As hysteria about Coronavirus spreads – faster than the disease and possibly more dangerous than the disease – I’m really regretting having sold my dual-sport Kawasaki KL250 Super Sherpa (the Lesser Known Kaw) a few years ago.
A motorcycle that can go off road – can go places even a jacked-up 4×4 truck can’t – is the perfect tool for dealing with Hut! Hut! Hut! WuFlu “checkpoints” and national prison “lockdowns” pretexted and justified by what may prove to be a contrived panic, contrived for just that purpose.
Nahhnlevven – when “the enemies of freedom” supposedly struck – was messy and too local. If you weren’t in NYC or DC it was abstract. But a continental plague or fear of the same is just the ticket for penning in the cattle, with the cattle lowing and mooing to be led to saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety, as per H.L. Mencken’s axiom about government.
I’d rather look out for my own saaaaaaaaaaafety than trust it to – of all things – the government. That would be like giving a meth addict your debit card and PIN number; see what your balance is tomorrow morning. This is exaggerated – but only a little. Remember Katrina – and how “helpful” the government was then.
No matter your political persuasion, realize and come to grips with the hard cold fact that you and yours will be on your own if things get ugly.
It is much better to rely on yourself – and your friends and family. Do not make the mistake of relying on the government, that lice-infested nest of indifferent incompetents, grifters, power-trippers, fools and knaves who not only think they know best but will use guns to convince you that they do.
Which is why I miss the Sherpa, a small dual-sport (on/off-road) motorcycle Kawasaki made in the early 2000s, which was the era of the apogee of motorcycle design, just as ten years or so earlier was the apogee of car design – if you wanted a car with all the bullet-proof reliability, minimalist maintenance of modernity without all the crap (e.g., “assistance” technology and such) that modernity has become.
The little Kaw had more range on 2.5 gallons of gas than any electric car has now – because its single-cylinder engine only needed a gallon to travel 80-100 miles, which is twice as far as any hybrid car. Two or three five gallon jugs of gas stored in my shed means mobility for weeks – months – if there’s no more gas available at the station.
Even if the power gets cut off, I’m still mobile.
Well, I was.
A dual-sport/dirt bike can get to places – and away from places – you can’t get to (or get away from) on four wheels, even if you have a 4×4. A truck, no matter how much ground clearance it has, is too wide for the woods unless there’s a trail and any trail can be blocked. A dirt bike doesn’t need a trail. Everywhere is its trail and good luck following a dirt bike unless you’re on one, too.
Most armed government workers aren’t – and the few that are ride big on-road bikes that are much less useful for travel than your own two feet when the pavement turns to grass turns to rutted muddy earth.
The Sherpa would give me the option to break left – or right – and into the Woods at the first sight of a Corona “checkpoint” and the ability to put real distance, quickly, between myself and armed government workers sent to enforce a “lockdown.”
The bike is also cheaper and easier to keep than a horse, which may become very important if the economy craters due to the panic ginned up over the WuFlu virus. It’s air-cooled so there’s no radiator, coolant, hoses or water pump to worry about. The ignition is electronic and essentially maintenance free. The fuel system is mechanical – a simple carburetor and gravity-feed fuel from the tank above. It can be cleaned out for the price of a can of carb cleaner.
1.6 quarts of erl is all the engine needs. Keep the chain cleaned, greased and adjusted and the tires inflated and that’s about all there is to do. Unlike a horse, which must be fed and groomed and exercised when you’re not using it. A dirt bike can rest in the shed until you need to use it.
On-call survival situation mobility.
Which – fool that I am – I sold in order to pay Uncle. He got my money (again). And now has me by the reproductive equipment, since I can’t head off into the Woods in my Orange Barchetta.
But I’ll never sell that one, even so!
. . .
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