Just so it's clear, this is only one division in the bay area, not all of the CHP. I'm wondering how well they expect the Harleys to hold up over 100k? I am not knocking the brand. I'm just curious. The BMW's are probably more to maintain over their life, so likely the difference in price will be a wash.
The had the BMW's for several years. They only bought the new Kawi Concours for a couple of years. Harley won the latest bid a little while back. They are putting them out throughout the state to replace the BMW's and Kawi's as they are "run out". The new Harleys have been in the field for a month or so in Solano County. A lot of the officers like the Harley for the ride but it has no top end speed. Not good for chasing "high" speed on the freeway. A good thing they have cars for the higher speed.
Personal opinion only - None of them compare to the previous KZ1000 Police Special for reliability or top speed. Imagine if they'd only increased the engine size from their 85-2000 production line (when nothing had to be upgraded) instead of shutting down the product line.
I work for a fairly large police force(close to 9,000 members) and over the years they've tried different bikes,but always go back to the Harley.For the last few years thses bikes have been leased and I'm not sure anyone else offers this option.I did hear that we were to be testing some BMW's soon though.
The bikes are leased for a set period of time. It's not like the Departments are buying and keeping them forever.
True, a Harley will not keep up with a Concours or ST1300. But (let's be serious here) if one were to have a "chase motorcycle" then what would one do with the car when he caught it?
I don't know how it is today, but a local Police Chief told me a couple years ago that Harley offered a very attractive lease program. Couple that with the extensive Harley dealer network and it begins to look like a viable option.
A few observations:
Prospective vendors needed to respond to a Request for Proposal or some such. The RFP would have stated a number of things like bike specs and delivery dates etc. Only vendors that responded would have been considered. Point is that they choose what they think is the best bike among those that responded, NOT among all available bikes. It's quite likely that some dealers/brands did not respond. If anyone really cares, government RFPs and responses are generally public information. Some one could probably dredge it up on the internet and find out exactly what was specd and who responded. I'd laugh if it turned out the only responder was HD.
Another observation on reliability. The CHP knows that they will break bikes. The biggest factor for them is down time. If a specific brand/model is likely to have more down time than others, then it's out. It's not simply about cost. The RFP undoubtedly specifies turn-a-round times for basic service and repairs. The CHP would definitely want to avoid having bikes tied up waiting for parts to arrive slow boat from Germany.
I suspect that even though HD has a higher incidence of problems (as documented recently), they are capable of making necessary repairs quicker than snot...
Sometimes the police will set a vehicle out and wait for someone to come along and steal it. Nobody would steal the Beemers. There's no market for the parts.....................Now they have something that crooks want.
And with the beemers you could slip up on criminals quietly and catch em. Now the crooks will hear them coming and the won't be bothered by having to arrest them.