® A Day in the Life: The LAPD Auto

Not everyone is aware of the fact that for a short time in the mid 1970s the LAPD actually used Honda 750 Automatics for police bikes. Yup, 750 Autos. Hard to believe, considering what slugs these bike were. Not that they aren't fine machines in all other respects. But they did use Autos for at least a while. Maybe it was because the head gaskets could be replaced in the frame (unlike the standard transmission model 750s). Maybe it was to enable more officers to use bikes who weren't familiar with shifting. I don't know. It probably isn't well known either that each law police dept. office takes care of their own outfitting of the bikes once initially purchased, including electrical equipment and paint. Well, this story is about one bike in particular that I worked on while at a dealership in North Hollywood. I had just finished replacing the fork seals on the bike, and the machine was still blocked up in the front for that purpose. I lowered the bike back down to the floor and did a once over in preparation for the test ride, and suddenly heard a gasp behind me. Cops like to watch their bikes being worked on, and this one had seen something, and now I saw it too. When the motorcycle was lifted up in the front to ease access to the forks, fuel from the fuel tank had apparently overflowed the tank and some had run down the top of the tank, leaving two nice streaks where it had damaged the third-party paint job. Chalk up one more for flaky aftermaket work, and also one more relationship-building incident...

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