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Electra Glide supplied in police spec' and used mainly for PR
Beloved of countless US Highway Patrolmen, the Harley Davidson Electra Glide also appeared in AA livery – once.
This unique machine was bought mainly for PR purposes, but it also earned its keep, being used for breakdown work in Essex between 1992 and 1997, ridden by Patrol Alex Bell.
The Electra Glide was first introduced in 1965, the 'Electra' element of its name signifying the fact that it boasted an electric starter.
While some changes were made to the design over the years, like all Harley-Davidsons it essentially remained the same, and it is still in production.
The AA's Harley was supplied in police spec, with different wiring to accommodate radios and lights, a modified seat, and different panniers.
AA patrol Paul Bowman
The engine is the same as the civilian Electra Glide – an 80cu inch (1.3 litre) V-twin, which in AA service managed an average 45 miles per gallon.
Sheer bulk was the Harley's principal limitation – weighing around 340 kilogrammes it was scarcely more manoeuvrable in heavy traffic than a standard patrol van.
This Harley's days in AA service came to an end when the frame and forks were badly bent in a collision with a lorry.
As the damage was so extensive it was decided not to return the bike to the road. It was however restored to static display condition, and it remained on display but unused until 2005.
Since 2005 this bike has been painstakingly restored to roadworthy condition by Patrols Mark Noble and Paul Bowman both from the Newcastle Upon Tyne area.
(13 August 2012)