By Greg Bogosian
After 110 years of producing American-made, reliable and meticulously crafted motorcycles, some companies might rest on their laurels and rely upon their previous model designs to keep their customers satisfied.
Harley-Davidson, however, has continually pushed the envelope of refinement by improving their machines year after year, and this year has turned their attention squarely upon making significant improvements to their law enforcement motorcycle line – relying not only upon their century-plus of experience, but upon feedback from a wide variety of officers who lay boots on pedals day in, day out, across all different environments throughout the United States. As a result, by going literally back to the drawing board and bringing officers along for the ride, Harley-Davidson has been able to come up with the ultimate law enforcement machine.
So, what’s better about the 2014 line? Well, let’s start with the core of the machine: the engine, which has been upgraded to a 1690cc High Output Twin Cam 103 model with 6% more horsepower than the previous law enforcement model, and a 4% increase in torque. In real terms, that means that you have more passing power, critical at not only highway speeds, but also in your day-to-day operations on the road. The handling has also been improved by the introduction of a 29 degree steering head angle and a changeover to a lighter-weight, open-concept wheel, along with Harley’s existing deep lean angles and low center of gravity.
Now, all of that is great if you want to go fast and turn tight, but what about stopping? Fortunately, a new braking system has that covered: the standard equipment Reflex Linked Brake System with ABS coordinates the front and rear brakes, linking them when you’re traveling over 25mph for a unified stopping effort, and unlinking below 25mph to allow for slow-speed maneuvering as you get closer to coming to a complete stop, especially when conditions are less than ideal.
As far as seeing, and being seen (and heard), there have been some cool improvements made to the lighting and emergency-lighting-and-siren systems as well.
The first of these is, in fact, a first: on the 2014 Police Electra Glide® model, the headlight is now a Daymaker™ LED unit providing 916 lumens of daylight-quality light, with a 2x wider viewing area than a standard halogen light. The 2014 Police Road King model features a dual-halogen setup which offers a 546 lumen low beam, and a whopping 1,460 lumen high beam to project your visibility far down the road.
Next, Harley looked at the controls for the emergency systems on board, and again went back to the drawing board with their police advisory panel members. The result is a completely redesigned hand control system which offers all of the features you need, in less space, with more information and options. Speed capture, cruise control, push-to-talk, and more are all controlled with one-touch buttons. Digital displays tell you speed and gear position. Emergency lighting can now be controlled independently, front and rear. An Accessory mode allows you to run emergency lights and siren even with the ignition off. And finally, a “Stealth Mode” switch allows you to instantly turn off all exterior lighting (except instruments and brakes) to give you the element of surprise.
Last but not least, even the little details were attended to with the new redesign – little details with big impact on your day-to-day life as a motor officer. By redesigning the batwing fairing on the Police Electra Glide®, and incorporating Harley’s new Splitstream™ vent, head buffeting is reduced to ensure you can stay comfortable and on-track with your suspects and your surroundings alike. Storage has been improved with new, larger saddlebags which have easy One-Touch latches for quick access to all of your equipment. And finally, in the place where you most directly meet the bike, last year’s improved seat suspension system helps to absorb some of the roughness of the road while still feeling it under your wheels.
As you can see, the 2014 Harley-Davidson® Police Line has a lot of features which represent the best in careful, officer-involved design for your day-to-day use. To find out more, and see the differences for yourself, contact Harley-Davidson® today by visiting www.harley-davidsonpolicemotors.com