Four Letters Re: Advice on Motorcycles


If you don’t want to mess with mixing gas and oil in a 2-stroke bike engine, try the 4-stroke engine at I’ve got one and it runs like a champ, at a couple of hundred miles per gallon! Regards, – Hawaiian K.

The 2-cycle bicycle motorizing company mentioned also has a 4-cycle gasoline version. With those, of course no fuel mixing oil required. – SF in Hawaii


Dear Jim and Family,
Dunno if you’re aware, but methanol required for a mimeograph is a normal fraction from the alcohol still process, usually the upper third of the distillate. As its poisonous to drink, you boil it off first to remove it from your ethanol and keep it separately. Its a good fuel and has other uses, just don’t get it on your skin as its very toxic.

On a side note, methanol is a critical part of the biodiesel chemical process, so you really do want to save it for that purpose, for trading if nothing else. It’s probably on the same order of value as .22LR ammo or cured meat for general trade value as a good. I’d even say its as good as currency if you’ve got a good container and a silicone packet to absorb water and keep it from spoiling the purity of the chemical.

So having an alcohol still for fuel and chemical processing is a really good idea for any self sufficient inclinations. Hopefully, once this terrible war in Iraq comes to a close and the majority of US troops come home Hayes Diesel Technology (HDT) will release their civilian version of their super-small and super-high-mileage diesel engine will become available. I’m also hoping their bikes will sell for around $8,000 instead of the current $19,000 for their tactical diesel scout bike based on the Kawasaki KLR. If they do, I’ll be getting one. Sustainable transportation you don’t have to pedal is a wonderful thing to have. Especially if it will run on Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO). Imagine buying a gallon of soybean oil at the local supermarket and running the next two weeks on that. Downside? Your bike smells like stir fry. Upside? No funding terrorists just to get to work. That’s the pretty big upside. I hope HDT is sensible about their engine setup and goes with SVO compatibility. Best, – InyoKern

Hey Jim:
I’m a 10 Cent Challenge subscriber with an idea: How about a place for everyone to show their Bug out Vehicle? Might be fun and give folks some ideas as well as show the innovation of SurvivalBlog readers. “Don’t tell them what to do, tell them what you want and they will surprise you with their ingenuity” – American Army General.

I rode my KLR 650 (with home made saddlebags) from Tucson to Yosemite, then San Francisco and back. That was 2,200 miles in six days. I calculated that the bike got 58 miles per gallon. – James C.

JWR Replies: Since a fair portion of my readership with mobile devices insists on a “text only” blog, I don’t post photos. But I’d gladly accept descriptions of your “G.O.O.D.” vehicles. Just e-mail them to me. (And feel free to include links to photos that are posted off-site.) Consider this survey now open for entries!