Saturday, September 19, 2009

Atlanta Police Motorcycles Squad

Police motorcycle

A police motorcycle is a motorcycle used by various police forces and departments. They may be custom designed to meet the requirements unique of a particular use. A police motorcycle is often called a "motor" by police officers in the United States. Similarly, motorcycle units are known as "motor units" and motorcycle officers are known as motor officers.

The maneuverability of the motorcycle on crowded streets offer advantages not provided by larger, more traditional police vehicles.

The motorcycle's relatively small size allows it to get to accident scenes more quickly when incidents such as traffic collisions slow down access by four-wheel vehicles.


Police officers have used motorcycles—primarily for the enforcement of traffic laws and as escort vehicles—since the early 20th century.

Chief August Vollmer of the Berkeley, California Police Department is credited with organizing the first official police motorcycle patrol in the United States in 1911. However, several police forces around the country reported using motorcycles as patrol vehicles earlier. Harley-Davidson credits Detroit, Michigan as being the first purchaser of police motorcycles in 1908. The police department in Evanston, Illinois also purchased a belt-driven motorcycle for its first motorcycle police officer in 1908, and the Portland, Oregon Police Bureau had a police officer who used his personal motorcycle to patrol the city as early as 1909.

The role of the motorcycle as inexpensive public transportation evolved in the 1930s, and their use by police and the armed forces also grew, providing a stable production market for the more utilitarian machines, especially as Europe rearmed after World War.

Motorcycles Used

Police motorcycles in the United States and Canada typically use purpose-built motorcycles marketed by Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, Honda, or BMW. Kawasak Police Motorcycles, which were built for the US market in Lincoln, Nebraska, ceased production in September 2005.

In Germany, BMW Motorrad is the largest provider of motorcycles for authority use.

In the United Kingdom the most common police motorcycles are the BMW RT series and the Yamaha FJR1300. Police forces have withdrawn the Honda ST1300 Pan-European since the death of an officer was blamed on the machine. Some police forces also use scooters within towns, or special-purpose machines such as unmarked (covert), or off-road motorcycles.

Of the British manufacturers themselves, Triumph motorcycles, built at Meriden, were used by some British and mainly Commonwealth police forces until 1983 when the factory closed. The police version of the Triumph Thunderbird was nicknamed the Saint, an acronym of "Stops Anything In No Time". Norton's Commando Interpol and later Wankel rotary engine Interpol 2 motorcycle were used by some British forces until that firm's collapse in the early 1990s.

Other marques such a BSA were used by some forces although only the Velocette LE 'noddy-bike' model proved as popular with the police as the Triumphs.

In 2008, BMW claimed to be the largest seller of motorcycles for authority use, as more than 100,000 BMW motorcycles were in official use in over 150 countries on five continents.

In 2007, BMW sold 4,284 police motorcycles worldwide. BMW produces police-specific models such as the R1200RT and R900RT, the latter not available to the general public. More than 225 U.S. law enforcement agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, have BMW authority motorcycles in their fleets of patrol vehicles.

Harley-Davidson has maintained a long relationship with police departments and law-enforcement agencies.

For the 2009 model year, Harley-Davidson offers the FLHTP Electra Glide, the FLHP Road King, the XL883 Sportster and the new XB12XP Buell Ulysses Police motorcycle. The FLHTP Electra Glide and the FLHP Road King are also offered as Fire/Rescue motorcycles.

(Info. Source Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia)


dave.allen said...

somebody told me that the BMW engine provides additional protection to bike riders in a road accident

Southern Mountain Boy said...

BMW "R-bikes" have opposing cylinders, which extend a fair distance from the motorcycle, but are not intended to prop up the bike if it falls, or to provide any rider protection in case of a slide. Most BMW police motorcycles are not R-bikes, however; they're K-bikes with traditional inline 4-cylinder engines.

Victory police motorcycles, on the other hand, are designed to lean over until the floorboards touch the pavement, then come to rest. They can be skidded to a stop while leaning on the floorboards and will hold themselves semi-upright if the motorcycle tips over at slow speed -- say 35 mph or slower. This feature provides significant protection to a motor officer's lower legs.

You can find videos on YouTube; search for Victory Police Motorcycles.

Southern Mountain Boy, Vinings
(I ride a Yamaha FJR 1300 -- a common police motorcycle in Europe)