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Motor Patrol 2007

A review of the Big Four Law Enforcement motorcycle manufacturers.

May 01, 2007  |  by André M. Dall’au


Honda Motor Co., a Japanese engine manufacturer and engineering corporation, has been selling motorcycles in the U.S. since 1959. Honda is the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world, a distinction that it has had since the 1970s.

Honda realizes that law enforcement wants very similar performance to what civilian motorcycles already have. With the Honda ST1300PA, motor officers can now experience Honda's legendary quality and reliability. The ST1300PA features a wide range of improved braking and steering control features including a life-saving ABS for crisis stops.

Honda ST1300PA Police Motorcycle

• 1261 cc liquid-cooled longitudinally mounted 90-degree DOHC, four valves per cylinder V-4 engine producing 125 bhp at 8,000 rpm

• PGM-FI carburetion with automatic enricher circuit for a smooth and linear throttle response

• Five-speed transmission

• 679 pounds dry weight

• Front brakes: Dual full-floating 310mm disc with LBS three-piston calipers

• Rear brakes: Single 316mm disc with LBS three-piston caliper with ABS

• Dual-section fuel tank places 5.5 gallons of fuel in the conventional tank location with an additional 2.2 gallons located in a sub-tank positioned low in the chassis

• 45mm HMAS cartridge fork with 4.6 inches travel front suspension

• HMAS gas-charged single shock with five-position spring preload adjustability with 4.8 inches travel rear suspension

• Adjustable 3-position dual-density solo seat with a height of 31.1 inches

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Many people were exposed to Kawaski police motorcycles every week for years when Ponch and John showed California traffic enforcement Hollywood style. Their Kawasaki 1000s used in the old TV show "ChiPs" motivated an entire generation of future motor officers. The California Highway Patrol, like many other departments and agencies, has since transitioned to new BMWs for their motor patrol since Kawasaki stopped producing KZP Police Specials for the North American law Enforcement market in September 2005. However, Kawasakis are still in use with many major law enforcement agencies and many private companies providing motor-escort services.

The KZP Police Specials are stable and responsive with the typical Kawasaki fast pick-up and comfortable ride. Since the KZP is heavy (600 pounds) and a very powerful motorcycle, additional training by police instructors familiar with the characteristics of the KZP is recommended.

Kawasaki KZ1000

• 80 horsepower 4-stroke transverse in-line four cylinder 998 cc engine DOHC with 2 valves per cylinder

• Air/Oil cooling

• Mikuni Bs34 x 4 carb with Transistor Controlled Breakerless Ignition (TCBI)

• 5-speed transmission

• 4-gallon fuel tank

• Double cradle, heavy-duty steel frame

• Rake/trail 27.0 degrees/4.5 inches

• 38 mm telescopic hydraulic fork front suspension

• Swing arm with twin adjustable shocks rear suspension

• Dual hydraulic discs / Single disc for front and rear braking

• 90.2-inch overall length

• 35.2-inch width

• 61.4-inch height

• 6.3-inch ground clearance

• 30.7-inch seat height

• 596-pound curb weight with fuel

André M. Dall'au, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, currently holds a position in corporate nuclear assurance. He is a freelance writer and photographer and a video camera operator who has assisted in producing dozens of programs, including "The Complete History of the U.S. Navy SEALs," which aired on The History Channel.

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Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

doc384 @ 8/13/2009 12:03 PM

So if Detroit started their motorcycle program in 1908 how is it Berkley is credited for starting the first one in 1911? A little research needed here?

webedpaul @ 8/14/2009 2:56 PM

Hello Doc. Yes, Berkeley's was the first organized unit, but several other departments (including Detroit) had purchased motorcycles prior to that for patrol functions. They just didn't formally organize a motorcycle unit. Hope that helps to clarify.

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