Sunday, November 8, 2009

Re:Motorcycle as means of transportation when TSHTF?‏

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the city where crime rampant, and as FerFal has recommended, a 4WD with a massive front bumper would be the best choice for the reasons already stated. I have such a truck.

In the country where hopefully crime won't be so serious, or in the city when only necessary, a good used motorcycle can be an inexpensive backup for a primary vehicle. It is dangerous to store gasoline and in the case of fuel shortages or high prices, it might be your only option. My choice is a old 1969 Honda CT90 (Trail 90) with 1,700 miles. It is like new and the breed is as reliable and durable as this class of motorcycles get. New and used parts are widely available. New production Honda CT110/90's are being made for Australia for the farm (CT110AG) and Postal service, CT110. They are simple to work on, and as versatile as it gets. With a high/low transmission they climb steep hills and tow lighter loads(yes, they can tow a trailer) and have large carrying rack in the back. These are good for hunting and shopping. Fuel consumption is right up there with a scooter at 80 to 100 per gallon, and top speed is about 45mph. Another choice might be a 49cc scooter, such as the Honda C70, as no insurance or license is required in most states.

A car is much safer if you can afford one. Having a small motorcycle as an option, could however prove to be invaluable. And in the case when the Honda breaks down, a used bike cycle or two from garage sales and thrift stores, is a very cheap way to go.


If crime is a serious problem in the area, that pretty much defines it for me, specially when times get tough: Car all the way.
If there's no such problem or if moving around a safer location then sure,even use a bicycle to use no gas at all and stay in shape, at least for shorter distances.

Even though 4WD is nice I'd avoid super large trucks, you may need to navigate through tighter spots and its easier to slip between barricades, cars debris, etc. You want to be able to react fast. Of course the bike is the fastest to react, but comes at a cost of having no protection against accidents, ambushes or objects thrown at you, and make no mistake, this happens all the time. If a trap is set, maybe you have a chance with a car, specially if it has run flat tires, security film on windows or even much better, you have an armored vehicle. With a bike you're going down for good.

Of course sometimes you see these and turn around, but I'd strongly advice everyone not to bet their lives on that. Eventually you fail to see something and you get hit, no one's perfect.
Of course expensive, but having saved many lives here already, an armored car is something I'd put my money into if I had the pocket for it and want to ensure my family's safety in 3rd world type of crime settings.



Don Williams said...

While not as manuverable as sports cars, I think there is something to be said for the mid-sized sedan, especially if it has good suspension and power.

E.g, the Ford Crown Victoria that the US police use. Available at a very good price with a few years of use on it because of the high production volume. The primary car used by taxi services in the USA and Basically the same as the Lincoln Town Car limousine used for VIP transports (Crown Vic has about 3 inches less leg room in the rear seats).

Having rolled over several times in a jeep ( a former Marine was driving and ignored my warning about a snowy road --sigh), I'm kinda leery of SUVs with high centers of gravity.

Whereas a sedan can carry a driver, a bodyguard with an AK47 and several passengers. Plus has enough power to carry some improvised armor in the seat backs and trunk.

I kinda skeptical of a SUV going offroad in an urban environment -- sedans can cut across lawns/curbs almsot as well and much beyond that just traps you in slow motion terrain.
Look around your neighborhood sometime.

Although SUVs will handle potholes, etc much better when roads turn to crap from lack of maintenance.

While I agree with Ferfal that a motorcycle is highly vulnerable transport, it can be highly effective as an ATTACK vehicle.

Some models can outrun even a Porsche 911 and a motorcycle chasing your car can run down the middle of rows of cars stopped in gridlock. Look at some of the attacks that occurred overseas.

The only effective protection I see is a sedan -- big enough to be a gun platform while allowing a driver to be exclusively focused on evasive driving.

With higher threats, you would have to go with the convoy system: lead scout car with radio going on ahead in front to scout out possible ambushes, attack vehicle (pickup with 5 homeboys armed with AK47s ) bringing up the rear. Lot of trouble just because the wife wants to go shopping , but what are you going to do? :)

recon said...

I think a 4WD can get through dirt or hilly terrain without much worry about getting stuck. In a 2wd sedan there is a lot more probability of getting stuck, which is the last thing you want to do in any sort of hostile environment. Every design gives up something, you have to decide what advantages are most important to you.

FerFAL said...

Agreed, a 4WD is better in my opinon as well. I've seen people get stuck in boulevards when trying to avoid roadblocks, the wheels that have the traction not making contact.
Also on highway roadblocks, I envied the guys that would just go off road and speed away.
The few dumb enough to try that with their sedans got stuck. It had rained and was a bit muddy.


Bones said...

All this makes the small 4wd sedans look very attractive. We had a Subaru wagon years ago and the 4wd really came in handy during heavy snow. Somewhat higher ground clearance than a normal car, but not as rollover prone as a jeep or SUV.

Plus, they aren't expensive, most of their models aren't really flashy and they're reasonably reliable.

Perfect survival car for a gray man?

Anonymous said...

The Ford Crown Victoria is tight in the rear seat area and not as fast as a Chevy, but it does have much better brakes that are less prone to fade. The much better brakes made it the early choice and now ubiquitous workhorse. The retired Vic's from police departments or other agencies, are often driven to their mechanical limits and although repaired, the motors are worn out at about 150,000 miles or sooner. A sedan like the Vic is almost never rolled, but in most situations the SUV with the average person driving, would not accelerate to speeds where tipping is likely. The important ability to confidently drive over curbs, though ditches and other common urban terrain is a worthwhile trade off.

Sedans are not easily fitted with big strong bumpers that extend the full width of the vehicle. Aftermarket bumpers for sedans are perhaps nonexistent while SUV's are intended to be 'off roaded', and the 'sport' requires bumpers large and strong enough for winches or as serious protection. If need be, one can sacrifice the front end or fender of the sedan, but there is the risk of rendering the it inoperable or too expensive to justify repair.


CapnRick said...

Folks, what ever vehicle you decide to get, make sure there is storage space for spare tires and wheels. I have occasionally busted a rim while off-roading. There's not much worse circumstances than being stranded with busted wheels and shredded tires with your loved ones shivering while a storm rolls over the horizon.

Difficult to carry spares on a motorcycle, which is why I prefer a 4x4 pickup with a big dirtbike in the back.

Motorbike Sales Training said...

Get bike cases for your spares.