Los Angeles Chief Of Police Charlie Beck is an avid motocross racer, so he is pretty clued in when it comes to what’s happening in the world of motorcycles. Recently, he directed his department to evaluate the Brammo and Zero electric motorcycles for possible use in police work, and the result of the inquiry is that the LAPD has added a Zero MMX electric bike to its fleet.
The MMX is the same model developed by Zero for use by US Special Operations Forces. Not only is it mostly silent (a plus for surveillance work), it also requires no gasoline or oil changes, and it emits no pollutants while on its appointed rounds. It is also about half the cost of a fully equipped Harley Davidson.
The Zero’s Z Force motor features 28 hp and 62 ft/lbs of torque. Batteries can be swapped in about a minute and are either 2.8 kWh for regular duty or 5.7 kW for extended range use. Recharge time is 7 hours in normal service. For police work, the MMX has added storage space, emergency lights and siren and a first aid kit. That’s in addition to the special dashboard, headlight kill switch and and keyless ignition switch that are already part of the Special Forces package.
Electric motorcycles are already part of police forces in New York, Oregon and Hong Kong. They offer law enforcement officers excellent on and off road mobility, are much faster than bicycles, and far more stealthy than horses. In other words, they are the perfect motorized tool for police work in the modern world.