Police Cars Go VROOM

Photo by Chrysler Group LLC

This past fall, the Michigan State Police’s (MSP) Precision Driving Unit conducted its annual Police Vehicle Evaluation at the 3,850-acre Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan. Acceleration, top speed, braking and dynamics tests were performed on 19 different four-wheeled vehicles representing six different body designs and the various engine and drivetrain options (including E85 fuel capability) offered amongst them. Members of the MSP’s Precision Driving Unit did all the driving under the supervision of Lieutenant Keith Wilson. The following data reflects the MSP’s preliminary performance reports.

Click below to download the summary reports.
Motorcycle Dynamics Testing
Summary of Acceleration and Top Speed Testing
Summary of Brake Testing
Summary of Motorcycle Brake Testing
Vehicle Dynamics Testing
Source: Michigan State Police Precision Driving Unit

The Motorcycles

BMW R 1200 RTP
Based on BMW’s touring motorcycle and featuring the company’s legendary air-cooled, horizontally opposed, 1,200-cubic centimeter, two-cylinder engine, this is one of the world’s most popular police motorcycles. And it’s quick. In the MSP’s tests, it hit 60 mph in 4.41 seconds, made it to 100 mph in 10.75 seconds and hit a top speed of 131 mph.
Harley-Davidson FLHP
The iconic police bike, this is the police version of Harley-Davidson’s FLHP Road King touring bike. Power comes from a 103-cubic inch (1.7-liter) V-Twin that propels the big hog from 0 to 60 mph in 5.66 seconds. It takes 21.28 seconds to hit 100 mph. And the bike tops out at 109 mph.
Harley-Davidson FLHTP
This is the legendary Electra Glide version of Harley-Davidson’s big touring bike. It’s basically the same bike as the FLHP Road King, but with a solid color and larger fairing. It rocked to 60 mph in 6.10 seconds, hit 100 mph in 31.60 seconds and topped out at 104 mph.
Kawasaki Concours 14P
For decades, Kawasaki’s KZ1000P police motorcycle was the standard mount for hundreds of agencies. It’s always tough to follow a legend. But that’s what the Concours 14P does. With its massive 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine, the Concours 14P has about 155 horsepower on tap. That shoots this bike from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.02 seconds and to 100 mph in just 8.29 seconds. Gearing, however, limits it to a 126-mph top speed.
Victory Commander
The big, flamboyant Commander uses a massive 106-cubic inch (1.7-liter) V-Twin to haul itself around. And haul it does, reaching 60 mph in 5.86 seconds, hitting 100 mph in 18.74 seconds and topping out at 117 mph.
Victory Vision
Mechanically similar to the Commander but wearing a full fairing that sweeps all along the bike’s side, the Vision may be the most spectacular production police motorcycle ever built. It hit 60 mph in 5.93 seconds and 100 mph in 20.02 seconds and reached a top speed of 120 mph. The sleekly aerodynamic fairing is responsible for the higher top speed than the Commander.

Note: All results are preliminary and do not reflect final data. Thank you to Lieutenant Keith Wilson for his assistance with providing test results and photos.
Photos by Raymond Holt, Michigan State Police.

To learn more about how the 2012 police cars and motorcycles fared, pick up a copy of the Winter 2012 FOP Journal.

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