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Police happy with powerful Honda (1971)

From: The Canberra Times, October 15 1971, Page 20

nla.news page11957039 the canberra times 151071 p20 clip

THE ACT Police Force is equipped for pursuit and traffic control with 34 of the most powerful motor cycles on the Australian market.

ACT Police this year became the first Australian force to use Honda 750cc Fours as the primary vehicle for this work. Its lead will be followed when the NSW Police also accept the Hondas later this year.

The police Hondas are basically the same as those available to civilian buyers. Police equipment, a handlebar fairing, front and rear crashbars, siren and radio transmitter-receiver and a special speedometer are fitted.
Canberra police officers decided to replace the force's 650cc Triumph motor cycles and Mini Cooper cars with a machine capable of performing the task of both vehicles. Tests were conducted last year on the Honda and a number of British and other Japanese machines.

Testing was carried out over a three-month period of in-service use and evaluation by police driving instructors. Features sought were ability to "out-run" production vehicles available to the public, flexibility in terms of slow running without overheating or damage to clutch and transmission, and mechanical wear within the force's budget requirements.

In all aspects of the test the Honda scored over its opponents. The machine is capable of acceleration figures of 0-100mph in 12.9 sec, top speed is about 125mph and it can be "idled" along at walking pace. Mechanical inspection by the Commonwealth Department of Transport after 13,500 miles revealed negligible wear and the test motor was reassembled using standardsize components.
Bonus features of the Honda were electric ingear starting, hydraulically operated disc brake on the front wheel, traffic indicators and better-than-average lighting system.

Minor modifications suggested by the force, and subsequently incorporated in production models by the factory, were the fitting of a larger gearbox drive sprocket to lengthen drive-chain life and a common fulcrum system to operate the slides of the four carburettors. This alteration was aimed at preventing throttle cable breakage.

The special speedometer fitted is the same as used by Japanese police on their pursuit machines. It features black figures on white background and is calibrated to 120mph in one-mile-an-hour intervals.

Each speedometer is individually calibrated to the machine to which it is fitted and is bench tested for accuracy at regular intervals during service.

Canberra motor cycle patrol riders cover about 150-200 miles each day. Their duties range from escort work to high speed pursuit. So far the Hondas, have provided excellent service with an almost total lack of major mechanical problems.

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