How To Outrun The Zombie Apocalypse On a Motorcycle

How To -


Zombie Apocalypse Motorcycle

Zombie Apocalypse
During a Zombie Apocalypse

Step Three: Take Only What You Need
Survival priorities in any scenario remain the same: Shelter, Water, Fire, Food. Prioritized in that order.

Shelter is dependent on region and environment. Pack a tent, bivvy shelter or the tools (and knowledge) to construct a shelter should you need one. The point of shelter is to regulate your body temperature, so clothing counts. Many a rider has spent a night in the Aerostich Motel; make sure you have adequate undergarments to insulate or cool as needed.

Water, you have to carry with you or find along the way. One gallon of water per person, per day is the required minimum for survival outdoors. We’d take enough for a day or two (space and weight make it difficult to pack more) and the tools to collect and treat found water. A long (10-foot) piece of quarter-inch rubber tubing can help you draw water from cisterns or similar difficult-to-access places, while tincture of iodine two-percent can be added at a ratio of two drops per liter, then allowed to rest for 15 minutes before making most water safe to drink.

**Note: during the zombie apocalypse water sources may be tainted with untreatable pathogens.

Take several different means for starting a fire. A lighter is easiest, but is subject to weather and damage. A ferro rod and striker can’t be broken and work in the cold, wind and rain, but may require a little knowledge to use. Also take fire starting material; we use Vaseline-coated cotton balls, which are incredibly cheap but more effective than commercial alternatives.

You’re not going to starve to death for about a month, but food can help keep you mentally alert, energized and warm. Protein bars or similar are an excellent source of emergency calories that store for a long time and aren’t really subject to damage.

Since you’re relying on a vehicle, you’re also going to want a basic tool kit to repair it, paying special attention to tire replacement. Spare tubes, tire levers, the wrenches you need to remove the wheels, etc. It’s probably a good idea to go ahead and fill your tubes with puncture-preventing Slime right now, before you need to rely on the bike for emergency transportation.

To that basic list, you may also want to add defense. While simply fleeing any potential threat remains the best way to exploit a bike’s benefits — speed, maneuverability — and ameliorate its disadvantages — the rider and passenger are exposed — you may want to consider carrying some sort of weapon. I’d go with the ESEE Junglas that arrived at my house last night. It doubles as a survival knife for processing firewood and building shelters, while its 16-inch reach should give adequate advantage over any zombie attackers. Whatever you choose, make sure it attaches to the motorcycle (you don’t want to fall onto a 16-inch knife in a crash) securely and safely.

Honda XR650L
Honda XR650L

Step Four: Plan Your Movements
When we interviewed barefoot survival expert Cody Lundin, he warned about the fruitlessness of simply fleeing a city, sans destination. It’s exceptionally hard to survive in the wilderness, unsupported, for more than a few days. And you simply can’t carry enough food and water on a bike to last more than a week or so. The solution? Have a destination planned and get there as quickly as possible.

Be it a family home, secluded cabin, boat, or cave, make sure it’s stocked with adequate supplies for you and to maintain/repair/service your bike. Extra gas is a great idea, but be aware that it degrades over time. Treat any long term supplies with an additive like Stabil.

If you’re Bugging In, rather than Out, a bike makes a great vehicle for reconnaissance and foraging. A battery powered radio can help keep you apprised of any Zombie troop movements, supply drops or off-limit zones in your area. Also, stay well away from the men with guns. Know multiple local sources for things like medicine, clean water and food and plan routes that avoid areas of danger. Because all the bikes listed above are very quiet as stock and because the way a bike moves through an urban area is impossible to recreate with any other vehicle, you’ll be hard to track. Maximize that quality by using circuitous routes to avoid leading potential enemies back to your location and remember to store your motorcycle securely out of sight.

Dainese Teren
Dainese Teren

Step Five: Dress For Success
You know what would really stink? Buying and building the ideal survival motorcycle, loading it up with supplies, then setting out for your Bug Out Location only to topple over and break your leg, then watch all your carefully-laid plans go up in smoke as Zombies consume your brain. Luckily, all the impact-reducing, anti-abrasion, anti-penetration, full-range-of-movement qualities of good motorcycle gear apply to fighting off voracious packs of the undead too.

A full-face helmet will protect your face, head and neck from bites (or the baseball bats of fellow survivors) just as well as it will against impacts with the road. A good Cordura or Leather (or similar) suit provides armor across your back, chest, shoulders and elbows, while providing a shell which should be impervious against teeth or claws and provide some protection against edged weapons. Sturdy boots give you solid footing, supporting your ankles as you bear weight on uneven surfaces while providing incredible penetration and impact protection for you feet and lower legs.

Even in a more mundane disaster scenario such as an earthquake, flood or nanobot rampage, emergency services and hospitals will quickly be overwhelmed and, even if they weren’t, the traffic and possible damage to roadways would drastically impact their response time. Keeping yourself safe from harm becomes even more important when the chips are down.

What’s your plan to survive the zombie apocalypse?

Related Links:

Review: 2013 Honda XR650L
How To: Ride Off-Road
Lists: Best Dual Sport Motorcycles


  • grindz145
  • Generic42

    You for got to add: “While zombies are attracted to almost all noise, they ignore the sound of motorcycles” Per The Walking Dead and Daryl’s ride.

    • ccc40821

      Jeez, I thought this was an excellent way to end the stupid ‘loud pipes save lives’ discussion.

  • Richard Gozinya

    This is the only bike for the zombie apocalypse.

  • Michael Howard

    As much as I love my bike and love riding, in a survival situation I think I’ll “pussy up” and hide in a mobile cage that can run over/though whatever gets in my way. ;)

    • Blixa

      I’ve considered this scenario a bit myself and always concluded that in a cannibalism situation, a car is best. Although, yeah, fleeing the zombies by bike is a million times cooler.

      • E Brown

        My plan is diesel cargo van as mobile base with dirt bike in/on the back for foraging and recon.

    • runnermatt

      I recommend the Local Motors Rally Fighter for this strategy, but due to cost and rarity you probably won’t find one. In that case a Ford Raptor or Jeep Rubicon.

    • JD

      There should be plenty of military HummWV’s laying around, they take no diesel and they need no key….

  • hangaround

    The bike should have a kickstarter, so you can still flee the undead when your on low battery. You should as well be able to cover the headlamp or switch off the lighting for better camouflage during night. For Survivalists: It might be useful to carry one or two bear traps with you. They are easy and quickly to use, will provide you with food and can defend your bike from looters during the night.

  • LS650

    I’m thinking a Rokon would be ideal. Zombies shuffle along pretty slowly, so your bike doesn’t have to be fast, but you need to carry fuel and supplies…

    • Mr.Paynter

      Close but a bit quicker!

      • Brian

        and a TeeDub would probably get better gas mileage than the Rokon and the XR650 or DR650.

  • Piglet2010

    Aerostich Motel:

    Be sure to get the Competition Back Pad, as the larger size really helps when sleeping on rough ground (or even just napping under a picnic table during a mundane trip):

  • Brian

    I am surprised you didn’t mention the outfitting of a chainsaw for said situational capabilities. Something akin to this -> because if you need to clear a path for further getaway, or cut your way through a swath of undead you happen to get cornered into encountering.

  • markbvt

    For what it’s worth… Elijah Wood’s dual sport in “Deep Impact” was actually a Yamaha XT225, not a 650. Better choice for a scrawny kid anyway.

    I think my personal choice for a post-apocalypse bike would be a Yamaha WR250R. One of the lightest, best-suspended dual sports available, and it gets awesome gas mileage.

    • Richard Gozinya

      The problem with most choices is that they run on gasoline. In a post-apocalyptic scenario that’s going to be the first thing to run out. The Hayes M1030 on the other hand can run on Diesel, JP8, Kerosene, Biodiesel, WVO, and probably a couple of other things. It also gets insanely good fuel economy. Harder to get, but once you have it, no worries.

  • El Isbani

    There’s a previous RideApart entry that already endorses the Suzuki DR650 as the choice for a zombie apocalypse.

  • SteveNextDoor

    FYI, an alternative to cotton balls as a fire starting material I like to use for camping is lint collected from the lint trap on a clothes dryer. Highly flammable. You can use the micro-film canisters for waterproof storage (yes, these were originally made to hold things other than your “prescriptions”) or I like those small tubes that stuff like Airborne comes in.

    As far as a zombie ‘pocalypse tool / melee weapon, accept no substitute: Trucker’s Friend (not the one with fishnets) — axe head, hammer, nail puller, pry bar and other stuff that adds up to, “Bite me? B*tch, please.”

    • blackcayman

      while that clearly is a great multipurpose tool, and one you should have. The number one tool for the Zombie Apocalypse is a real samurai sword – have you seen the walkig dead?

    • Mr.Paynter

      I can has?

    • hangaround

      That firestarter tip with the lint from a clothes dryer is excellent, i never thought about that! I love preppers!

      • Wes Siler

        It’s actually kind of a pain. To make them waterproof, you have to melt a bunch of candlewax and soak each wad of lint in it to coat the exterior completely. With vaseline and cotton balls, you just put a handful of vaseline in a ziploc bag, throw cotton balls in it, seal the bag and smoosh them around a bit until they’re all coated. Much less hassle and they’re easier and more effective to use too, just pull one apart to expose the dry interior, hit that with a spark and you have a solid two minutes of four-inch high flame to work with.

    • JD

      You should look up the “hooligan entry tool” it trumps that, but having both would not be a bad idea.

      • DrRideOrDie

        anything with a point like that or hook type setup would not be advantageous. It would likely get stuck in flesh and bone rendering it useless and you temporarily immobile as you struggle to free it. The samurai sword is a good option when wielded correctly as it can effectively completely sever head or limb in one swing as well as pierce. The option I have went with is a custom made machete that is the exact length as my femur. I had considered the potential for injury during a crash with it attached to my body but figured I could offset that risk by attaching it to my leg so that it works like a brace instead. A well handled machete is lethal, i.e. The Book of Eli

  • CruisingTroll

    The Real Step One: Be lucky, very lucky. No amount of skill, preparedness and equipment will help when you’re at Ground Zero for the impact, are Patient Zero, etc.

    How much does luck matter? Read a biography of George Washington, and one of Winston Churchill, to get some sense.

    This is not a call on my part for fatalism, simply a call that folks recognize the reality.

    (Oh, and stay away from the following places:

    New York City.
    Golden Gate Bridge.
    The White House / US Capitol Building.
    The Eiffel Tower
    Tower of London
    Pyramids of Gaza


    Those are the places that ALWAYS seem to get plastered.

    You’ve been warned. :D

  • CruisingTroll

    Aside from being lucky, one must quickly determine what Zombie Paradigm is in play, because knowing that can quickly allow you to go from simply suriving the Zombie Apocalypse to rapidly putting an end to it.

    Are they Voodoo Zombies? If so, then hop on your trusty moto, hunt down the Voodoo priest and kill him (or her). Voila, zombie problem solved.

    Perhaps they’re Alien Parasite Zombies. Again, hop on the trusty moto, head to your nearest vintage music store, pick up a couple of Slim Whitman tapes and a boombox, start blasting. Parasites explode, zombie heads explode, problem solved.

    On the other hand, if they are Classic Undead Zombies, whether reanimated by a Necromancer or by your garden variety evil priest, your best bet is to high tail it on the moto to a monastery. Round up a few hearty men of God and they can blast the zombies into oblivion through their faith, although it’s likely some shootin and slicing might be needed as well. CUZ’s are similar to Voodoo Zombies, some folks will group them together. The key difference is that killing the creator of CUZ’s simply turns them loose from control. Useful in that they won’t ALL be chasing you, but problematic because now the Zombies will be wandering all over the place.

    Last, and most popular recently, are the Bio-Zombies, infected with some dastardly plague. Lotsa advice on how to handle those is available through the media.

  • Mykola

    Raise your hand if you think the “zombie apocalypse” meme is a little too played-out and/or half-assedly mainstream and/or half-assedly referenced by softies (my/yourself included) a little too often in real life

    • CruisingTroll

      The Zombie Apocalypse is, for a great many people, merely a stand-in for the collapse of order. It’s considered very impolite to discuss in public blowing your neighbor’s head off with a shotgun a week after the electric grid fails. So instead, the discussion is about decapitating your neighbor, WHO HAS BEEN TURNED INTO A ZOMBIE.

      To date, no sharks have been jumped, not even slow, zombie sharks. Much dodging of Sharknados may be necessary though until the threat of a “zombie” apocalypse fades…. (It’s important to pay attention to HOW the zombies are created… bio-zombies are the most prevalent now because the threat seems much more real than the other methods…)

  • hangaround

    Yup, you’re right.

  • nomad2495

    With all due respect to Daryl, his bike is absolutely retarded, No bike could handle worse than a 6 foot tall chopper in any situation. They just tried to make him cool (they don’t need to) with that bike.

  • David Thompson

    why run from them when all you need is a ar-15 from here