The Pros and Cons to Using a Motorcycle as Bug-Out Transportation

Bug Out Motorcycle

There are pros and cons to using a motorcycle as bug-out transportation or using one to simply escape a disaster area. You would drive yourself crazy trying to prepare for all possible road or off-road conditions when it comes to choosing a motorcycle. Therefore, to make a decision you would assess your need, probable terrain you would have to cover and do a threat assessment. Most importantly, however, can you navigate with a motorcycle in the winter months, because if you cannot then it is not a logical choice?

Cruising bikes are not ideal for jumping ditches and heading out across a pasture to get around a gridlocked section of the highway while a traditional dirt bike is typically smaller with limited cargo space and they are not ideal for long trips on pavement.

However, motorcycles inherently give you more options than most vehicles would as far as getting around traffic jams and other obstacles on the road and even the so-called cruising bikes can take advantage of walking paths and narrows lanes, and navigate over rough terrain, because they would not bottom out and could avoid large rocks and downed limbs for example.


1.) Fuel economy. You can travel much further on less fuel, and this could mean the difference between surviving and not in some cases.

2.) Easy to store and hide at a base camp, at home or anywhere you end up. Once out of the disaster area you can conceal/camouflage a motorbike rather easily as compared to a full sized motor vehicle.

3.) Avoid gridlocked highways, and road barriers/obstacles, but you have to be careful and know your bike’s off-road capabilities before setting off cross-country as you try to avoid traffic jams.

4.) Leaving quietly is another advantage. You can push the bike far enough away so when you do start it and it happens to alert anyone you have a good head start.


1.) Limited cargo space, even though the fuel economy compared to a motor vehicle is considerably better, you would still need fuel at some point. Unless you have a cargo trailer attached you would not have the ability to carry fuel with you.

If you do have a cargo trailer, then you have pretty much limited yourself to relatively good roads and certain trails or pathways.

2.) No protection from the weather and this could be a major concern in some areas of the country. Limited to no cover at all from thrown objects, gunfire and other projectiles like arrows, bolts or even steel balls launched from a slingshot.

3.) Snow will slow or stop you completely, as would ice.

Obviously, there are more advantages and disadvantages to using a motorcycle as a bug-out vehicle, but we have listed the most obvious ones.

In an ideal world, you would have a bug-out vehicle capable of going off road and you would have a motorcycle in the back of your hulking 4×4. When you could not travel any further in your motor vehicle, you would ditch the truck and hop on the bike, but this is more likely to happen in the movies than in real life.

A bike may not work unless you have a specific destination in mind and can get there on a tank of fuel and that you have supplies at your location. You cannot carry much on a bike, even a bug-out-bag may be too much to carry on some bikes.

You can get a small cargo trailer to haul behind some bikes, but the expense can be considerable because certain bikes would not be able to tow a small trailer and once you start adding accessories the price tag increases, and once again you are limited as to which trails and roads you can use if you tow a trailer.