The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) made headlines in the motorcycle community two years ago when it transformed a seized 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa into a pursuit vehicle. The bike rolled onto the road in 2006 outfitted with a radar unit, emergency lights and siren, F1 stunt bars, mirror extenders, a throttle lock, GPR stabilizer, Corbin saddlebags, and a new OHP-specific paint job.
Response from the general public proved as enthusiastic as the responses garnered from motorcyclists and the OHP quickly purchased two additional units from a local dealership. All three bikes patrol the Okalahoma City area and often appear at motorcycle events.
The OHP says the Suzuki Hayabusa are not intended to replace the current fleet of Harley-Davidson motorcycles but are used as advantageous additions.
The Hayabusa program is funded by money seized from criminal enterprises. The OHP's primary goal is to foster a communication dialog with the sportbike community. The bikes are used for patrol and traffic enforcement, but their primary role is community relations, promotion of rider safety education and to communicate the message that racing and stunt riding should best be done on the track.
"There are clear lines dividing sportbike and cruiser motorcycle riders," the patrol stated. "We feel the sportbike community has not been given the proper amount of attention and focus in the area of community involvement and rider safety education."