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Springs police bringing hogs back to the force

By: GARRISON WELLS
March 9, 2013
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photo - One of the new Colorado Springs Police Department's Harley-Davidson motorcycles is parked outside motorcycle garage Thursday, March 8, 2013.    Photo by  (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
One of the new Colorado Springs Police Department's Harley-Davidson motorcycles is parked outside motorcycle garage Thursday, March 8, 2013. Photo by (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

Those deep-throated Harley-Davidsons that used to rumble around Colorado Springs when motorcycle cops took to the streets are back with a roar.

They were phased out by he Colorado Springs Police Department around 2006 for the Honda ST1300, a white-bodied, agile motorcycle that at the time was deemed more fit by some for police work than the rugged Harley cruiser.

The Honda at the time had anti-lock brakes, which Harley has since added, said officer Jim Carson, who has been with the Colorado Springs motorcycle unit since 1993.

The Harleys are being phased in. So far, eight have rolled in, Carson said. He got his last year, in the first batch.

While Carson said he likes both bikes, at home he rides a Harley Electra Glide. That’s the model that the division is getting, with a beefed up charging system because of the lights.

Carson compared the two to a Chevrolet Camaro and a Ford Crown Victoria. The Honda would be the Camaro. The Harley would be the Crown Vic, he said.

The Harley “speaks police, when you see it,” Carson said. “It has a recognizable shape.”

“I think it’s a benefit for the public to recognize the Harley as a police vehicle,” he said. “It has a command presence.”

The Harley also has a higher resale value and is American-made, he said.

D.J. Stringer, general manager at Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson, said there are several reasons why police departments like the Harley.

It’s big. It’s fast. It’s made in America.

“The big reason is that it’s a 1700 cc bike, essentially, and that’s a big engine,” he said. “It’s going to get you anywhere you need to go just as fast as you want to get there.”

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