My goal over the last year or so has been to work toward leaving the rat race and all the crap that goes along with it. The hardest part in doing this is of course finding a place to live. I bought a small patch of dirt for $400 and found an old junk travel trailer for another $200 and pulled it out to my land. It’s a crappy little shack but it solves the question of where to lay my head for the night. With a little work it should be quite comfortable.
The next “major” problem to be solved is of course transportation. A bicycle would certainly be the best option as far as cheap transportation is concerned. No gas to buy, no insurance needed, and it would provide daily exercise to help maintain good health. If I were going to be living in town (or even a few miles from town) this would definitely be the way to go-no pun intended.
My “zombie hideout” is 18 miles from the nearest population center however and almost 9 miles to the nearest convenience store! It would take two hours to get into town on a bicycle and another two hours to get back. For once a month trips this might work but for day to day needs this is impractical. I need a cheap-ass means of transportation that’ll get me where I need to go in minutes not hours. A small fuel efficient scooter or motorcycle should do the trick and over the last several months I have be looking into this option.
Relying on a motorcycle or scooter as your primary means of transportation does have its downsides of course. You can’t ride in inclement weather. It’s pretty dangerous in heavy traffic and even in areas where traffic is light you still need to practice defensive driving techniques much more so than you would in a car or truck. But I think the benefits outweigh those negatives. At least they do for me as I will not be living in a major population center and if I’m no longer whoring myself out to “the man” for slave wages then I’ll just stay put when it rains.
Now let’s look at some of the benefits of using a small scooter or motorcycle to get your ass from point A to point B. They’re cheap on gas, getting between 50 and 100 miles to the gallon (or more) depending on several factors like size of the bike, how you ride it, the weight of the rider, etc. Basic liability insurance is much cheaper than an automobile, costing just a few dollars per month depending on your driving record and who you are insured with. Finding a place to park is usually pretty easy and you can go places on a bike that you wouldn’t even dream of with a car or truck.
Clearly a small scooter or motorcycle is one of the best options you can choose for transportation if you are living on a small amount of money. A good used Japanese bike is certainly your best bet but finding one at a reasonable price now days is next to impossible. Time to look at the dreaded cheap-ass generic China bikes.
These things are produced by the millions every single year at numerous factories in China under a multitude of different brand names. Some factories produce these generic bikes with no "brand" on it at all allowing the importer to put their own stamp on the bike.When I first started looking into the option of buying a motorcycle or motor scooter for transportation it was for the simple reason that I'm a broke bastard who rarely has much money so naturally I began looking at the cheapest crap I could find.
Again let me state that if you are lucky enough to find a good used Japanese bike at a reasonable price then you shouldn't even consider anything else. Especially if a motorcycle or scooter fits into your personal zombie survival strategy. For those who aren't lucky enough to find a good deal on a Jap bike however a china bike could be a good choice if you are willing to do the homework before you purchase one.
Keep in mind that even the best Chinese motorcycle or scooter is going to require more maintenance and repairs than the worst Japanese machines. But at 20 to 25 percent of the cost what do you expect. If you have very little money to live on and you don't mind doing a little work on your bike from time to time then you might be able to make this strategy work for you.
In part two I will go over some of the different sized bikes that are available and discuss some of the problems you can expect to encounter when you purchase one of these Cheap-Ass machines. I'll discuss in more detail why you should consider buying one even if you don't plan to use it as your primary means of transportation. And as always I'll try to provide you with plenty of food for thought about the subject.