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Pulled over...


RTP'er

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Ok, went for a little lunch time ride. At one point I passed a slow car in a 40 zone and, according to the cop, hit 55 for a second. When he caught up to me I was cruising at 45mph.

 

So he pulls me over for speeding. License, reg, insurance, all in order. Then he says. You are obligated to paint your RTP a solid color as per California law. I said, oh? Never heard that before. He said, yup, it's the law.

 

For the next ten minutes he and the second cop that showed up lean over their trunks reading their vehicle code books. I assume to find the law stating that fact. After ten minutes they gave up and he gave me a warning for the speeding.

 

"Keep your speed down, it's easier on the bike" He said.

 

"Thank you officer, I will be more careful next time..."

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Ok, I did some research. I guess the cop was wrong.

 

"Used Police Vehicles

27604. When a motor vehicle formerly used in law enforcement is sold to any person and is used for purposes other than law enforcement, the vehicle shall be painted or partially painted by the seller or agency formerly using such vehicle so that it will no longer resemble a law enforcement vehicle. The provisions of this section do not apply to motorcycles without insignia."

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Yes well, I am very happy about this as I love my black and white colors, not to mention the respect I get on the freeway.

 

In fact, they should deputize me, I am singlehandedly responsible for people slowing down all around me.

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Riding a police-looking bike has two sides. On a multi-lane road people slow down and move over which is OK. On a two-lane they slow down to 10 miles under the limit and there isn't much you can do about it.

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Ok, went for a little lunch time ride. At one point I passed a slow car in a 40 zone and, according to the cop, hit 55 for a second. When he caught up to me I was cruising at 45mph.

 

So he pulls me over for speeding. License, reg, insurance, all in order. Then he says. You are obligated to paint your RTP a solid color as per California law. I said, oh? Never heard that before. He said, yup, it's the law.

 

For the next ten minutes he and the second cop that showed up lean over their trunks reading their vehicle code books. I assume to find the law stating that fact. After ten minutes they gave up and he gave me a warning for the speeding.

 

"Keep your speed down, it's easier on the bike" He said.

 

"Thank you officer, I will be more careful next time..."

 

 

Actually they are probably right. In AZ there are similar laws that have to do with the paint scheme, lights to the front and rear and any emblems that could mislead the public. I have wondered for years about BMW and their RTP program. I personally could care less. However....there are reasons this is in place in states like AZ .

 

 

The traffic code has hundreds of laws and "points of law" that are impossible to remember and even harder to find in the minutia buried in the book. I always carried a cheat sheet that made life pretty easy.

 

Another officer may know it and bingo..a tix is in order and a written demand for a paint change. But, who knows.

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Bradley_Gillie
Sounds like the stopping officers were right for cars but not for bikes.

 

And it sounds like it would have been up to the PD that sold the vehicle to change the paint color, not the buyer.

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Ok, I did some research. I guess the cop was wrong.

 

"Used Police Vehicles

27604. When a motor vehicle formerly used in law enforcement is sold to any person and is used for purposes other than law enforcement, the vehicle shall be painted or partially painted by the seller or agency formerly using such vehicle so that it will no longer resemble a law enforcement vehicle. The provisions of this section do not apply to motorcycles without insignia."

 

Well even if they were right it is not your responsibility to paint it!

It clearly states that it is the sellers or the agency that was using the vehicle to paint it!

So really they would hve to give the ticket to the seller or the previous agency!

 

At least it confused them enough to let you off on the speeding thing!

 

Andy.

 

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The law in Texas, in 1966, was like the Cali cops thought. Worked magnificently in my favor. My older brother went off to college in a very small town (Georgetown, Tx) and somehow was offered the purchase of the local undertaker's 1949 Cadillac hearse, which had doubled as the county ambulance all those years. Had a sireen...not a siren, a sireen, the size of an early jet engine, and a single red light behind the grill, about 12 inches in diameter. He loaded all his pledge brothers up in it one very drunken night and drove around the courthouse and up and down the main street with both light and sireen going to beat the band. It was not the first time he spent the night in a jail, nor would it be the last. The school would normally have booted him, but our uncle was a bigshot Methodist preacher (the school is a Methodist school) so they put him on "probation" and made him get rid of the car, which first he had to retrieve from the police, who made him remove the light and sireen, in accordance with the law. I inherited the hearse, and drove it all my high school senior year. Total, complete, babe magnet. Parked it sideways at the drive in. Crime pays, it just doesn't always pay the criminal.

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....On a two-lane they slow down to 10 miles under the limit and there isn't much you can do about it.

 

Curse of the RTP. :/

 

Never had any "complaints" about the color scheme, but B&W is in minimal use out here.

 

 

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Riding a police-looking bike has two sides. On a multi-lane road people slow down and move over which is OK. On a two-lane they slow down to 10 miles under the limit and there isn't much you can do about it.

 

Tell me about it. I get that constantly when I drive the Crown Vic.

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If I leave work I like to put a plain sweatshirt/coat on, or remove my shirt and belt badge. For the same reason I wouldn't want my RT painted like a police vehicle. If I'm not working, I wouldn't want the public to think that I am. With your bike painted that way, you could draw negative attention from those the police deal with, that you may not be equipped to handle.

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When I purchased my RT-P, I had a choice of 2 [boy, did I choose wrong] -

 

 

[*]one with decals on the bike [they were scratched up, but still legible]

[*]one without decals

 

he said I could pick either, both were legal for me drive in Florida.

 

He's only question... "Do you want to scare your friends, or not?"

 

 

 

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When I rode an R1100RTP, I was standing in line at the local Italian deli behind a CHP officer. He saw me park my bike in front of the store, then gave me the same business about not being allowed to ride a black-and-white bike. I had no counter-argument, other than why would Long Beach BMW sell 75 of them to the public if they were illegal. Weak argument, I know. Long story short, the CHP officer radioed back to his CO, and after a short discussion over the radio, came over and apologized and admitted he was wrong.

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Dave McReynolds

I'm curious as to why anyone who is not a LEO would want to be mistaken for one. As has been recounted, LEOs don't like it, and think it's illegal, so you get hassled unnecessarily. I'm sure the gum chewing public doesn't like it when they miss a heart-beat thinking you're a LEO when you're not, so you probably attract unnecessary hate from them too. I think if I bought one, the first thing I would do is to paint the whole thing yellow or something. What's the big attraction?

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I was "hassled" because I was speeding, not because my bike is black and white. In fact, most cops wave at me even in cars.

 

When someone is about to pull out in front of me and they then see me, they often stop when they see me coming. On prior bikes they would have just kept going even if they saw me.

 

When lane splitting on the freeway, most people move over a little to give me MORE room. On previous other color bikes they generally move over to give me LESS room.

 

I have had zero bad feedback from driving the black and white. And even the cop today was nice and let me off with a warning. In my car at 15 over in a 40 zone I would most likely have gotten a ticket.

 

I was also going to paint mine once I got it home. Then I cleaned it up and found the original factory paint to be perfect. I am keeping my paint scheme.

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Not only do people slow down around me but I get some poeple pulling over. The curious thing is that most who pull over have just broken a law in front of me. Running a red light, failing to yield to me.

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What's the big attraction?

Its cool. Its different. Mine was a Sheriff bike, so it was green and white. I liked the crashbars, mounted fog lights on them. Like the radio box, very handy - never have ridden 2up on any of my bikes. It was a work bike, wasn't pretty - all business.

 

99.99999% of the LEO are HDs in my area, so I wasn't mistaken for cop very often.

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DaveTheAffable
... LEOs don't like it, and think it's illegal, so you get hassled unnecessarily. I'm sure the gum chewing public doesn't like it when they miss a heart-beat thinking you're a LEO when you're not, so you probably attract unnecessary hate from them too....

 

+1

 

Secondarily, LEO impersonation is a sensitive issue everywhere, but there have been a couple incidents here in California in the past year on bikes AND in cages. Funeral Motors are often mistaken for LEOs.

 

And... can't remember which of the forum's I read it in, but the owner of a black and white RTP came out from lunch to find scratch marks in the paint on the tank that said, "&^$#*& the Police", along with a nice knife slice in his seat. Occasionally city / county Crown Victorias get vandalized similarly by people who think they're "unmarked" cop cars.

 

I don't have a problem with it, even think the color scheme is nice...cool.., but caveat emptor. (buyer beware)

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Ok, I did some research. I guess the cop was wrong.

 

"Used Police Vehicles

27604. When a motor vehicle formerly used in law enforcement is sold to any person and is used for purposes other than law enforcement, the vehicle shall be painted or partially painted by the seller or agency formerly using such vehicle so that it will no longer resemble a law enforcement vehicle. The provisions of this section do not apply to motorcycles without insignia."

 

Well even if they were right it is not your responsibility to paint it!

It clearly states that it is the sellers or the agency that was using the vehicle to paint it!

So really they would hve to give the ticket to the seller or the previous agency!

 

At least it confused them enough to let you off on the speeding thing!

 

Andy.

 

All kinds of cliches come to mind here like "Buyer beware", "Possession is nine tenths of the law", etc.

 

I think RTPer handled in perfectly.

 

McLovin!!!!!!

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DaveTheAffable
I was also going to paint mine once I got it home. Then I cleaned it up and found the original factory paint to be perfect. I am keeping my paint scheme.

 

And I'm certainly not trying to change your mind. It looks great. :thumbsup:

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With your bike painted that way, you could draw negative attention from those the police deal with, that you may not be equipped to handle.

 

+1 on that...

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Well, that "respect" thing you mention can be not so good sometimes.

 

When I first became a police officer in my city I noticed many of the drivers ahead of me really were driving weird.......it finally dawned on me they were trying to bet below the speed limit! Like most places, people seem to drive about 5 over the limit. But as soon as they saw me they slowed down and became traffic obstacles (to an extent) from starring in their rear view mirrors.

 

I finally figured I'd do better to speed up a little and not always do the exact speed limit when conditions allowed. :Cool:

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Interesting thread. Mostly "been there, done that" for me.

 

 

  • Laws vary from state to state. California does not require a used, ex-LEO bike to be repainted. California DOES prohibit purchase of a new BMW with CHP colors. California does not allow the bikes to retain the rear blue, running lights, or any blue light.
     
  • I like my RT-P because it improves my visibility to cages. They may like me, hate me, laugh at me, I don't care, but at least they see me.
     
  • +1 to the officer that mentions the negative attention by cop-hostile people. It's definitely a problem. I constantly watch behind me, because I've had a couple of road rage types try to bump me at freeway speeds once they realized I wasn't a LEO. (Side anecdote: I was a school security officer in college patrolling 46 schools in the Orange County area. They designed our uniforms and badges to be IDENTICAL to the local PD's. That was a problem one night when two ex-felons attacked me at 2:00 AM at a deserted high school campus. While the school district liked the uniform "presence" they forbid us to carry any arms, firearms, batons, mace, etc.. I had my 90 lb flashlight, an out-of-range radio, and "command presence" to save my life. It was enough, and I detained the suspects (on the deck) until the REAL police arrived. I was shaking uncontrollably afterwords for 2 hours, and decided two weeks later that this wasn't the ideal job for a college student with no PACE training or side arm, and quit.)
     
  • Another anecdote: I picked up my RT-P in Los Angeles, and drove it home in the back of my black pickup. I had taped over the lights, and it had no official stickers, however I still became a running traffic brake running at about 60 mph, with 5 miles of cars running behind me on a 5 lane freeway and no one was willing to pass me. I was embarrassed. I stopped 5 times to let traffic by, take lunch, add more tape, and finally tape a "not in service" sign to the back of the bike, but all the way to San Diego County, folks were wary because this bike had most of the official equipment still on it - being TRANSPORTED in the back of a CHP looking pick up. You had to laugh a little.
     
  • I have no way of proving this, but I feel pretty sure that I get a break from most cops simply because they aren't looking for a B&W BMW, i.e. I'm past them before they realize that I'm not a LEO. The same way that California drivers are programmed from the age of 16 to recognize B&W as law enforcement colors (mainly CHP), and automatically yield to the colors, the officers just subliminally screen out the colors from their traffic survey. But then, I could get my first ticket in 30 years tomorrow and that theory will be blown all to hell. :grin:
     
  • Another anecdote: 3 weeks after I had my RT-P, I was traveling on a local divided two lane road, and came upon an accident seen within seconds after a stake-bed truck rolled over. My first instinct was to stop and help. Then I thought it might help to put on my flashers and get traffic turned around (I still had the side white strobes on the sides - hadn't yet untangled the wiring and removed them, and then in a flash I realized that some (including arriving officers) might confuse me with someone impersonating an officer. What I would have done if I were there without the bike, I couldn't think of doing riding the bike. There were others on the seen helping, so I pulled a U-Turn and got out of there.

 

The colors are a novelty, basically, as well as providing enhanced viability. Without a uniform, badge, Sam Brown belt and side arm, gold helmet, and police markings, 95% of the civilians out there figure out in about 3 seconds that you are not an actual LEO. It's fairly obvious.

 

And, it does get old. I don't want to get killed by a cager that doesn't see me, but I'm ready to move on and get a newer BMW painted some hot color, like silver, or even basic black. :thumbsup:

 

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Quote:

"I have no way of proving this, but I feel pretty sure that I get a break from most cops simply because they aren't looking for a B&W BMW, i.e. I'm past them before they realize that I'm not a LEO."

 

I can vouch for that. A couple of years ago I was riding my R1100RTP and went by a LEO running radar. He gave me a wave as I went by. A couple of signals later he comes up through traffic to the front of the lane where I am stopped. He says with a big smile on his face, "That's pretty good, I thought you were my buddy going by, he was suppose to meet me for lunch." He said have a nice day and ride safe. The light turned green and off he went to meet his real buddy I guess. It put a smile on my face.

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Dave in Doodah
... LEOs don't like it, and think it's illegal, so you get hassled unnecessarily. I'm sure the gum chewing public doesn't like it when they miss a heart-beat thinking you're a LEO when you're not, so you probably attract unnecessary hate from them too....

 

+1

 

Secondarily, LEO impersonation is a sensitive issue everywhere, but there have been a couple incidents here in California in the past year on bikes AND in cages. Funeral Motors are often mistaken for LEOs.

 

And... can't remember which of the forum's I read it in, but the owner of a black and white RTP came out from lunch to find scratch marks in the paint on the tank that said, "&^$#*& the Police", along with a nice knife slice in his seat. Occasionally city / county Crown Victorias get vandalized similarly by people who think they're "unmarked" cop cars.

 

I don't have a problem with it, even think the color scheme is nice...cool.., but caveat emptor. (buyer beware)

 

+2

 

I figure I already garner enough negative attention/sentiment from some drivers simply for being on an:

A) motorcycle

B) BMW yuppie expensive motorcycle

 

So I personally would not be in the market for an RT-P, unless I were after it for the upgrades and then repainted it... but I totally see the allure for some riders. Me, as the years go by, I generally try to keep a low profile. BHIMBGO!

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The law in Texas, in 1966, was like the Cali cops thought. Worked magnificently in my favor. My older brother went off to college in a very small town (Georgetown, Tx) and somehow was offered the purchase of the local undertaker's 1949 Cadillac hearse, which had doubled as the county ambulance all those years. Had a sireen...not a siren, a sireen, the size of an early jet engine, and a single red light behind the grill, about 12 inches in diameter. He loaded all his pledge brothers up in it one very drunken night and drove around the courthouse and up and down the main street with both light and sireen going to beat the band. It was not the first time he spent the night in a jail, nor would it be the last. The school would normally have booted him, but our uncle was a bigshot Methodist preacher (the school is a Methodist school) so they put him on "probation" and made him get rid of the car, which first he had to retrieve from the police, who made him remove the light and sireen, in accordance with the law. I inherited the hearse, and drove it all my high school senior year. Total, complete, babe magnet. Parked it sideways at the drive in. Crime pays, it just doesn't always pay the criminal.

Now THAT is s story to tell the grand-kids. Good on ya. 8:)

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[*]Another anecdote: 3 weeks after I had my RT-P, I was traveling on a local divided two lane road, and came upon an accident seen within seconds after a stake-bed truck rolled over. My first instinct was to stop and help. Then I thought it might help to put on my flashers and get traffic turned around (I still had the side white strobes on the sides - hadn't yet untangled the wiring and removed them, and then in a flash I realized that some (including arriving officers) might confuse me with someone impersonating an officer. What I would have done if I were there without the bike, I couldn't think of doing riding the bike. There were others on the seen helping, so I pulled a U-Turn and got out of there.

 

Leaving wasn't the proper thing to do, but parking your bike as if the accident had been responded to ould also have been wrong by slowing a proper responce.

 

What could you do that would allow you to stop and render assistance without a negative consequence? This is something to think about, because you may be out on a ride with a friend that has an accident and not get help in a timely manner.

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Leaving wasn't the proper thing to do ...What could you do that would allow you to stop and render assistance without a negative consequence? This is something to think about ...

 

If a half dozen folks weren't already there, and sirens weren't already heading that direction, I'd have stopped, and worried about the consequences later. Plus, I was still feeling awkward after 3 weeks of riding the RT-P. I'm over that now, i.e. embarassment about the ex-police bike, and I don't care what people think about the bike.

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I bought a couple of the Kawasaki police bikes at an auction from the city of Melbourne, Fl. They were fast and fun to ride, but i gave them up, because no one would pass me. I've decided the only way I would want to look like or pass for a cop was if I was one.

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I bought a couple of the Kawasaki police bikes at an auction from the city of Melbourne, Fl. They were fast and fun to ride, but i gave them up, because no one would pass me. I've decided the only way I would want to look like or pass for a cop was if I was one.

 

Why do you want to get passed?

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The main reason I like my RTP is that I think the odds go up a lot that cagers see you. No one sees/looks for a motorcycle but everyone sees a B&W motorcycle, weird but true. Someone should do a study why a person does not see a motorcycle in front of them, but paint it black and white and that bike sticks out like a sore thumb

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I guess they must have done some pretty serious research on the color schemes before they made the decision on the black and white. I wonder why they paint fire trucks red.

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I got tired of the black and white thing so I painted my RT-P gray. Folks reported crimes to me, asked me to sign off fix-it tickets and generally upsetted taxpayers after seeing what they thought was a publicly funded vehicle being used for private business.

I also did not like the stigma of real cops thinking I was a wanna-be cop.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
I wonder why they paint fire trucks red.

 

Tradition, nothing more. I vaguely recall a study that determined that for emergency vehicles, red was not a particularly good color for promoting conspicuity, and that the best colors were either white or hi-viz yellow - both of which we're seeing more and more of.

 

With regard to factory-applied colors typically chosen for mass-produced passenger vehicles, the relationship between color and conspicuity is hard to study; evidence of any color consistently promoting conspicuity is pretty thin; and any safety margin gained is probably pretty small.

 

Ohio State Patrol Bulletin (see page 2)

 

White paper - AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. They referenced Shuman's 1991 paper, which I think is the one I had remembered. I haven't been able to find that paper, but I did find its abstract:

 

It is noted that the color red, used for fire fighting equipment, is one of the least visible of vehicle colors. Optometrists note that, for its high visibility, lime yellow should be used by fire and rescue teams, as well as favored by trucks and car buyers. Lime yellow falls in the middle of the color spectrum between the wavelengths 510 and 570. At night, white is the most visible, but lime yellow stands out better against cloudy skies and snowy backdrops than does white. The color red is perceived as black at night. Also, people have particularly poor peripheral detection of red shades. These findings are supported by research. It is also pointed out that color is an underrated component of 'safety packages' that should also include sirens and flashing lights for fire and emergency vehicles. It is noted that the use of strobe lights should be monitored more carefully.

 

Not certain, but I think "lime yellow" is what we refer to currently as hi-viz yellow.

 

One final link:

Does Vehicle Color Influence the Risk of Being Passively Involved in a Collision? The authors determined that white or yellow were better than other colors, but only by a slim margin. I don't think hi-viz/fluorescent yellow was studied.

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All this focus on B & W. In CT, I really NEVER get taken for a LEO. B&W is very rarely (never?) used on police vehicles in this state. Matter of fact, the State Trooper parade unit (the motor unit) is all black Harleys, with all black uniforms.

 

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I am seeing more and more lime yellow fire trucks.

I don't think it is the black and white colors that make us stand out so much, but the association of the colors with a police vehicle. Our brains got programmed from an early (driving) age to notice those colors so we may slow down in time to avoid a ticket. I think the original (ridiculous) 55mph speed limit had something to do with it.

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When lane splitting on the freeway, most people move over a little to give me MORE room. On previous other color bikes they generally move over to give me LESS room.

 

On my recent trip to California, I rode my '04 RT. I hadn't ever ridden in the bay area, or driven for that matter in nearly 11 years. Traffic has gotten much worse, I was going to meet some old friends for dinner in San Jose and I was up near Fremont, so I left during rush hour and headed south on 680/17. Being from Texas, lane splitting is not something I am accustomed to, but I decided to give it a try. Not sure if it was the modulating headlight, or just the bike, but people did tend to give me more room as they noticed me coming up from the rear.

 

I'll say this, lane splitting is not for everybody. You really have to be on your toes. But I turned a 60 minute commute into a 20 minute commute doing it, so it does work.

 

Wayne

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In 1976 I bought an "overrun" police HD bike. Brand new, and black and white without insignia. Never got stopped. Got lots of approval for the paint job tho. Kept that bike for many years, even adding a sidecar when our son Tanner was born.

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My first BMW had been repainted green, similar to German police green, by its previous owner after some damage. Out of curiosity I rode it a few times wearing my German Polizei Gore-Tex motor uniform, a pea-green riding suit with silver reflective stripes on the sleeves and "POLIZEI" in large letters across the back. I got a few waves from motorists, but my boss told me I couldn't wear that because I was "impersonating an officer." I told him it wasn't against the law to "impersonate" foreign officers, and, besides, I *AM* a police officer. I think something had happened to his brain when they pinned on his lieutenant bars.

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Dave in Doodah

With their massive size and all that noise, I think fire trucks have plenty going for them already in the visibility department... paint them sky blue with pink butterflies, and folks will still get the hell out of the way... :grin:

 

By the same token, I believe bikes are forever cursed in the visibility department... The B&W ones might get more 'respect' and sphincter tightening after they are spotted, but they are still more vulnerable to 'being invisible' than a car - simply due to their relative size and lack of many wheels, IMHO...

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With their massive size and all that noise, I think fire trucks have plenty going for them already in the visibility department... paint them sky blue with pink butterflies, and folks will still get the hell out of the way... :grin:

 

 

Ask A firefighter about that. A few years ago at a local crossroads, a BMW car ended up under a firetruck with a yellow front running lights and sirens. Visibility isn't worth a d@mn. It is your responsibility to avoid them, no matter who has right-of-way.

 

Andy

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Dave in Doodah

Agreed, Andy... visibilty is only worth anything if the other drivers are doing their part....

 

And Rod - you must be younger than me. I do recall some sense of responsibility in this country... must have been before the age of lawyers and reality TV.... (okay, the lawyer part was just wishful thinking...) :dopeslap:

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