacks gearing to travel on a state trunk line, but this can be remedied with minor modifications. Other motorcycles of various makes and models, from KTM, Honda, Kawasaki, BMW and others would make a good "survival" bike. I bought mine used for $1200 with 1050 miles on the clock.
Here is my logic and ideas on ownership, use and deployment of the bike:
1. This motorcycle is easy on fuel. I've calculated the mileage at 87 mpg for this bike, on rural dirt roads.
2. This motorcyle (and other similar motorcyles are) are easy and inexpensive to maintain and fix. The machine is simple, and the book covers easy maintenance
3. This bike can go pretty much anywhere I might want to go. If I need to change location to evade, avoid or make a logistics run this bike stands a better chance of getting there in a SHTF scenario. If you remember the evacuation of New Orleans during the lead up to Hurricane Katrina, you might remember the long traffic jam on the freeways leaving town. This type motorcycle can keep you moving, and avoid the inevitable traffic jam during a mass evacuation.
4. The motorcyle can be deployed as a route recon vehicle for moving larger vehicles. The rider can help a convoy of larger vehicles avoid traffic jams, defiles, sharp curves, and other potential trouble spots and/or ambush sites.
5. It is a good bike to ride, and way more fun than driving my truck, and has become more fun to ride than my other bike, a Harley Davidson.
Limitations are few. These type bikes have small fuel tanks. They can be replaced by larger tanks, and gas cans are readily available. Storage is limited, but ammo cans or other make shift bags can be fitted on the bike. Other limitations are specific to the rider, and might be different for each individual.
In your original post, you mentioned stockpiling fuel. I have done so for the past two years. I have taken 30 gallon blue plastic barrels and buried them, leaving about 8" sticking out of the ground. I'll by 5 gallons and load the semi-buried barrels. Having the barrels in the ground will prevent theft, since a crook cannot easily carry away a barrel. As far as getting fuel out, I use a small foot pump and hose to remove fuel from the barrel. I treat with Stabil, and rotate my stock.
Good Luck to the Sipsey Street community and God save us all
Fragraf. Michigan III