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Yamaha tw200 or a klr650.

I own both. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. They're cheap. Easy to use. Fun to ride and if ridden right will take you anywhere.
 

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Many Older Japanese 4 Stroke Thumpers Would Work

Shop around, sometimes you can find them quite cheap. The older stuff, (I specifically do not what year) had mag ignitions with or without electric starters. The bikes would start and run without a battery. Consider at least a 250cc or larger, but not the very big 600cc thumpers which MAY have some electronics in their ignitions.

I had and then sold a 1986 Honda Reflex. It was only made for 2 years and basically was a heavily modified TL125 trials bike. Had 195cc, was street legal and was best described as a very good tight woods bike with some highway capability. Kinda slow, but would go practically anywhere. Mine was kinda modified with lower gearing, (15/68) 428 chain...

...and a Super Trapp Muffler, plus lots of aluminium handmade parts with about 20 pounds cut off the stock weight. Darn near perfect for the needs of a smaller bike that could and would go practically anywhere with a good trials experience rider. Sadly sold it. I want another. Kinda semi collectable now. Hope this helps. HB of CJ (old coot)

The bigger thumper singles are too big and heavy in my opinion. I like the smaller and lighter bikes with more nimble off road manners. My opinion only.
 

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As a long time on and off-road rider, I had long thought that a large bore (>400cc) bike was the ticket to personal transport in terms of security and was wondering about what others thought about the new vs. old ignition systems, etc. We have a couple of later model, WR Yamahas but they have electric starts and could be vulnerable to EMP disruptions. I could buy, prep and store the various ignition bits, but it seemed that an early 80s Honda 500XR was the ticket - the thing can ride 2 up no problem and it has a great range with a desert tank. I have had great experiences with these bikes (I have often called them the "John Deers of Motorcycles") as they run for ever and properly stored will start on the first or second kick. So, we got a 1984 Honda 500XR and had the whole thing gone through by a pro shop. It is in dry storage with a number of options.

While my wife also rides, her proficiency is not the best and we elected that if there was situation in an emergency that prevented us from taking the whole smash that we would evacuate on a single bike. Just thought I'd share a bit with you all here.

Thanks for the forum. Cool stuff.
 

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While I wait for my password to reset I can copy and paste this in 15 mins (shows you how often I post)...

I picked up two M1030 military Kaw KLRR250's for SHTF and other reasons. Almost everything I own at this point is former military so for me this was a no brainer. The bikes are like all things surplus, both under 1000 miles but beat to hell from sitting and non use. So I expect to have $500-$800 in each by the time I have replaced all of the major maintenance items and completely refinished everything on them. Staying out of the drive train with a low mileage project really helps on cost. You also get the advantages of a better carb, bigger fuel tank and IR lighting. Later versions of these were the M1030A1 that were KLR650 in both gas and diesel. A friend has one, nice bike but a SOB off road due to the weight.

In Florida, statue 320.086 allows you to register any former military vehicle for life for a one time fee. So you get the advantage of having the ability to use the bike on or off road and it doesnt cost you anything after paying the $30-$40.

In reading though this thread I'd say that some are over thinking water vs air cooled. If you have not developed the tools to patch a punctured radiator you are lagging in skill set. Water cooled will always be more reliable, quieter and run for much longer. Not to mention spare radiators for these are $25 on ebay and Ill take the risk of a hole vs a burnt up top end any day.

I didnt buy these for BOV's per say. They are an add on option to the rest of the fleet / herd of ideas. I wanted something that I could move quick on for scouting longer distances that would go easy on the gas supply, that could work as a lead scouting vehicle on highway runs or can transport small loads over an avid distance. Economy being king in any SHTF situation. Beats another horse anyways.

Also Id like to say that two is one, one is none and three is for me... So like almost everything I own I will probably be hunting down a third one of these or at least a stock KLR to have as a back up / parts / whatnot.
 

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I'll add to what's been said a bunch, but with further comment: My KLR650 is my king vehicle for me. While it's really an inappropriate BOV for me (I need to bug out two people and it will fit me + BOB or me + my lady...I'll take the lady, but I need both), if someone needs to move just one person, I'd argue that it's one of the best choices. While most everyone here recognizes that it's not the king of off road due to its weight, I'd offer that it's extremely capable off road. I've ridden mine through the mud plenty, numerous gravel and dirt roads of varying condition, and even a couple of fields with no roads and crazy wooden hills. It will go where you direct it, just the weight makes that a challenge. If you practice and take your time, it will go anywhere. The reward it offers you is the benefit of the increased power availability of the 650, improved weight capacity, and ability to travel much faster on a road than your average light bike.

In this same vein, I know that there are plenty of other bikes out their that trump the KLR in every way except cost. Pretty much every EFI 650-800 bike out there will give better power, fuel economy, and reliability. Most of these will have a tougher chassis that can handle more weight, too. You just need to be ready to repair it post-EMP if you're planning for such an event (you would need to with the KLR, too, since it uses a CDI and an ignition coil I've had fail due to an electrical event that was nothing like an EMP). My KLR would be my BOV (since I already own it and know how to work on it) if I can ever afford or build this excellent off road trailer I had seen. Effectively, it's a one-wheel trailer with a suspension tuned for the weight it will carry, hauls a load about the size of a 24 gallon action packer (can go bigger if you find the right container), and it leans and moves with the bike without drastically altering its handling. While this of course severely hinders your technical off-roading capability, nothing says that you can't unhook the trailer and carry the supplies over the obstacle and ride the bike separate. It's worth it if the vehicle is going to get you across several hundred miles with gusto for an extra half hour of work.
 

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Golfer
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To get out of town when the roads are plugged with cars and desperate people you need 1.) runs quiet, 2.) weaves in and out of traffic, 3.) Won't bog down in a hayfield, 4.) or if it does, you can pick it up and push it), 5.) runs faster than men can run after you, and 6.) is still useful after the gas runs out. So something like an electric bike or moped, IMO, covers 5 of 6 of these bases.
 

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Just a couple of notes:

1) "Off-road" does NOT mean on a gravel or dirt road - it means OFF of ANY road. I can always tell when someone doesn't have a clue when they say they can ride off-road and then use as an example that they rode on a dirt/gravel road. Roads are for getting to the trail - they are NOT off-road - they are ON-road.

2) Motorcycles would be a last resort BOV for various reasons. The OP didn't mention a BOV in his first post, yet everyone assumes BOVs. Motorcycles serve other "survival" purposes well.

3) With enough persistence and skill, can you ride a 400+ pound motorcycle off-road? Yes - to a point. I've done it (BMW GS) - through rivers, through the woods, across fallen bridges, and so on (I wish I had a vid of that ride). But after about 30 minutes to an hour you will be worn out, you will drop the bike more and more often, and eventually you will fall so far behind of the rest of the riders that you won't see them for hours if they don't stop and wait for you. If you are my age, you will eventually collapse after a couple of hours.

And there will just be some places a real off-road bike can go that you can't get that 400+ pound "dual sport" to go without a winch. Really, if you need a winch to go where dirt bikes can go, your bike is not an off-road bike.

 

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My vote for the TW200 or KLR650. Having owned a KLR640 and still have a TW200, they both fit different niches so well.

The TW200 is such a great around town bike. Not the fastest bike, but a sprocket change will get it's top speed up to 65MPH. It lives for the curb hopping and side streets. It can also handle two people or one with quite a bit of luggage. It sips gas like no others. 60MPG easily. Only thing it does not like is freeway traffic, but if that depends on if you think the freeways will be full of parked cars or not.

The KLR is the TW200 big brother. Drinks a bit more fuel, but it can handle the freeways. If would be my choice if my bug out location is a long ways away. Would still have a TW200 parked there for in town trips.

CDI ignition was standard around 1980 for most motorcycles. If you are worried, just unplug the CDI box and store it someplace safe. Nothing else on the bike is going to care. Well, maybe the Rectifier/Regulator, but that is also easy to remove.
 

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Rokon. Not very fast (30 mph tops), but it will get you there and back.
I ride mine a LOT. Off road. Not trails (OK, deer and pronghorn trails).
I keep hearing about how folks are dropping their bikes regularly? Maybe once a year... And always knew I probably would go down trying very steep terrain, but hey you have to put your machines to the test on practice runs, not under duress. One really cool (patriotic) factor is it is THE MOST American made vehicle!! Made here with 99% American parts.
 

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reluctant sinner
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I know a guy with a Rokon. A friend of ours renamed it Brokon, because it was always breaking. I haven't seen him or it in years - I should ask if he ever got it all sorted out.
 

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AimSmallMissSmall
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revive a ten year old thread....lol....with a shtf bike....I do not find speed to be an asset....but a liability....just one unscheduled high speed dismount...can drastically change your whole plan for escape....I may not be able to keep up with all the big bore off road monsters....but I know from personal experince.....they can not follow where a Honda CT90/110....in low range can go....while packing the necessities.....
 

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I know a guy with a Rokon. A friend of ours renamed it Brokon, because it was always breaking. I haven't seen him or it in years - I should ask if he ever got it all sorted out.
Mine is ROCK-ON cuz it just keeps on a rockin! I have probably done a 100 miles a week, 6 months a year for 10 years. Never even so much as changed a spark plug!!! It is the Most reliable, trouble free vehicle I've ever owned in 50 years, and this includes a brand new Escalade
 

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Storyteller
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one new (EFI)
one old - carb.

Fun watch

Honda "Cub" most MC ever built. Found world-wide
Easy to work on, and keep running ~100MPG on gas.
 

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Golfer
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95% of bugging out will be on traffic-clogged roadways. Trying to escape your city by driving through farmers fields and fences is a ridiculous plan. Nor will you need 70 mpg to weave around parked cars or a 500 mile range when your BOL is 50 miles out. Instead of dropping $20k on a bike for you why not get enough BOVs so your wife and kids can escape, too? And a year after bugging out why junk your bike because the gas runs out? Get one that will still be useful, one that you can pedal.

I suggest a motorized bicycle. A quiet one, one that is faster than a running man, one that is outfitted to carry extra load, light enough to pick up after it lays down, one that has big wheels and the accelerator on your non-shooting hand. A bicycle conversion using a Chinese kit or maybe something like Urban Ultralight 1100
 

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revive a ten year old thread....lol....
Yeah... my bad (or to the good if folks want to know), I had forgotten that I'd posted in here previously and could not find a way to delete the errant post. BTW, I am still a huge fan of the air cooled, Honda 500/650 XR series. Though I ride water cooled 450s with elec start, etc. They are a lot lighter and the elec start comes in very handy when stalled out in a precarious spot! Interesting to read about the Rokon - I saw those around in the mid 70s when I started riding.

EDIT -

BTW, @puttster, not sure that it would be good to venture out prior to 3-4 weeks after an "event", my understanding is to stay undercover and wait until the scurrying around has passed for the most part. If one is not already at their preferred location that is... Agree to a point that an electric MTB is a good alternative, but I doubt I could carry as much on one as I could with a large bore 4-stroke bike. Also agree that they are primarily a 1 up ride and should be used as a last resort for bugging out. More suitable for clandestine and supremely maneuverable travel in and around one's site.
 
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