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Thread: Harley-Davidson--NOT

  1. #1
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Harley-Davidson--NOT

    This week's Autoextremist gives a down arrow to Harley-Davidson with the following:

    Harley-Davidson. The Michigan State Police fleet of motorcycles just got upgraded, according to the Detroit Free Press. For the first time in its history, the State Police switched loyalties in April, purchasing nine German-made BMW R1200s. Why? According to State Police testing the BMW is faster, handles dramatically better, has more advanced safety features, and even costs $500 less. No surprise to serious bike enthusiasts and other police agencies who use them, but how much faster, exactly? The BMW went from 0-100 m.p.h. in less than 11 seconds, while the Harley achieved the same speed in a lethargic 31 seconds. Top speed of the BMW? 131 mph. The Harley? 104 mph. The biggest cut of all? A State Police analysis labeled the Harley as a "capable vehicle for parade and ceremonial use." Ouch, baby.
    See http://www.autoextremist.com/on-the-table1/
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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    Registered User rxcrider's Avatar
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    Harley must have really detuned their bikes to take 31 seconds to get to 100. The BMW is quicker, but not by 20 seconds.

    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ms...s_182665_7.pdf

    EDIT

    That was the 2007 test that I linked above

    The 2012 test does indeed show that the Harley offering is slower than it used to be. WOW! The Electra tested way slower than the road king for some reason.
    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ms...F_375491_7.pdf
    scroll to page 88 to get to the bikes.

    The Beemer dusted everyone on the road course. I'm surprised bcause I expected the Connie to do better than it did.

    I would like to see a low speed handling comparison.

    list of MSP vehicle evaluation reports
    http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7...6274--,00.html
    Last edited by rxcrider; 07-25-2012 at 08:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Not certain where your numbers come from in the report. The table on page 107 has [edit: I was looking at the first link and compiling this while you were posting the second info. My mistake]

    0-100
    FLHP: 20.35
    FLHTP: 17.55
    BMW: 10.55

    Top speed:
    FLHP: 107.1
    FLHTP: 103.9
    BMW: 130.1

    Quarter Mile Time/top speed
    FLHP: 14.42/92.7
    FLHTP: 15.56/89.7
    BMW: 12.85/103.5

    What caught my eye regarding your detuned comment is how much weight the venerable H-D's 103ci engine where pulling.
    Test weight
    FLHP: 827 lbs
    FLHTP: 835 lbs
    BMW: 695 lbs

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    I took a day long safe rider training with our local motor officers last year, all but one was on a BMW. The guy on the HD said it was mostly used for parade duty now.

    They all said the BMW was a much better handling and performance ride for traffic control, but all said maintenance was difficult because of the poor dealer network and outrageous charges from the closest authorized BMW dealer. The were currently trailering the bikes to another dealer many miles away on their own time for repairs and maintenance.

    They also said that other brands are on the radar to replace the current fleet of BMW's when the time came for replacement , as budget allowed.
    Read that to say Honda ST1300 & Kawasaki C14

  5. #5
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40427 View Post
    They all said the BMW was a much better handling and performance ride for traffic control, but all said maintenance was difficult because of the poor dealer network and outrageous charges from the closest authorized BMW dealer.
    Sounds like local LE agencies should look into getting some BMW training for someone to do their maintenance.

    BMW doesn't care if you do your own maintenance as long as you can prove it was done in case of a warranty issue. This was told to me by a dealer near me when I was drooling over a shiny new 2012 RT on his showroom floor.

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    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NI5L View Post
    Sounds like local LE agencies should look into getting some BMW training for someone to do their maintenance.
    Have several LEO friends that are competent mechanically but their department work rules prohibit them from doing work on their force vehicles

  7. #7
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    There was some controversy when a local police department went form Harleys to Victory.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windso...s-windsor.html

    No mention of BMW in the process. As there is no local Victory dealer, the police dept. had its techs certified to work on Victory. There is no BMW dealer either, so on that basis BMW shouldn't have been disqualified, if it was even considered.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mika View Post
    Have several LEO friends that are competent mechanically but their department work rules prohibit them from doing work on their force vehicles
    I was actually referring to a trained mechanic versus a hobby mechanic.

  9. #9
    Themason 42906's Avatar
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    LAPD rode Kawasaki police bikes in such numbers for so many decades that they were considered a dealer by Kawasaki. They did all of their own maintenance and warranty repairs.
    Now LAPD rides a mixed fleet of Beemers, Harleys and Honda ST-1300's. No Kwackers though. Even the California Highway Patrol has to take their Beemers to dealers for repairs. When they rode Harley FXRP's they hated taking bikes in for service because, as a CHP friend tells it, they wanted to arrest half the people in the dealership, lol. Oil and water.

    The ST-1300 may not be such a well regarded police bike. It is reputed to have a high speed weave when all the police swag is fitted, something I have heard both from cops and from a couple of Honda factory testers when Honda had their big test track nearby (on Neuralia Road north of California City, you can Google Earth it, it's huge).

    Some of those performance differences are moot in tight urban traffic. Rider skill and experience count for more than raw numbers like those cited. You can't uncork any bike on a crowded LA freeway most of the day. I'm sure it's the same in any big city. Look at the weight of the BMW, fully 100 pounds heavier than the civilian version. What a porker. It's 50 something pounds heavier than my V-Rod. Ugh.
    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.

  10. #10
    Themason 42906's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NI5L View Post
    Sounds like local LE agencies should look into getting some BMW training for someone to do their maintenance.

    BMW doesn't care if you do your own maintenance as long as you can prove it was done in case of a warranty issue. This was told to me by a dealer near me when I was drooling over a shiny new 2012 RT on his showroom floor.
    They need to teach their riders how to ride a BMW. Quite a few agencies in Orange County tried BMW's and quickly dumped them for Hondas and Harleys after their officers burned up clutches in under 10K miles. Police motorcycle schools teach low speed riding for a wet clutch, keeping revs up and cycling the clutch in and out to modulate speed. Yeah, I can smell the clutch burning from here, lol.
    I explained to a BMW mounted OC Sheriff one day to let the engine idle and let the clutch all the way out. Just chug the bike along at a fast walk, it'll do it fine. Even accelerating away from a traffic light, release the clutch fully before giving the bike much power. It was a revelation to that cop but he had never given any thought to the needs of a dry clutch. Other cops I have told this to scoffed that I didn't know how to ride and that the BMW was junk. Some cops deserve a Honda.
    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.

  11. #11
    Themason 42906's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32232 View Post
    There was some controversy when a local police department went form Harleys to Victory.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windso...s-windsor.html

    No mention of BMW in the process. As there is no local Victory dealer, the police dept. had its techs certified to work on Victory. There is no BMW dealer either, so on that basis BMW shouldn't have been disqualified, if it was even considered.
    Did you read the comments after that article on the cop Victory's? Hilarious.
    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.

  12. #12
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Ignoring brand, California and some other similar states, what is the sense of LEO administration toward moto forces in general given manpower stress for sworn officers and, perhaps more to my question, support staff and related budgets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 42906 View Post
    ... Police motorcycle schools teach low speed riding for a wet clutch, keeping revs up and cycling the clutch in and out to modulate speed. ...
    I took the MSF BRC last week (It's been 30 yrs since I did much riding and I really needed to start over...Great class, BTW). That's the way they told us to do it, too. I asked how often they had to replace the clutches and was told they had never had to replace a clutch on any of the class bikes...Hondas and Suzukis, from what I could see. For most non-cop riders it probably doesn't matter that much but a lot of slipping the clutch makes me cringe.

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    Jerry Palidino, owner of Ride Like A Pro, announced last year he was switching from HD to Victory after he and his team had spent some time riding them.

    I took his course a few years ago , and there was a lot of slow speed ,clutch dragging all day. At the time he was riding HD's and i was on a Triumph Bonneville.

    At the end of the day I rode the course on a friends BMW RT with the funky brake system, where when you used the rear brake part of the front system was deployed. Talk about a hand full on that tight course

    Still one of the best training classes i have taken so far.

  15. #15
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    i took a course and...

    that's what they concentrated on...slow speed riding. not sure being able to do u turns at 2 mph with your feet off the ground makes you a safer hiway/touring/ whatever rider
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

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