Motorcycle: Overhead Valve Twins - Police Bikes
Date: Sunday, October 31 @ 15:15:50 UTC
Topic: Motorcycle, Motorcycles, Motor Cycle
The first police Harley was bought by the city of Detroit in 1908. Specially equipped machines took a little longer, but by 1924 more than 1,400 police forces across America had at least one Harley-Davidson in their ranks. Two years later, an office was established at Juneau Avenue to handle fleet sales to police forces, and it was from this that the first factory police option packs began to emerge. Previously, most modifications had been undertaken by the customers themselves. Incidentally, the first order from CHiPs - the California Highway Patrol - was for the 74-inch Model JD in 1929. Twelve months later, bikes could be equipped with that most vital piece of law-enforcement equipment: the Police Special speedometer. By 1935, two police option packs were available for inclusion on any of the big-twin models.
During the 1950s, the HydraGlide and then the DuoGlide - fitted with one of three option groups — became the "standard" police two-wheeler (for a time the Servi-Car had up to four distinct option packs). The arrival of the Shovelhead in 1966 continued the theme, until the first specific Police model hit the stocks for 1974. The FL-Police was essentially a 74-inch ElectraGlide with basic police equipment included as standard. Almost 800 were sold that year.
From 1979, the 80-inch Shovelhead FLH-80 began to displace the old FLH- 1200 as the standard police model and, by 1982, Harley's law-keeper was known simply as the FLHI3 available variously with chain, enclosed chain or belt final drive.
Today's police range comprises the FXRP CHiP and FLHT-Police, which are based on the Evo-engined Low Rider and ElectraGlide respectively, and each has special equipment, including an up-rated electronics system, coloured pursuit lights, radio carrier and siren switches (the siren is optional, though).
An indication of the importance of the police market can be gleaned from the sales figures for 1991, when more than 1,500 police machines were sold.
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