Daytona Beach Police Dept. Motor Officers are Tremendously Impressed With Their New Victory Police Motorcycles
MEDINA, Minn. (Oct. 22, 2014) - Victory Motorcycles are making a great impression on some of the world’s most demanding riders - riders who rely on motorcycles for their livelihood and safety - the Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD). The DBPD started using Victory Police Motorcycles as their official motorcycles on Oct. 1, 2014.
The DBPD received their fleet of Victory Police Motorcycles (VPM) which are specially equipped versions of the Victory Cross Country. The VPM Challenger I models that replaced the department’s Harley-Davidson motorcycles are equipped with emergency lighting, radio and radar equipment, skid plates, adjustable windshields, and Matte Black paint and the DBPD logo.
The DBPD motor officers used the Victory motorcycles for two weeks, then put in extra-long shifts during Biketoberfest, the fall motorcycle rally in the city that hosts major events nearly year-round. Prior to the start of Biketoberfest, most of the officers had adjusted component on the bikes such as the lower controls, handlebars, and accessory backrest to customize each bike’s ergonomics and suit their riding styles. The officers were highly impressed by the Victory power, handling, storage, and rider comfort.
“I’m impressed. I didn’t think they’d be as good as they are. For police work, it’s just awesome,” said Motor Officer Bernie Davin, a 10-year veteran on police motorcycles with the DBPD. “The suspension keeps the ride comfortable, it doesn’t vibrate, it’s just smooth sailing down the road.”
After logging 850 miles on his VPM bike in the two weeks, he said, “I love every mile I’ve put on it.”
Officer Jason Kilker, who started working as a motor officer in 2007 and has served full-time on bikes since 2008, said, “This bike will do everything I ask it to do. It hasn’t failed me a single time… We can ride it up stairs, up curbs. It’s like an ATV that happens to have a couch on it.”
Four-year motor unit veteran Officer Kevin Allen said he had never ridden a Victory before the department evaluated the VPM models.
“My first impression of the bike? Smooth and fast,” he said. “At the end of my shift, the difference I feel from my previous bike to this bike is in my back and ears. The backrest is so comfortable my back’s not sore. The backrest support is awesome. And this bike is quiet – you don’t still hear the bike an hour after you’re off of it.”
Allen said the public, even motorists he stops for traffic violations, has shown tremendous interest in the new Victory motorcycles.
“Just about everyone I have stopped while on this bike will at least say, ‘Nice bike,’ which is not normally the case in those situations,” he laughed. “We’re getting lots of questions about the bikes. People want to know how these bikes compare [to our previous bikes].”
Motor Sgt. Joseph Heller, a 23-year veteran on the DBPD who has spent more than 10 years on the motor unit, said the public’s interest in the Victory models has been incredible.
“I told our chief we’re going hoarse at the ends of our shifts, so many people want to talk to us,” he said. “And we’ll be talking with someone, but people don’t want to butt in on a police officer’s conversation, so they’ll actually queue up and wait to talk to us about the bikes.”
Sergeant Starts Each Day With a Ride Heller used to spend the bulk of his days handling office work, and was often in a police car rather than on a motorcycle. Since the department acquired the Victory models, that has changed drastically. Now Heller starts nearly every workday by immediately going for a ride around the city because he loves riding the Victory. He has had four operations on his knees, and underwent a back operation that left him with rods and screws in his back, but he can ride in comfort on his new VPM.
“This is the first motorcycle I have ridden where I don’t feel like I’m being punished,” he said. “When we first checked out these bikes, we finished the day with a long ride and even after that ride I felt good and fresh.”
Career-Changing Comfort The Victory is so appealing to Heller that it could postpone his retirement. He and his wife of 20-plus years have long planned that when he retired, they would move north to a mountain locale. They have sold their house in Florida and his wife Jennifer has already moved to their retirement home, 780 miles from Daytona Beach.
“I had it planned so Biketoberfest would be the end,” Heller said. “Sunday night [of Biketoberfest weekend] was going to be my last shift, and that was going to be it. But we got these motorcycles and I almost feel I’m brand new on the motor unit. I can’t describe how excited I am every morning to go for a ride, and I never felt like that before.”
The bike’s appeal makes him want to experience Bike Week in March 2015 on the Victory.
“I got on this motorcycle and I fell in love with it,” he said. “I began to wonder if I will regret for the rest of my life not working a Bike Week on this bike. I called my wife to tell her. She answered the phone and I said, ‘I have something to tell you,’ and I told her I was thinking of staying on through Bike Week because I just love riding this bike. There was about 15 seconds of silence on the phone. Then she told me I had to do what I wanted to do.”
Heller was expected to announce shortly after Biketoberfest ended Oct. 19 whether his retirement plan had changed. Most of the motor officers in his unit predicted he would stick around through Bike Week – all because of the performance and comfort of Victory Police Motorcycles.
About VPM Victory Police Motorcycles is a Tucson, Arizona-based supplier of Victory motorcycles equipped for use by law enforcement agencies. Each VPM vehicle is equipped to meet an individual agency’s specific needs and provide officers and agencies with the legendary Victory performance, reliability, low cost of ownership, cargo capacity, and comfort. Learn more at www.VictoryPoliceMotorcycles.com.
About Victory Motorcycles Victory Motorcycles designs, engineers, manufactures and markets a full line of cruisers, baggers, and touring motorcycles. Every Victory model delivers industry-leading performance, comfort, style, storage and reliability. The first Victory was produced on the Fourth of July, 1998, in Spirit Lake, Iowa, where every Victory motorcycle continues to be produced today. Information about Victory motorcycles, apparel and accessories is available at www.VictoryMotorcycles.com.