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CCPD adds five BMW motorcycles

By Staff | Mar 20, 2015

Sgt. Jon Kulko, head of the Traffic Unit, talks Wednesday about the benefits and technological advances offered by the BMW R-1200-RT P Authority motorcycle. The new motorcycles will replace the Harley-Davidson Roadsters. TIFFANY REPECKI

A handful of officers hit the streets of Cape Coral this week with a new set of wheels.

On Wednesday, the Cape Coral Police Department debuted the newest additions to its fleet – five BMW R-1200-RT P Authority motorcycles for the Traffic Unit. Costing $24,000 each, the motorcycles will replace the Harley-Davidson Roadsters that the agency previously used under a lease program.

“This is the culmination of almost three years of testing and evaluation,” Sgt. Dana Coston, the spokesman for the CCPD, said. “The partnership with BMW allows us to field a smaller, lighter, more maneuverable, cooler bike, that is packed with the newest technology to keep our officers safe.”

Purchased from Gulf Coast Motorcycles as part of a five-year plan, they will be used to support the Traffic Unit’s initiative to thwart aggressive driving, reduce traffic crashes and curtail traffic fatalities.

“These motorcycles will be an important part of our ongoing efforts to increase safety on the roads in Cape Coral,” he said.

They are also expected to save the city approximately $20,000 with the five-year plan.

“All of these benefits come at an overall cost savings to the taxpayer at almost $5,000 per bike,” Coston said.

Previously, the CCPD would lease the Harleys for two years, then turn them back in to the leasing agent. At the start and end of each lease, the agency would have to pay to have the police equipment installed and uninstalled on the motorcycles, at a cost of between $700 and $1,000 per motorcycle.

In comparison, the CCPD will own the BMWs and pay for the equipment installation once.

The new motorcycles feature 125-horsepower engines and several benefits, including better fuel economy – 40 mpg to 60 mpg compared to 28 mpg to 32 mpg with the Harleys.

The BMWs require less maintenance – every 6,000 versus every 2,500 miles – and are around 250 pounds lighter.

The BMWs come with traction control, integrated ABS brakes and a cooler running engine.

Some of the advanced technology on the motorcycles includes tire pressure monitoring, wireless headsets, tablets and wireless printers for producing tickets on site, LED lights at the driver’s eye level that are visible for nearly a mile and an adjustable windshield to better help combat the elements.

Jeff Gallo, of Gulf Coast Motorcycles, noted that the settings can be tailored by the officer.

“There’s a lot of flexibility with the bikes,” he said.

They also have heated grips and seats, as well as cruise control, which can be used to pace drivers.

During the process, the CCPD examined different vendors and motorcycles.

“This bike was the best fit for our department,” Sgt. Jon Kulko, head of the Traffic Unit, said.

Currently, the agency has four motorcycle officers serving in the Traffic Unit.