BMW Motorrad makes exceptional touring and commuting tools but they’re also ideal workhorses for armed forces, regional service providers and emergency response groups. With years of experience in manufacturing motorcycles to suit work applications, demand for BMW Motorrad Authority motorcycles is booming.
Just over one year ago, World of BMW reported on the increase in demand for BMW Authority motorcycles, especially in America where law enforcement agencies were moving away from traditional US-made motorcycles in favor of BMW machinery. Highlighted were the Michigan State Police which had purchased nine new police-spec R1200RT-P machines for its 24-bike fleet, with a view to ordering more when existing fleet machine leases finished and budgets allowed. The decision to purchase BMW Motorrad machinery was based on a serious testing program by the Michigan State Police. The results of these tests were also made available to other law enforcement agencies.
Throughout 2013, the Authority motorcycle production line within the Berlin home of BMW Motorrad was exceptionally busy and doesn’t look like its slowing down. So far this year, Vacaville Police Department in California has placed five R1200RT-P authority motorcycles into its fleet for traffic enforcement duties. And in Texas, the Austin Police Department has turned yet again towards BMW Motorrad for the supply of 20 similar specification machines.
Although we automatically associate BMW Authority motorcycles with traffic police, not every machine from Berlin goes to law agencies. Medical paramedics from first response teams are the frontline of emergency treatment. The quicker they are on the scene of a medical emergency the greater the chance of saving a life. Therefore a motorcycle, with its ability to cut through traffic, is a key consideration. The fact BMW Motorrad has various models equipped to suit customer requirements makes it an obvious first choice for medical teams, Presidential escorts, automobile clubs (e.g. the German ADAC), police and many more service providers.
The current range of Authority motorcycles consists of the R1200RT and F800GT touring models, and the F650GS and F800GS enduro models, which are suitable for all environments, from highway to high plains. Until December 2012 there was also an R900RT in the range because of regulations in different countries like Spain where no police motorcycle over 1000cc were allowed. These regulations are no longer valid and the Spanish police can now explore the extra performance of the R1200RT. Incidentally, the “R1200RT-P” designation doesn’t officially figure in the Authority motorcycle range but is the name used by American enforcement agencies to distinguish it from civil models. However, the RT-P tag may be adopted by BMW Motorrad in the future.
Authority machines are available to agencies and services via specialist sales teams within a BMW Motorrad country subsidiary (NSC) or via country importers, and in some special cases BMW Motorrad will deal directly with governments. One or more machines can be purchased at any time because BMW Motorrad doesn’t operate a minimum order delivery requirement. All Authority bikes are produced on demand for the customer on a separate production line, which is unique. Allowing for shipping time, the turnaround time from order to production to delivery to somewhere like America is approximately three to four months.
One of the first questions usually asked by everyday motorcyclists is how do enforcement bikes differ to standard customer machines? “The basic motorcycle is the same as a civil machine available at any authorized BMW Motorrad dealer,” explains Torsten Löhner, Sales Strategy and Steering, Sales Channel Development, BMW Group. “The difference is in the special options like siren, LED warning lights, special authority equipment, special wiring harness, single seat with radio box, etc. But all these special options are especially developed, tested and homologated. No other police motorcycle fulfills these standards and comes completely produced ex-factory with all police options.
“With regards to the engine, it is standard – as used on civil bikes. Special adjustments to the suspension depend on the model. There are recommendations concerning the tires for our police bikes which are mentioned in the special option list. The radio equipment is fitted ex-factory for the German police. We are also able to fit a special radio preparation with instrumental panel also for the export markets to connect their radio but most of them do it locally because they have separate supplier contracts.”
In addition to supplying a base bike, BMW Motorrad can also supply additional accessories to suit the customer. These can range from additional easy-fit switchgear to control the various lighting, siren and radio systems to specialist under-seat platforms for communication devices. Purpose-built pannier systems are the toughest out there. Complementing the motorcycle, a complete range of Authority police clothing is available to the same high specification as BMW Rider Equipment – in fact many other service agencies use the BMW Rider Equipment for its own needs including the new System Six helmet and optional built-in communication pack.
Since 1970, BMW Motorrad has supplied in excess of 130,000 Authority motorcycles to all corners of the world, the majority of which are ‘Behördenfahrzeuge’ – enforcement bikes. Reliability, comfort, capability and exceptional safety through the use of ABS are necessary for machines that can spend upwards of 10 hours on the go, all day and every day. This is why so many people, law agencies and services, choose the motorcycles of BMW Motorrad.