The Oro Valley Police Department is trading in its BMW motorcycles and switching brands to the Victory Commander, made by Tucson-based Victory Police Motorcycles.
Lt. Chris Olson said the department expects to take delivery on eight Commanders, a 1,400-cc V-Twin engine motorcycle with a five-year extended warranty that drops repair and maintenance costs to near zero. Olson said seven motorcycles would be leased for a five-year period and the eighth would be purchased through a grant from the state’s Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). Cost of the GOHS motorcycle was $31,849, while the annual payment for the seven leased Victories will be $45,453.18.
Olson said the first annual payment for the GOHS bike and the $3,000-per-motorcycle warranties for all the bikes would not come out of the town’s general fund, but rather would be paid for through asset forfeiture funds. At the end of the lease period the department can purchase the motorcycles for $1 each, Olson noted. Delivery of the new Victories is expected by early March.
Olson pointed out that the department’s BMW fleet had grown old, with the newest vehicle purchased in 2009.
“We have nine BMWs assigned to the motor unit and the parts and service costs for this ageing fleet has increased significantly,” he said, adding that the department spent $11,100 on maintenance for the fleet during a four-month period last year. Parts and service costs since September 2009 have run approximately $28,700 annually, he noted.
Out of service time for maintenance also had become an issue with the BMW fleet, Olson said, citing a clutch repair time of two days for the BMW, but only 45 minutes for the Victory Commander.
The department considered four motorcycle brands as possible replacements to its BMW fleet — Harley Davidson, Yamaha, Honda and Victory — according to a Motorcycle Selection Report prepared by Oro Valley Police Sergeant Troy Kranz. The Harley Davidson product was not considered due to unacceptable maintenance costs and reliability issues, the report stated, while the Yamaha FJR model, made by Enforcement Motors of Idaho, was eliminated because of a lack of authorization from Yamaha to convert the motorcycle to a police package. The report determined the Honda ST1300P and Victory Commander to be worthy of consideration as finalists for adoption by Oro Valley.
Mike Schultz, director of marketing for Victory Police Motorcycles, said the town of Marana police department switched from BMWs to Victory motorcycles last fall, and that Goodyear and Apache Junction police also use Victories.
“Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department, Surprise Police Department and Sedona Police Department have placed orders with us too,” Schultz said. “The Victory is designed as a custom police motorcycle to fit their needs.”
Besides the favorable lease terms for service and maintenance, Olson said the Victory Commander is equipped with dual batteries and comprehensive lighting packages for increased safety, plus it has a rifle rack entirely contained within the saddleback and not visible, preventing access to the weapon.
Olson noted that the Victory Commander has other safety advantages for the operator that the other motorcycles lacked.
“The Victory has full forged crash bars and improved foot protection,” he said, “which offer substantially more operator protection. The motorcycle would not suffer any component damage when dropped on its side at low speed. The crash bars encapsulate the rider in a crash because it’s a bike designed with service in mind.”