My encounter this weekend with the Arkansas "task force" officer
So I am in the near the end of a 400 mile ride from my place in Kansas City to where my girlfriend is stationed in Little Rock AR. My favorite way to ride is to go through springfield, MO to Branson. From Branson to Little Rock AR is some of the pretty wooded hills, with some nicer twisties, cooler temps, and supposed 55 to 65 MPH speed limits. While I dont consider myself a speed freak, the bike (12RT) just loves to run nicely at about 10-20 over most speed limits.
As I start getting closer to conway AR, the urban area starts picking up with sporadic smaller towns separated by 10 mile legs of open road. On one of these roads I see a white dodge charger PO with a guy pulled over on the other side.... dont take notice of the type of PO, but knowing that they usually roll backup in smaller towns, i slow to speed limit so I dont get popped by his fellow PO. Sure enough, along comes another white charger with the light bar going past. I feel good about my self for recognizing and defeating the 'threat' and twist the bike back up to around 70 (in a 55).
I am in the right hand land, and honestly, am not the fastest traffic on the road... all of a sudden in my mirrors, I see flashing blue lights on what appears to be some sort of SUV, from the left lane coming to over take me. I figure something is going on, but given the lane they are in, they arent after speeders. I pull over to the side and rapidly stop like a dutiful citizen should, at the rate a BMW bike can. The cop goes flying past me, and then pulls into a convenience store parking lot about 1/3 of a mile ahead. I wait for a second, but then all the traffic ahead and behind me pulls out to the road and drives on, and so do I. As I pass the cop, I look at whats going on.. Im thinking there is an issue at the liquor store. Not seeing anything to terribly exciting, I resume highway speeds.
About 3 minutes later, here comes the blue lighted SUV again.. again in the left lane while I am now at 65 (in a 55, though I thought it a 65) in the right lane. Again I pull over and come to a rapid stop. Again, the cop goes flying past me.. this time I am fully stopped and turn the bike off to watch what I think is the show. The cop pulls around, floors it, goes past me and does another U turn.. finally pulling in behind me. It is at this point I figure out its me the cop wanted to pull over. I am over on the side of the road enough, but the cop isnt, and we are on the downside of a big hill. I get off the bike and stand off the side of the road by about 10 feet. I dont want the cop vehicle getting hit and then plowing into me.
At this time the cop gets out, about 23 year old blonde girl with a strong southern accent. I ask, "have you been trying to pull me over?" as I remove my glasses and helmet. She doesnt respond, but instead creeps toward me with her hand close to her sidearm, and talking into her mic about my bike. Finally I ask was she trying to pull me over back there the first time when she went past, and she responds, "you mean when you almost wrecked you bike going over that curb?" I respond, "I at no time lost any control of my vehicle and I never went over any curb... only pulled over to the side of the road and stopped like I was taught to when and emergency vehicle approached from behind." She responded, "well didnt say you lost control of your vehicle, but you were clearly speeding." I said, " ok then, not sure I was, but allow me to get my information for you." After producing my ID/ins/registration, I explained that I had seen the other two POs and though she was conducting other police business in conjunction with them, since she was going much fast than me and in the other lane. At this point she told me that she didnt know those local cops, and she was with the AR task force (drunk driving? speeding? who knows). She then lectured me on my evasive tactic of excessive braking that she couldnt keep up with. I told her that she was never in the lane behind me with her lights on, how was I supposed to know she was trying to pull me over. I came to a quick stop only on the side of the orad, and with no traffic behind me. The whole time I was remain polite, calm, and cooperative. At this point she asked if I had any weapons and after telling her no, she told me she would be right back.
At this point I am thinking my goose is cooked... I was speeding, she was confused and accusatory as to how I handled my bike, and evidently she thought I was trying to evade her. Well she comes out with my info after a couple minutes and proceeds to tell me "as you can see I have to ticketbook; but I did have you doing 72 in a 55." Like and idiot I question as to whether she has Radar or video of this, and she says she has both. I realize she is going to let me go with a warning and a misunderstanding! I quickly apologize for being fast, and any actions I committed that lead to confusion, I was merely trying to be a good citizen and get out of the way.
From this instance I learned a couple things (some are assumptions / beliefs based on the incident).
The BMW can come to a safe stop pretty dang fast.
If a cop goes flying past, give them a couple potatoes to see what they do, even if the cages around you begin driving.
If dont think you did anything wrong stick to your guns, but remain polite, calm, and cooperative, and respectful.
I really think that what you ride and wear matters. I was ATGATT with my 'stich, etc. on. When she made comment about how fast my bike could stop, I took the polite opportunity to explain that I was trained in quick safe stops through the experienced MSF course, and that a BMW bike was not a crotch rocket to do dumb things on but a high performance machine with safety in mind and ABS. She remarked she had never seen one before.
All in all it was an interesting experience... one that could have been avoided if I wasnt a lead wristt, but was for the most part avoided by some luck, some courtesy by me, and some leniency by the PO.
My next assignment is to Germany... hopefully I dont have these problems on the autobahn ;)
B1 Great Read I'm glad you got to slide
I recently had a similar story in AR. I took a little day ride with some other Beemer riders. After we had split up and two of us were passing through rural central AR the bikes we we riding R1200RT 2008 and a R75/6 !973 were seen by a local PO. We impressed him with our passing skills and he wanted to talk to us about it. He was very aggressive at first but after talking to us for several minutes it seemed his personality shifted. He realized these two old coots were not the typical M/C riders he stopped. He warned us about his prejudice for motorcycles and his hating to scrape us off his pavement. Then told us to continuse to ride save. About this time another PO arrived first guys uncle and they became cusrious about a 73 model bike still being riden daily and running so fast. We thought oh no here comes the speeding ticket ( they had us dead to rights there) but we did pass safe. Quickly but safely. They let us go. Thank You AR PO's