AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Amarillo Police Department Motorcycle Squad has seven new bikes on duty for the first time in more than 30 years.
The unit's officers have been riding on the same Electra Glide Ultra Classic Harley Davidson bikes since the 1980s, but will soon be making the switch to Road King Harleys.
Police say the older model had several disadvantages including its battery, which was required to power the entire bike as well as police equipment. APD said the battery caused shortages that interfered with camera footage taken from the motorcycles.
The Road Kings hold dual batteries, one to power the motorcycle alone while the second powers the surveillance footage, radio systems and the LED lights. Sergeant Wes Hill said the new bike model makes the ride safer for the officer.
"I have been getting a lot of feedback that they are able to maneuver the bike much easier due to the weight of not having the fairing on the front of the bike," Hill said. "They can see the ground and obstacles in the roads better as opposed to the fairing bike, where you had this obstruction in the front of the bike."
The Motorcycle Squad is staffed with 12 officers and Hill. Currently there are seven new Road Kings and six Ultra Classics. This fall the last six Classics are expected to be replaced by Road Kings as well.