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Thread: Too bad BMW does want to sell cop motorcycles........

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    Registered User motorman587's Avatar
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    Too bad BMW does want to sell cop motorcycles........

    I am teaching a 2 week police instructor school and it sucks that about 1/3 of the class made comments about how they wish they could ride something other than a Harley. With that being said you do not see BMW at any rodeo's or supporting any other law enforcement event. I know that this would cost money which BMW does not have to spend because the LEO in motorcycle is so small but it would be nice and I know that BMW could take the market with the right LEO/dealer support.
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    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Harley clutches can take one heck of a lot more abuse than a BMW clutch, and their heavier flywheels make the engine easier to modulate.
    Harley's wheels are also less likely to suffer damage when hopping curbs (or hitting potholes or road debris).
    I've heard quite a few times that the Kawasakis were the best at off-roading.

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    na1g
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    I can't imagine riding my R1200RT for two miles at parade (walking) speed, feathering the clutch and lurching from off to on-throttle. I'm also not too keen

    peteon riding a Harley at those speeds either, especially on a really hot summer day.

    I don't know what kind of deal H-D gives police forces, but they continue to dominate because of the moto officers' familiarity with them, the buy American thing, low maintenance costs, low seat and the suitability for slow speed work.

    For higher speed work the RT would be the winner. Don't see many (any) H-Ds in the Tour de France bicycle race fleet. Lots of BMWs and Kawasaki GTR/Concours which seem to be the official m-c of cycle racing.

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    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    For police work, a maxi-scooter (BMW, Suzuki or Honda) would be a better choice than a RT, Harley or Kawasaki. The large ones are faster, handle better and are easier to ride in slow speed and traffic situations than a Harley. Water cooling would be better for parade and stopped traffic. The best maxi-scooter for police work would probably be the Burgman 650 with a wet clutch.

    I know it is not "manly" enough for it to ever happen but if you look at it objectively, it would be the most practical and cheapest way to go.
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    I have been involved in the sales and servicing of police units. RTP's to be exact. There are many police departments that want to buy American despite the fact H-D is not necessarily American. The clutch issues discussed in post #2 is accurate I'm sorry to say. BMW even has a policy where they'll warranty 1 clutch replacement for an RTP. The training courses are truly difficult on the single plate dry clutches.

    My experience with LEO's is most officers prefer a BMW by far. There are a few holdouts as you would expect but the RTP's continue to impress. Can you imagine a police chase at 100 + mph on a Harley?

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    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    I have been involved in the sales and servicing of police units. RTP's to be exact. There are many police departments that want to buy American despite the fact H-D is not necessarily American. The clutch issues discussed in post #2 is accurate I'm sorry to say. BMW even has a policy where they'll warranty 1 clutch replacement for an RTP. The training courses are truly difficult on the single plate dry clutches.

    My experience with LEO's is most officers prefer a BMW by far. There are a few holdouts as you would expect but the RTP's continue to impress. Can you imagine a police chase at 100 + mph on a Harley?
    I guess they'll have to wait for the RTPLC.
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    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by na1g View Post
    I can't imagine riding my R1200RT for two miles at parade (walking) speed, feathering the clutch and lurching from off to on-throttle. I'm also not too keen

    peteon riding a Harley at those speeds either, especially on a really hot summer day.

    I don't know what kind of deal H-D gives police forces, but they continue to dominate because of the moto officers' familiarity with them, the buy American thing, low maintenance costs, low seat and the suitability for slow speed work.

    For higher speed work the RT would be the winner. Don't see many (any) H-Ds in the Tour de France bicycle race fleet. Lots of BMWs and Kawasaki GTR/Concours which seem to be the official m-c of cycle racing.
    RTP's have a lower geared final drive than a RT.
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    Droptine1968
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    Quote Originally Posted by na1g View Post
    I can't imagine riding my R1200RT for two miles at parade (walking) speed, feathering the clutch and lurching from off to on-throttle. I'm also not too keen

    peteon riding a Harley at those speeds either, especially on a really hot summer day.

    I don't know what kind of deal H-D gives police forces, but they continue to dominate because of the moto officers' familiarity with them, the buy American thing, low maintenance costs, low seat and the suitability for slow speed work.

    For higher speed work the RT would be the winner. Don't see many (any) H-Ds in the Tour de France bicycle race fleet. Lots of BMWs and Kawasaki GTR/Concours which seem to be the official m-c of cycle racing.
    IMO, and from what I can tell, the other side of the Atlantic embraces sport touring models in a much higher percentage then in the US. Where in the US, because of HD marketing, a kool-aid drinker mentality was created towards the V Twin engine design, and cruiser style bikes, including the Japanese imports.
    Of course there will always be the "buy American" push when it comes to police bikes in the US, but I believe that efficiency, officer safety(including ride characteristics, handling, etc) should be much more important then any other factors. If HD cannot supply it, then a department will look elsewhere. There are probably no police departments in Germany using HD's.
    2005 R1200RT

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    Most US police chiefs are considered dinosaurs, and that's who make policy and rarely change anything. Around 1985 I questioned why my department was doing something in a certain way that I considered to be archaic. In response I received a blank look for a moment, and then the actual words..."Because that's the way we have been doing it since 1950."

    "Buy American" has a lot to do with it, and so does Harley Davidson's absolute committment to do whatever it takes to keep it's share of the market. Just try and get a $99/month lease payment on an almost 30K motorcycle. That's what Harley offered U.S. police departments.

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    Registered User motorman587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicVW View Post
    Most US police chiefs are considered dinosaurs, and that's who make policy and rarely change anything. Around 1985 I questioned why my department was doing something in a certain way that I considered to be archaic. In response I received a blank look for a moment, and then the actual words..."Because that's the way we have been doing it since 1950."

    "Buy American" has a lot to do with it, and so does Harley Davidson's absolute committment to do whatever it takes to keep it's share of the market. Just try and get a $99/month lease payment on an almost 30K motorcycle. That's what Harley offered U.S. police departments.
    The $99 lease has not been about for the last 15 years..........starting to sound like your dinosaur chief.........lol
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  11. #11
    Registered User motorman587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    Harley clutches can take one heck of a lot more abuse than a BMW clutch, and their heavier flywheels make the engine easier to modulate.
    Harley's wheels are also less likely to suffer damage when hopping curbs (or hitting potholes or road debris).
    I've heard quite a few times that the Kawasakis were the best at off-roading.
    I respectfully disagree about the clutch. I would go through clutches with a Harley x3. My RTP with doing rodeos and training about 40K before a clutch replacement. In the 16 years of riding a police motorcycle never had problem with damage wheel on a BMW, so I do not know where you getting your facts.
    John
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorman587 View Post
    I respectfully disagree about the clutch. I would go through clutches with a Harley x3. My RTP with doing rodeos and training about 40K before a clutch replacement. In the 16 years of riding a police motorcycle never had problem with damage wheel on a BMW, so I do not know where you getting your facts.
    John, my experience is exactly the opposite to yours. Most LEOs that were trained on and are used to the Harley clutch will burn out a BMW clutch if they feather it the same way.

    Here's a direct quote from BMW's own 1200 RT-P brochure which backs up Paul's comment....

    BMW utilizes a different clutch system than some of our competitors. BMW's clutch is a hydraulic (self-adjusting) single-plate dry clutch as used in cars and trucks, well proven for long life. Our competitors utilize a multi-plate wet clutch, which runs in an oil bath.
    The primary difference between the two designs is that the dry clutch operates at the end of the engine crankshaft before the primary gear reduction. The wet clutch design operates after the primary gear reduction. Meaning, that for a given RPM on a dry clutch design, the same RPM on a wet clutch design will be turning that wet clutch surface approximately half as fast (feet-per-second at the plate surface). Conversely, if you have been trained to ride a wet clutch motor, you will need to greatly reduce the RPM on the dry clutch motor to keep from over-heating it. How long would any wet clutch last if you grey-area slipped that clutch at 5,000 rpm?

  13. #13
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Lost in the whole clutch discussion is the fact that the new wethead RT will have a wet clutch, rendering all comparrisons of the dry clutch to other brands totally moot. I am fairly confident that the RTP variant of the RT will be available in coming rounds of mount selection.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  14. #14
    Registered User motorman587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicVW View Post
    John, my experience is exactly the opposite to yours. Most LEOs that were trained on and are used to the Harley clutch will burn out a BMW clutch if they feather it the same way.

    Here's a direct quote from BMW's own 1200 RT-P brochure which backs up Paul's comment....

    BMW utilizes a different clutch system than some of our competitors. BMW's clutch is a hydraulic (self-adjusting) single-plate dry clutch as used in cars and trucks, well proven for long life. Our competitors utilize a multi-plate wet clutch, which runs in an oil bath.
    The primary difference between the two designs is that the dry clutch operates at the end of the engine crankshaft before the primary gear reduction. The wet clutch design operates after the primary gear reduction. Meaning, that for a given RPM on a dry clutch design, the same RPM on a wet clutch design will be turning that wet clutch surface approximately half as fast (feet-per-second at the plate surface). Conversely, if you have been trained to ride a wet clutch motor, you will need to greatly reduce the RPM on the dry clutch motor to keep from over-heating it. How long would any wet clutch last if you grey-area slipped that clutch at 5,000 rpm?
    Again I been on cop motorcycle for 16years and rode BMW 10 years. I know how to ride a BMW. There is quote that proves my point. BMW is a dry clutch, well proven for long life.........with that said and all that other stuff is blah. It is real simple to have your BMW clutch last forever. "Do not use your rear brake". Period. Simple.....................but because this is an open forum on a public web site, hammer away, but do use the rear brake.
    John
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  15. #15
    BMW Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorman587 View Post
    Again I been on cop motorcycle for 16years and rode BMW 10 years. I know how to ride a BMW. There is quote that proves my point. BMW is a dry clutch, well proven for long life.........with that said and all that other stuff is blah. It is real simple to have your BMW clutch last forever. "Do not use your rear brake". Period. Simple.....................but because this is an open forum on a public web site, hammer away, but do use the rear brake.
    Your comments have no basis in reality I'm sorry to say. You obviously have been successful with your own clutch. The reality is this is a known issue in the world of police motorcycles. Sorry, I only have experience in selling and servicing them.

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