10 Best Police Motorcycles in the US [Video]

Based on our research, the 10 best police motorcycles in the US are as follows:

  1. H-D FLHP Police Road King
  2. H-D FLHTP Police Electra Glide
  3. H-D Sportster Iron 883
  4. Buell XB12XP Ulysses
  5. BMW R 1250 RT-P (and R 1200 RT-P)
  6. Honda ST1300P
  7. Kawasaki Concours 14P
  8. Victory Commander
  9. Victory Vision
  10. Zero MMX electric bikes

If you want to find out more about these iconic machines, you’ve come to the right place.

We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know under one roof!

What Kind of Motorcycles do the Police Use?

As reported by the popular American manufacturer, the first police motorcycles in the US were built by Harley-Davidson. These vintage machines were acquired by the Detroit Police Department in 1908.

During the following years more and more police Harley-Davidsons appeared on the streets. Later Japanese and BMW touring bikes started to gain popularity since they easily outperformed the American V-twins.

Today, US police departments primarily use big-inch baggers, cruisers, and touring motorcycles, but electric off-road bikes have also been used since 2011. Regarding brands, you can mainly find Harley, Victory, Buell, Kawasaki, Honda, BMW, and Zero motorcycles in police departmet fleets.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about these manufacturers and their dedicated police motorcycles in detail!

10 Best Police Motorcycles in the US

1. H-D FLHP Police Road King

There’s no question that one of the most iconic US police motorcycles is the Harley-Davidson FLHP Road King Police edition.

This massive police bagger is powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 114 cubic inch engine. This 1868cc, 4-stroke V-Twin delivers 102 HP and ensures a top speed of about 109 mph.

Key specs:

  • Engine: Milwaukee-Eight 114, V-Twin
  • Displacement: 1868cc/114ci
  • Power: 102 HP
  • Torque: 123 ft. lb. @ 3000 RPM
  • Top speed: 109 mph
  • Curb weight: 842 lbs
  • Length: 96.5 in.
  • Wheelbase: 64 in.

2. H-D FLHTP Police Electra Glide

The H-D FLHTP Police Electra Glide is a close relative of the flagship Road King, but comes with larger fairings and a white color scheme.

Due to its widespread use, the traditional white Electra Glide is probably the most generally-known police motorcycle in the US.

As the name suggests, these two “Police Edition” Harley models are specifically engineered for the police, but they are also commonly used by fire/rescue departments nationwide.

Key Specs:

  • Engine: Milwaukee-Eight 114, V-Twin
  • Displacement: 1868cc/114ci
  • Power: 102 HP
  • Torque: 123 ft. lb. @ 3000 RPM
  • Top speed: 104 mph
  • Curb weight: 820 lbs
  • Length: 94.7 in.
  • Wheelbase: 64 in.

3. H-D Sportster Iron 883

The Sportster Iron 883 is the smaller brother of the aforementioned Harley police bagger.

This smaller cruiser is much more lightweight with easy handling, which is a huge advantage in crowded towns.

The heart of the Sportster Iron is an 883cc, V-Twin engine delivering 49 HP and 53.8 lbs-ft of maximum torque at 3750 RPM.

Key Specs:

  • Engine: 883 Evolution V-twin
  • Displacement: 883cc/53.9ci
  • Power: 49 HP
  • Torque: 53.8 ft. lb. @ 3750 RPM
  • Top speed: 105 mph
  • Curb weight: 564 lbs
  • Length: 86 in.
  • Wheelbase: 59.6 in.

4. Buell XB12XP Ulysses

Contrary to popular belief, the Pan America is not the first V-twin-powered American adventure motorcycle.

In 1993, Harley-Davidson acquired a minority interest in Buell Motorcycle. As a result of this marriage, the Buell XB series was born in the early 2000s.

To save development costs, these motorcycles utilized the sport-adventure chassis of Buell motorcycles but they were powered by Harley V-twin engines.

Besides commercially-available models, the manufacturer offered the Buell XB12XP Ulysses, specifically engineered for police departments.

This model utilized a 1203cc, 45-degree V-twin engine that cranked out 103 HP and 84 ft-lb of torque.

Unfortunately, Harley discontinued the entire Buell product line after the 2009 season.

Key Specs:

  • Engine: 45-degree, OHV, V-twin
  • Displacement: 1203cc
  • Power: 103 HP @ 6800 rpm
  • Torque: 84 ft-lb
  • Top speed: 131 mph
  • Dry weight: 465 lbs
  • Length: 85 in.
  • Wheelbase: 54.4 in.

5. BMW 1250 RT-P

Besides Harley-Davidsons, another popular police motorcycle is the BMW R 1250 RT-P.

This model is not only one of the most popular import police motorcycles in the US, but it’s also commonly used in many law enforcement agencies globally.

The BMW R 1250 RT-P is known for its outstanding comfort and reliability. It’s also very easy to maneuver and comes with many useful features and accessories.

Its predecessor was the R 1200 RT-P with a slightly smaller, 1170cc engine. This air-cooled, horizontally-opposed twin could propel the bike up to 60 mph in 4.41 seconds while its claimed top speed was 131 mph.

This machine was redesigned in the mid-2010s and returned with more advanced features including improved handling, wet clutch, electronic suspension adjustment, traction control, ABS, riding modes, and heated grips.

The new BMW R 1250 RT-P is powered by a more powerful liquid-cooled 1254cc engine rated at 136 HP.

Thanks to its amazing performance and luxury features, more than 100,000 BWM RT-Ps are being used by authorities worldwide!

Key Specs:

  • Engine: Air-cooled, horizontally-opposed twin
  • Displacement: 1454cc
  • Power: 136 HP at 7,750 rpm
  • Torque: 105 lbs-ft. at 6,250 rpm
  • Top speed: 124 mph
  • Curb weight: 615 lbs
  • Length: 87.5 in.
  • Wheelbase: 58.5 in.

6. Honda ST1300P

Japanese motorcycle manufacturers are also well-known for their reliable and comfortable police bikes.

One of the most widely-used models in the US is the Honda ST1300P powered by a powerful V4 engine. This 1261cc, DOHC, 90° V-4 power source is rated at 125 HP with 85 lb-ft of torque at 6000 RPM.

Just like any Honda motorcycle, the ST1300P comes with legendary reliability and durability.

It also offers excellent comfort, a smooth and quiet operation, and with as many bells and whistles that a police officer might need.

  • Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC 90° V-4
  • Displacement: 1261cc
  • Power: 125 HP
  • Torque: 85 lbs-ft. at 6,000 rpm
  • Curb weight: 743 lbs
  • Wheelbase: 58.7 in.

7. Kawasaki Concours 14P

Besides the Honda ST1300P, another popular Japanese police motorcycle is the Kawasaki Concours 14P.

This amazing touring bike is designed with a large 4-cylinder, 1325cc engine, which puts out a whopping 156 HP with 102 lb-ft of torque.

Beyond standard features like ABS and traction control, this police-edition Kawasaki comes with a wide range of unique features. These include a second battery for the electric gadgets, complemented with a second wiring harness, and an adjustable speedo.

Designed with easier maneuverability in mind, the “police edition” Concours 14P has a tighter turning radius as well.

Key specs:

  • Engine: Liquid-cooled, 4-cylinder in-line
  • Displacement: 1325cc
  • Power: 156 HP
  • Max torque: 102 lbs-ft.
  • Top speed: 155 mph
  • Curb weight: 690 lbs

8. Victory Commander Police

The Victory Commander is a large bagger police bike utilizing a massive, 1731cc (106ci) V-twin engine.

It’s built on a large chassis measuring more than 106 inches in length and it weighs 900 pounds.

Due to its impressive power source, the Commander can hit 60 mph in 5.68 seconds, and 100 mph in 18.74 seconds. The top speed of the bike is about 117 mph under ideal conditions.

Key specs:

  • Engine: Air-cooled, 4-stroke, V-twin
  • Displacement: 1731cc/106ci
  • Power: 97 HP
  • Torque: 119.0 ft-lb
  • Top speed: 117 mph
  • Curb weight: 900 lbs
  • Length: 106.4 in.
  • Wheelbase: 65.7 in.

9. Victory Vision Police

The Victory Vision is a close relative of the Commander but it’s dressed in a well-designed full fairing kit. Many riders agree that this bike is the most eye-catching police motorcycle ever built in the US!

The large and spectacular fairing is not just for aesthetics as it has some aerodynamic advantages as well. Compared to the Commander the Vision is slightly faster, as its claimed top speed is a remarkable 120 mph.

After many years of production, Victory motorcycles and the entire brand were discontinued in 2017.

Key specs:

  • Engine: Air-cooled, 4-stroke, V-twin
  • Displacement: 1731cc/106ci
  • Power: 97 HP
  • Torque: 119.0 ft-lb
  • Top speed: 120 mph
  • Curb weight: 900 lbs
  • Length: 106.4 in.
  • Wheelbase: 65.7 in.

10. Zero MMX Police/Military

Prior to 2010, US police departments exclusively used gas-powered motorcycles.

But everything changed in 2011 when the Scotts Valley Police Department acquired the first electric police motorcycle ever built.

Designed and engineered by Zero Motorcycles, the fully-electric Zero DS Police did a very good job so it was followed by some all-new electric purpose-built police bikes.

One of the most well-known is arguably the Zero MMX Police/Military, which appeared in LAPD’s motorcycle fleet in 2014.

Compared to its gas-powered counterparts, the MMX is much easier to maintain and transport. This is no surprise since the bike is not only as lightweight as 275 pounds, but it also has no need for gas, powertrain, and transmission fluids.

Its Z-Force 75-5 electric engine and direct drive gearing deliver 46 HP and a peak torque of 78 ft-lb. The claimed top speed of the bike is 85 mph while it can do the 0-60 run in just 4.4. seconds.

Its swappable battery pack produces about two hours of running time with average use.

Key specs:

  • Engine: Fully-electric Z-Force 75-5
  • Power: 46 HP (34 kW) @ 4,300 rpm
  • Torque: 78 ft-lb (106 Nm)
  • Top speed: 85 mph
  • Curb weight 275 lb
  • Carrying capacity 355 lb
  • Wheelbase 56.6 in
  • Seat height 34.7 in

Takeaways – FAQs About US Police Motorcycles

What Kind of Motorcycles do the Police Use in the US?

US police departments primarily use gas-powered motorcycles, but more and more electric bikes are appearing in their fleets. The most commonly used brands are Harley-Davidson, BWM, Kawasaki, Honda, and Zero.

What Kind of Harleys do the Police Ride in the US?

These days US police departments typically use three Harley-Davidson models, namely the Iron Sportster 833, the FLHP Police Road King, and the FLHTP Police Electra Glide.

Why do US Police Forces Ride BMW motorcycles?

Besides the American-made V-twins, BMW touring motorcycles have also gained in popularity among police officers for their durability, reliability, great comfort, and luxury features.

How Much Does a Police Motorcycle Weigh?

As a rule of thumb, a gas-powered US motorcycle can weigh anywhere from 550 to 900 pounds, but most models average between 700 and 900 pounds. In contrast, electric police motorcycles only weigh 270-300 pounds.


  • Zero MMX Police: 275 lbs
  • H-D Sportster Iron 883: 564 lbs
  • BMW 1250 RT-P: 615 lbs
  • Kawasaki Concours 14P: 690 lbs
  • Honda ST1300P: 743 lbs
  • H-D FLHP Police Road King: 842 lbs
  • H-D FLHTP Police Electra Glide: 844 lbs
  • Victory Commander: 900 lbs
  • Victory Vision: 900 lbs

How Many CC is a Police Motorcycle?

The engine displacement of police motorcycles varies between 883cc (54ci) and 1900cc (116ci), but the vast majority of them displace around 1250-1900cc (76-116ci).


  • H-D Sportster Iron 883: 883cc
  • BMW 1250 RT-P: 1254cc
  • Honda ST1300P: 1261cc
  • Kawasaki Concours 14P: 1352cc
  • Victory Commander: 1731cc
  • Victory Vision: 1731cc
  • H-D FLHP Police Road King: 1868cc
  • H-D FLHTP Police Electra Glide: 1868cc

How Much HP Does a Police Motorcycle Have?

The engine power of police motorcycles starts at about 45 HP and goes up to 155 HP, but most have about 100-155 HP. Electric police motorcycles produce about 45-50 HP, while their gas-powered brothers put out 50-155 HP.


  • H-D Sportster Iron 883: 49 HP
  • Victory Commander: 97 HP
  • Victory Vision: 97 HP
  • H-D FLHP Police Road King: 102 HP
  • H-D FLHTP Police Electra Glide: 102 HP
  • Honda ST1300P: 125 HP
  • BMW 1250 RT-P: 136 HP
  • Kawasaki Concours 14P: 155 HP

How Fast Can a Police Motorcycle Go?

The top speed of police motorcycles averages between 75 and 155 mph depending on the model.

You can find the slowest models among electric-powered models with a claimed top speed of 75-80 mph, while American cruiser and bagger police bikes top out at 100-120 mph. The fastest police bikes are arguably European/Japanese sport-touring models, which can reach 125-155 mph with ease.


  • H-D FLHTP Police Electra Glide: 104 mph
  • H-D Sportster Iron 883: 105 mph
  • H-D FLHP Police Road King: 109 mph
  • BMW 1250 RT-P: 124 mph
  • Victory Vision: 124 mph
  • Victory Commander: 117 mph
  • Honda ST1300 Police: 144 mph
  • Kawasaki Concours 14P: 155 mph

Which Police Motorcycle is the Fastest?

The fastest police motorcycle in the US right now is the Kawasaki Concours 14P with a claimed top speed of 155 mph.

Why do Police Forces use Harleys?

As reported by the National Motorcycle Museum, more than 3,400 US police departments use Harley motorcycles.

There are many reasons why so many US police departments use Harleys, but the most important ones are probably as follows:

  • Harleys have a low center of gravity and low seat height, which come in handy on slow-speed maneuvers.
  • Thanks to their simplicity and relatively lower power output per liter, Harleys’ V-twin engines are very reliable and durable.
  • Harleys are also fairly comfortable, which is a key point for police officers who often ride 8-10 hours per day.
  • Harley is an American motorcycle brand with a large fleet and an extended dealer network.
  • These bikes have great resale value.

What is the Benefit of the Police Using Motorcycles?

The key benefits of using police motorcycles include:

  • Unlike cars, police motorcycles can filter through the traffic.
  • Motorcycles are much more maneuverable.
  • They can also get to many places that cars can’t reach.
  • Motorcycles are cheaper to purchase and maintain.
  • Police motorcycles are easier to store and move around.

Which Types of Motorcycles do the Police Use in California?

You can find many different motorcycles in the fleet of California police departments, including Harley-Davidsons, BMWs, Kawasakis, and Zero electric bikes.

Which Police Motorcycle is the Best?

It’s hard to tell which is the best police motorcycle, but one of the most widely used models is arguably the BWM 1250 RT-P. Besides this European bike, Harleys and Japanese touring bikes are also commonly used by police departments.





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