“Motorcycles served as a significant force multiplier for the Taliban as it provided maneuverability and stealth.” US Soldier, Wikileaks document. report Key 5DDF8BBF-A953-4168-BE80-956D5 FO DADDS Tracking number: 2008-027-164804-0812
It seems Taliban fighters are using Chinese built versions of Honda motorcycles for transportation and launching attacks – or in the case of Mullah Omar, to flee coalition forces as he did in 2002 and 2003 (see more on Mullah Omar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Omar).
The Taliban also use motorcycles as mobile weapon launch platforms for rocket propelled grenades and machine gun attacks against coalition forces. In some cases they will buddy up together, one drives while the other one fires their weapon at you.
In some cases its “Taliban on motorcycles vs US Army helicopters and soldiers on the ground.” In after action reports that read like scenes out of a Mad Max movie or something.
In Mexico drug gangs employ “motorcycle gunmen” in coordinated assassination attempts, kidnapping and car jackings. In Beirut and the Gaza terrorists use motorcycles in various hit and run attacks in densely populated urban areas, as well as suicide bombings in some cases.
We did some checking and discovered the Taliban in Afghanistan prefer the Chinese built Honda 125cc motorcycles over other brands – mainly for their reliability and performance on the battle field.
A friend who owns a motorcycle shop in Tampa, Florida said the Hondas are ” fast, lightweight and the smaller models especially are very good on gas. Great for the wife and kids to have fun with on the weekends”.
Interestingly one Honda motorcycle advertisment on the internet read like this:
“Battle Ready. Motocross is war! Meet your secret weapon: the battle ready CRF/R series from Honda. Championship – winning bikes with programmed fuel injection, powerful uni cam engines, light racing frames and the revolutionary Honda progressive steering damper (HPSD) to own the corners” (source: http://powersports.honda.com/offroad/motocross.aspx)…
I don’t know if Honda has any idea that their motorcycles are being used by the Taliban on the battlefield or not, but ad’s like this one sure make you wonder sometimes?
One US soldier put it this way, “the Honda 125 cc motorcycles are the Taliban equivalent to US Humvees”. Watching numerous Youtube video on the internet you can see these are not toys or play thing, but serious preformance motor cycles, especially in all terrain situations (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVsJ0AE7DXQ). Honda motorcycles preform well in various situations, including steep climbs, up rocks and wooded terrain. We found example of people in Pakistan using Honda 125 motorcycles doing incredible tricks ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJXAC9Yb7MM)…
The 125 is a popular learner bike for many due to its highly forgiving handling, long-travel suspension for absorbing otherwise dangerous bumps, excellent fuel consumption (80-90mpg) and highly reliable four-stroke 124cc engine. While not a particularly powerful 125cc bike, generating 11.13 HP (8.1 kW) at 8500 RPM,and a top speed of around 65 mph, the engine is generally regarded as being, with adequate maintenance, all but bullet-proof when it comes to reliability. The XR 125L, for example doesn’t feature a kick start, but its dependable electric start and ease with which this bike can be bump-started negates the need for one.
Despite what you might think, a small 2 stroke or 4 stroke motorcycle is a serious piece of machinery in war. One that gets an incredible 90 miles to a gallon of petrol.
The use of motorcycles is a future trend right now in terrorism that we are all watching very carefully.