Police motorcycles are similar to civilian models but include special gear such as flashing lights and two-way radios. The speed and maneuverability of motorcycles make them a favorite with police departments around the world.
Street motorcycles are intended primarily for everyday riding. They have all the required safety equipment for use on public highways, such as lights, mirrors, a horn, and a muffler. Their tires have a tread pattern that provides good traction on both dry and wet surfaces.
There are two chief kinds of street motorcycles: sport touring motorcycles and cruising motorcycles. Sport touring motorcycles typically have wind guards, or fairings, around the headlight and engine to enhance styling and reduce drag; short, straight handlebars; and a seat shape and position that causes the rider to lean forward over the gas tank. In contrast, cruisers have no fairings around the headlights or engine and have deep handlebars and a seating position that allows the rider to sit upright. Most cruisers also have a V-configuration engine. During the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, customized cruisers called choppers were popular. Choppers have lengthened front forks and high handlebars.
Police officers typically ride custom-built cruisers with large 1200 cc engines. Police motorcycles are usually equipped with two-way radios, flashing lights, and police emblems so that motorists can easily identify them as official police vehicles. Many also have a windscreen or front fairing and extra cargo compartments for carrying emergency gear.