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There is no doubt that the perfect hurricane (apocalypse or post-disaster) motorcycle needs the perfect hurricane motorcycle suspension. Imagine venturing out onto the roads after a huge storm. There is going to be debris everywhere – it was definitely the case after Hurricane Irma.
You will spend most of your time on paved road, so you will want the bike to be relatively comfortable for highway travel. That said, your very survival or ability to reach water, food, or gasoline might depend on the ability to go around and possibly over obstacles.
Hence, the need to cover the topic of hurricane motorcycle suspension. It isn’t a question of if you will need to go around or over something, but when.
The scrambler has been “re-born” recently with the massive success of factory-Ducati and aftermarket scramblers. The scrambler market has actually turned into quite the fad or craze, such that the scrambler motorcycle market is almost a financial bubble that needs to burst.
The point I am trying to make and getting to in a very roundabout manner here is that even though most of the time you will be on paved road, when you need agility you are really going to need agility. A scrambler isn’t going to cut it. This isn’t even a time for vintage factory scramblers (CL350, CL450, etc).
The perfect hurricane motorcycle suspension can be found on the dime-a-dozen Japanese adventure bikes – think KLR650, XR650L. These bikes are designed, out-of-the factory to be highway ready, fully-loadable, and ready to jump a downed tree.
There is no arguing that they are your perfect base – just make sure you have a decent engine skid plate and maybe beef up the front and rear springs/travel to account for a heavier load.
I don’t want to overthink this part of the series, but I do want to steer folks (no pun intended) away from street bikes with knobby tires. The amount of debris on the roads after Irma was astronomical. I know personally, I want a bike that gets me slightly higher up and able to run over some things without a moments hesitation.
Final note, there are a few AWD (all-wheel drive) motorcycles out there. There is even one company that will sell you a kit for converting you dual sport to their all-wheel drive system. This is maybe the neatest thing ever, but is quite expensive. If money was no object, I would for-sure get it, but still I think you are in good shape with a capable dual sport with appropriate tires.
If you missed the first four parts of my series of the perfect hurricane motorcycle, you can get to them here.
Come back for more related posts in the weeks to come. Also, please forgive any typos, I wrote a good portion of this post from my phone.
The Perfect Hurricane Motorcycle Part 1: The Engine or Powerplant
The Perfect Hurricane Motorcycle Part 3: Tires, Mousses, and Avoiding Flats
The Perfect Hurricane Motorcycle Part 4: Communications Equipment
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