From James Bond to Jason Bourne, there’s a reason why you’d always find a motorbike to be at the center stage of an adrenaline-filled chase.
And that is precisely why people choose them as their bug-out vehicles when the apocalypse is nigh. They are fast, light, and easy to maneuver.
But you can’t just pick a motorcycle and assume that it’s going to be there for you when things go south. It takes deliberate consideration and brainstorming to figure out which kind of motorcycle suits you best. And it can take time!
That’s why you need to read this article. Because time is of the essence, and I want to make choosing a survival two-wheeler for you an easy process…
What to Consider When Choosing a Bug Out Motorcycle
Choosing a motorcycle that fits best your survival needs can be a tough decision to make. But if you keep the following factors in mind, it might take you less time to settle on the best bug-out bike.
Budget, i.e., how much you can spend on a bike, is by far one of the most important factors that influence your decision. You can find motorbikes ranging from $1700 and going up to even $15000. It all comes down to how much you have and how much you are willing to spend.
In my opinion, it is best to figure out what other important things you might need other than a motorcycle to figure out how much you can spend on a bike without running out of money. It takes a bit of planning.
Usually, people who are into motorbikes know a thing or two about motorcycle maintenance and have no problem getting out of difficult situations. But the thing is when times are tough and you’re looking to survive, you don’t have the luxury of time on your hands.
Therefore it is best to choose motorbikes that require little to no maintenance. And if taken care of essentials like oil change, tire conditions, and filters can go on without maintenance for a long time.
Gas Mileage and Capacity
When the world is coming to an end, it is best to get to your destinations without making frequent stops. Therefore, go for motorcycles that can give you good mileage and have comparatively larger tanks. This way, you’ll save money, time, and yourself.
A motorcycle is like a good friend; it is useless if you can’t rely on it in times of trouble.
Go for motorcycles with good build quality, high standards, and positive reviews. Avoid buying second-hand, used, and roughed-up motorcycles just to save a few bucks. Nothing is more expensive than life itself.
If you know you’re going to face changing terrains, it is best to go for a motorcycle that is adaptable to different situations. A trail bike is usually comparatively more adaptable than your regular sports bike that is built for on-road situations.
Look for dual-sport options if adaptability happens to be a major consideration for you.
Not considering storage options before buying a motorcycle can cost you a lot.
Since bikes don’t have much room, you must make doubly sure to check for all the storage options available before making up your mind about it. Generally, a heavier bike tends to have more space for increasing storage as compared to a lighter one.
We also recommend to read our article about the best bug-out vehicles.
When a Motorcycle is a Good Option for Bugging Out?
Survival motorcycles can be your best choice for a bug-out vehicle when you’re looking for: Agility, Lightweight, and excellent gas mileage.
If you’re a single prepper, choosing a motorcycle as your bug-out vehicle is the right thing to do. It can get from point A to B fast, can get around traffic and obstacles easily, and can take you far in comparatively less fuel.
But with a motorcycle, you must plan strategically what you must take with you and what needs to be left behind since they have limited capacity.
More on that later in the article
Top 7 Survival Motorcycles
This is a comprehensive list of the best 7 survival motorcycles you can find out there. However, keep in mind that one size does not fit all, and you will have to choose an option that suits your needs and preferences best.
Motoped Survival Bike
If agility is your thing, the Motoped Survival motorcycle: Black Ops edition should be your choice. It can handle rough terrain and unfamiliar situations like a breeze and can take you away from trouble at a moment’s notice. It is undoubtedly one of the best bug-out motorcycles but happens to lie on the expensive side.
It is a purpose-built ride that is specially designed to handle SHTF situations. You can fix it up with survival shovels, a reserve gas tank, an ax, and even a crossbow.
400 mile range
Portable and lightweight
Design that allows extreme maneuverability
If you know that you’re not going to cover a lot of long distances, the Kawasaki KLX-250 S can be a good choice. It has a fuel tank capacity of 2 gallons on a 249cc four-stroke engine. It is good for the people who don’t need anything too extravagant and just want to get the job done.
Other than that, it is lightweight, weighing around 300 pounds, and can give you about 70 mpg, which is not bad for the size and the engine. Although for a long distance, you should get extra fuel in spare gallons with you to make sure it goes the distance without having to stop at gas stations.
Off road capability
Decent ground clearance
Lesser fuel capacity
BMW R 1200GS / Adventure
BMW R 1200GS and its Adventure model are one of a kind dual-sport motorcycle. This means that they have on and off-road capabilities.
Add to that the bulk of this bike, and you have a robust bug-out vehicle that can take on the challenge and provide better durability. This bike can withstand tough conditions. Moreover, it is best suited if you have a lot of gear you want to move with you.
It is one of the best survival bikes money can buy.
Range over 400 miles
More room to store
Bulky in design
Suzuki has a reliable contender to offer in terms of bug-out motorcycles. Suzuki GSXR is perfect for people who want a mix of agility, speed, and affordability.
But there’s also a downside to choosing this machine. It has a smaller gas tank which means you should be ready to make stops along the way. Or you can fit it up with extra gas tanks to increase the range.
Moreover, they are not really built for off-road riding. If you know there’s going to be tough terrains during your journeys; I’d suggest you go with something else.
Durable build only on-road capable
Lesser fuel capacity
Named after picturesque Russian mountains, this motorcycle can make you feel like Indian Jones simply because it has a sidecar attachment.
This can come in handy when you are a party of two. Given its size and bulk, this bike is not a great option if you are looking for speed. But it is just the right choice if you are looking for a lot of room.
It is one of the few touring bikes that are well suited for survival situations. It can give you about 37 mpg with a 5-gallon capacity that can take you about 150-185 miles without refueling.
Great attachment space
Low ground clearance
Average fuel capacity
Tarus 2×2 is undoubtedly one of the most famous survival bikes, and for a good reason. It is a feature-packed off road motorcycle that has been built primarily for SHTF scenarios. It is collapsible, ultra-light and you can set it up in less than five minutes.
The only thing that might make you not want to go with this bike is that it is only made for off road purposes. Therefore it is best if you keep it in just a supplementary capacity.
Bang for the buck-only $1700
Ultra lightweight exclusively for offroad riding
Collapsible and quickly reassembled
Not yet available in US and EU
Zero FX Stealthfighter
There’s still a lot of disagreement about whether preppers should go electric or stick to the good old-fashioned gasoline. But when it comes to electric motorcycles, Zero FX Stealthfighter is the best bug-out vehicle for you.
It is lightweight, on/off-road capable, and doesn’t take a lot of space.
Electric powered(solar charged)
Silent Motor Limited range(around 70 mpg)
Lightweight and compact(only 300 lbs)
Storage Solutions to Consider for Your Motorcycle
Generally speaking, survival motorcycles usually include bug-out bags that provide for additional capacity. But in an SHTF situation, that might not be enough. That’s because everything from food to first aid comes together to make a lot of stuff for which you probably need extra space on your bug-out vehicle.
These are some ideal options to increase the storage of your motorcycle.
Frame Mounted Options
You can easily find a variety of frame-mounted racks online or in stores related to survival and motorcycles.
These racks make it possible for you to strap gear and bags to the frame. Make sure to evenly strap things on both sides to balance the weight.
These racks can be fitted on your motorcycle’s flanks and tails. You can even add small bags to the handlebars of your motorcycle for more room.
If you have more to pack, you might still need more capacity than just installing mounted racks.
To tackle this issue, you can go with saddlebags without thinking twice. They are a great option and can considerably increase the storage capacity of your bug-out vehicle.
Make sure to check which storage option suits you best without compromising the speed and comfort of your ride.
Backpacks are great if you want just a little more room to pack the things that you can’t fit anywhere else. The right way to choose a backpack is to be in a complete kit and then try different backpacks to find out which feels best in an optimal riding position.
What to Stock Up in Your Survival Motorcycle?
Ideally, you should pack about three gallons of water, and that would last for at least three days. But considering the fact that it is not easy and comfortable to haul a lot of water on a motorcycle, it is best to have a purification solution with you as well.
Solutions like a filtering water bottle, compact pump-type filter, and iodine tablets are some compact options for water purification if you run out of your stock.
When it comes to food, the right way to stock is to pack the most nutrition possible in the smallest space, especially when motorcycles are in consideration.
Some of these foods that fit this condition are dried foods like jerky, nuts, dried fruits, and meal replacement bars. Although they might not be enough or provide complete nutrition over long periods of time, they will be enough to keep you going until you are at a safe place where you can find/cook other foods.
Basic tool kit
Carrying basic tools with your motorcycle can be quite useful. Some of the examples include a tire pressure gauge, standard-size wrenches, tire inflators, and screwdriver sets.
Packing sleeping equipment is important on a bug-out motorcycle because you never know when you might have to stop and catch a wink.
You can pack a compact water-proof tent with you if space allows for it, or you can simply go with an old-fashioned sleeping bag with a bivy.
Make sure to keep all your important papers like ID, passports, and even medical prescriptions. This will save you from any and all legal trouble you might get in along the way.
First aid kit
I can’t stress the importance of carrying a comprehensive yet compact first aid kit on your survival motorcycle.
After food and water, it is the one thing that decides whether you survive in a difficult situation or not. Make sure your first aid kit includes things like tweezers, band-aids, compresses, tourniquet, splint, burn cream, standard antibacterial ointment, and wound dressing options.
Apart from these things, you should pack things like a flashlight, flares, and road triangles on your survival motorcycle if space allows for it.
What Garments Should You Wear?
Tops and Bottoms
Regardless of what you are wearing, make sure that whenever you leave, you are in full safety gear from head to toe. This includes a helmet, protection for your hands as well as your feet. Try out different equipment while you’re in prepping phases to find the best option that is a mix of safety and comfort.
Ensure that whatever you choose to wear is durable and can withstand different weather and terrain conditions. This leaves room for choice depending on where you are.
When it comes to bottoms, technical pants are your friends. They are sturdy, and multiple pockets allow you to carry things like flashlights and lighters with you.
You may find heavyset boots tempting but go with shoes that are waterproof as well as sturdy. Going with off-road riding boots is a bad idea because they are usually made to wear for short periods of time and can get uncomfortable.
Additionally, break in your shoes before wearing them in a bug-out situation so that they don’t feel as uncomfortable and new.
Self Defense and Firearms Considerations For Your Bug Out Motorcycle
Reading this title, you might instantly assume that a zombie outbreak is imminent in the near future. But hear me out.
When you are out there in unfamiliar terrains trying to survive, anything can happen. Other people might also be trying to survive, and in such a situation, people can harm others to save themselves.
People aside, you might get face to face with dangerous animals, and in such situations, it is best to stay well prepared.
A trustworthy sidearm like a semi-automatic handgun is your first and reliable line of defense. It is best to go with options with more ammo capacity, like a Glock-17 or a Smith & Wesson M&P.
Some readers might raise their brows, but it can be quite helpful to carry an assault rifle with you if space allows for it. I recommend going with the traditional and reliable AK-47 or the more modern AR-15. Get a foldable stock to save space.
Naturally, you’ll need something to carry those weapons. For your sidearm, you can go with a waist holder that can be accessed quickly and easily.
As for the rifles, you can simply carry them across your shoulder for easy access or stock them in your storage.
It is better to go with a holster that has additional ammo space. You can stash the rest of the ammo in other storage options available to you.
Bugging Out Communications for your Survival Motorcycle
In challenging survival situations, it is important to stay connected to your friends and loved ones. Naturally, pretty much everyone has smartphones. But they can become unreliable due to lack of power and transmission issues in the SHTF scenarios.
Two Way Radio
A two-way radio is one of the most reliable communication methods with a long-range. Make sure that everyone you are riding with has the same brand to avoid compatibility issues. You can also put a radio antenna to improve the reception of your radio systems.
In contrast to traditional smartphones, rugged phones are a better option as they are more durable, sturdy, and damage-proof. They are also usually waterproof with batteries that can last for a longer period of time.
While you are choosing the safety gear, go with the helmets that have built-in Bluetooth compatibility to stay connected without having to take it off. You can also crank up your favorite music if you’re bored on a long ride.
Other Modifications You Can Make to Your Survival Motorcycle
Apart from the modifications mentioned above, there are still some useful things you can add to your vehicle. They will provide protection, ease, and safety during bad times.
- Protect your brake and shift levers from getting stuck in debris by adding case guards
- Make your tires flat-proof to reduce the chances of punctures while riding in unfamiliar terrains.
- Install a protective windshield that can protect you from dust, debris, and tough winds.
Final Tips For Bugging Out with a Survival/Dirt Bike
Here are a few bonus tips that can greatly increase your chances of survival out there:
- Make sure to check the fuel and tires whenever you are about to leave. Keep your machine always ready and do timely maintenance.
- Know the mileage of your vehicle, and be aware of its consumption. This can save you from unpleasant surprises.
- In an emergency situation, avoid major highways, roads, and freeways. Head to backroads. Traffic jams can cause loss of precious time and resources.
- Keep your bug-out bag with your bike at all times.
- Get mentally good at the geography of your region and keep manual maps with you in case you lose access to the internet.
I wanted to save my readers from going crazy over what survival motorcycle to choose. There are dozens of options out there, and I know how exhausting it can be.
The motorbikes, along with other information that I have mentioned, are in no way all there is to know on the subject. But it is going to ease you into the process with a few suggestions along the way.
Lastly, it all comes down to the connection you want to have with your vehicle. Making the right choice can have far-reaching effects, and your well-chosen motorcycle will end up becoming your best friend in troubled times.