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Old 07-08-2022, 12:00 PM
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Default Motorcycles & ATVs in T2k

As a PC, have you used them, encountered them? As a Ref, have you incorporated motorcycles into your campaigns?

In addition to their reconnaissance function, I see motorcycles and/or ATVs as being an important tool for inter-unit coms in the post-TDM world (as fast courier transport). I've also used motorcycles as improvised FAVs for marauder forces.

This article about Ukrainian hunter-killer missile teams using 1980s-era motorcycles with sidecars to shoot-at-Russian-tanks-and-scoot inspired this thread.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-with-sidecars

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Old 07-08-2022, 12:57 PM
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When I was still GMing Twilight 2000, one of the players had a character who was a motocross rider. She was trapped in Poland at the start of of hostilities (she was in Warsaw for a competition). She couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with most weapons except at short range, but made an excellent scout. She used an antique Indian cycle, but I don't remember the stats.
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Old 07-08-2022, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
As a PC, have you used them, encountered them? As a Ref, have you incorporated motorcycles into your campaigns?

In addition to their reconnaissance function, I see motorcycles as being an important tool for inter-unit coms in the post-TDM world. I've also used them as marauder improvised FAVs.

This article about Ukrainian hunter-killer missile teams using 1980s-era motorcycles with sidecars to shoot-and-scoot inspired this thread.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-with-sidecars

-
The USSR produced 9,000 Ural motorcycles based on the BMW R45 with sidecars and about a quarter of them were equipped with the 2-wheel-drive unit on the sidecar's wheel. These were used for scouting and messenger duties and the VDV had them in their units as transporters able to take a stretcher or carry heavy weapons. The sidecar could be equipped with a PACT Light pintle mount and the VDV units were often shown with a PKM on their URALS. The vehicle is relatively reliable and sells well EVEN TODAY in the West... yes you can buy a Ural (even a 2-wheel drive version) here in America.

The US did use dirt bikes for recon duties and seemed to favor either Hondas or Kawasakis for such missions. HOWEVER, the medium weight (400cc to 650cc) 4-Wheeler was HUGELY popular in the US and Canada in the 90s. It took the US Army only a couple of months to buy and ship Polaris 4X4 ATVs (650s) to Afghanistan for the Global War On Terror. I believe the same thing would happen in the Twilight War. The 4X4 capability, low ground weight, small "footprint" (most ATVs are 65" or less in width), and ability to carry SEVERAL HUNDRED POUNDS in front and rear cargo racks would trump the Dual-Sport motorcycle's greater range. SUTs (aka Side-by-Sides) were not really a thing yet, so you wouldn't see very many. The John Deere Gator MIGHT make an appearance in small numbers. "Quad bikes" (as our European cousins call them) would rule in wooded and mountainous terrain.
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Old 07-08-2022, 08:27 PM
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From my exceptionally limited experience with both, it seems like horses have one critical advantage over motorcycles: it's more feasible to ride a horse while wounded, or to double up with an incapacitated comrade. Opinions from those with more personal familiarity?

- C.
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Old 07-08-2022, 09:13 PM
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I did brief stats for World War I motorcycles five years ago. I need to revisit that at some point for the machine gun sidecars used by some units. A British Motor Machine Gun Battery had 29 or 30 vehicles:
6 motorcycles with sidecar with Vickers MG
6 motorcycles with sidecar as spares
6 motorcycles with sidecar as ammo carriers
1 motorcycle with sidecar for the CO
8 motorcycles without sidecars for scouts/couriers/extra men
2 or 3 wagons or cars for cargo transport

Once the Western Front had settled into trench warfare, many of the soldiers from these units were moved to the Tank Corps.
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Old 07-08-2022, 09:26 PM
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The M-Gator started to get fielded in US Army in the mid-late 90s. The gator itself existed, so they might get rushed into service early.

Military motorcycles, Honda or Kawasaki dirt bikes with suitable paint and blackout drive lights, have been in and out of vogue in the conventional army. They were issued in recon units in the 80s, to include combat in Grenada. However, they were pulled back as accident rates increased and doctrine changed. They remained in specialized roles and in SOF, most notably in SF ground mobility teams and with the Ranger Regiment.

Polaris quads got rolled out in the late 90s. One of the early places you’d see them was with AFSOC who used them to support PJ and CCT units during CSAR and airfield seizure.
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Old 07-08-2022, 10:17 PM
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Default Mo' Moto

I'm constantly impressed with the amount of knowledge on this forum.

Prompted by Swag's mention of ATVs, the thread title's been amended. It also jogged my memory- Plate E1 in Osprey Elite's Panama 1989-1990 features a Kawasaki ATV, apparently used by scouts of the 7th ID (Light). Viva Volstad!

Back to motorbikes, I used the forum search function to look for threads about motorcycles before starting a new [this] one. A couple of ancillary thread results popped up.

Teg posted this find 9 years ago (a diesel-powered dirtbike for the USMC):

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/a...AKI.html?_r=1&

And Paul M pointed out that, originally, each M3 Bradleys (the CAV scout version) was supposed to carry a dirtbike for its scout team.

-
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https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook

Last edited by Raellus; 07-08-2022 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 07-09-2022, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I'm constantly impressed with the amount of knowledge on this forum.

Prompted by Swag's mention of ATVs, the thread title's been amended. It also jogged my memory- Plate E1 in Osprey Elite's Panama 1989-1990 features a Kawasaki ATV, apparently used by scouts of the 7th ID (Light). Viva Volstad!…

And Paul M pointed out that, originally, each M3 Bradleys (the CAV scout version) was supposed to carry a dirtbike for its scout team.

-
The “ninja bikes” as they were sometimes known were discussed in Zaloga’s Osprey Vanguard book on the M2/M3. They were removed from design when it was realized that you’d be putting tank full of MOGAS inside the troop compartment!

So the bikes stayed on in light/motorized/airborne units scout platoons and ground cav platoons instead. A lot of them ended up being transferred to SF. Regiment kept the theirs, and the Very Special Forces just buy what they want.

Anecdotally a big draw for 19D in the 90s was the commercial with the guys riding dirt bikes. They didn’t show the motor pool, pulling ammo pad detail at gunnery, or sitting on the screen line while the rest of the battalion is eating hot chow in the assembly area. YACYAS!

Last edited by Homer; 07-09-2022 at 08:52 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2022, 08:33 AM
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Default The Ural

For those who are going "Ural motorcycle?" Here's a walkaround of a 2022 model.

https://youtu.be/qDY9lYOPFY4


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Old 07-09-2022, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer View Post

So the bikes stayed on in light/motorized/airborne units scout platoons and ground cav platoons instead. A lot of them ended up being transferred to SF. Regiment kept the theirs, and the Very Special Forces just buy what they want.
In our motor pool at the 82nd, we had two dirt bikes, but they were never used in training, and we didn't take them to Desert Shield/Storm.
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Old 07-10-2022, 08:26 AM
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Yep- apparently they declined in use pretty quickly. A series of accidents in the 90s killed the last of them in the conventional force.
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Old 07-10-2022, 11:55 AM
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Default Motorcycles

The 9th Light Motorized (High Technology Test Bed) Division used them briefly as well. The engine noise didn't endear them to everyone and as the previous poster noted accidents didn't help.

Motorcycles certainly gave scouts a certain panache' but it didn't mesh well with doctrine and reality.
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Old 07-10-2022, 05:59 PM
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Back in the 90s I had friends serving in the Australian Army's 2nd Cavalry Regiment and they had big off-road motorcycles then. I'm not sure if they still use off-road bikes, but the Australian Army has been testing electric bikes for stealthy recon use.
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Old 07-10-2022, 06:18 PM
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There was an article in Armor magazine (JUL-AUG 98) about USMC LAV units experimenting with mountain bikes for use by dismounted scouts. Maybe bikes are another way to go. Stealthy, no fuel besides what the human needs, minimal maintenance and consumables, and easy to recover/replace.
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Old 07-10-2022, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan View Post
Back in the 90s I had friends serving in the Australian Army's 2nd Cavalry Regiment and they had big off-road motorcycles then. I'm not sure if they still use off-road bikes, but the Australian Army has been testing electric bikes for stealthy recon use.
The ANZAC E-Bike candidate!

https://youtu.be/Ne5ApUOnpmg
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Old 07-10-2022, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer View Post
The M-Gator started to get fielded in US Army in the mid-late 90s. The gator itself existed, so they might get rushed into service early.

Military motorcycles, Honda or Kawasaki dirt bikes with suitable paint and blackout drive lights, have been in and out of vogue in the conventional army. They were issued in recon units in the 80s, to include combat in Grenada. However, they were pulled back as accident rates increased and doctrine changed. They remained in specialized roles and in SOF, most notably in SF ground mobility teams and with the Ranger Regiment.

Polaris quads got rolled out in the late 90s. One of the early places you’d see them was with AFSOC who used them to support PJ and CCT units during CSAR and airfield seizure.
Also, the aerial port elements that set up supply at forward airfields used Kawasaki ATV's. At least they did in the mid 90's, they were attached to my squadron at the time.
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Old 07-11-2022, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer View Post
There was an article in Armor magazine (JUL-AUG 98) about USMC LAV units experimenting with mountain bikes for use by dismounted scouts. Maybe bikes are another way to go. Stealthy, no fuel besides what the human needs, minimal maintenance and consumables, and easy to recover/replace.
GREAT idea! I honestly hadn't thought of that angle.

When I was creating my last solo campaign, I went with horses rather than motorcycles because of how the back story to the lead character's development came to me (he grew up on a rural farm and was used to riding horses for both work and leisure, so he added horse-mounted scouts to his unit).

When I run my next in-person campaign, I will certainly ensure that mountain bikes are an option.
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Old 07-13-2022, 12:19 AM
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I was out doing Uber eats tonight and there was a dude playing around with his brand new Ural bike with a sidecar and getting it to lean and pull the sidecar tire off the ground. It was a nice-looking bike.
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Old 07-13-2022, 11:14 AM
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What would be the stats on a typical quad? Say a Honda Rancher
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Old 07-13-2022, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
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What would be the stats on a typical quad? Say a Honda Rancher
A Challenge article and the Pacific Northwest module have ATV's, PNW has UTV's as well.
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Old 07-13-2022, 07:49 PM
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Oh cool! I bought them all to support a few months ago and only browsed through them, guess I should've read deeper. Thank you!!
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Old 07-13-2022, 08:16 PM
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Challenge #47 p. 15 and Pacific Northwest pp. 96-97, specifically.

- C.
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Old 08-12-2022, 05:46 PM
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Playing in the mud with a Ural.

https://youtu.be/cwCnelwB8xQ
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Old 08-16-2022, 01:40 AM
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Off thread, but...

https://historythings.com/the-many-f...1-the-bicycle/
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Old 08-16-2022, 09:01 AM
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100 years ago, motorcycles were made from bikes, I got to inspect an early motorcycle at an antique vehicle show. The proud owner rode it around, but you could see the bicycle heritage in the frame. Given the Model T engine prototype was made from stove pipe, a cottage motorcycle factory, perhaps with a small generator shop next door could spring up anywhere. Now to convince the leather workers to make assless pants...... Sorry, couldn't help the classic movie reference.
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Old 08-28-2022, 03:14 PM
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I had them used for dispatch and "get arounds" in the XI Corps cantonments in my USMC cavalry campaign (pre-2000 summer offensive). As a gag, I made a point of having the players being constantly awakened by them while trying to sleep after night duty when they were learning the fatigue rules. That's what I always thought would be the biggest drawback: they're just loud as hell. Particularly in Twilight Poland where you don't have all the ambient noise of a modern society, those things are going to give huge bonuses to opponents RCN/OBS rolls. Great mobility, great range; just too loud to be tactically useful. My two cents.
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