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Why do Harley-Davidson police motorcycles have a top speed less than a Toyota Prius?

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  • #16
    I'm sure that the $1 leases that HD offers to LE departments wouldn't have anything to do with administrators choosing them...
    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
    -Friedrich Nietzsche

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    • Aidokea
      Aidokea commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow. I'm sure glad that Nerf hasn't offered $1 leases on Nerf guns to replace our Glocks with...

  • #17
    Haha that is brutal. My theory is I don't want to pay 21st century prices for 20th century technology. I've been riding for 15+ years and teaching the CMSP basic class for a while now. I've ridden hundreds of different motorcycles and roughly 75-80 different unique models, all road bikes. Not one HD. Had my chance back in February when a friend bought his first. I dropped off another bike of his I borrowed and he said I should try the HD he just got. It wouldn't start (he left the key on for about 15 minutes after getting home with it from buying it). He sold it a month later. It's like the gods of motorcycles don't want me to ride one. I've always been turned off by the dealer experience and the attitude of many HD riders.

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    • #18
      In the department I retired from, the officer owned the motorcycle they rode and the city paid us a set allotment each month to cover the bills. That worked out best for us because we could use the machine for escorting oversize loads and funerals. I'm sure the city would have wanted part of the paycheck if we'd used their equipment.

      The best I can remember, I rode six different motorcycles during my time in motorcycle division. The first one was a Kawasaki Police 1000, which was a fantastic performance machine with no frills, then 4 different Hondas that a local dealership converted for police work and my last one was a Kawasaki again.......mainly due to the price the Honda was selling for. I had no complaint ever about the performance of any one of my bikes. At one time, I was the only officer in the squad not on a Harley which was a topic of discussion in the LT's office.......but I flat out told him the Harley was too slow, did not brake and handle as well as the converted Honda and I liked the low roar of power they had, instead of the loud mufflers of the Harley that only impressed outlaw bikers. I seriously didn't want to listen to that all day long. And, a buddy up north sent me a link to an article back in 2010 that said "Michigan State Police objectively prove that Harleys suck". I agreed with them, absolutely.
      If your biggest work-related fear is getting a paper cut, don't try and tell a cop how to do his job.

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    • #19
      Originally posted by 9L81 View Post
      I've always been turned off by the dealer experience and the attitude of many HD riders.
      That would probably be the subject of a whole thread all by itself.

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      • #20
        Never knew Harleys were junk until this thread.

        My former agency had 2 Harleys that were in good condition however just sat and collected dust. Whenever I asked why, I would never get a logical response. A complete waste of resources.
        Gov Blagojevich - "I'am the American dream...."

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        • #21
          I have a feeling there is a dislike for Harleys in this thread.

          I had a Softail for about a year. Not one the job of course, but it was plenty fast for me. I hated to go to the local dealership for anything. You were never allowing we’d to look at anything by yourself and the sales people were high pressure.

          I stopped in one day to get a small part and a new catalog. As I was leaving the anti-theft alarm went off. I stopped and turned around and there were five guys running toward me. I was questioned, my receipt examined and my bag they just gave me searched. They finally realized that they didn’t deactivate their anti-theft device on the part they had just sold me. Not long after that I sold the bike back to the guy I bought it from and never looked back.

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          • #22
            Originally posted by StephDakel View Post
            Never knew Harleys were junk until this thread.
            I'm glad we were able to help...

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            • #23
              Originally posted by FireCop203 View Post
              I have a feeling there is a dislike for Harleys in this thread.
              It's not a dislike- I simply have no use for them.

              Motorcycling on public roadways is exceptionally dangerous, and road-going motorcyclists are only as safe as the weakest link in the "chain of safety".

              The three links of the chain of safety consist of the riding skill set, safety gear, and the motorcycle.

              ALL THREE of those things need to be developed to a reasonably survivable degree of competency- having only one or two (or worst of all, none) of those links developed to a reasonably survivable degree of competency, creates a high probability that the motorcyclist will be confronted with situation(s) that will result in injury or death.

              A Harley-Davidson would be the weakest link in the chain of safety for any skilled rider wearing proper safety gear.

              Ironically, most Harley-Davidson owners choose to wear costumes instead of proper safety gear.

              But the weakest link amongst most Harley-Davidson owners by far, even weaker than their lack of proper safety gear, even weaker than their Harley-Davidson itself, is the almost total lack of riding skill possessed by most Harley-Davidson owners. That's why I avoid referring to them as "riders", because the word "rider" implies that the motorcyclist actually knows how to ride.

              Motorcycle riding is a very counter-intuitive skill set- almost everything works the exact opposite way that lay people assume it works, so the chances of just "figuring it out" on their own, apart from any competent formal rider training, is just about zero. Most Harley-Davidson owners start out by trial-and-error, until they can get it rolling without stalling the engine...and then they just stop learning. What they mistake for an advancing skill set, is actually them just becoming more and more comfortable over time, at NOT knowing how to ride. The ones that survive their crashes, often confabulate the ridiculous story that they "had to lay 'er down" to avoid a crash, apparently not realizing that falling down IS a crash. The reason they make up this story, is because they don't know how to ride, so they don't understand what happened, and they're too embarrassed to admit it.

              Two red flags that can indicate right off that a motorcyclist doesn't know how to ride, is a preference for cruisers and a fear of horsepower (like Harley-Davidsons). Unlike all other types of motorcycles, cruisers have no legitimate functional purpose. And of the three major control inputs (throttle, front brake, and handlebars), the throttle is simplest/easiest/least counter-intuitive to learn, as well as being the LEAST powerful control of the three major control inputs (even on the most powerful motorcycles). So if they're afraid of the throttle, they're probably also not able to steer or brake effectively.

              Another common indicator of a motorcyclist that doesn't know how to ride, is a fear of the front brake. This one is often articulated as a fear that they'll "flip over the handlebars" if they use the front brake too hard. These are the guys who tend to crash from attempting to use the rear brake while in motion, and then go for the "had to lay 'er down" lie.

              And the most common indicator of a motorcyclist that doesn't know how to ride, is the false idea that motorcycles can be effectively steered at anything above a walking speed by pushing the handlebars in the same direction as the intended turn, and/or the false idea that motorcycles can be effectively steered by leaning.

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              • #24
                Originally posted by Aidokea View Post
                But the weakest link amongst most Harley-Davidson owners by far, even weaker than their lack of proper safety gear, even weaker than their Harley-Davidson itself, is the almost total lack of riding skill possessed by most Harley-Davidson owners.
                I'm not sure that I would see this as being unique to HD owners. Instead, it seems to be not particularly uncommon among motorcyclists in general. I see plenty of people riding crotch-rockets/sportbikes, who have not only a total lack of skill but a distinct lack of common sense and a disregard for the most basic rules of safety. I imagine that has something to do with the average age of crotch-rocket riders, but it also indicates that stupidity isn't brand-specific.
                "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
                -Friedrich Nietzsche

                Comment


                • Aidokea
                  Aidokea commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Harley-Davidson owners are not the only motorcyclists that demonstrate a lack of riding skill, but Harley-Davidson owners are where you're most likely to encounter lack of riding skill.

                  "Crotch rocket" is not a type of motorcycle. I think you may be referring to supersport motorcycles.

                  Supersport motorcycles are fully faired, have wheelbases of no more than about 55", and have engines sized for the specific sanctioned road racing production class(es) that they are intended to compete in. The most common supersport classes are 600, 750, and 1000.

                  Not all fully faired motorcycles are supersports though. Sport-touring motorcycles are fully faired, have longer wheelbases, larger more sedate engines, and are not designed for any form of sanctioned competition. The Hayabusa would be a good example.

                  And your perception of the average age of supersport owners is probably skewed by a very visible minority known as "squids". Squids are most often seen on older Japanese 4-cylinder 600 supersports with noisy aftermarket slip-on mufflers, blacked-out windscreens, lots of previous crash damage, and little to no proper safety gear.

                  In reality, Supersport motorcycle owners can be any age. I am a lot closer to 60 than 50, and I have ridden and raced supersport motorcycles for years, usually 1000 and 750 class. My last race bike was a Yamaha R1, and my current supersport is an MV Agusta F3 800 hand-built in northern Italy. Most older guys are financially successful enough that they do not have to rely upon their motorcycles for general transportation use, so you're not seeing them on public roads as much. Many older supersport riders (like myself) ride only in the mountains, at track days, do road racing, and/or instruct on track, so you're just not seeing them. Even when you do see an older supersport rider, they'll almost always be wearing full safety gear, which would leave you guessing as to their age.
                  Last edited by Aidokea; 09-15-2019, 07:57 PM.

              • #25
                Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post

                ...it also indicates that stupidity isn't brand-specific.
                I didn't say that Harley-Davidson owners were stupid. Heck, a lot of them were smart enough to graduate from dentistry school.

                What I said, was that most Harley-Davidson owners demonstrate an almost total lack of riding skill.

                You don't have to be a genius to be a good rider- I can teach almost anyone to do it. The only ones I can't teach, are the ones that are unwilling to receive proper riding instruction because of their own ego problems.
                Last edited by Aidokea; 09-15-2019, 03:28 PM.

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                • #26
                  What kind of oil do you use in a Harley?

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                  • Aidokea
                    Aidokea commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Do tell...

                • #27
                  Regarding the stereotype of the age of the riders of sporting motorcycles- this is an onboard video of an AARP-aged cancer survivor, doing 209 mph at the 2019 North West 200:



                  We watched him race a few years ago, when we visited the Isle of Man TT. We rented a big-bore Ducati and rode the course two-up, at about half of race pace (no more than about 100mph or so).
                  Last edited by Aidokea; 09-15-2019, 09:20 PM.

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                  • #28
                    Here are some other fun numbers from that report:

                    It took the Harley-Davidson FLHTP an average of 19.49 seconds to reach 100 mph from a standing start.

                    It took the Yamaha FJR1300P-AB an average of 8.39 seconds to reach 100 mph from a standing start- 11.10 seconds quicker.

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                    • #29
                      So far, we've been looking at comparing Harley-Davidsons to some fairly pedestrian vehicles, both two and four wheeled- nothing fancy.

                      But how do Harley-Davidsons compare against really good motorcycles?

                      Fortunately, there is an online database of motorcycle performance numbers originally compiled by Sport Rider, and currently maintained by Cycle World:

                      https://www.cycleworld.com/sport-rid...mance-numbers/

                      In June of 2010, Sport Rider tested the BMW S1000RR- it ran the standing quarter-mile in 9.57 seconds at 156.1 mph. That's not the quickest motorcycle they've tested.

                      But even those numbers don't really tell the whole story.


                      The thing about reaching 156.1 mph in 9.57 seconds from a standing start on a motorcycle is, that by the time you even begin to approach those kind of performance numbers, the motorcycle's acceleration becomes wheelie-limited. You can't use wide-open throttle with the clutch all the way out until the top of first gear (at least 100 mph) or the front wheel will come up so high that you have to abort the run. So the acceleration from 100 mph on, once the clutch is all the way out and the throttle is all the way open, is absolutely blistering as compared to the 0-100 numbers.

                      0-60 mph acceleration times of 2.3-2.6 seconds may sound quick, but that's not even close to the top of first gear, the clutch isn't even all the way out by then, and the rider is still fighting to keep the front wheel down.
                      Last edited by Aidokea; 09-19-2019, 03:40 AM.

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