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Old 03-25-2008, 09:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hondas are replacing Harleys because they're so much cheaper to run

Pretty interesting article I found today: http://www.wftv.com/news/15695064/detail.html

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LAKE MARY, Fla. -- A typical police motorcycle, a Harley-Davidson, costs $16,500, but a new breed of police bike made by Honda costs only $14,000. The city of Lake Mary says the bikes can save police departments a bundle, especially in a time of budget cuts.

For Lake Mary, the Harley was costing $2,700 a year per motorcycle in maintenance, while the Honda will cost just $520 a year in maintenance. That's a big savings that is driving the department to get rid of the Harley all together.

Officer Chris Dye has been a motorcycle cop for five years and he's always had a Harley, until last November. The last four months he's been patrolling on a Honda ST-1300. It's a slick-looking bike, but that's not why Lake Mary police invested in the $14,000 motorcycle.

"Forty-two miles to the gallon compared to 30 miles to the gallon. [With] gas $3 a gallon, gosh, that's a pretty big savings to the taxpayer, I would say," Dye told Eyewitness News.

That's just the beginning. Going from Harley to Honda is expected to save the department $2,000 a year in maintenance alone per motorcycle.

Eyewitness News checked and Orlando Police Department has 35 Harley Davidson motorcycles on patrol with no plans to change. Florida Highway Patrol has 10 motor units in the Orlando area and 50 statewide. They maintain a Harley is safer.

"Crashing a motorcycle in any way is a dangerous thing. No bike is going to out perform in a crash," Dye said.

Dye said, after working with both bikes, he would call the Honda a faster, safer, better-performing motorcycle that's cheaper.

Officer Dye said he does get a backlash from people who think he should be riding American-made. He said the Honda motorcycle was built in Ohio and many parts of the Harley's came from other countries.

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Old 03-25-2008, 11:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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SVOboy -

I am not sure about right now, but the CHiPs TeeVee show used Kawasaki 1000s because that's what the CHP used back then :

CHiPs FAQ
http://www.chips-tv.com/FAQ/fans.shtml
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"Look down the highway! Its the "CHiPs" motorcycle! "CHiPs", the exciting MGM-TV series, features the exploits of two daring motorcycle cops - Jonathan Baker (Larry Wilcox) and Francis "Ponch" Poncherello (Erik Estrada). They find action and adventure screaming down the highway on their Kawasaki 1000's. Chasing down get-away cars! Breaking up smuggling rings! Dealing with hardened criminals! These guys hit hard. And when they need that extra burst of speed, the performance-bred Kawasaki 1000s are right there!"
As of 2004, it was BMWs :

California Highway Patrol Selects BMW Motorcycles Fifth Year in a Row - May 2004
http://www.policeone.com/police-prod...eleases/85907/
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Woodcliff Lake, NJ - For the fifth year in a row, the California Department of General Services has selected BMW motorcycles for use by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The state will purchase 400+ BMW R 1150 RT-P motorcycles from A&S BMW Motorcycles of Roseville, CA over a two-year period, beginning in January.
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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$520 a year to maintain a Honda that is being ridden every day? that would cover oil changes, spark plugs, tires, and brake pads... sounds about right!
And from what I've seen of Harly's that I helped work on... they tend to blow engine seals, go thru bearings, and shake them selves to death!
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i would have a tough time justifying a cycle that got worst mileage than my car, no matter how fast it is.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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$2,700 a year in maintenance alone on a motorcycle? Jeeze! What on earth are they maintaining?? I've heard that Harley's aren't very reliable... but man alive.

And Harley's being safer in a crash? I'd like to see how they argue that.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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And Harley's being safer in a crash? I'd like to see how they argue that.
Heavier?

That would be hilarious to watch - Motorcycle X is "safer" because it weighs more
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
Heavier?

That would be hilarious to watch - Motorcycle X is "safer" because it weighs more
I imagine the Harley would discourage "spirited" riding... Do they have airbags on these bikes yet? I guess then a heavier platform would be better although avoiding an accident all together would be best!
I'd think they'd want something like a Paris Dakar rally bike, big power, big suspension travel, and stable at highspeed. Still slow enough that they won't try to chase down a 1L sport bike.
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Harley's over priced and underperforming? No..... motorcycle guys have known that one for a while. Most police bikes I've seen around are Honda's or Kawasaki's, can't say I've seen a Harley cop bike.

I'd like to know what runs $2700/yr maintanace on a HD. I know they have a bad rep for being unreliable, but that was more like 20 years ago. Today's models aren't really worse than anything else being sold.

And Honda does have air bags on the Goldwing now. I don't know how hard it would be for them to add it to the ST1300.
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Old 05-21-2008, 03:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam728 View Post
And Honda does have air bags on the Goldwing now. I don't know how hard it would be for them to add it to the ST1300.
Practically speaking, how useful are airbags on a motorcycle? It doesn't seem like they would help much to me. Well, they would definitely help add to the price!
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The most common motorcycle crashes are when someone turns left in front of a bike and the rider T-bones the car, or when a car pulls out in front of a bike and the rider T-bones it. Both of these involve the bike pretty much hitting straight on. The airbag is claimed to help prevent injuries from hitting the bars/controls of the bike. Won't help much if you slide out on a corner or highside the thing.

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