Archive for Wednesday, May 22, 1996


May 22, 1996


The Terminator would be impressed.

If he had emotions, that is, about the Lawrence Police Department's newest vehicles -- state-of-the-art BMW motorcycles.

"It's easily the most advanced police motorcycle in the world," said Pat Cochran, sales manager of Engle Motors Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., which sold the cycles to the department.

"Everything else is stone-age compared to these."

The police department purchased four of the new 750-cc motorcycles for $15,000 each.

Two of them were delivered last week, in time to participate in the Olympic Torch Run here. The other two should arrive in a few weeks.

The motorcycles will replace four 1986 Honda cycles that officers have been using the last 10 years.

"The officers who rode them back from Kansas City said, `I never want to ride those (older cycles) again,'" Police Chief Ron Olin said. "These bikes are specifically designed for police work."

Among their features:

  • One of the most sophisticated anti-lock braking systems ever designed for a motorcycle.
  • A visor that can be electronically adjusted up or down.
  • Hand-grip warmers for winter use.

Olin said he expects about 10 years of use from the cycles, which will be used in shifts by about 12 officers.

He said the new cycles will be used more for "low visibility" enforcement, including radar and traffic patrols. They also will be used in parades and other special events.

Kansas City, Mo., police have purchased one of the cycles and Overland Park police are planning to purchase them, Cochran said.

"These bikes are starting to catch on," he said. "Although they're a little more expensive, these (BMW's) offer lower maintenance and a longer life. They're very reliable."

"We wanted one that would give the most value for the money," Olin said.

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