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Police Sportbike

Sportbike / July 27, 2019

The “mobs of stunt/sport bikes” tend to forget, every cop has a radio (and these days a digital dashcam), and every rider that does not pull over when signaled to do so is “evading arrest”, which is a serious charge. (Granted, if you’re popping wheelies on the freeway, you’re already on the hook for a reckless driving charge, so evasion might not be that big of a deal to you.)

The other thing many riders forget, is that a police car may not be as quick to accelerate as a sportbike, but it has a much higher fuel range, and the officer behind the wheel has been trained to drive fast and how to stop a car using his vehicle - a bike is easy-peasy to send into the grass. Also, once a stop escalates into a chase, the police officer may not be as concerned with the rider’s health and well-being, as he is with getting said rider off the road before he causes a wreck with another vehicle. So a forceful takedown is not “off the table”. In addition, he’s very likely to have called in the chase, which means other officers will be waiting, and will have planned out ways to stop the rider, via roadblocks, tire spikes, and so on.

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Lastly, if the chase is around a metro area, the police probably have access to a helicopter, and those things are really hard to evade. They’ll just keep the hooligans in sight (and on camera) and wait for the riders to stop. And that’s when the cops on the ground swoop in.

For groups of bikes, once a police officer has a video clip of the bike and the rider, even without a plate, they can probably track down the bike and the owner later on with a little detective work. Or, they can perform what we riders call the “Squeeze Play” which is, they stop EVERY rider and write EVERY infraction, until the hooligans are identified or turn themselves in. Most rider clubs don’t react well to the Squeeze Play, and will happily turn in the less well-behaved in their ranks, in exchange for being (mostly) left alone.

Lastly, if a group of bikes is traveling cross-country, word of their behavior in transit gets sent ahead, especially if they’re headed to a popular biker destination such as Daytona Bike Week or Sturgis. Jurisdictions “up the road” will step up patrols, perhaps set up a moto-only checkpoint if the state allows such, and anyone who doesn’t have the proper plates, the proper insurance, the proper gear… well they might not make it to the meet (or their bike might not….)

I’m all for spirited riding, but never when it can endanger others, and definitely not around those sworn to Serve and Protect. If an officer wants me on the side of the road for a review of the paperwork and a Safety Talk, I pull over. It’s easier that way.

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