CHP Replacing BMW Motorcycles With Harley-Davidson

May 28, 2014, by Paul Clinton

Photo courtesy of Mike Genthner.
Photo courtesy of Mike Genthner.

The California Highway Patrol has begun adding new Harley-Davidson motorcycles to its highway enforcement fleet, as the agency begins replacing aging BMW motorcycles.

The law enforcement agency has taken delivery of 105 H-D FLHTP Electra Glide motorcycles mostly from the 2014 model year from an Oakland dealership. In all, the agency has ordered 167 motorcycles, including 33 from the 2013 model year. The first motorcycles were delivered in July and went into service in October.

The 2014 model-year Electra Glide incorporated several features that helps officers do their jobs more effectively, said Mike Genthner, H-D Oakland dealer principal.

"The bike is much friendlier to law enforcement," Genthner said. "With any new product there's a sense of familiarity that needs to come, and that's true for any new tool in their job. It does operate differently than the BMWs."

The new features include a switch to a hydraulic clutch from a cable-activated clutch that should require less adjusting by maintenance personnel. The 2014 model adds a linked ABS braking system that replaces independent ABS to give officers linear, smoother braking.

The 2014 model also adds a high-output motor that increases torque by 5% and passing power by 30%, Genthner said.

By Paul Clinton


  1. 1. Nicholas [ May 28, 2014 @ 03:18PM ]

    Cops like hogs and don't give a damn about the environment, citizens or anything else. They get to carry a gun and have it their way. It's a license to kill.

  2. 2. Tom [ July 01, 2014 @ 05:58PM ]

    It's still the slowest police bike sold. It's also very very loud. The hear is terrible in the summer. The wind protection is terrible in the winter or rain. It should only be used as a parade bike or for directing traffic.

  3. 3. George [ November 28, 2014 @ 11:28AM ]

    Great Choice! Harley Davidson makes a great police motorcycle with a look and heritage no other manufacturer can come close to. Saying the bike is slow and only belongs in parades or directing traffic is complete nonsense.

  4. 4. Oakley [ December 06, 2014 @ 08:46PM ]

    Nicholas, you obviously have no idea what you are talking about! According to Harley-Davidson the Road Kings and Electra glides are getting approximately 42 M.P.G. (city/highway combined). BMW's are somewhere between 45-47 M.P.G. You are correct about the carrying a gun and it is unfortunate that our society has gotten so violent that Cop's have to carry, at least one gun, usually two. Lastly Cop's don't get to "have it their way" because they are the most Policed and scrutinized individuals in society. I would suggest you look at the media and what they "get away with". Who is policing them?
    As for CHP going back to Harley-Davidson that is a step backward. You can look at the most critical examinations of Police motorcycles in the studies by the Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office and clearly see which motorcycle has the best braking and handling characteristics. It is certainly not the Harley Davidson.

  5. 5. Kelly [ May 04, 2015 @ 06:32PM ]

    I agree with Oakley on CHP taking a step back. All it takes is looking at the stats that the Michigan State Police post when they test police motorcycles. Its online for everyone to see, and you can see that the Harleys are smoked by BMW and Moto Guzzii, the other competitors tested this year. As a matter of fact in 0 to 100 times the Harleys were almost 10 seconds slower than the BMW which is an eternity.

  6. 6. George [ November 11, 2015 @ 09:11PM ]

    @Kelly All your statements are misleading and wrong. Harley Davidson did not get smoked by BMW and Moto Guzzi, and 10 seconds is not an eternity. Moto Guzzi isn't in the 2016 vehicle test, so their sales must have tanked. I don't ever remember seeing a Moto Guzzi dealership, so support is probably terrible. Don't forget comfort, initial cost, maintenance cost and dealership/manufacturer support when evaluating these bikes.

  7. 7. JoeRider [ April 23, 2016 @ 03:15PM ]

    I rode the BMW as a motor officer for the state. It was a great bike. The Harley is most definitly a step backwards! Its purchase, in my opinion, was more political than inteligent. Id say more, but this is not the place.


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