Police bikes are put through their paces at Donington
IF you think police riders are all frowning killjoys who think " where’s the fire, sir? " is the height of humour, these pictures might change your mind.
The south-pointing knees and stand-up wheelies prove that, even though they sport Day-glo jackets and top boxes, they still know how to have a good time.
But there was a serious purpose behind the fun. Police riders from across Europe were at Donington Park to put BMW’s new range through its paces.
The star of the show was the police-spec " RSP " version of the K1200, which has a bigger screen and fairing, larger panniers and a 200-mile tank range that should make thieves think twice about trying to outrun it.
BMW claims it’s the patrol bike of the future – and after a few laps of the circuit, the cops seemed to agree.
Mac McMath, BMW’s national motorcycle sales manager, said: " Most of the comments started with ‘f***ing’ and ended in ‘awesome’. They all had a great day and were happily grinding out footpegs. They were very fast riders, though a few kept looking behind them. "
If they can persuade their bosses to put their 100bhp Honda Pan Europeans into retirement, they could soon be on patrol with a bike that makes 130bhp and has a top speed of 150mph.
A BMW spokesman said: " The day was a huge success and has generated a lot of interest. We are confident many police forces will be investing in the bike. " You have been warned.
For more urban-based patrols, the police also tested specially-kitted F650GSs, under the supervision of BMW Off-Road Skills instructor Simon Pavey.
BMW isn’t the only firm wooing Britain’s police forces with tailor-made bikes. As reported in MCN earlier this year, Yamaha is planning to launch a police-spec FJR1300 in 2003 after trials involving forces from all over Europe.
Honda’s Pan European, the current cop favourite, is also in line for a police makeover. The new 1240cc, 120bhp version of the bike was shown to forces at the NEC Show last week and a blue-light model is expected early next year.