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Motorcycles typically have excellent acceleration and top-end speed, but lack cargo and passenger capacity. They are also typically quite nimble, but have no protection against the elements or physical attack.
- Unfortunately, one of the very weak suits of a motorcycle is the lack of cargo capacity. Typically, the most that could be carried is what the rider can carry on his back. Some cruising models may have the option for saddlebags, which can augment the cargo capacity somewhat. Typically, a motorcyclist will not want to carry a passenger, as it severely limits the handling of the bike. If the rider is willing to deal with that adversity, some models include a small passenger seat for one passenger. This diminishes both the cargo capacity if the pilot can not carry a large backpack, and the performance, handling, and range of the motorcycle.
- Range is typically very low for a sportbike, though it may be slightly better for cruising models. The biggest weakness is the lack of a large fuel tank, so even though motorcycles may get good mileage when compared to a car or SUV, the range is limited by a 4-6 gallon tank.
- Most on-road motorcycles are not designed to be ridden off-road. Even attempting to ride over wet grass in an on-road motorcycle is incredibly dangerous. The suspension and ground clearance do not allow for even the slightest changes in terrain.
- The only exception to this rule is the dual-sport or supermoto bike. This is essentially a street-legal dirtbike that has the suspension travel required to go off-road. Whether the rider decides to use knobbly tires or street tires is typically a decision made after considering the designated usage. Obviously, knobbly dirt tires will be much better off-road, but the handling on pavement will be significantly less than street tires.
- Performance in terms of straight-line acceleration and top speed is the motorcycles best (and only) strength. Some very weak models (<500cc) and some very heavy cruiser models may be similar to a quick passenger car in terms of acceleration, but the average (>600cc) sportbike can out-accelerate nearly all cars available and travel in excess of 160mph.
- One other strength for a motorcycle is the width. Most motorcycles are narrow and nimble, allowing the rider to easily knife through traffic in a congested area. This is a huge advantage when considering mass urban exodus due to panic or other social stimulant.
Defense / Reliability
- In terms of mechanical reliability, motorcycles are relatively solid. The unfortunate weakness is that if the bike falls down in a collision, the brake and/or clutch lever is easily broken and renders the bike useless.
- The defense attribute of a motorcycle is very weak as well. It is very difficult to see what's behind you, since the rear-view mirrors are small and it is necessary to keep focus on the road ahead. There is absolutely no protection from the elements, and if there is any snow on the ground, virtually all bikes with street tires are useless. Environmental threats such as weather or perhaps radiation, chemicals, etc... can be mitigated by proper clothing. The simplest, and perhaps best, way to deal with human threats is to play to the vehicles strength of speed and move quickly enough to avoid an encounter. There is no protection from projectiles or collisions, and it's nearly impossible to fire a weapon accurately with one hand while piloting with the other.