Uzis and motorcycles (Hollywood or reality?)


May 11, 2003, 12:29 AM
Ok, I was watching Hard Boiled the other night, and I was wondering, how hard would it be to drive a motorcycle and shoot at the same time? Would the recoil from the automatic weapon throw your balance off? One of the reasons I began asking this was because I am getting very very very interested in purchasing a motorcycle (Kawasaki Ninja 250), and I thought it was amusing to see the riders jumping off of ramps blasting off their Uzis (With unlimited ammo supply and perfect aim). Also, on a side note, how many of you guys carry while riding around on motorcycles?Have any of you guys who live in remote areas tried to target shoot while riding on a motorcycle? Let's hear it :-)

*mods- delete this next part if deemed neccesary*
By the way, if anyone here knows a lot about motorcycles, I would be eternally grateful if you could PM me some tidbits and information about what my first bike should be and what I can expect. I'm 5'3, so a tall bike is out of question for me.)

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May 11, 2003, 12:57 AM
Well, shooting from a moving bike means either your clutch hand or throttle hand is busy. Both make any kind of maneuvering hard.

This would be why stunt riders get paid so much.

When I ride my bike (currently a TL1000S), I carry in a Galco fanny pack with neoprene backing so as to have at least a thin layer of padding between me and the gun in case I go asphalt surfing (again). :uhoh:

PS: Very mature choice for a first bike. PM lendringser; he has one.

May 11, 2003, 01:08 AM
Road Warrior fantasies aside I don't think shooting a gun from a moving motorcycle is such a good idea. Unless I was damn sure I could hit my target I would be real worried about where the bullet would go. In a self defense situation it is better to use the motorcycles superior handling and acceleration to out maneuver and enemy. Especially one in a car that can knock you into curb without taking any appreciable damage in return.

As I was writing the above I recalled an article in either SWAT or SOF about Israeli border police using 650 enduro bikes and learning to shoot from them. Both the passenger and the driver from the pictures. The passengers did indeed have Uzi's.

The Kawasaki Ninja 250 is a good bike. They are rugged and dependable. Also small and light enough for a new rider to easily handle with enough power to get you away from a tight spot. I like mine. Also seat height can be adjusted by raising or lowering the suspension.

No matter what bike you get remember these 3 things keep your situational awareness at all times, wear a helmet (leather jacket and gloves when the weather allows), and make sure the tires are in good shape.

Hope this helps,

May 11, 2003, 04:05 AM
There was a terror group in Europe - Germany if I recall that liked to do hits with one person driving the bike, and the passenger using a Scorpion .32 SMG to do the deed...

May 11, 2003, 07:07 AM
Same thing was also pulled both by the Israeli Mafia and by Mossad assasins...

May 11, 2003, 08:24 AM
I was wondering, how hard would it be to drive a motorcycle and shoot at the same time? Darn near impossible. When you get right down to it, doing anything except controlling a bike when you're driving it is darn near impossible. Things just happen too fast. (The WWII Germans used a guy in a side car.)

The power/weight ratio makes response almost instantaneous. Yes,,things do happen faster on 2 wheels. You can tromp the gas pedal of any of the new cars,,any of them,,all the way to the floor, and still not get anywhere the *snap* even a moderatly powered bike will deliver. You can crank the steering wheel a quater turn, and still not get the change of direction even a "twitch" of the bars will give you. Braking OTOH, takes an eternity. What I'm saying is that all your movements are magnified 1K times. Also, on mid weight bikes, you as the driver are one of the controls. Stick your hand out the window of a car and nothing happens. Stick your arm out on a bike and it acts as a rudder.

Couple/few tips I can give you to stay alive and retain skin:

- The throttle is your best friend. Never rely on your brakes to get you out of trouble. Acceleration is your strong point. Learn how to use it.
- You are 100% invisible. No one else on the road can see or hear you. Act accordingly.
- Every other motorist is out to get you. Paranoia is a good thing. It will save your skin.
- Leather is your second best friend. Even in 90 degree weather, heavy leather isn't uncomfortable. Keep as much of your hide covered as you can. A wasp on a windsheild ain't nothing. Take one down your shirt and,,,,,
- Anything bad above 50 mph and you're toast.
- Anything bad under 50 mph and you're toast.
I lived through a dump @ ~ 50 and only had a buggered up knee.
My best friend bought it in a collision with a car @ < 15 mph. What I'm saying is you never know. Try you best to avoid anything bad.
- Helmets are good. Helmets can fail. (see above) My best friend was wearing a Bell (@ the time it was the best you could buy). 600lbs of 750 Kaw came down on his head as he was sandwiched between the bike and the hood of a car. His head expanded inside the helmet and it had to be cut off.
- Experience isn't your best teacher,,,it's your only teacher. Every ride, every time is 100% different than any other. There's some thing in common though. You'll pick em out.
- Cold sucks. No,,,cold REALLY sucks. I had to ride 15 miles through +10 degree F weather with nothing but a single pair of light gloves and a light denim jacket.
- Hail is worse than cold. Matter of fact, hail is the worst possible condition to be caught in. Next to hail are those big-chunk-rock type gravel roads. (Least those big rocks don't hitcha in the jewels)(See above about helmets)(Yeah I caught caught in a hail strom and had to do the quick shift of the helmet from head to,,err,,head- - long story)

Bottom line. It's worth every second. :D

May 11, 2003, 08:33 AM
God, let's not lose sight of the fact that this is a MOVIE. John Woo hires stuntmen and women to preform the action scenes. I wouldn't recommend anyone do anything as stupid as what you see in a film. By the way, if it's Woo -- you know it's not "Hollywood" right? He's from Hong Kong. As far as can't seriously expect realism -- do you? :what:

Chris Rhines
May 11, 2003, 08:38 AM
Louis Awerbuck (himself apparently a two-wheel enthusiast) has an article in Tactical Reality about self-defense on a motorcycle. Check it out.

- Chris

May 11, 2003, 08:42 AM
What's Tactical Reality ?
Does it advocate carbon-fiber motorcycle helmets and kevlar tires?:D

May 11, 2003, 12:09 PM
OK first about firing while riding.. I think it is possible albiet not very effective.. and I would have to agree with the comment on using the agility and speed of the motorcycle to be your primary defense than any firearm. That and I could hardly see any reason one would be put in such a situation.

Now as far as the semi off topic... (it is related to firearms in that the level of attention and concentration required to ride a motorcycle for years on end without significant injury is akin to the mindfull skills and attention needed when handling firearms.)

First of all I have to counter the suggestion to not rely on your brakes and use your power as your primary "get out of the way" tool.
Now this depends to some degree on the type and brand of motorcycle you choose.. but judging from your initial interest in a 250 ninja I'll assume sportbikes are your interest. (Welcome to the club! :) )
But I would have to say 70% of a motorcycles control comes from the brakes. It would be wise to spend hours upon hours on a closed parking lot learning braking skills... what good is the get up and go power if you can't control it when you need to. And remember 90% of the braking effectiveness is in the front brakes. Forget the rear and learn to use only your frontbrakes..
Later on when you can afford it get to a track day and start learning to control your entry speed in corners using your front brake... the rear has its place.. but its not going to stop you in time if you have to pull a panic stop.
I also highly reccomend enrolling in a trackbased class like California Superbike School, or the Pridgemore's classes. There are many out there and they all will add something to your level of knowledge.

Finally... Wear a helmet (Don't buy into the helmets can cause injuries or fail line - no offense to the person who offered such evidence earlier, since it was stated that Bell was top of the line at the time of said friends incident. We are talking the 70's has progressed leaps and bounds since then- the bottom line is this... spend as much on a helmet as you think your head is worth. I'll swear by Arai. Expensive but the best.

I also suggest wearing leather or kevlar/cordura jacket or suit.
a bucket of sweat is well worth the pound of flesh that can and will be removed if you choose to be "cool"
Gloves and boots are a given too.

You are however in America, land of the free and home of the brave.. and brave you are if you choose to listen to squids and ride without the proper gear...

There are two kinds of riders.. those that have gone down ... and those that are going to.

Which is why you may want to look into a "naked" bike as a first... a Ducati Monster 600 or 750 would be ideal :)

Lastly and my apologies to everyone for rambling on about an offtopic... motorcycles and firearms are related in that they require a higher degree of responsibility.
Just use your head and you will spend a lifetime of riding enjoyment. Choose to be "cool" and you could suffer the same fate as a negligent ND.

Yohan if you have any questions feel free to PM me. I'm always happy to encourage and help out a new rider.

May 11, 2003, 01:02 PM
His head expanded inside the helmet and it had to be cut off.

And I presume that amputation of his head was most likely fatal ...?

4v50 Gary
May 11, 2003, 01:43 PM
Easiest way to shoot a full automatic from a moving motorcycle is from the sidecar. Germans use to do it with a MG-34.

May 11, 2003, 04:30 PM
Hal about covered the riding part. If you dont wear leather and a full face helmet, your a fool. They both saved my ??? in a couple of +55 wrecks. As for the machine gun part, you either shoot or ride, you aint doing both. I dont care what kind of SMG you have, it takes two hands and a shoulder to shoot it properly. Things always look so cool and easy in the movies.

May 11, 2003, 05:04 PM
You mean I cant be like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2 while shooting my Beretta over my shoulder and aiming using the mirror? There goes my weekend plans... :neener:


May 11, 2003, 05:06 PM
You can ONLY if you really look like Tom. Oh, check that mirror again, you got a big zit on your nose.:D

May 11, 2003, 06:07 PM
Ak: Dont say that, I might shoot myself in the nose if I try to check my complexion while aiming at the same time...


May 11, 2003, 06:15 PM
The Israeli Special Forces uses motorcycles to chase after Palestinian/Arabic terrorists in urban areas. The motorcycle allows for great maneuverability and speed. However, each bike has two riders - one driving, and the other sitting behind with a Micro-Uzi.

May 11, 2003, 07:26 PM
I tried a dirt bike while shooting my subgun a few years ago to see if it could be done. It is useless for one person. A good way to crash your bike. The preferred way of shooting on a bike is two people with the rear person firing. I have done both shotgun and subgun and hits can be made at reasonable distances with this method.

May 11, 2003, 07:32 PM
As to the possibility of doing anything close to doing safe solo shooting from a moving motorcycle is very close to zero.

Unless you're going to use the 250 Ninja just to get your feet wet and have the cash to take the hit on resale, you might seriously consider something in the 600 class. Something like a CBR600F3+ would be pretty nice: safety via high performance.

I'll second the vote for the Arai brand helmet. They're so nice, you'll look forward to putting it on.

May 11, 2003, 08:59 PM
anyone know of a good place on-line to go for an inital, "look around" at what is out there, at what price levels, and suitable for what/who???

if so i'd be interested. specifically in, Harleys and their more affordable clones.

May 11, 2003, 09:19 PM
I am suprised nobody suggested this. Yohan, one word for you, or is it three? MSF aka Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Let me repeat. MOTORCYCLE SAFETY FOUNDATION! Also, you might want to check out ( .

Good job on thinking about a Ninja 250 to start, buy it used and sell it after you are ready to upgrade. You won't loose that much money on it if anything at all. Remember, wear ALL your gear ALL the time.


P.S. MSF's website is (

P.P.S. On Cycleforums, there is a guy who rides with a H&K MP5SD.

Jesse H
May 12, 2003, 11:45 AM
Signed myself up for the MSF course at the end of the month. Also, Joe Rocket's ballistic jackets offer near leather protection, without the heat.

To keep it gun related, I doubt I'll carry IWB like I normally do when I start riding. I'd hate to go down on a hard object poking me in the hip/kidneys. Tamara's fanny pack idea sounds good.

Here's great thread about motorcycle carry:

May 12, 2003, 01:21 PM
I think HAL is right on target. While it COULD be done I suppose.. the results likely wouldn't be worth the effort. (I'd have to shoot with my left hand while I kept my right hand on the throttle.) Good chance that the rider might end up taking a spill. Accuracy would be terribly bad.

I tried to videotape from the back of a bike once. - hard to hold the camera still with one hand.... AND when the driver makes an unexpected turn the camera is all over the place while I adjust to the change.

May 12, 2003, 01:32 PM
Don't buy a bike smaller than a 500. Lose any idea you have about shooting off a bike. Carry concealed.

May 12, 2003, 02:05 PM
Darn near impossible. When you get right down to it, doing anything except controlling a bike when you're driving it is darn near impossible.

Not true, it all depends on your riding experience. You'll find that most (if not all) drag racers don't use the clutch anyway (I didn't when I was dragging), you can still brake either fighting the engine at idle or hitting the kill switch (and turning it back on of course).

I know 2 bikers that are missing an arm, and they have no problem riding (of course extra clutch lever).

It is certainly possible, the recoil from a 9mm SMG is puny compared to a 60mph side wind (which I can handle with one hand no problem).

So I can say with a great degree of certainty that it is possible and I'd even go as far to say it's easy.

Now, doing it on the dirt or other treacherous surface would be difficult, serious tight turning would be almost impossible..etc..

But it can be done.

May 12, 2003, 03:33 PM
My daily driver is a dirt bike (2002 honda XR400). I am very sure i could fire a handgun or subgun on the highway/interstate. I can easily get one or two hands free for long periods of time, if i installed a throttle lock, it would be really easy. Firing under heavily braking or turning would be very hard, except if i was turning and shooting to the left. Shifting without the clutch is easy to do on a bike, since the gears are always meshed.

For the last part of the orignal post, I would suggest buying used. if you want a sport bike, get a street sport bike. you may not want a race replica if this is your first motorcycle. They are very touchy, you can stand them up in corners or and do a few other bad things more easiliy than on a regular bike. If you want a cruiser, take you pick, and buy what you want, they are pretty easy to drive. Buy and wear leather, helmet (dot and snell rated), gloves, maybe boots. I would find a motorcycle message board and read all of the relevent posts for information.

May 12, 2003, 03:49 PM
--- mounting soapbox and flameproof underwear

I'd take the helmet suggestion with a grain of salt. The only study that supports helmets 'saving lives' has been discredited by several other studies. I used to have a rather huge collection of studies and tests which found an increase in cervical spine injuries among helmet users that was far higher than the apparant decrease in head injuries. Search for Goldman and helmet (or was it goldmEn, I forget) for what I believe is the most honest report on the subject.

I had 3 doctors say the following after I got in an accident:

Neurosurgeon: "You would have been dead had you been wearing a helment, the angle you struck would have twisted the helmet (and your head) and the best possible outcome would be paralysis."

Neurophysician: "Brain injuries are always more severe with helmet users, unless you can be brought to a hospital in 5 minutes. In your case having your skill fracture (as it's designed to) relieved the pressure from swelling."

Phsychiatrist (testing for long term damage): "Permanent brain damage is always worse for those who wear helmets as the damage involves an entire hemisphere of the brain and can involve the entire brain if pressure is not relieved. "

---- climbing down from soapbox

May 12, 2003, 03:54 PM
I'd take the helmet suggestion with a grain of salt.
You take it any way you want. :) I know for a fact that my face would look different now if I didnt have a full face helment on when I wrecked. The whole right side was ground down and wore the screws that hold the faceshield off. If I didnt have that helmet on, that would have been my face. You do what you want, I'll wear one. I'll also wear leathers no matter how hot it is. If it wasnt for that coat and pants, I'd have been one big scab!

May 12, 2003, 03:56 PM
My only bone to pick with Hal is how he says the throttle is your friend and the brake is not (will not get you out of trouble). Speed kills. Anything bad that happens to you on a bike hurts less at lower speed. Kinetic energy is proportional to velocity squared! Almost always choose the brakes over the throttle. Brakes are more powerful than the throttle (you will decelerate faster than you can accelerate). One of the only exceptions I can think of is if someone is right behind you (since you both stop and go faster than most cages).

Like others have said, loafing along on my bike in a straight line, say next to a limo or across from that Italian cafe, I could shoot as many rounds as I wanted without any driving difficulty (but I either wouldn't be looking at my targets or not look ahead).

Oh, and take that MSF class! If you are goiung to ride it may be more likely to save your life than your firearm.

May 12, 2003, 04:08 PM
I think the reason for relying on throttle to 'get you outta trouble' comes from decades of experience driving in traffic. You are far better off having the danger in front of you than behind you, if there is any amount of traffic, using a motorcycles brakes to their full potential will get you run over by the idiot tailgating.

Perhaps it's a different story in rural areas where there isn't much traffic.

May 12, 2003, 04:18 PM
Actually, they both have their uses. I would rather not be where the problem is happening if possible, and a lot of times that calls for throttle. If you have a hole and a clear line, I'd rather go, than to have things start coming apart around me and be stopped or to slow to move. Knowing to down shift all the time so you in a gear to go also helps. Nothing worse than expecting power to roll on and that awful engine lugging feeling is all you get, or worse, a stall. As was mentioned before, you have to drive for yourself and all those around you at the same time. Riding a bike is like carrying a gun, you ALWAYS need to be aware and look for trouble ahead of time. Even when you do, it will still find you. There is no defense for a 10 pointer that just walks out in front of you a couple of yards away.

May 12, 2003, 05:56 PM
The number one cause of two-vehicle motorcycle accidents is some fool turning in front of you (see the Hurt report, still valid). Speeding may or may not get you by them in time but it 100% increases the damage done in a collision.

The throttle has its uses in clearing traffic and responding to scanned threats but not so much in an accident about-to-happen. A lot of the old-timers who advocate throttle-only responses (not necessarily speaking to the posters here) will also say not to use the front brake so much. Total hogwash!

Take the MSF classes. Looks at the braking distance versus speed charts. Take the basic class and after some riding take the Advanced class. Read some of David Hough's books (highly recommend a title I think is "Proficient Motorcycling").

Buy good protective gear. You'll keep the gear longer than your first bike. Dead cow (leather) is indeed the best material to have between you and the road (jacket AND pants) but if you won't wear it on a hot day then consider the Cordura/Kevlar suits. I wear mine in all weather, which I can't say for my old leather jacket on a 100 degree day.

May 12, 2003, 06:04 PM
If you're looking for Sportbike info, the only place to go is:

as this used to be (which will still get you there). There are to sportbikes what TFL and now THR are to guns. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

I second or third or whatever the "helmet and leather" crowd. After working LEO (reserve) and EMT (part time) I quickly found out there there ain't very many middle-of-the-road bike accidents. They are either the bumps and bruises and roadrash type or they are the "lights and siren" ambulance kind, but not much in between.

MSF class ASAP.

And to second what's already been said: the two things to remember are these -

You are almost 100% invisible.
Those few drivers that do see you hate bikes and are going to try to kill you with their cars.

May 12, 2003, 06:06 PM
Back to the shooting/riding thing, my wife and I share an Aprilia Scarabeo that we ride around the city. And yes, the same question occured to me also and I concluded that it would have to be a two person deal.

Now let's go totally Mad Max; would a shell deflector/catcher be needed for, say, the rider/'gunner' if they were firing an AR type rifle? Because the empties dinging off the drivers helmet would get annoying I think.

May 12, 2003, 06:15 PM
'twould be funny to see someone (in a movie) stop, rattle off a few clips worth, and then dump the bike on the pile of empty brass...

May 12, 2003, 06:23 PM
Now let's go totally Mad Max; would a shell deflector/catcher be needed for, say, the rider/'gunner' if they were firing an AR type rifle? Because the empties dinging off the drivers helmet would get annoying I think.

If they're firing it right handed, over the driver's shoulder, I would think not, the shells would fly away from both persons. Same thing with the sidecar, the shells from most rifles would fly away from the shooter. Now a 1919 or other bottom-eject machine gun could get interesting in the sidecar. I'd go for full-length leather pants that go over the tops of my boots in that situation. Hot brass between the legs, not cool, absolutely not cool. :eek:


May 12, 2003, 06:29 PM
I was thinking more of the rider/gunner firing to the left of the bike, with their torso sort of twisted so the strong arm is elbow down between them and the driver.

Ok I can see where this is going.

I'll see if I can post pictures tomorrow. And no we won't leave the garage.

May 12, 2003, 07:26 PM
Recoil from pistol ammunition would have no affect on the stability of a moving motorcyle. A motorcycle at speed is inherently stable due to the high RPM spinning of the wheels.

With some skill and much practice, I am sure the better marksman could easily fire a UZI or such gun from a moving motorcycle.

May 13, 2003, 12:09 AM

Contrary to some opinions, my belief is that the first rule of survival on a motorcycle is: The ability to out-think your own right wrist. You can indeed accelerate 'faster' than you can brake. A coupla things help. Learn to ride with two finger of each hand on the brake & clutch levers. Cuts way down on the reaction time to release from the bar(s), get a grip & then squeeze. And get instruction in the fine art of counter-steering.

As for the bike itself, if you are indeed a raw beginner, my first suggestion is learn in the dirt before Dodge-em - pun intended - on the street. If that, for some reason, is not possible, I'd think about at least trying a 4-stroke single cylinder, dual purpose such a DR200 by Suzuki. They can be a lot easier to get moving because of the broader torque curve at lower rpm. The suspension will also do a better job of absorbing some of the city potholes that can make life miserable & dangerous for bikes.

As for the contention that not much can be done while riding except riding, that's true up to a point. That point does exist, but not for the vast majority of riders. Besides, if you can find a place to practice shooting from a bike that won't disturb anybody, it's the same place you should be learning to ride your dirt bike.

Monte Harrison
May 13, 2003, 10:47 AM
Disclaimer: I don't know what I'm talking about, because I have yet to actually ride a motorcycle. At 40 years old. Yes, that's pathetic. I will some day, though!

Check out .

The Ninjette comes recomended, but general consensus is that it is a bike quickly outgrown. I'm looking at a Honda Shadow 600, because anything bigger may be too much bike for me, and Harleys are too expensive and heavy to lay down. Maybe after the kids are gone, and I've outgrown the Shadow, I'll get the Softtail Standard that lives in my dreams.

May 13, 2003, 12:06 PM
Ok well that didn't work.

My wife, for some reason, thought that trying out different potential shooting positions, on the motorcycle, while parked in our garage, was *silly*.

Oh well.

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