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For the last few years, ever since I test rode one, actually, I’ve been dreaming about owning a Zero Motorcycles dirt bike, to get into places where my Syncro can’t. These lightweight motorcycles emit zero emissions (except, of course, whatever is used to create the power to charge the battery), allow you to explore the trails nearly silently, and can fit on rack behind Vanzilla without crushing mpg too bad. Unfortunately, they cost 12 Gs and have a range of less than 50 miles. I might as well (and do) ride my Yeti.

But here’s a provocative, apocalyptically designed alternative: The Motoped Survival bike. It’s a downhill-styled, motor-assisted bicycle. Er, scratch that: It’s light motorcycle that has bicycle capability. Built on a DH frame, with off-the-shelf bike parts, the Motoped used a 50cc Honda engine that delivers up to 120 miles per gallon (or any of a number of other engines that can fit). It’s not zero emissions, of course, nor silent, but it’s a fraction of the weight of a true motorcycle, it can be pedaled, and you can kill the engine on all the downs.

This model is styled for the urban zombie hunter/paranoid bugout/orv guy, which gives it both a very cool stealthy khaki skin and a regrettable militaristic vibe (cue the crossbow). Cost of the frame, without the engine or accessories is $1,999. See more at motopeds.com.

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Overlandia is the art, science, and romance of driving in the dirt. To see more, visit the Overlandia channel page.


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