In a bid to facilitate better policing, Kolkata Traffic Police has recently procured five Harley Davidson bikes. The 750 cc two wheelers had been purchased at Rs 5.5 lakh each in April-May and were unveiled on August 15.
Officials said that these superbikes would be used on special occasions. “They have been bought for special jobs. Ceremonial parades for programmes like Independence Day, Republic Day, VVIP piloting, and some specific tasks like providing green corridors to ambulances, which would be used for facilitating organ transplant. We might also be using these while conducting special raids on biker gangs; there are many in the city,” said V Solomon Nesakumar, Deputy Commissioner (traffic).
Asked if this was the first instance in the country, he said it was probably the second. “I think Gujarat Police has some in Ahmedabad. Other than that it is not used anywhere else in India,” Nesakumar said.
After having tried his hands on the bike, Nesakumar said that no special training is required for officers to handle the mean machines. “It is just like any other bike, only more powerful, and has a better pickup and is more sturdy. However, one needs to be careful while using the accelerator,” he said.
The feedback from all the officers so far has been positive but there is no immediate plan to ditch the Bullets that have been used by the force so far.
“Everyone is happy that Kolkata Police has one of the best bikes available. We also need to have the best available in the world in terms of technology and equipment,” Nesakumar added.
THE MEAN MACHINES
These state-of-the-art bikes are liquid-cooled, equipped with a V-twin engine, a maximum power of 57.6 BHP, reaches 0-100 kmph at 6.15 seconds, travels at a top speed of 180 kmph with an economy of 23.3 km per litre under test conditions. The bikes are black in colour with seats and sides having black and white chequered symbol of Kolkata Police and the white dikki has ‘Safe drive save life’ written, a phrase coined by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.