If you’re preparing for an emergency, a natural disaster or the inevitable end of the world, you probably already have a bug-out bag ready to go. You may even have supplies packed in a bug-out vehicle of your choice. But what happens if you can’t get fuel, or you find your sturdy SUV trapped in a press of abandoned cars on an interstate?
That’s where motorcycles come in. Their supply space may be more limited, but if you choose the right model, they’re infinitely more maneuverable and get better gas mileage to boot. What do you need to know to create your own bug-out motorcycle?
Be Smart About Storage
The one downside of choosing a bike over a bug-out vehicle is the lack of apparent storage. A standard motorcycle might come with a saddlebag or two, and maybe a cargo rack. That amount of space doesn’t seem like enough to haul everything you’ll need to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, though. Thankfully, you’ve got plenty of options for attaching additional storage containers to your bike.
Magnets are your friend, especially if you’ve got a bike that has a steel frame. Pick powerful magnets and stick them anywhere you have a room that won’t interfere with your ability to drive. The trick is to make sure everything is perfectly balanced on both sides so that you can drive safely without worrying about tipping to one side or the other while you’re maneuvering off-road or through abandoned cars on the highway.
Choose the Right Bike
Not all motorcycles are created equal. If you’re trying to pick one to be your bug-out vehicle, make sure you’re doing your research. You’ll want to consider several variables, including:
- Fuel economy: Make sure your bike can get you from point A to point B. Bonus points if you can adapt it to an alternative fuel source if gas supplies run low.
- Repairability: You’re not taking your bike to the shop during the apocalypse. Choose something easy to fix that you can repair on the fly if necessary.
- Off-road capabilities: You won’t always be able to ride on the road. Find a bike you can safely take off-road as well.
- Size and height: Your feet should sit flat on the ground when you’re sitting on the bike. Choose one that’s the right height and size for you.
Do some research, and take a few motorcycles out for a test drive. Don’t buy the first bike that crosses your path. You want something reliable that will carry you through a deserted wasteland, after all.
Don’t Forget Extra Fuel
Motorcycles get better gas mileage than four-wheeled vehicles, but they also have smaller tanks. Depending on the make and model, your daily driver could have anywhere from a 12- to 30-gallon fuel tank. At most, your average motorcycle will hold about 3 gallons. That tank might get you a couple of hundred miles, but then you’ll be stuck scrounging for fuel or carrying all of your supplies on your back.
When you’re setting up supplies, leave room for some extra fuel. While you won’t want to add a ton of extra tanks, keeping an extra gallon or two on hand could mean the difference between reaching your destination and getting stranded in the wilderness.
Select Your Supplies Well
When you’re making a bug-out motorcycle, you need to be smart about what you’re packing. You’re not going to be able to haul large amounts of bulky or heavy supplies like packs of bottled water, but you will still need to be able to find or purify water sources while traveling.
Opt for small and lightweight supplies wherever possible. Instead of canned goods or bulk dry foods, pack MREs or dehydrated and freeze-dried food options. Instead of loading up with gallons of water, stock up on water purification tablets, filters and other supplies you can use to make whatever water you can find clean and safe to drink.
Always Be Prepared
When it comes down to it — whether you’re bugging out on foot, on a motorcycle, in a car or sheltering at home — it’s always better to be prepared. You never know what the world might throw at you, and all you can do is stay alert for whatever might come your way.