Bug Out Bikes
I know I know... took me long enough.
Well I've had a couple request for a utility motorcycle post. Apparently folks are thinking two-wheeled transportation may be a good option should the proverbial excrement meet the oscillatory cooling device. Fair enough. But why? And what type of bike would work well?
Well... look... you don't need a Goldwing folks. You may as well ride around in a civic as one of those things. What you want is called a "dual-sport". Its a bike that's very capable. You can ride it offroad or on. In general they are light, quick, and get great gas mileage. They tend to be simple and bullet-proof reliable.
Here are two options to seriously consider:
Kawasaki KLR 250: Simple. Reliable. 100mpg. You don't need cartridge forks and a ultra modern suspension. You need a bike that's good on gravel and good on trails. This is the one. They can be had cheap, and the seat heights are manageable. The bike in not indestructible... but as a matter of practicality... you can treat it like it is.
Honda Ruckus: Its small... its insanely reliable. It gets 100mpg... and its an automatic. You can carry stuff through the muck and mud. You can go places no one else can. You can raise all manner of hell in the Wal-mart parking lot. Just looking at it gives me evil thoughts. The best thing about the Ruckus is the fact that it has a huge support system. Lots of bag options and such... and you absolutely must be able to carry stuff.
Now... all of the jap manufacturers make something comparable to the KLR... so if you want a Yahama or a Suzuki or a Honda... they are out there. You can ramp up the displacement to 650 if you want but you'll be giving up a lot of mileage and you'll be getting a less capable motorcycle in my opinion. You need to think small and light.
These bikes can be had for less than 2000 dollars... probably for something closer to 1500... you'll not find a more useful tool for that amount of money.
And for crying out loud... stay away from chinese shit. The bikes are not reliable and parts are not particularly available. Buy Jap.