Police Cars vs Motorcycles – hard performance numbers

We motorcyclists like to think our motorcycles easily outperform the typical car.  For acceleration, that’s almost a given.  A motorcycle has a much better power:weight ratio, so it’s no surprise even relatively small displacement, say, a KLR 650, will out accelerate most cars on the road.

But when it comes to other performance measures, such as braking and lap times on a racing circuits, motorcycles have more difficulty.  Racing means maximizing traction – that is, cornering speed and braking – in addition to acceleration.  Because 4-wheel vehicles have more rubber on the road, ‘cages’ have an advantage over the paltry two patches of rubber motorcycles have.

Each year, the Michigan State Police conduct performance testing of the available police (or more correctly, ‘authority’) vehicles, which includes most of the available cars, SUVs and motorcycles sold specifically for police use.  Read the complete 2014 report here.

Excerpts from the 2014 Michigan State Police Vehicle Evaluation – Model Year 2014

(All selected police vehicles commonly seen in Alberta)

POLICE CARS & SUVS

0-60 mph acceleration

  1. 2014.5 Ford (Taurus) 3.5-litre AWD EcoBoost Police Interceptor, 5.66 sec. (Slower than quickest motorcycle, 2013 BMW R1200 RTP and all 7 motorcycles tested)
  2. 2014 Ford (Taurus) 3.5-litre AWD EcoBoost Police Interceptor, 5.71 sec.
  3. 2014.5 Dodge Charger 5.7-litre AWD, 6.04 sec.
  4. 2014.5 Dodge Charger 5.7-litre, 6.12 sec.
  5. 2014 Dodge Charger 5.7-litre, 6.13 sec.
  6. 2014 Ford (Explorer) 3.5-litre EcoBoost, 6.28 sec.
  7. 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV 5.3-litre, 8.22 sec.
  8. 2014 Dodge Charger 3.6-litre, 8.32 sec.

Top speed

(Attained within 14 miles)

  1. 2014 Dodge Charger 5.7-litre, 152 mph
  2. 2014.5 Dodge Charger 5.7-litre, 150 mph
  3. 2014 Ford (Taurus) Police Interceptor EcoBoost 3.5-litre AWD, 149 mph
  4. 2014.5 Dodge Charger 5.7-litre AWD, 148 mph
  5. 2014 Dodge Charger 3.6-litre, 141 mph
  6. 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3-litre, 139 mph (Ties with fastest motorcycle, BMW F800 GTP)
  7. 2014 Ford (Taurus) Police Interceptor AWD 3.7-litre, 132 mph
  8. 2014 Ford (Explorer) AWD SUV 3.7-litre, 131 mph
  9. 2014 Ford (Explorer) AWD SUV EcoBoost 3.5-litre, 131 mph

Braking (60-0 mph)

  1. 2014.5 Dodge Charger 5.7-litre, 126.5 ft.
  2. 2014 Dodge Charger 3.6-litre, 127.5 ft.
  3. 2014.5 Dodge Charger AWD 5.7-litre, 128 ft. (Ties with best braking motorcycle, BMW F800 GTP)
  4. 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3-litre, 133.2 ft.
  5. 2014 Ford (Explorer) Police Interceptor AWD SUV 3.7-litre, 134.2 ft.
  6. 2014.5 Ford (Explorer) Police Interceptor AWD SUV EcoBoost 3.5-litre, 134.9 ft.
  7. 2014 Ford (Taurus) Police Interceptor AWD EcoBoost 3.5-litre, 135.8 ft.
  8. 2014 Ford (Taurus) Police Interceptor AWD 3.7-litre, 136.7 ft.

Lap times (Vehicle Dynamics), Grattan Raceway

  1. 2014.5 Dodge Charger 5.7-litre, 94.75 sec.
  2. 2014.5 Ford (Taurus) Police Interceptor AWD EcoBoost 3.5-litre, 95.05 sec.
  3. 2014 Ford (Taurus) Police Interceptor AWD EcoBoost 3.5-litre, 95.19
  4. 2014 Dodge Charger AWD 5.7-litre, 96.0 sec.
  5. 2014.5 Dodge Charger 3.6-litre, 97.28 sec.
  6. 2014 Ford (Taurus) Police Interceptor AWD 3.7-litre, 97.41 sec.
  7. 2014.5 Ford (Explorer) AWD SUV EcoBoost 3.5-litre, 97.70 sec.
  8. 2014 Ford (Taurus) Police Interceptor FWD 3.5-litre, 98.75 sec. (Beats fastest motorcycle, BMW F800 GTP)
  9. 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3-litre, 102.35 sec.

POLICE MOTORCYCLES

0-60 mph acceleration

  1. 2013 BMW R1200 RTP, 4.37 sec.
  2. BMW F800 GTP, 4.99 sec.
  3. Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 ABS, 5.51 sec.
  4. Victory Commander, 5.31 sec.
  5. Moto Guzzi California Touring 1200 ABS, 5.51 sec.
  6. Harley-Davidson FLHTP (Electra Glide), 5.53 sec.
  7. Harley-Davidson FLHP (Road King), 5.57 sec. (Beats quickest car/SUV, Ford (Taurus) AWD 3.5-litre EcoBoost)

Top speed

  1. BMW F800 GTP, 139 mph (Ties 6th place car/SUV Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3-litre)
  2. 2013 BMW R1200 RTP, 130 mph
  3. Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 ABS, 129 mph
  4. Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring ABS, 122 mph
  5. Victory Commander, 115 mph
  6. Harley-Davidson FLHP (Road King), 110 mph
  7. Harley-Davidson FLHTP (Electra Glide), 107 mph

Braking (60-0 mph)

  1. BMW F800 GTP, 128.3 ft. (Ties 3rd place car/SUV Dodge Charger AWD 5.7-litre)
  2. Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 ABS, 131.0 ft.
  3. Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring ABS, 133.2 ft.
  4. 2013 BMW R1200 RTP, 138.7 ft.
  5. Harley-Davidson FLHTP (Electra Glife), 143.4 ft.
  6. Harley-Davidson FLHP (Road King), 144.9 ft.
  7. Victory Commander, 159.9 ft.

Lap times (Vehicle Dynamics), Grattan Raceway

  1. BMW F800 GTP, 99.59 sec. (Slower than 8th place Ford (Taurus) FWD 3.5-litre)
  2. 2013 BMW R1200 RTP, 100.28 sec.
  3. Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 ABS, 101.0 sec.
  4. Harley-Davidson FLHP (Road King), 108.47 sec.
  5. Harley-Davidson FLHTP (Electra Glide), 108.67 sec.
  6. Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring ABS, 109.52 sec.
  7. Victory Commander, 111.97 sec.

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