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

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  • #31
    I’ve noticed agencies in my area have switched over to the BMW. They look really sharp. I stopped by the local BMW shop to see a similar one up close. They are larger in size than I expected and EXPENSIVE. I don’t know if the agencies are getting a discount, but I know I couldn’t afford one. The YouTube videos of the police motorcycle rodeos look like the BMW is giving HD a run for their money. Very impressive videos of both the motorcycles and the officers.

    Looking back, I see my buying a HD was more of a mid life crisis. I was having thoughts of road trips back to my home state, but after riding around in city and highway traffic, I realized it wasn’t for me. I’m glad the former owner bought it back.

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    • Aidokea
      Aidokea commented
      Editing a comment
      Motorcycles other than Harley-Davidsons are usually sold to individual riders as motorcycles for riders to ride.

      Harley-Davidsons are typically sold to individual owners as "lifestyle accessories". They are simply the largest, heaviest, and most expensive element of a costume for the purpose of posing, but have nothing to do with actually riding.
      Last edited by Aidokea; 09-22-2019, 02:42 PM.

  • #32
    This thread has been an eye-opener for me, being as far from bikes as possible. I always imagined HDs to be road kings similar to CVPIs precisely because US cops use them, and you guys know your stuff. I mean, even NYPD uses Harleys, in that hellish traffic!

    Local agencies use BMWs, including offroad models, and Yamahas, as far as I know. People are jealous that they don't get any Harleys lol.

    bike.png

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    • #33
      Dear Lord, I ride a 300 and it will outrun this thing.
      This agency needs to seriously rethink their bike aquisition. Like C3SD said, a Harley does nothing well but sound cool. And it doesn't really even do that well once it rattles itself to pieces.

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      • #34
        Hell, a Honda RS125R would outrun a Harley.

        ...and Harleys don't sound "cool". They sound impotent...

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        • #35
          The department I retired from uses HDs because they are free from our local HD dealer. Every couple of years or so(I don't remember the frequency) we'd turn our 'old' bikes in for new one. The dealer would then sell those 'old' bikes for pretty good money. I don't remember now, but I'm betting we did pay for service and parts.

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          • #36
            Drifting along in retirement here, having fond recollections of duty days spent on a Harley Electra-Glide nearly 50 years ago, struggling around in city traffic with a 800-lb. pig (including radios, etc) fighting me every minute of the day. Later on we had the Kawasaki 900 and Kawasaki 1000 series (seriously fast and quick bikes). To and from work I rode a Honda 250-cc Elsinore.

            Fast forward from the early 1970's to about 2004, and see this old retired cop zipping around town on a Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster (great for the city, not so good for the road trip). Then the bug bit me harder and I ended up with a Dyna Super Glide (capable of just about any road trip requirements).

            I enjoyed them all, right up until the arthritis and lumbar spine injury made it impossible for me to ride for 30 minutes without paying the price in pain for several days afterward. Had to give up that part of my life for good. I miss it at times, but make up for it with the occasional 2-hour rental of a Cessna 182.

            Motorcycles are useful for a very narrow range of law enforcement duties. Very maneuverable in city traffic, but very vulnerable to every idiot sharing the road. Within that performance envelope top speed is seldom an issue; rather it is the ability to maneuver into and out of traffic and limited spaces. I once ran down a 1975 Corvette on an interstate highway with a Kawasaki 1000 model, and I never got above 4th gear, but I did have serious shakes when I finally got stopped and had to put down the kickstand and deal with the driver.

            The fact that a Prius (or any other vehicle) might outrun a patrol motorcycle is irrelevant. No one can outrun the Motorola radio, bringing in additional units from every direction. Use the motorcycles for what they are best at doing; leave the high-speed chases to properly equipped pursuit vehicles.

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            • #37
              To add, my former department's policy didn't allow for our motor units to pursue so the top speed doesn't matter as much.

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