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  1. I know the Army Special Forces used Kawasaki 650 trail bikes, but haven’t actually seen one up close and personal like.

    Does anybody know what type of muffler they use to quiet the engine sound. Most off bikes sound like a high pitched chain saw cutting a log. Not likely to be stealthy.

    1. OldP, The KLR650 has been long used in reconnaissance efforts for the US military. They also used the Honda XR250/400s. Bone stock, with good silencer packing, these are very quiet bikes.

      Don’t mistake these bikes for the louder modern motocross style bikes. They are/were noncompetitive racing, but superb for hunting in the back country. The street legal versions of the Hondas (XL250/400) were quieter, but that comes from a highly restrictive exhaust system that chokes horse power.

      If this is something you are considering, conduct appropriate research. Older KLRs are not significantly cheaper than newer KLRs. Once they hit their price bottom, they don’t drop in price, and always made me wonder why anyone would buy an older one when a newer one was a grand more, with thousands fewer miles on the motor.

  2. As a chopping tool, lanyard your cutting tools.

    As you slip your wrist into the lanyard, you gain a massive increase in centrifugal force as you hold the hilt in your fingertips.

  3. Interesting. I can see an application for adults wanting a versatile, resource-stingy method to get to a pre-provisioned BOL. Perhaps compliment the plan with a little gas cached along a couple routes.

  4. even on I-70 west of Green River, Utah there is no fuel for 100 miles.
    From Salina, UT east to Green River, UT – no gas – yup – NOT EVEN A CROSSROAD.
    From Salina you wind down from the hills to the flat high plains and just drive.
    Leaving Salina, there are signs warning you absolutely NO GAS for the next 100 miles.

    Does anybody know what type of muffler they use to quiet the engine sound.
    The stock KLR-650 muffler is approved to drive in National Forrest. It is spark proof and is surprisingly quiet. I don’t know what muffler were used during the diesel engined KLR-650 trial

  5. There are endless lists of what to carry on almost anything but I was disappointed to not see a discussion of motorcycles themselves. As OldParatrooper above mentions only the Kawasaki, I’d recommend Scott William’s blog Bug Out Survival where you can find a few articles on motorcycles especially the above. On the right hand column under topics click “motorcycles.” An especially pertinent article is “Bug-Out Vehicle Test: KLR 650. There’s also an article about modifying a Harley to a hybrid. Imagine that!

    Scott concentrates on writing his novels these past few years but a perusal of his site shows some interesting articles.

    Oh, I think it was over 50 years ago that I rode a Honda 350 twin and it was the most fun I’ve ever had. But it was strictly a street bike. Hybrids don’t do any one thing well but presumably a lot adequately. I’m not sure about that – hence the need for an article about the bikes themselves.

    Don’t really know if there are any hybrids out there today. Between taking a street bike and modifying it somewhat for dirt, I’d be inclined to go for the dirt bike which is street legal and work with that. Won’t be carrying a lot though. But speed and stealth might be the life deciding factor in any particular instance.

  6. I am a little disappointed that the article skimmed over bike maintenance in favor of collecting more tools.

    Bike maintenance is critical for the long-term viability of the bike. Straight off the showroom floor, these bikes are terribly unprepared for adventure, even the “Race ready” ones.

    Every bearing must be properly lubricated prior to usage. That means the head stem, swing arm pivot, shock mounts, wheel hubs, etc with good waterproof grease.

    The ability to check and adjust valves on a multi-day event should be considered. In some cases, the cam chain tensioners are questionable from the factory. Replacing it with a higher quality tensioner could be money in the bank.

    If you are really worried about flats, consider investing in mousse style foam inserts for the tires. They take a little while to get used to, but can run even without air if push comes to shove.

    Some body armor for your adventure-style bike is a smart investment. Bark busters and skid/bash plate will go along way to preventing crushed pipes, broken cases, and busted fingers.

    Using the aforementioned lacing wire to wire your critical parts to the bike, clutch/brake lever, shifter, rear brake pedal, etc like the Baha 500 racers do could be the difference between walking a long, long way, and limping your bike into a service station/town for repairs.

  7. Over a 3 year period I had two motorcycles, same manufacturer, same size engine but different carbs and gas tanks. One got 66 MPG and had a 5.5 gal tank. The other got 44mpg with a two gal tank. What a pain it was to keep the smaller tank gassed up.

    I regularly drive from Central Oregon to Winnemucca, about 350 miles. With a motor home or a trailer I must divert to Lakeview to get gas before going back to the cutoff. But in a vehicle that gets good gas mileage 350 miles in nothing.

  8. Old Paratrooper, the Kawasaki 650 used by special forces has been converted to run on diesel. Since Diesel engines run at a much lower RPM than gas engines, this would account for the lower tone.

    I’ve often thought of picking one up as surplus but they are quite pricey.

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