Letter Re: Motorcycles as Bug-Out Vehicles

While they certainly have disadvantages, I think that motorcycles might be helpful in certain survival situations. Two-wheeled vehicles are small, maneuverable, and are very fuel efficient. They’re able to navigate highways and roads that are impassible to cars due to traffic jams and broken down vehicles. Given two or three feet of clearance, a motorcycle can get through and around a lot of obstacles. A single motorcycle can carry two people (a driver and an armed passenger?) and hold a significant amount of detachable luggage (think B.O.B. on steroids). My Suzuki gets 60-70 miles per gallon. Strap a full gas can on the back, and the possible range would expand considerably.

Obviously, disadvantages would be increased exposure (to the elements and to gunfire/violence) and reduced cargo capacity compared to a car or a sport utility vehicle (SUV). It’s not the ideal travel solution, but it would have its advantages. The two-wheeled method, I think, would be of most benefit to college students or single people living in heavily populated urban environments. These are folks who likely rely on public transportation and may not even own a car a all. Their best bet for survival, as discussed elsewhere on the forum, is probably to get as far away from the city as quickly as possible. Roads are likely to rapidly become clogged with traffic, and those in a car run a real risk of getting stuck in place and running out of supplies and/or gas.

A rider on a motorcycle, however, would be able to keep moving past wrecks, through congestion, and over clogged bridges while folks in cars would remain trapped in traffic. Ideally, our motorcyclist would move quickly (before things became utterly lawless), would have a pre-planned route or routes, and would be going somewhere specific (to friends, family, a retreat, or even to a well-stocked storage unit some distance form the city). I think that staying alert and on the move would be key to avoiding trouble.

Another possible use of motorcycles as G.O.O.D. vehicles is as a “lifeboat”. Say you lived in southern Florida and you planned to get to your “safe haven” in your truck, RV, or SUV. You know that I-95 (the major route north) may become impassable at some point on your journey. A motorcycle could serve as a backup method that would enable you to keep moving towards safety, even if you were forced to abandon your primary vehicle. A ramp into a truck bed or a single-motorcycle mount to the back bumper of an RV or SUV would be all it would take to bring a light motorcycle with you. If you became irreparably trapped in traffic, with dwindling supplies and no way out, you’d be able to travel farther faster and with more “stuff” via motorcycle than you would on foot. Take care, – J. Smith