Beemer beats Harley

AMHERST – Amherst police will be the first in New Hampshire to use a BMW motorcycle for traffic enforcement.

The department has been using Harley-
Davidson bikes, but BMW brought up a bike from its North American corporate headquarters in New Jersey, and police were “exceedingly impressed,” Amherst Police Chief Mark Reams told selectmen recently.

“We got to put it through its paces,” he said, and it’s safer and more useful than Harley-Davidson.

He told selectmen the department has signed a lease with BMW and the deal matches what
Harley-Davidson offered.

BMW seems to want to have a presence in New England, the chief said, “so we were able to negotiate down from their traditional lease price … and match Harley-Davidson’s.”

The police department’s motorcycle traffic enforcement program has been using Harley-Davidson since it began in 2001.

There are two motorcycle officers who alternate use of the bike in the spring and early fall.

They have “an amazing relationship with residents,” the chief said, and people allow them to sit in driveways and run radar.

The lease deal costs $4,329 a year for four years, with no intention to purchase. There is money in the department’s budget for the lease.

According to Wikipedia, in 2008, BMW claimed to be the largest seller of motorcycles for law enforcement, with more than 225 U.S. law enforcement agencies, including the California highway patrol, because they are lighter and have better handling than
Harley-Davidson models.