CHP is switching from BMW back to H-D

Publish Date: 
May 23, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Highway Patrol is retiring some BMW motorcycles from its fleet and replacing them with Harley-Davidsons.

Oakland Harley-Davidson won the contract by upgrading the suspension, rewiring the electrics and added special police details – like a clipboard on the gas tank that is handy for writing tickets – to a 2013 Electra Glide.

Dealership co-owner Mike Genthner told the Los Angeles TImes his shop has already delivered 121 of the custom bikes. A second order for 47 more - 2014s, this time - is being fulfilled at the rate of about four bikes a week, by two technicians exclusively assigned to building the CHP cruisers.

The bikes are going out the door priced at a little over $28,300 each, Genthner said -- a little more than the $24,239 base price for a standard Electra Glide.

In addition to the CHP contract, the dealer hopes it will lead to other law enforcement agencies contracting with the shop, which already builds bikes for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, and for the police forces of Bay Area cities including Fremont and Hayward.

The return to Harley ends a long hiatus for the CHP, which last made a deal to use the American marque in 1989. The last of those machines was retired in 1997, a CHP spokesperson said.

Posted by Holly Wagner