TJ’s Top Five Bike Picks for the Zombie Apocalypse
How To Get Around After The Apocalypseby TJ Hinton, on
No matter where you fall on zombie fandom, there can be no doubt that apocalypse prepping has become a “thing,” to the point that even the U.S. Army has held World War Zed-themed exercises. Even if said apocalypse is unlikely to ever happen, there are plenty of other scenarios such as SHTF/WROL, natural disasters, et cetera, that can bring about the same sorts of problems and needs. I have a particularly morbid fascination with such scenarios.
Having been at ground-zero for Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath, I have seen firsthand just exactly how fast civil behavior goes out the window when people get hungry, thirsty or have need of ice to preserve food, medicine, baby formula and the like. Times like those, you may feel the need to separate yourself away from the slavering mob and live an existence apart. It will take a special type of vehicle to serve such a lifestyle, and I have picked out a handful of rides that I think would serve famously.
Continue reading for my zombie apocalypse bike picks.
Diesel will keep a long time, and as long as you keep water out of it and dose it with bio-cide regularly, diesel has an amazing shelf life.
One of the underlying concerns in any long-term situation is finding good fuel. Gasoline has the unfortunate tendency to go “stale,” which is what we call it when the light ends evaporate and what remains more closely resembles thin varnish with very little oomph left in it. Diesel, on the other hand, is another story. It will keep a long time, and as long as you keep water out of it and dose it with bio-cide regularly, diesel has an amazing shelf life. Note: if you can’t rely on clean fuel, lay in plenty of fresh fuel filters, ’cause you are going to clog some up with algae.
Modeled from a Kawasaki KLR650, this ride can run on JP4, JP5, JP8, diesel or kerosene.
With fuel concerns in mind, my first pick for a survival bike would have to be the M1030M1 from Hayes Diversified Technologies, the U.S. Marine’s diesel-powered dirtbike modeled from a Kawasaki KLR650. Few things allow you to extend across rough terrain quite like a dirtbike, and this ride comes with all the features and capabilities one would expect, and it’s all driven by a 30 horsepower, 611 cc thumper mill that can run on JP4, JP5, JP8, diesel or kerosene.
Survivors in the EU should look for the M1030M1E, our version for friendly NATO countries. Not only will these bikes run on a variety of fuels, thereby broadening the potential source pool, but they deliver around 100 mpg, another big bonus when fuel availability is unreliable.
Rokon for Hunters
To burn straight alcohol, it may take special gaskets and fuel lines, and will most definitely require rejetting, so test this and lay in supplies *before* it hits the fan.
Next up is a bike that could be good over the short term, since it burns gasoline, but could be good over the long term if you distill your own ethanol. Caveat: It may take special gaskets and fuel lines, and will most definitely require rejetting to burn straight alcohol, so test this and lay in supplies before it hits the fan. This bike is capable of tackling the roughest terrain with its two-wheel drive feature, earning nicknames like “The Mountain Goat” and “The Cat,” and it can even ford streams and rivers by floating on its huge tires. I am, of course, talking about the Rokon for Hunters.
This isn’t a streetbike by any means, and is underpowered by anyone’s standards with only 7 ponies, but the little engine holds the key to this bike’s zombie-factor. It is a simple, one-cylinder Kohler motor, just like a bajillion others on lawnmowers and generators everywhere, so it should be simple to salvage parts for it. Plus, Rokon puts a comprehensive service manual, complete with machine measurements and complete rebuild procedures, in the owner’s manual, and the chassis is held together with common nuts and bolts found at any hardware store in America. All good points for living in a world without FedEx waiting to bring you replacement parts.
Motoped Survival Bike
It takes advantage of available unleaded gasoline, as well as another potentially inexhaustible power source: human sweat
Now for something of a hybrid ride, that can take advantage of available unleaded gasoline, as well as another potentially inexhaustible power source, human sweat: the aptly named Survival Bike from Motoped. Essentially a heavy bicycle, the chassis sports front forks and a rear monoshock for off-road performance far beyond your traditional mountain bike. You can pedal it, or take the easy way and fire up the 49 cc or 125 cc engine for around 300 miles of powered riding range between the fuel tank and the two pony cans.
There are myriad hardpoints to which to tie your gear, and the “zombie hunter” model comes with crossbow, axe and a pair of knives for your zombie-hunting enjoyment. Best of all, it’s small and light enough to chuck in the back of a truck, for instances where you ride out and need to, shall we say, liberate a vehicle from town. Hey, I’m just tossing around hypotheticals here, certainly not encouraging anyone to break the law.
An exposed frame serves as something of an exoskeleton, and I expect it can take more abuse than your standard, plastic-shrouded scooter body and has an extremely torquey motor that cranks out 158 pounds of grunt for towing tasks.
The longest-term survival situations, and the most remote ones, will likely do well to unburden themselves of their dependence on fossil-fuels entirely, and look to electric means of locomotion. You might think that’s backwards, but hear me out. Between solar power, hydro-electric, windmills and a plethora of other means, electricity can be “harvested” from the environment a number of ways. This power can, in turn, be used to recharge batteries on electric vehicles. I’m not talking about golf carts either, but truly capable machines.
Toward that end, I picked the ZEV T-Series scooter. This is a tough little scooter that can deliver up to 140 miles per charge. It comes with dual-purpose tires and suspension components, and tackles light-duty off-road tasks such as trail riding or crossing open countryside.
An exposed frame serves as something of an exoskeleton, and I expect it can take more abuse than your standard, plastic-shrouded scooter body. In addition, you could theoretically use it as a beast of burden, with room for cargo at various points, and an extremely torquey motor that cranks out 158 pounds of grunt for towing tasks. Heck, I bet you could hitch a plow to the thing and work a field if you really wanted to, especially with a knobby in back.
Zero — No, Not the Airplane
I was trying to decide which model would be best, and realized that any of them may be appropriate for certain circumstances.
My last pick isn’t actually a specific model, but an entire brand. I like the Zero lineup, and was trying to decide which model would be best, and realized that any of them may be appropriate for certain circumstances.
The FX and FXS models would be good for deep wilderness use, while the DS and DSR are good for on-road/off-road situations. If you find yourself surviving in a concrete jungle, the straight-up street performance of the S and SR] line is right up your alley. Mileage varies depending on model and power options, and you need 110 volt service to charge it, but there are always ways with a big battery bank, and a good inverter.
There you have it folks. I’m sure there are additional worthy rides out there, but these are the ones that leapt out at me as the most appropriate for stressful times. Each have something to offer in different situations, and could definitely affect quality — and indeed quantity — of life in a truly disastrous situation.
Rokon for Hunters
See our review of Rokon for Hunters.
See our review of the Zero FX/FXS.
See our review of the Zero DS/DSR.
See our review of the Zero S/SR.