End of the World Bike - Suzuki DR650
EOTWAWKI, Shit hits the fan, bug out, post-apocalypse. Yeah, I know. Those terms are mostly used by overweight dickheads who wouldn't survive two seconds without wifi or McDonalds. I'm not saying I'm some badass who would thrive in a major disaster setting, as I could stand to lose a few pounds and honestly I had McDonalds for lunch today, but I don't necessarily fantasize about the "End of the World" either.
But....If I did....The Suzuki DR650 would probably be a bike I'd want if it happened. It's carbureted, it runs on 87 octane gasoline, it has a reasonable seat height, the suspension and tires can handle most reasonable off road situations, it has plenty of power and torque, it gets reasonable fuel mileage, and it has the most basic electronics a motorcycle can have.
Suzuki launched the DR650 in 1990, but its roots stretch back even further to the DR600 in 1985. The EPA has played a huge part in what motorcycles look like and what gets imported due to their emissions regulations. Unfortunately it puts manufacturers in a situation where they continue producing the same motorcycle for years (or in this case decades) because they only have to meet the initial emissions standards from the year they submitted the bike for testing. As long as they don’t change anything significant about the motorcycle or its engine, they can continue selling in the USA.
If we look at the glass as half full, we still have access to brand new bikes that look like they’re straight out of an 80s movie, and have all the simple workings you’d expect of something more closely related to your grandpas old tractor than a modern automobile. Just look at the Honda XR650L and Kawasaki KLR650, two motorcycles that have been around forever, and hell the KLR650 just got fuel injection within the last year or two.
The DR650 weighs 366lbs, has a seat height of 34”, and has a wide ratio 5 speed transmission. It could use a 6th gear so the spread between gears doesn’t have to be so wide, but that’s a minor gripe considering the grunt and torque a 650cc thumper can lay down.
It’s not the best at everything, because frankly that’s impossible. Being decent at most things unfortunately pigeonholes you into a spot where you’re not really that great at anything, but that’s ok. It’s good enough where it counts unless you have aspirations to be a MotoGP or Motocross champion. For the average guy living a fantasy life of something that will hopefully never happen (the world ending would seriously suck) it’s pretty damn good.