I have read many articles and have seen many videos on motorcycles and their role in preparedness. While I agree with the views of most people on a majority of their points, I also disagree with them on some.
Selection of a motorcycle and route planning are two key items that I think many people overlook. If I live in a rural community and I’ve traveled the off-road trails quite often then I have no problem selecting a Dirt-Bike, Dual-Sport or even an “Adventure” Bike. I however, like a lot of people live in Suburbia and work in the City. For the situation I am in, yes I can use a dual-sport to go briefly off-road, but the problem exists that I would never be using these routes unless SHTF and therefore would be at a disadvantage because I would not know of any possible obstacles in my path (either I ride extremely slow, or risk severe injury when I approach an obstacle too fast).
Rather than select an off-road capable bike, in the event I really need to get moving I have the option of selecting a more “Streetable” bike (Naked bike, Sport touring bike, commuter bike, etc.. Touring bikes would not be ideal for this). I can still leverage the ability to “Split lanes” when the traffic gets too thick with everyone trying to escape (NOTE: This is only legal in a few jurisdictions like California to the best of my knowledge.) Additionally, I have the huge advantage in terms of performance.
As an additional item, I think anyone interested in adding a motorcycle to their preps, here are a few helpful bits of information:
1) Seek out and take professional motorcycle instruction (Note: The motorcycle safety foundation is an industry group that provides instruction at very low prices — in some states, the MSF class is mandatory for getting the “M” endorsement on your license).
2) If you do add a motorcycle to your preps, use the same approach as you do with firearms: Ride often and get as much practice in the saddle as you can. Not only do motorcycles die sitting around unused, but you should not expect to pull your motorcycle out of storage after five years and expect to ride like a professional.
3) Invest in quality safety gear. This does not have to be expensive: DOT approved helmets are great. (In my opinion the Snell rating is overpriced) and CE approved armor is approved by the European testing agency.)
4) Get a lot of riding experience before going out and trying to buy a 1000cc sport bike. Too many people get themselves hurt by buying too much bike and ultimately, if you enjoy the hobby, your first bike will not be your last bike.
Hope this helps anyone who is considering a motorcycle as a prep. Ride Safe. – K.A.