Yamaha Revs Police Hearts
Police must have been reading NZ Autocar reviews because they’re trading out of their Honda ST1300 four-cylinder sports tourers to lighter, more nimble and fuel efficient three-pot machines from Yamaha. The new bikes are based on the excellent MT-09 Tracer (in this case called MT09TRAP which sounds ominous, but is short for Tracer, Police).
Yamaha was one of four companies that took part in last year’s tender to supply police bikes. The officers who ride these machines tested them at the Royal New Zealand Police College. Criteria included engine and brake performance, weight, fuel efficiency/emissions and cost.
Wellington’s Senior Constable John McGrail helped evaluate the MT09TRAP, and noted that the new bike is more agile, easier to ride, and is also faster.
Inspector Brian Yanko, Police Fleet Manager, commented that police riders noticed key differences, as the Tracer 900s are lighter (by around 100kg compared with the outgoing machines), safer (with various levels of traction control, along with three different engine modes) and more fuel efficient.
Other safety features include an assist and slipper clutch, and hand guards. The bike’s CO2 emissions of 116g/km compares with 156g/km for the outgoing machines.
Police motorcycles are involved in law enforcement, clearly, but also VIP protection and special events where the new Skoda Superbs might not be able to go. The fleet itself is 27 strong and new bikes will come into service as the high-mileage bikes need replacing.
Yanko mentioned that technology has advanced in recent years so it’s important to not only keep the riders safe but also take advantage of improved fuel efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint.
The first of the new machines is already on the road, with more coming on stream as the older bikes are replaced across the country.