Plant City police ditch Harleys in favor of Victory motorcycles

PLANT CITY —
The city’s motorcycle officers have new sets of wheels.

The city police department recently rolled out four Victory motorcycles, which officers say are more powerful and safer than the Harley-Davidsons they replace.

“The safety features provided on the Victory motor is second to none,” Senior Officer Russell Bass said. “It turns well, has forged steel roll protectors, pinned down floorboards and a bottom skid plate that protects the bike from impact and debris.”

The Victory Commander I’s also feature a black and white art deco look.

The city revived its motorcycle unit about 10 years ago after a hiatus of several years. Master Patrol Officer Fred Morris, who has been with the unit since its rebirth, said the Victorys make tighter turns and have the ground clearance to drive over curbs without damage.

The motorcycles also come with tip over protection and the fixed floorboards reduce the possibility of an officer breaking or twisting a foot, ankle or knee in the event the bike goes down, officers said.

The city bought the four new bikes at a cost of more than $30,000 each. The city plans to sell three of its Harley-Davidsons at auction and keep the fourth for a historical display.

Plant City police say they are the only department east of the Mississippi River using Victory motorcycles. Public Information Officer Tray Towles said factors in making the switch included five-year wheel-to-wheel factory warranty and maintenance.

The warranty and maintenance agreement will save the city thousands of dollars over the life of each bike, the department said.

A police news release hails the Victory as the “best police motorcycle on the market.”

Officer Kyle Russell, a member of the motorcycle unit since August 2009, likes the powerful, 97-horsepower, 106 cubic inch engine.

“We want to accelerate in traffic and get behind the traffic offender as quickly as possible to limit danger to the public,” he said.

As read on: http://www2.tbo.com/news/plant-city/2011/oct/21/police-ditch-harleys-in-favor-of-victory-motorcycl-ar-273306/

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