V Strom 650 as a Police Motorcycle - Photo - Page 2 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL650A - 2017+ DL650A - 2017 (L7) and later

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post #11 of 27 Old 08-07-2019, 07:51 AM
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Possibly the Euro spec 250 cc model.... They must hope people don't drive too fast trying to get away.

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post #12 of 27 Old 08-07-2019, 09:19 AM
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With the reliability, low cost of ownership, and performance of these bikes, this is a good decision. I never understood why Harley's were police bikes.

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post #13 of 27 Old 08-07-2019, 11:46 AM
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Living in the veritable shadow of the Orange-and-Black Mothership, it's highly unlikely you'll ever find a motor unit in our state that doesn't run HDs (with the exception of some DNR units that have to patrol off-road trails).

There are a lot of reasons Harley dominates the US police motor market: availability of local dealers, a buy-US mentality, comfort for all-day riding, and more. But in my opinion the main driver is budgetary. Often, HD will lease fully outfitted bikes to departments for ridiculously low dollars. Then, after the lease is up, the departments have the option of buying the used bike at below-market levels. For many departments, often cash-strapped, this makes good financial sense.

That being said, I have certainly started seeing other brands making in-roads. I've personally seen motor officers on BMWs (K1600s and R1200RT-P), Kawasakis (Concours 14), Victorys (RIP), and even an Indian. Harley is perceived, rightly or wrongly, as struggling these days, and that's causing their competitors to pounce.

Based on my experience in both the motorcycle and police worlds, these are the reasons why I feel a bike like the DL650 makes great sense as a motor unit:

1. Maneuverability
Yes, I've seen the YouTube videos of gymkhana competitors, often motor officers, tossing 900-lb. cruisers around like they're trials bikes. But for the average motor officer, a smaller, lighter bike is going to be better-suited for daily use, especially if the environment is at all urban. Sometimes even lane-splitting on a fully-dressed HD is a non-starter.

2. Long-term cost
I think it could be argued that the up-front cost of something like a V-Strom could be made up over the long haul in savings from reduced maintenance, fuel, and repair costs.

3. Motorcycle gangs
No, not the 1%ers -- I'm talking about the dramatic increase in large groups of riders that hide their plates and that drive like idiots through a community. Most of these are on dirt bikes or sport bikes (and sometimes ATVs), and they frequently take off as soon as the police show up in their squad cars. Between the mix of restrictive pursuit policies and the fact that any halfway competent rider can usually outrun a 4-wheeled vehicle, they're rarely caught. Having more versatile bikes in a motor unit increase the chances of chasing these riders down and curtailing some of their behaviors. Cleveland OH had such a problem with it they added some KLRs to their motor fleet.
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post #14 of 27 Old 08-07-2019, 12:01 PM
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" I never understood why Harley's were police bikes."
Initial costs, the departments can do their own servicing.
BMW was insisting on dealer service...pricey.
But the LEO's seemed to prefer the BMW's over the HD's from what I heard.
I had a retired CHP R1100RT-P BMW and that configuration was a perfect touring rig...until it fell over then the sheer weight was a real deficit.
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post #15 of 27 Old 08-07-2019, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RLBranson View Post
Why the skid plate? they going to be chasing dirt bikes?
Most likely to protect the pipe/oil filter/engine from damage during a chase. If you've ever caught an episode of "Cops" on TV, you know that LEOs are frequently in a position where they must jump curbs and go off-road, even when their driving a Ford Taurus or Chevy Impala, to catch the perp.
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post #16 of 27 Old 08-07-2019, 04:08 PM
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I think the Vee police bikes just made mine a little cooler!!!

I havent seen Harley's as PD bikes around in a while but I haven't been traveling much since retiring. Here in AZ what I see most are the Honda ST1100's. I heard from some PD guys that the seat makes them nuts because they hurt like hell but the bikes take a good beating and keep on going keeping costs down.

Seems to me to be a much better choice for Moto cops than a Harley. Still I must admit that in important processions where they are riding low and slow for some dignitary function .. the Harley's they do look the part!

When I was early 20's I saw a group of NYPD motorcycle cops or Wannabe motorcycle cops going through some drills on their bikes at Rockaway beach in NYC.

I was already riding for years but I earned a new respect for those guys that day. On big ol Harley's They had to go up the ramp that lead to the board walk. It was fairly steep and was only maybe 13' wide tops. Half way up they had to make a u turn!!

There were other maneuvering drills but that one stuck with me. I was very certain that I would fall over on my GS750 which was a far smaller bike. Making the turn in 13 feet with rails on both side would have been trouble but doing in in the middle of a steep incline made of uneven wooden boards!

Saw more than a few bikes fall over that day but a bunch of guys did it like they were walking. There were events where you could see competeitions among Leo riders and I attended one with a friend who was NYPD .. some bad Arse riders. Of course this was probably the 80's. Hope they still hold the same standards.

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Last edited by Boriqua; 08-07-2019 at 05:42 PM.
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post #17 of 27 Old 08-07-2019, 04:50 PM
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Cool but I would have picked the 1000 for performance like others are. I am sure budget was a consideration. I think Harley's are being selected less and less these days. Too big, heavy, and expensive.

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post #18 of 27 Old 08-08-2019, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
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Cool but I would have picked the 1000 for performance like others are. I am sure budget was a consideration. I think Harley's are being selected less and less these days. Too big, heavy, and expensive.
What’s this 1000 performance you speak of? The HD’s are still used and bought because they simply work, an American company and are quite reliable, plus no stupid chain maintenance and their low center of gravity makes them more nimble than you realize. I’ve ridden a few retired police edition road kings, I was left quite impressed to be honest.

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post #19 of 27 Old 08-08-2019, 01:03 PM
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I want them to have their best chance to catch the bad guys going up a hill.

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What’s this 1000 performance you speak of?

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post #20 of 27 Old 08-08-2019, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RLBranson View Post
Why the skid plate? they going to be chasing dirt bikes? it doesn't look to have a center stand which would be great for maintenance. they would want to check the oil level often if driven all day every day. I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up with additional small saddlebags.
It looks like they have the same brackets I do for the factory side bags so maybe they are just not on in the photo.

Im surprised you are wondering about the skid plate being an Arizonian. Once you are out of the "city" areas its not to unusual to hit gravel roads. Trust me I seem to find them on accident all the time. Also if you are going out into the desert to chase bad guys they are handy.

I still drive a retired sheriff car I got out here in AZ .. when I got it it had a huge steel Skid plate under it. Weighed a ton

Dont know enough about PA but I know some of its suburbs can go dirt or at least they did back when I was back east.

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