Motorcycle as BOV and urban commuting.

Discussion in 'Vehicle & Transportation' started by Bigdog57, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 Adventurer at large

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    Originally, my Dual Sport bike (KLR650) was a 'second vehicle' that doubled as my 'play' vehicle too. Now, with gas prices high and the fact that it's so enjoyable, it has become my preferred mode of commuting to/from work. I have it modified for use as a BOV - sure, can't carry as much as a truck, but I can places no truck can....... I have hidey places in the woods that Bubba can't get too. :D
    I ride year round, hot or cold, and sometimes if it rains - I don't mind getting wet on the way home. I have good raingear too.
    Getting ready to build a single-wheel trailer for it, to extend the carry capability. Some buddies have done this, with one riding his bike/trailer combo for 78,000 recorded miles!
    I have a good mountain bike for a local transport if things get really bad, fuelwise. I can ride to work, once traffic dies way down. Too dangerous at this time though.
     
  2. Redtail

    Redtail Well-Known Member

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    I've thought about that at times, too. THough honestly, my entire bugout pack, save the Plainfield .30, fits into a backpack and a front-heavy load bearing harness.

    My "weapon of choice" as it were, was an old Yamaha DT250 Enduro that can go pretty much anywhere on earth that isn't underwater or at the top of a cliff. They're incredibly simple machines, and can be converted to run on pure alcohol in about 15 minutes if you know what to change.

    It's not a heavy bike, but it's not particularly fast, either. Might hit 65 in top gear on the street, but then again, it'll also take 'ya anywhere you'd typically want a Ural or a crazy four-wheel-drive quad to go.
     

  3. wildman800

    wildman800 Well-Known Member

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    My experience, which is limited, says that the main uses of a motorcycle irt Bugging Out is:

    The best way to get out of a city after a mandatory evacuation has been called. The addition of a trailer is a big plus to have. The bike will allow you to get around and/or through the herd turning an Interstate Highway into a "giant parking lot".

    A "Point" vehicle for moving other vehicles (family & friends) from the residence to the Bug Out Location via convoy, and as a "Tail End Charlie".

    Motorcycles are useful for Patrolling your property and the immediate area in the "Recon" mode.
     
  4. jalapenoM

    jalapenoM Member

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    Do your motorcycles have knobby tires for off-roading though as if you were going around cars like its a parking lot you will have to go on the shoulder where there is alot of debri...
     
  5. Big B

    Big B Well-Known Member

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    Honda 'trans-alp', amazing bike...........
     
  6. Fn/Form

    Fn/Form Function over Form

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    I'm not a bike guy (due to funds, mostly), but I've done a good bit of research.

    Make sure you've got adequate suspension springs, esp. on the rear. Stock dual sport springs are compromised for road comfort. They are too soft for true bug out/dual sport conditions where your have any real off-road terrain and any added weight.

    Gearing for dual sports is also compromised. True bug-out conditions warrant more torque, especially with added gear weight. Any person who has tried a relatively tame run-what-you-brung amateur woods course will tell you that. It's lower speeds, and power needed down low to keep quieter.

    "Ruggedizing" the frame/components is important. The KLR has a huge advantage in bolt-on protections for brakes/case/etc.. Dunno if the new KLR chassis takes the same bolt-ons as the older chassis.
     
  7. vfourmax

    vfourmax Member

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    Depending on what you are expecting out of the vehicle as to what is the best choice. In general the big bore 650 bikes are heavy in the woods but better on the road. Best big bore set up for road use would be 1) Kawasaki KLR, 2) Suzuki DR, 3) Honda XRL.

    Reverse that order for best factory set up for off road use. Remember though the big bores are heavy and if you are likely to encouter hard and hairy off road enviroments may not be the best choice.

    Probably the best bike out of the box available new for a dual sport would be the Suzuki 400 DRZS. Quite a bit lighter and somewhat more compact than the big bores, nearly as much power on tap. Being lighter and more compact ride quality on road not as good as a big bore but much more manageable and manuverable in off road enviroments.

    All dual sports are compromised as previously mentioned by road oriented gearing but not hard to change out. Most bikes can be dropped one tooth on the front sprocket and increase 2 teeth on the rear sprocket and make the gearing well suited for real offroad use while still being able to maintain legal highway speeds for reasonable distances. Suspension again is suited more to off road on road use as delivered but as long as you were not looking for a moto-cross type of use can be adjusted just fine for normal off road trail use. Tires would be better of more aggresive off road tread design for off road use but tread life would suffer with on road use.

    Fuel tank capacity stock is somewhat limited but aftermarket desert tanks can increase that capacity to 5.5 gallons or so. With the gearing mods expect low to mid 40's onroad and mid to upper 30's offroad for fuel mileage.

    Actually would make the perfect vehicle to use with a truck as a transport, main BOV for cheaper resource consuming mobility after you reach your BO destination.
     
  8. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    Interesting thread, I've always wanted a bike but haven't bought one yet. I keep having friends get killed and maimed on them.(mostly on Harleys) I'm learning alot this adds new fuel to the fire. Several years ago the police and national guard had the city of Cincinnati locked down every night for 2 weeks due to the natives being wrestless. A bike might have come in handy durring that situation. I was just passing through and the resturant mgr. told me to be out of town by 7, they had to be closed by 6PM.:eek:
     
  9. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    I want a motocross bike. Braaaaaap! Braaaaaaaaaaap!
     
  10. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    How about a shriners bike and a fezz cap!!!!:D:D:D:D
     
  11. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    Shriners Bike! Braaaaaaaaap! Braaaaaaaaaap! Braaaaaap! Opps my hat! Which way to the steak house? Braaap! Braaaaap! Detouring to the gentleman's cub! Screech! Braaaaaaaaaaap!
     
  12. RoadRash

    RoadRash Member

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    The most important thing I could add to this is if usuing a motorcycle as a BOV is ride it fully packed and loaded on road and off road. You will need to know the capabilities of your machine fully loaded. If carrying larger amounts of fuel and water ride with them half full the slushing of it will throw the bike off a bit. If your bugging out through rough terrain top quality gloves , shin protecters and Most Important shatter proof googles. As a kid dirt bike riding I cracked my fair share of sheild on helmets.
    If your hauling a trailer for manuerability look at the single tire set up also the type of hitch set up. (weight distribution)
    L8R RR
     
  13. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I would love to see pictures of your KLR650 as I now own one myself as well. It is bone-stock 2005 but I am looking at crash-bars (found a set from TwistedThrottle) and would like to get "small" paniers as well. One set I found was about $800 ... I don't know if I can afford that!
     
  14. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 Adventurer at large

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    NaeKid, here ya go.....

    Early green paint job, camo hunting pouches under seat, hung by carabiners tie-strapped to the frame, and plasticboxes hung off the extended home-built tail rack, and some early tank panniers (for canteens, survival gear, etc). ......

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Detail of box mounting using big L-brackets off cargo platform - needs better internal bracing and stiffer platform!

    [​IMG]



    Later returned it to the original red plastics, with .50 cal ammo cans attached to side racks (from KLR650.com - cheap) and newer tank panniers. The rear rack is removed here, but simply bolts on using the OEM rack bolts.

    [​IMG]

    I am currently using a pair of leather saddlebags a buddy gave me - FREE!

    I also have a pair of GI 20mm ammo cans to modify for longer trips.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  15. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

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    I've thought about having a bike as part of my vehicle bug out set up, but I'm not interested in one that needs to run at highway speeds.. been there done that.. don't need the tee shirt..

    For me a bike geared to pack my big azz up a grade with some gear and do so at a slower pace is the right course... I'm not a MotoX racer and just need to get where I'm going which will be across country away from everybody..

    I figure it will have to be at least a 250 and probably bigger.. slow works for me because I plan to have a lot of gear on it..weight wise.. I will want off road tires and cargo carriers but if I am on a road for a while I expect 40 MPH would do for me... loaded ...

    I want to be able to carry it on my rear bumper easy on and off..but that shouldn't be an issue ..

    I've seen bikes set up this way and they seemed to work very well.. gearing and suspension will be very important.. OH..and quiet vewey quwiet......shhhh:sssh:
     
  16. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Love those pictures - especially of the ammo-can panniers!!!

    I use ammo-cans as tool-boxes already, so, I have a good stash of those! Could you post the link to the thread on KLR650.com on how it is done? I could probably whip something like that up over the winter :2thumb:
     
  17. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

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    So...NK , do yawl have to register your ammo cans up there???? just asking,,,yanno??....:lolsmash::lolsmash:
     
  18. jnrdesertrats

    jnrdesertrats Noob

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    I have a few off road toys. My favorite is my 07 yamaha WR450. It is fast and light. I carry alot of stuff for desert search and rescue mostly on me. I really had not thought of using for a scouting vehicle... Until now thanks.
     
  19. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 Adventurer at large

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    NaeKid, "KLR650.COM" is a vendor website - they sell all manner of gear for our KLR bikes. Prices are reasonable, though some of the gear may not be as rugged as the Big Name parts. Their primary supplier is an outfit called "Studebaker", and they try to draw a connection between themselves and the old defunct car company.
    I have their side racks and the radiator guards that fit inside the plastic shrouds - helps prevent damage to that expensive radiator if you drop it.
    Another great supplier is "BikeBandit" - I get a lot of stuff from them.
    Both places ship quickly.
    You may also want to get the 'bark busters' I have on my handlebars - prevents bending or breaking the clutch and brake levers in a laydown.

    As a wise rider once said, "it's not IF you will go down, it's WHEN!" SO I have the bike and myself protected as much as possible.

    If you do decide to use the top-heavy KLR for a BO bike off-road, load it and try some riding - it's a whole different 'feel'! Need to be VERY careful to not get over too far and go down. IF you ever feel the KLR starting to go down, DO NOT try to stop it! That can lead to arm and leg injury. LET it go, but control it and 'ease' it down. Then rest a bit, get your pulse back down, and then lift that heavy barstage back up onto it's wheels! :D

    Another good thing to do now, is practice laying it down gently, then picking it back up - in the privacy of your backyard. There is a 'trick' to getting it back up without straining yourself. I get my feet close to the bike's seat, use one hand on the handlebar, and one on the lower passenger grab handle, lean forwards a bit and lift, rest the bike against my leg about a foot off the ground, then heave it the rest of the way up.
    Good metal side boxes make it easier - they already have the bike that first foot or so off the ground! That is the hardest part, getting it up that first little bit.
     
  20. greaseman

    greaseman Well-Known Member

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    I think the cycle is a great idea for a bov. I hadn't thought of that before, or heard it mentioned. it can truly go where other vehicles can't go.
    On the idea of the mountain bike. if the economy is really bad, there probably won't be anyone going to work, as things wil be extremely disrupted. I would personally be afraid of being shot for the bike. Some kind of a fold down , all terrain bike to accompany your motorcycle trailer might be a good idea for last resort mobility.
    I love to hear some more discussion on the motorcycle idea as a BOV. That's actually a great idea. Hat's off to you on that suggestion.