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Bryan's Blog

Motorcycle Police Can Really Ride

Tuesday, June 2, 2009
This officer dips his Harley-Davidson in fearlessly as he navigates another tight turn.
These guys were scraping some boards! The motorcycle police officers train hard and take pride in their riding skills.
Seeing this title, you’d probably think that I found this out the hard way. No, I didn’t try to run from the cops and get tracked down by the local fuzz on their Honda ST1300 police motorcycles. That sounds more like our boy Adam, who recently had a pretty hilarious run-in with the Carabinieri (super police) in Italy, a story he recounts in our next issue of MotoUSA Magazine.

I didn’t get pulled over, but I did get to see the skills motorcycle police have first-hand at the recent North American Motor Officer’s Association training conferences held in Medford, Oregon, just a few miles from Motorcycle USA’s HQ. For four days, officers from throughout the Northwest rode through some of the most challenging obstacle courses I’ve seen as they practiced their riding techniques and vied for Best Rider honors amongst their peers.

These officers can ride. Their control and cornering abilities are far-and-above the average riders. And they weren’t doing it on little bikes, either. While some opted for smaller, sharper handling sport-touring Hondas and BMWs, others were muscling around big Harleys like they were sportbikes. I definitely came away with a newfound respect for the skills of motorcycle police officers. Read more about it on Thursday in a full article that Motorcycle USA’s Editorial Director Ken Hutchison and I worked on.

Better yet, be sure to check out the video to see how difficult these courses really are. Ken got to be scapegoat and actually rode the proficiency course on a 2009 Honda ST1300. All I can say is I’m glad it wasn’t me, or else I would have been the one killing all those orange emergency cones.

So to the men and women who help keep the peace that are our brothers and sisters in the saddle, I salute you. Now I’m off to watch Jerry ‘Motorman’ Palladino’s Ride Like a Pro video again so that I can someday ride like you.
Post Tags: Motorcycle police, North American Motor Officers Association, Honda ST1300, motorcycle riding
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Dave -Obey the Laws December 20, 2009 03:52 PM
Gentlemen, Climb off your perches and consider: Simply obey the speed limits or accept the consequences of your actions.
You know the rules, and whether you like them or not, until they are changed, being caught violating the rules will have consequences.
And 'getting caught' doesn't exclude having 4-wheels mess up your afternoon, or an unseen gravel patch put you away, or the mechanical failure that can get you a wrecker or life-flight ride.
We engage in an activity that is dangerous by its definition. It behoves us to be as skillful in its performance as possible, and to appreciate the skill level of all engaging in the pastime, no matter what the occupation of the individual riding.
Remember the old saying: "There are only two grades of motorcycle riders: Those who have crashed and those who will crash."
This from one who survived my second crash in 30 years-neither of my making.
Randy -I've never been called a liberal before. June 4, 2009 09:56 AM
I'm one of the most conservative of people out there. My thoughts on most things align with the libertarian party lol. I don't hate cops but I detest and loathe traffic cops. Our speed laws are low because insurance companies lobby to keep them that way at the state and federal level, then they hand out various speed detecting equipment throughout the nation so they can increase everyone's rates. These guys enforce these corrupt traffic laws that they themselves break everyday. They're hypocrites who are merely cogs in our corrupt system. If you need help and call the cops, it won't be a bike cop that shows up. He's out there pointing his radar gun making money. He's not a cop, he's an IRS agent. They're have no value to society, only for whom they work for.
Fetch -Christian June 3, 2009 10:00 PM
I watch O'Reilly and Hannity all the time. It sounds like you are the one who is drinking the Koolaid. This little discussion we are having would make for a good e-mail to send to Bill he would probably send us both a copy of Bold Fresh. Christian, you can’t argue any of my talking points intelligently so instead you have to label and name call me. It is a fact police officers break the same laws they enforce, it is a fact they wear lame gear and unless they are superman and can move faster than a speeding bullet mobility won’t make one bit of difference and besides our U.S. Marines wear heavy gear and they get shot at. Once again I said save your half A**ed excuses and BS for someone else. It is a fact that when ever I have been riding with any cop we get “special treatment”. I have many stories of many crooked things I have seen more than one police officer commit. “Hopefully, you receive many revenue-generating tickets in your time”. Even you admit traffic tickets are just revenue generators. Clear thinking conservatives like me think for our own selves and see reality for what it is based on logic and examples set. I’ve seen more abuse of power from police than I’ve seen good use of power. I stated facts that I have observed with my own two eyes in my post. You, however, name called and labeled and wished misfortune upon me because I spoke up about a subject that you only want to hear one side of, yours. The truth hurts sometimes Christian. Wise up!
Christian -Especially for you police officer haters June 3, 2009 08:12 PM
You should move to Eugene and join the bandwagon of leftist liberal anti-police animals that you are. Remember who you call when need help. Not all officers behave like your riding cohort. I'm not an officer but my neighbor is a motorcycle officer. When someone points a gun at you for doing your job, that's when you can comment on mobility. Hopefully, you receive many revenue-generating tickets in your time. Watch the O'Reilly Factor and grow up.
Fetch -Randy is right on point June 3, 2009 05:31 PM
Randy you took the words right out of my mouth. I could have not said it better myself. But sometimes this hypocrisy can benefit riders. For example in the riding “click” I ride with one of the guys is a police officer so when he joins us for a group ride on his ZX-9R it’s no holds barred because when we get bothered by the police he just shows his “get out of jail free card” (his police badge) and we ALL get off with just a friendly warning. And all you police officers reading this know it is true so save the lame half a**ed excuses for someone in the mood for fertilizing their lawn with your BS. You all do it. That’s 80% of the reason you became cops; so you can enforce laws you break your own self. These police officers can do the “obstacle course” well but in real life under real conditions where things aren’t in a controlled environment like an obstacle course these officers don’t look so hot. When chasing a bad guy in real life he won’t be tiptoeing around orange cones. And what’s with the lame gear they wear: open faced beanie helmet no leathers, usually no gloves or ones that look like something David Hasselhoff would have worn in Night Rider, and of course riding boots that look more apt for when riding a horse. When I ask why they wear such lame gear they say we need “mobility”. I guess they never saw how well a pro road racer can move on his bike with full gear. Oh and the riding buddy that is a cop is usually mid pack when we hit some tight roads.
Randy -Respect the skill, not the activity June 3, 2009 10:35 AM
Sure yeah that's great, they have riding skill. They use it to generate revenue by exploiting our laws to fill the coffers. They give tickets out all day long and likely exhibit the same behaviour both on and off their shifts everyday. They're dishonorable hypocrites and nothing more.