When it comes to Bug Out Vehicles, there is one in particular that is sorely overlooked.
Don’t laugh, my friend Thomas Miller has a few very good reasons that you should seriously consider adding a scooter to your plans.(This article was originally published on personalliberty.com)
To escape mayhem or disaster, you will need transportation. Many survivalists have grand visions of a bulletproof, tracked vehicle that mimics the functions of a tank while matching the size and comfort of a luxury RV. I am no exception from that crowd. However, like most people, my reality is something on a much lesser scale — assuming that someday I will even be able to have a dedicated survival vehicle.
If you have a limited budget and because there are no special qualifications required to operate one in most areas, a feasible solution for a survival vehicle could be a scooter. Yes, a scooter. I am not a student, a hipster or European; but it seems that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages and support the philosophy that a scooter could be a viable option as a survival vehicle.
The cost of a scooter can vary greatly, depending on the manufacturer, model and specifications. While a new scooter can cost well more than $10,000 for a top-of-the-line, highway-ready model, some of the imported models can be as cheap as $600. It is also not uncommon to find an old, used, name-brand scooter that is still running and listed for sale for $200 or more. In addition to a low purchase price, the cost of operation and maintenance are minimal. Most States do not require any endorsement to operate a scooter, and registration and insurance fees are minimal.
Most small scooters weigh less than 300 pounds. The heaviest models weigh about 600 pounds. Because they are lightweight, scooters are easy to get around on. Also, they can be moved and even lifted over obstacles with minimal or no assistance.
A scooter can easily be navigated through the tightest of areas. In the event of societal collapse, a scooter may be the only motorized form of transportation that can be maneuvered through an urban environment. The size advantage will allow a scooter to pass through roadblocks that a car or truck could not. If your survival vehicle of choice is not a scooter, you could put a scooter in the back of a truck, van or SUV. This will allow the use of the scooter if an impassable area is reached or if your first choice of vehicle becomes incapacitated.
Scooters are very efficient in the amount of fuel that they consume. Many of the 50 cubic centimeter models can get more than 100 miles per gallon. Because of the fuel-consumption advantage, a scooter can be a good survival vehicle. For example, a scooter with a full tank of gas and a 2-gallon gas can in reserve can travel nearly 400 miles. This should be a plentiful distance to reach safety in many survival scenarios.
The range of a scooter on a single tank of gas is not all that impressive on its own. But many scooters have additional luggage or cargo racks available that will easily facilitate the carrying of additional fuel.
Many preppers are concerned about the possibility of electromagnetic pulses (EMP) or coronal mass ejections (CME) from the sun that could potentially wipe out the electrical grid and destroy any machinery or equipment that operates on an electric system. As a result of a scooter’s size, it is possible to design and build a faraday cage that will protect the scooter and keep it operational after an EMP or CME. Having a source of transportation following such an event will offer significant advantages versus not having a mode of transportation.
Scooters are quiet by design. Their small engines do not produce a large amount of noise or emissions which make them great vehicles for keeping a low profile.
A scooter can be easily concealed. They are small and easily hidden, and they are typically covered in plastic panels that can easily be painted with basic spray paint. This allows for a custom paint job to blend in with a variety of environments. Additionally, cheaper models of scooter don’t usually have any chrome or bright metal components. That means less risk of light sources reflecting on the scooter and giving away its location.
Scooters are not inherently designed to carry large amounts of cargo, but they do offer the opportunity to carry cargo in several different configurations. In addition to cargo racks, saddle bags and various other bags can be strapped to the scooter’s frame, handlebars and panels. It is even feasible that a bicycle or motorcycle trailer could be pulled by a scooter to allow additional cargo capacity.
The small size of a scooter makes the payload that can be carried extremely limited. This includes limitations on the number or weight of passengers carried, the weight of cargo and the space available to carry both. In addition to cargo restrictions, the scooter’s small wheels make it susceptible to falling into potholes, which can ruin your mode of transportation. Because of this possible complication, it may be advisable to maintain an inventory or extra parts for your scooter. This is especially true if you are depending on a scooter for survival purposes. Some of the spare parts that should be stocked include wheels, tires, spark plugs, oil, engine lubricants and electrical components (bulbs, fuses and wires).
The average size of a scooter engine is somewhere between 50-150 cubic centimeters. This is great because it means that a scooter will only sip fuel as opposed to guzzling it, but it also means that the maximum speed of a scooter is very limited. Typically topping out at a speed of 45 mph (on a good day), a scooter will not allow for quick transportation. The speed of a scooter will be decreased even more when attempting to ascend a hill or traversing rough terrain.
There are many potential applications to use a scooter in the event of a disaster. Besides point to point transportation, scooters could be used for:
- Scouting and reconnaissance: Because of the potential to get around in a quiet and stealth manner, a scooter could be a great recon vehicle.
- Evasion: In the event of a confrontation, a scooter could offer a quick means of evading a threat. They also offer the potential in assisting in an effective getaway by traveling on sidewalks, through alleyways, etc.
- Hunting and gathering: During difficult times, hunting and gathering food and water sources may be the main method of survival. In this case, a scooter could greatly increase the effectiveness of these efforts. It is also possible that some resources could be used because of the additional capabilities offered by having a scooter.
- Assisting others: Rebuilding after a disaster often revolves around the efforts of an entire community. If there is limited transportation available or if environmental conditions limit the use of conventional vehicles, a scooter could offer an opportunity to assist your neighbors and help rebuild the community.
Is a scooter a viable option to get out of dodge? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I would rather ride a scooter out of chaos than strap on my hiking boots and walk an unending number of miles to safety.
Click here to view the original article.
Editors Note: Has Tom piqued your interest in a “survival scooter?”
This is a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately. Where my wife and I live is a perfect place for riding scooters about the neighborhood and doing a bit of shopping (and with the price of gas today getting one of these bad boys seems like an increasingly better option each day!).
One of the main drawbacks to a scooter is that it can be cost prohibitive.
Some of these scooters can cost $5,000 or more, but with a little patience and luck you can find some great deals.
Because I live in a “scooter saturated” area, I can find a used one on www.craigslist.com in the $400-$800 dollar range for a good name brand scooter.
If you live in a smaller city, where sites like craigslist show very few results, try ebay or amazon, you might just get lucky.
Check out this one I’ve found
It might still seem high but if you want to be able to enjoy a scooter and have a secondary survival vehicle, you may just want to check this out.
As with any machinery it only works until it doesn’t… you need to make sure that you have the knowledge of how to repair small engines, perform oil changes, and do the other various maintenance that is required in order to keep this scooter running smoothly for you even with TSHTF.
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Yes, while this is a fine article and such, I don’t wanna seem rude or invasive with my take on the subject: My survial plans include “Stay Home (bug-in) with the Stockpiles”, and “Bug-out with the gear in the rear”.
I cannot see myself put-putting across the No. Nevada Desert with a Medium Size/Duty backpack and a couple jugs of gas AND water.
Sorry. Not happening. I’m kinda fussy this way.
I’m interested to hear from anyone who’s with me on this. If not, fine.
My wife and I each have a scooter. For our area it is the perfect transportation for efficiency. There are plenty of places to put your BOB, extra fuel, etc., as well as, each one of us has a small home made trailer that we can pull. We can go places in the woods that most ATV’s can go. Each person will need to determine if a scooter is right for them and their bug out/bug in scenario. For us, the scooter has been a great addition.
The scooter is a very good idea, a step beyond what I have already accumulated. Here’s the other stuff:
1. A diesel VW Jetta that can go 500 miles between fill-ups.
2. A two person sea-going kayak that can carry enough supplies to go a month without “refueling.”
3. A two person folding kayak that can be carried in a car or aircraft. It can only go about two weeks without restocking.
4. An 18′ canoe with about the same capacity as the first kayak.
5. A two place aircraft that can cruise at 120 MPH for 5 hours.
Obviously, the nature of the emergency will dictate which combination to use. I live on a 65 mile long island with only three ways off, one bridge and two ferry boats. We have extensive kayaking and canoeing experience including several 200 to 400 mile tripe in Alaska. Thus the emphasis on man powered boats. We live within 200 feet of salt water. We live about a mile from the small airport where I have a hangar. I will consider seriously how one or two scooters night fit into this mix. I am also investigating folding bikes.
I had a similar thought years ago. However, I went with a KLR 650. To me a dual sport motorcycle can go places to one else can go. I used it during a local tornado disaster in 2011. I can go off road and interstate (scooters can’t). Yes you have to get an endorsement. Go to the local community college and take the safety class. Here in NC, you then only have to take the written test and don’t need a test bike. I can carry a passenger and a B.O.B. on the tale. You can get smaller on/off rodes if you are more comfortable with something smaller. A good used KLR can be found online for around $3k. Since these bikes are only driven by a particular segment you can get a new one pretty cheap (relatively) too. I’m currently working on adding a voodoo scabbard for my shotgun or AR.
Let me know how the scabbard idea goes. I’ve been thinking of that as well. Drawing blanks though for my 07 Honda vtc 1300.
My initial thought on that is I’d feel like I was the rabbit, and other people that saw me would be the Mountain lion. Out of instict, I’d be chased and mauled (particularly in times of desparation.) The noise although quieter than other vehicles would attract unwanted attention, and the amount of items I could carry would be limited not justifying the risk. I’d sooner ride a simple bicycle with a basket and stay away from visible roads than invite the headaches I’d find on a moped.
I would look at bikes that do not have an electric starter but use a kick starter. You can make a trailer that might not be legal during normal times but in extreme times no one is going to be enforcing vehicle violations. With a trailer you can greatly extend your carrying capacity for gear.
Another alternative is a bicycle. With used bikes on the market you can easily afford a bike for each family member and if some family member is too young to ride, there are lots of carriers available. You can easily buy or build a trailer for each bike and have a tremendous cargo capacity. Bikes are really quiet. an EMF even will have absolutely zero effect on a bike. For those of you not old enough to remember Viet Nam, the NVA used bicycles to haul a significant amount of their war material hundreds of miles. Traveling on roads, 60 miles a day even towing a trailer is no problem at all. Much easier than walking.
In my 70’s,I certainly “aint” walking anywhere. We have 2 bicycles,
and I recently added a used Red wagon to haul gear & such.Also,Have
3 Harleys in the garage,but think they’d be too noisy,but useful if a fast getaway was needed. ALso have my camper loaded with survival items
so just have to hitch up and leave’
Bikes are my escape plan form of transport. A mountain bike with a trailer will get you where you want to go and can carry lots of gear. They are easy to repair and parts don’t cost that much to stock up on.
Sorry for all you city slickers, but I bugged out 40 years ago. Haven’t and never want to do city life again. I grow all of my food, except the occasional junk food. I have access to multiple properties where I have stored essentials so all of my eggs are NOT in one basket. I have horse(s) and burros, won’t need gas, won’t worry about maintenance, won’t need to worry about roads. My survival truck is an IDE diesel, burns veg oil or old motor oil that I have stockpiled in plastic drums. I plan to sit and watch as all the scared rabbits are running for the woods, LOL.
Sounds like you are the one in the know.
Yeah, I gotta go with the KLR650 or similar. Scooters are cheap, yes, but as Bill pointed out, can’t go off road. The article also points out the very limited cargo capabilities (a good dual sport will carry a lot more weight) as well as the “you’re going to slow down going up hill” problem.
Additionally, scooters are a LOT easier to wreck Because of their design, they tend to lose traction a lot easier than a motorcycle would, which is another disadvantage.
It’s certainly a useful idea, if that’s absolutely all you can afford, or have access to, but given teh choice between that and a sturdy dual sport bike, I’ll take the dual sport every time.
More importantly, I’d take something with 4WD and 4 wheels over both. In an extended emergency situation, all it takes is you hitting some loose gravel or trying to avoid an obstacle and laying it over one time to end up stuck with a broken leg or worse and no hope for medical attention.
This is an option if you are getting out very early, otherwise you are an easy target. Totally exposed and almost impossible to defend. I was in the middle of the Hurricane Rita evacuation and it was a real eye opener. I would not have wanted to be on a scooter at that time, and to be hosnest I probably wouldn’t have been for long as it would have been taken away form me by all the stranded people on teh side of the road with no money, food or water, and no law enforcement ANYWHERE. Just my 2 cents.
Just an FYI… Most, if not all states DO require a scooter rider to have an “M” ( motorcycle) endorsement. The exception may be scooters smaller than 49cc.
My preferences are my motorcycles. While they get about 50 mph instead of the 100 mph that scooters are capable of, my bikes are far more powerful, able to go much faster with better acceleration. All of which can be beneficial when TSHTF.
My husband has a large trailer for his HD Ultra that can carry all the essentials and then some if we have to bug out. I have large saddlebags and a trunk on mine, so I can carry most of my own stuff.
NOT CHEAP but this is really a survival bike/scooter
I’ve had a Honda Helix CN250 since 1986 and it’s fun and reliable. They can be found cheap these days and it’s a Honda. Good for two people, it’s quiet, and you can carry a couple of large bags.
I’ve seen the Rokon’s and they are like a two wheeled ATV. It’s a survivalists dream bike.
An even better vehicle could be a small trail cycle such as a 125cc. They are nearly as economical on fuel & they are designed to go off road and even through shallow streams. It could be a lot easier to evade undesirables if you do not need to stay on roads or open fields. Travel distances can also be reduced by going point to point.
I think I’ll be looking for a used 4-wheel ATV in good condition….
Carries lots more cargo, and in rugged terrain….
Just an alternative to consider….
MOST OF US CANNOT LEAVE CITY, nor Afford rural LAND! Then there is topic of RACISM & Islamophobia ! We are in DENIAL on these topics! Black Americans & Muslims have been in America, for Centuries , but STILL having problems with LIVING OUTSIDE OF CITIES! GOD forbid another REAL , or Trumped up ” ALL Muslims= Terrorists” Bombing , and /or ALL Black people are in WELFARE or STEAL B.S. !
By the way ANYONE RIDING AROUND on ____( And have Food Stored) & others do NOT I love you have & are ARMED or Resourceful, you WILL have your ____ Taken ! Skin COLOR & Location WILL NOT MATTER!
Then IF Electricity OFF long term, NO MORE FUEL!
What needs to be WORKED ON IS CO-Operation AMOUNGST the population &
RE-THINKING /RE-DOING HOW WE DEAL WITH EACH OTHER
& SEE EACH OTHER!
EVERY movie or T.V. Show I have seen on DISASTERS/SURVIVAL is about WHITE MEN, who are CRAZY/MANIPULATIVE/MANIACAL /VIOLENT LEADERS , & the rest of US are sheep & have NO CLUE HOW TO SURVIVE OR LEAD ( Or are SideKicks)! Yeh , RIGGGHHTTTT!
Maybe IT IS too LATE!
The problem of being black may go away when the SHTF.
The problem of being Islamic is easily solved: pretend to be a “Christian”. Most of those who claim to be Christian do not actually believe it; they are just pretending.
The problem of fuel for a small vehicle is solved with home made alcohol (which Islam does not allow).
Remember: the authorities in power do not want you to be able to survive or be self-reliant. That is why high schools in some communities teach students how to apply for welfare and food stamps, but do not teach marketable skills that would lead to employment. They want you under their thumb.
The very fact that you are reading these postings will make you a target. And they know who you are and what you are reading. Beware!
While I don’t think a scooter is for everyone it does have a place just like every other vehicle depending on the situation. Those here mocking it or saying other bikes are better obviously haven’t ridden much or driven various types of two wheeled vehicles. After you’ve been riding for over 35 years come back and then give your opinion. I mainly ride a Harley Fat Boy but I have other bikes for various purposes, a Honda 250cc scooter (with a full touring package & HD suspension), a dirt bike (can be made street legal in 30 minutes) and an electric scooter (I’ve also built many bikes starting with just a frame). But I do agree, if you’re going to be going off road for whatever reason the scooter is not going to do it, you’ll be lucky to get about 10 feet before you get stuck or fall over.
As for the scooter (no, not a Vespa type), it can hold as much as a full dress touring bike since the better (and bigger) ones have the same “Touring” accessories and proper heavy duty suspension and it’s very simple to beef up the suspension on a scooter if you need to carry more. Good choices are a Honda Reflex 250cc (or the older Elite 250), Honda Silverwing 600cc and a Suzuki Burgman 400 or 650cc.
I have to say though that this article is not written well if directed towards a reader with little knowledge of these type of vehicles. A 50cc is good if you’re picking up a few groceries down the block going downhill.
Anyone even thinking about getting a scooter and doing their homework would know that you need at least a 250cc+ engine for highway driving or for a decent speed (this applies to dual purpose off road bikes also if you need speed and weight carrying ability). If your 115 lbs. soak and wet you might be able to do 35+ MPH on a 50cc (50MPH with a 150cc) tops, maybe, kinda useless really if you’re trying to get out of Dodge fast. Even if your 200+ lbs. you can easily cruise at 75mph on the highway with a 250cc, anything less than that and you might as well just get a bicycle and stick a motor on it or get a Moped (a persons weight is a major factor in choosing a scooter).
Whatever you do if even thinking about a scooter, do not get anything below a 250cc and totally avoid anything coming from China unless you like spending more time repairing it than riding it, most are junk, plain and simple.
I currently have a Chinese 250 scooter, yes you have to do your maintiance . Gets 75 miles to the gallon.
I don’t have to run to a dealer for overpriced parts or mechince fees. There are people on line to help
With advice and parts. So repairs can be made at ones own chose of time and place. These can carry
Quite a load if you know how to pack. Some travel across the country and camp out. They offer a different
Way to get around, some have lasted years and 30000+ miles.
If you are thinking of getting a scooter or something like it there is a web site called http://www.budgetatvs.com that has scooters, atvs, and off-road motorcycles at VERY reasonable, most would say CHEAP prices. Starting at about $500 going up to only a couple Thousand dollars. They will even ship their cycles, atvs FREE anywhere in the lower 48 states. They also have a long list of replacement parts available. I’m thinking of getting something from there myself, I just haven’t decided what yet. My neighbor has purchased multiple atvs and go-carts from this site for his children. Great little atvs for $500 each
May GOD bless and keep you always in the center of HIS will.
My best bet, is my 500 watt electric bicycle (scooter), as an emergency vehicle. It weighs jest over 100 pounds and it needs no fuel. It has 16″ wheels and has a range of about 20 miles from the charge I give it from my portable “solar panel”. The batteries get a full charge, in about 8 hours of sunlight and they’re good for about 3 years and 500 charges…
If you want a two wheeler for a survival vehicle you should consider getting a ” ROCKON ” . they are TWO wheel drive and can carry a substantial load and the wheels them selves can function as spare water or fuel reservoirs .
Just a word on the Rokon. It’s a very strong heavy duty machine but it’s not street legal anywhere in the US that I’ve checked and unless you live in the country or in a backwoods area it has little to no use for someone living in the city or suburbs (unless you transport it somewhere else). It’s also quite slow at a top speed of 35 MPH (30 MPH for the Ranger model) due to it’s special gearing and has a driving range of 200 miles on a tank of gas (or about 9 hours). Nice machine but it has a very limited user base, it’s strictly for off road only.
You are going to be severely limited in any evasive action needed to get away from a mob on a scooter, stick to an enduro dirt bike or similar bike just in case you are required to leave pavement. It’s still good on gas and if a person rides it enough, they can be comfortable in getting around over through almost any terrain. Walking paths that have a vehicle block are not even required to slow down. They can be made to almost run silent, and a toggle switch for the lights will make them disappear. If you live anywhere near the woods a little rattle can spray paint will also give you an advantage. They can climb a pretty steep hill with a little practice, and will make a get away a whole lot quicker. They are also not much more expensive than a scooter.
I guess if you want to putt around central park, or Saigon one of these would be fine. But in a GOOD situation I believe there are too many negative aspects to one of these. May as well use a bicycle, probably be better off. I think this may have been a “spoof” article.
Several of you have made the assumption that only way you can successfully bug out is at high speed. It is more important to get to where you are going safely than at break-neck speed also, you maybe beyond the area where you need speed when you start using the scooter. Ten mph or even five mph beats walking.
About bicycles, they can be useful even if you can’t ride. It can carry a lot of supplies, go through narrow places. You can remove the pedals to make so somebody can’t jump on and ride off with it and it also keeps the pedal from whacking you on the shin while walk beside it.
There are “foam filled” tire available for bicycles, won’t go flat but, ride rougher.
Most people have their seat to low, it is hard on the knees. Ideally from pedal to seat it is the length from you crouch to floor plus 9%. Your seat style may change that. You should pedal with the ball of your foot. Toe clips help but, take some getting used to. I never make my straps so tight that I can’t get foot on/off the pedal.
The old Honda trail 90 or 110 2 wheelers are scarce but are very tough and a great option for road and off road due to the 2 speed transmission. Still a few around and a few have been restored but still reasonably priced. They are practically indestructalble. Many parts available.
Reviewing the comments, it appears the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages. Especially if you need to get out of a situation in a hurry. you need something with some ummph! If you need two hands for control, what do you shoot back with? I think the tendancy of most preppers would be to overload their scooter and thus be traveling about 5mph and walking uphill.
One thought about used vehicles. These are popular with younger people. No disrespect to them, but most are not known for their attention to maintenance. Plus, with a low top speed, I bet these things get a very hard work out. “road hard and put away wet” If you buy used, just be prepared for a lot of repairs. There is a reason they are for sale.
I do see them being useful in urban settings. As a get-home-vehicle from the office back home. After peace has been restored for errands and other small jobs where you are trying to make your limited fuel last as long a possible. But I think a bike with a trailer would work just as well. Because even then, you don’t want to advertise you have fuel.
I see them frequently. They are not quiet. they make more noise than a regular car. I can hear them through closed windows. Not fun to be on one in a winter storm or thunder storm either.
Something to contemplate. Are you REALLY going to run a road block on one of these things. That would be suicide.
Interesting that the article is concerned about parts in case of a break down…. I hope ya all realize that ALL mechanical things break – including that 4×4 heavy duty off road truck. Are you going to buy enough parts to fix that truck yourself? You’d need to buy a whole one just to have every part on hand. Join a 4×4 club and you’ll discover how many odd ball things can break. Almost impossible to fix the computers on some vehicles… I think the hyper preppers are wasting a lot of money by not realistically thinking things thru…
You have a point and I have thought this also. But, I think that most preppers who go for the “macho” machines are aware that it’s probably a vehicle for just getting to their safe location and useless mostly after they break.
Look for a used Honda Ruckus. They are rough, tough, get crazy-great mileage and can haul a decent-sized guy around. Could be a fantastic grey-man tool. Very useful in anything less than a Mad Max breakdown. I’d be on one now if I hadn’t already got it’s big BIG brother, the XL650R, affectionately called the Big Red Rototiller (in my house).
I am a prepper and I also scoot. This article nails it! A Genuine Scooter Stella (older 2-stroke and new 4 strokes) get over 100 mpg. These are modern scooters make with existing Vespa tooling. An older Vespa P200 (the same bike but with a slightly bigger motor) is a great choice, too. During winter, a great scooter can be found for $1500.
These are easy to take care of with common maintenance. I have been to Shanghai and have seen amazing loads on even small scooters (including a full size washer/dryer set).
Again, this article makes perfect sense. Thanks.
This is interesting reading but I began to wonder where anyone could ‘bug out’ to. I live on the edge of a town just 90 miles north of Columbia Mo, and I expect that if/when there comes societal collapse our town will be inundated by the refugees from St Louis and Kansas City who will fan out looking for all the non-existent vegetable producing truck farms they think are out past the parking lots and shopping centers. Those farms producing veggies no longer exist in the Midwest, the Midwest produces soy beans, hay, oats, corn, beef and pork. The average city bred refugee would have no idea what to do with these items and would quickly turn to rape, robbery and looting.
I think that with over 300,000,000 people in this country, plus illegals, there would be no place to bug out to. Ever seen a swarm of grasshoppers? I too have a scooter, a kayak, two canoes and a rob-roy and am a flyer. But where would I go?
I think my best bet is to stay at home, tend my garden and trust in The Lord.