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Sheriff’s Motorcycle Unit Shifts From Harleys To BMWs For $115,000

| March 7, 2015

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office's traffic and motor unit and its new BMW bikes.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s traffic and motor unit and its new BMW bikes.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office recently purchased five new BMW R-1200 RT-P motorcycles to be used by the traffic/motor unit, the sheriff’s office announced Friday. The change to the BMW motorcycle came after the office was approaching the end of the lease period with Harley Davidson.

Each of the BMW motorcycles, including all equipment, cost $22,927.33, for a total of just under $115,000.

The 110-horesepower, 1200-cc motorcycle is a model especially modified for police use. “For the highway this bike is ideal,” California Highway Patrol Officer Saul Gomez explains in a brief video about the bike. (See below.) “For starters, it has an adjustable windshield that really helps us on the highway at high speeds. When we’re patrolling the streets, that windshield can easily be lowered. It allows us better visibility, and on hot days, it allows us to cool down just a little bit.”

The saddle is 33 to 37 inches off the ground, allowing patrolling cops to get a better visual of traffic and to look into vehicles. The motorcycles are also equipped with crash bars to protect cops should they go down in a collision–or to enable a cop in a hurry to get off the bike and let it roll on the bars without damaging the body of the bike. The saddle bags can be accessed while the cop is in the seat. The integrated speakers allow cops to hear dispatch even when their communications radios are off.

“The Sheriff’s Office was looking for a motorcycle that could perform to our expectations,” said Sheriff James L. Manfre. “We were also looking to decrease maintenance costs and wanted a motorcycle that is durable.”

Aside from being more cost effective than the Harley Davidson, the BMW is overall a better motorcycle for law enforcement use. The BMW is more fuel efficient, weighs less, has a more effective ABS brake system, is equipped with a dual battery system, and more.

“As our agency advances in our daily use of up-to-date equipment and technology, this vehicle has proven to be the best choice to serve the citizens of Flagler County,” said Sergeant Michael Van Buren, Motorcycle Operations Supervisor.

From “The new low-maintenance engine utilizes a single spark plug per cylinder, combined engine-gearbox lubrication, keeping operational costs to a minimum. New e-gas electronic throttle control provides precise throttle management, reduced throttle twist rotation to 70 degrees with no wear or adjustment needed due to electronic throttle actuator system. The new BMW emergency lighting system provides four times the forward intensity of the prior model, focused in the primary zone where motorists are most likely to left turn / pull-out in your path (pattern shows most intense area). Enclosed take-down lights and alley lights provide exceptional illumination plus an alternating wig-wag function to maximize visibility. […] The 2015 R 1200 RT-P provides the most modern, integrated lighting system available on a police motor. The new auxiliary rear emergency light unit provides high-intensity visibility in all situations, plus provides additional benefit if the radio box lid is opened during the violator stop.”

Residents and visitors can expect to see the BMW motorcycles throughout Flagler County beginning this weekend, which coincides with Bike Week in Daytona Beach.

The BMW Explained:

Watch a Pursuit Using The Bike:

The bike.

The bike.

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17 Responses for “Sheriff’s Motorcycle Unit Shifts From Harleys To BMWs For $115,000”

  1. John Smallberries says:

    Does this shift include a requirement that police wear full face helmets and other protective gear like jackets and motorcycle pants, or are the taxpayers going to continue to be financially liable for preventable injuries that occur during accidents?

    • FlaglerBear says:

      Mr. Smallberries,

      I was initially annoyed at you for your statement, which overall seemed to have a very negative tone; however, when I read between the lines, I realized that you do care about their safety. Police on motorcycles serve an important purpose beyond just writing tickets. Unfortunately, as careful as they are, they can’t anticipate some of the boneheaded things motorists (especially here in Palm Coast) do on the road. Yes, wear your safety clothes, stay alert, and stay alive! Just like most employers, there is workman’s comp…if you happen to take a spill.

    • jadobi says:

      When was the last time there was an accident where the officer was injured as you claim? On another note, many agencies are switching from the Harley. Harley has done nothing to make the police bikes safer or reliable for that matter.

      • John Smallberries says:

        When was the last time an officer was shot and killed here in flagler? I guess they don’t need any vests or guns then.

  2. confidential says:

    Please be safe out there deputies!

  3. YankeeExPat says:

    Three reasons this is a good move:

    1) Brakes that actually work well
    2) Engine won’t vibrate off the motor mounts
    3) Components that are not made in China

  4. rick says:

    Actually there have been at least two motor – deputies injured in Flagler County in the past few years. A 3rd was nearly killed and was disabled during the early 2000’s.

  5. GHres says:

    Did anyone consider the “INDIAN”. Has lots more function for the dollar.

  6. FlaglerBull says:


  7. ME says:

    Indian doesn’t make a police motorcycle. There are only three certified police bike manufactures. Harley, BMW, and Victory. BMW has the best function for the dollar. That’s why a majority of the agencies are going to them. The cost of maintenance is nothing compared to the HD. After you figure the cost not including the normal wear and tear items you would have to do to every bike such as tires, brakes and oil the BMW is nothing to maintain. The initial start up is not much more than a fully decked out HD either.

    • Barry says:

      Victory is not a vin certified law enforcement vehicle. Only BMW, Honda, and HD are vin certified law enforcement vehicles.

  8. Barry says:

    Actually Michigan State Police testing facility reports that Harley-Davidson has the best braking in the police motorcycle industry. Many agencies that have gone to BMW, Kawasaki, Honda are switching back to Harley-Davidson, that’s why Harley-Davidson has 90% of the police business today including CHP which recently went back to Harley-Davidson.

  9. Floridian says:

    Doesn’t the Sheriff drive a BMW car….he is all about status. Likes spending our tax dollars. Sheriff’s operation center, armored vehicles, BMW bikes, lawsuits, cameras, letting deputies wear out our cars by taking them home and we pick up the tab for gas, taking vacations on our dime, and on and on…..not to mention what we don’t know about. Nothing justifies spending $115,000. That’s not pocket change.

  10. NortonSmitty says:

    Being the Department of Homeland Security seems determined to turn them into the 21st Century Gestapo, I guess all local Police should be riding German.

  11. confidential says:

    Do not only criticize the current Sheriff for buying these bikes…How come no one attacked past Sheriff Fleming when he quietly bought a fleet of brand new SUV’s for his department including his assistants of which one refused to use it as he considered it a tax payers monies wasted? And that Sheriff Fleming new SUV had all the luxurious bells and whistles available on the market I was told…very costly to us all and not actually needed for a Sheriff except to show off.
    Can FlaglerLive here demand those purchases records from the prior Sheriff? I am a little tired experiencing the GOP attacks on current or past Democrat elected officials including POTUS now. They want to unfairly impeach or sue POTUS for his right executive orders and let go of Reagan when he sold missiles to Iran to fund the Contra’s war against their Latin American administrations. Imagine if Obama would have even think about anything like that! Now POTUS is being attacked for trying to preserve peace with Iran…not selling them missiles like Reagan did. Though I am not a fan of Hillary I realize she is being attacked for her e-mails already released when the Bush boy didn’t even released 10 percent of his e-mails and all these dudes were mute about it. What a brainwashing travesty for ignoramus the GOP masterminds!

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