Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oil pipeline destruction in Libya and a Praxis solicitation: Motorcycles as both alternate and military transportation.

1942 Harley Davidson

In view of this headline, "Qaddafi Just Ordered The Destruction Of Oil Pipelines To The Mediterranean," the email below requesting a praxis on motorcycles seems well timed. First, here's the gist if the Libya story:

"There's been virtually no reliable information coming out of Tripoli, but a source close to the Gaddafi regime I did manage to get hold of told me the already terrible situation in Libya will get much worse. Among other things, Gaddafi has ordered security services to start sabotaging oil facilities. They will start by blowing up several oil pipelines, cutting off flow to Mediterranean ports. The sabotage, according to the insider, is meant to serve as a message to Libya's rebellious tribes: It's either me or chaos."

Here's the email:


As the level of unrest increases in the mid-east, the exit of a number of skilled technicians necessary to the uninterrupted production, piping, processing, and export of oil and natural gas, becomes critical. Stratfor has identified this issue in their Libyan analysis, but it applies in several other countries as well. Depending on the emerging Egyptian policies regarding the Suez, we risk losing a very significant portion of our present imported oil supply. The repercussions of this potential loss go far beyond $5 per gallon gasoline and $6 diesel... both of which assume vehicular fuel will be available at all. These ramifications get into 'declared national emergency' territory, which we've discussed over for a number of years, a la Rahm Emanuel's 'never let a good crisis go to waste'. I'm not promoting motorcycles, but a 'Praxis' article on the merits of versatile, high-mileage(efficiency), transport, in the event purchasing enough fuel to operate your half-ton pickup becomes problematic or impossible, might be prudent. Good used bikes capable of 35 - 50 mpg are readily available, with plenty of performance, for under $3K, and beat crap out of 'shank's mare'... particularly if you're humping a ruck.

So, anybody out there want to tackle the challenge? Append it to this post or email it to me and I'll put it up as a free-standing post. Meanwhile, top up your strategic fuel reserve, if you have one.


Anonymous said...

But Mike! This is supposed to be a good thing! It is according to the media...

And what will they be saying two or three days or weeks from now? "Those damn Republicans, George Bush and the oil companies!"

And they will all agree on it too.

Anonymous said...

Check the Yamaha WR250R out. It is a street legal Enduro bike that has a gearing that will allow for 70 to 75 mph highway cruise. The gas tank is small but there are mods for this. The bike is not going to win any comfort awards (read: sore arse) but it will get you through anything and over anything. The maintenance overhead is very low compared to pure off road or other Enduro bikes.

If the roads are piled up with cars during an exit from an event like a hurricane or earthquake, you can cut traffic or just off road it.

It has buddy pegs for your gal pal.

The bike is a hell of a lot of fun as well.

You most likely will not find them used as nobody sells them once they buy one.

Others may say you will need a 400 at least but this bike is much easier to handle with the same top end but not as much low end grunt.

Another praxis tidbit would be to add a Dragonfly pack + rifle in order get to pretty much any remote place to practice/hunt/etc.


Anonymous said...

The Dragonfly pack IS awesome,but at 400 bucks it's pretty pricey!


Anonymous said...

If this goes all the way south, you don't want a "road" bike. Just some road bike capabilities and be sure to include an extra muffler in your kit. Silence is desirable.

Slobyskysa Rotchikokov said...

This IS a bit OT, but does anyone ever think about non-morotized cycles, mountain bikes, etc.? Or are they obsolete now? One of my uncles once said that the Swiss had used them for mil purposes. Single passenger, yes, but pretty silent and useful for offroad. Can transport as much weight as the rider can handle.
And no carbon footprint!

Anonymous said...

To those that might think the WR250R is a road bike please see this : It's a street legal dirt bike with knobby tires that doesn't need to be babied maintenance wise :)

CIII : Yes the dragonfly is definitely pricey. I figure if I only had to buy one pack this is it. A small 1 man tent fits in left tube like storage with self inflating mat in the right side leaving the middle to fill with anything else (and a lot of space at that) plus discrete rifle carry. Strapping a rifle over a shoulder plus a heavy pack just sucks. If your life (or at least your back) had to depend on comfortable carry of a good amount of weight over long distances the Dragonfly is it. It wouldn't be my choice for a bug-out bag kept in the trunk. Mike and others have covered that topic well.


Anonymous said...

Slobyskysa: Mountain bikes are definitely not obsolete and you are right. They are silent.

I whipped around a curve and locked the brakes when I came up on some Elk in the middle of the fire trail because they did not hear me coming. I'm not sure who was more shocked but after a 2 second stare down (seemed like minutes) they bolted.

J. Croft said...

If you have any kind of two wheeled transport one option might be adapting those two toddler carts-for the mountain bikes. For motorcycles a sidecar offers stability, greatly increased cargo capacity, or a gunner-think of the ancient chariot that had both a driver and a shooter.

Motorcycles can be used for reconnnaissance, raids,alternate commo. Retired General Van Ripen during a Bush Era wargame pitting his version of Iraq against the US Military used his motorcycles to commo between units, eschewing wireless means entirely... and that helped him win until the brass decided to cheat.

Since we're going into a era of fuel shortages... with proven Saudi-level oil reserves in the Bakkan fields of the Dakotas, let's cut the balls off Big Oil and use alternate fuels. I'd nominate an in-engine conversion of water into hydrogen gas for burning, but biodiesel would work.

And buy bikes with lots of spare parts that are easily servicable. That Ducati will break down just like a Yamaha-but can you scrounge or even make parts for it?

Anonymous said...

Bicycles are awesome. Get a mountain bike, take some maintenance classes, you'll be golden, and they cost next to nothing to keep up and operating.

Dedicated_Dad said...

Do you think Maybe - when Joe/Jane Six-pack can no longer find fuel for the Excursion because of foreign crap like this - they'll be pissed at the Demmunists for blocking every attempt to access our own domestic fields?

I wonder what Dear Reader will do?

IF we'd had a .gov that followed the people's will for the last ~4 decades, this wouldn't affect us **AT ALL**!! We'd just say "fire up the pumps in (pick a place)" as we watched the rest of the world scramble.

Instead... well... Here we are.

OTOH, now that Dear Reader's in charge, I'm sure we won't be sending any troops...

It might be nice to watch the rest of the world do their own dirty-work -- they don't have us to kick around any more!


Anonymous said...

As Dedicated Dad pointed out, why shouldn't we drill on our own land for the petroleum we need? It's been said that we have enough oil & coal for the next 100-200 years, even at the current rate of usage.

Burt we have the EnviroNazis, and their suck-up sycophant politicians, that are SOOOO worried about some small minor critter, that they all ignore the rest of us, and want us to live in caves eating cold -- something. Can't build fires, can't kill meat.

I wonder how roasted EnviroNazi or grilled PETA tastes?

B Woodman

Anonymous said...

I ride a KTM 400 EXC, that's a 4 stroke enduro bike used for off road racing. I have been riding and racing for years and carry a day pack on long rides (60-100 miles of single track trail). I have also been known to pack a small chainsaw for trail clearing work(in backpack). I've tried about every configuration under the sun to carry a rifle when I used it for elk hunting. Unless you are a rabid, dyed in the wool bike rider, don't even consider using a bike as a getaway vehicle or means of transport. Like snow skiing, it's a skill that takes years to perfect and is not for amateurs.
That bike in the picture is something a company would put on the cover of a brochure,trying possibly for a military contract.
None of my buddies would ride something like that. All that samsonite and gun scabbard are useless, more junk to hang up in the brush, besides very poor weight distribution. More of a dual-sport bike theme, fine for roads but crap in the woods and hills. Unless you're very good at this, don't get yourself hurt thinking it's an economical mode of transport.
My 2.5 cents worth from Wyoming!