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Police Motor Units
The History of Motorcycle Law Enforcement

 "Virtual Museum"





Michigan State Police

The History of the Michigan State Police Motorcycle Unit

Michigan State Police utilized motorcycles until late 1941 and then switched over to automobiles.  MSP began utilizing motorcycles again for day to day patrol operations in 1993.  At this time, the motorcycle unit was limited to the Detroit area freeway posts.  Currently, we have a fleet of 21 motorcycles (Harley-Davidson FLHTP) at six different posts.  MSP has found the motorcycles to be an extremely useful tool in maneuvering through congested traffic to get to a crash scene, traffic enforcement, escorts, motorcades and public relations.  Michigan State Police also began testing motorcycles during the annual Police Vehicle Evaluation starting with 2007 model year.  This year (Model Year 2009) MSP tested five motorcycles:  Harley-Davidson FLHP, FLHTP, Buell Ulysses XB12XP, BMW R1200RTP and BMW G650 X-P.  Each motorcycle is tested in Acceleration and Top Speed, Braking, Motorcycle Dynamics, High and Low Um Transition Anti-Lock Brake System Test and Communications.  Motorcycle test results can be found at www.michigan.gov/msp


1919 Motor Squad


1920's Ceria







Harley-Davidson V-series 1930's










Photos and Information provided by the Michigan State Police