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

  1. #1
    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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    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.

  3. #3
    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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  5. #5
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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?

  6. #6
    Ponch
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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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  7. #7
    Ponch
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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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  8. #8
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    Here in the metro Phoenix area one police force uses BMWs, but the Phoenix police moved from them to Kawasaki.
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  9. #9
    Ponch
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ-J View Post
    Here in the metro Phoenix area one police force uses BMWs, but the Phoenix police moved from them to Kawasaki.
    I think Scottsdale does and I have seen what I think were DPS that had beemers too.
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  10. #10
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    I saw several at Scottsdale BMW but they were all Scottsdale.
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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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  12. #12
    Ponch
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ-J View Post
    I saw several at Scottsdale BMW but they were all Scottsdale.
    I've seen a DPS cop with a 1150 on the 101 and I10. I've seen some 1200's too. There's one Scottsdale motorcop that hides off Scottsdale Rd near Gainey Ranch. He pops people all the time.
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  13. #13
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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?

  14. #14
    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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  15. #15
    Registered User tuckerman's Avatar
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    Clutches aside, I spoke to a motor cop in Golden, CO. He said they used to all be on RT's, but switched to Honda ST's on price alone.
    J.R., 2012 RT
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