Wondering what that “P” in the model name is all about? Well, law enforcement officers certainly don’t as these bikes address specifically to them.
For 2009 Honda also produces Police models of the notorious ST1300/ABS. Easy to handle, a top performer and very reliable, the ST may not feature any upgrades, but it surely won’t pass unnoticed when the lights and sirens are turned on. Ouch, that never sounds good!
Obviously, the construction of police bikes is based on the one of standard bikes and the ST1300P/ABS makes no exception. So it is strongly recommended that you don’t try to make a run for it as the engine behind this large baby is a liquid-cooled 1,261cc V4 with DOHC, four valves per cylinder valve train. With the 125 bhp at 8000 rpm and 85 lb./ft. of torque at 6000 rpm that it develops, this unit is capable of moving decently even a car so imagine how it manages with the 743 pounds curb weight of this two-wheeler.
Because special bikes require special features, the 2009 Honda ST1300P/ABS is not short on that. Apart from the adjustable motorized windshield, the speedometer is a very precise one graduated in 2-mph increments above 10 mph, there is a single adjustable seat (at least you won’t be rode to the station on it after being taken into custody) as well as 25mm raised and 13.5mm widened handlebars due to the fact that officers spend a lot of time on these things.
Honda also prepares their special ST series with brackets for the Police specific equipment (lights, sirens, antenna mount and radar) as well as ones that are destined for accessories. The fairing is 8mm widened, there is a special button for turning the headlight on and off in hot pursuit (frankly, I won’t do that during nighttime as dangerous the criminal would be) and other controls for the multifunction switch.
The Police version pretty much followed Honda’s ST1300/ST1300 ABS history with some postponements. So while the standard ST1100 model was introduced in 1990, the Police version came in two years later.
New millennium, but the same old story! By 2001, Honda started producing the ST1300 and the implicit ABS model, but carried on the production of the “P” model without upgrading it. The much awaited change was to arrive in 2005 and so it got the name ST1300P and ST1300P ABS as two models continued being built.
For 2007 and 2008 they stopped manufacturing the two models, only to be launched again as 2009 model years, but featuring no changes.
Although Honda seems to provide an ideal solution for officers, we don’t live in a perfect world and, because governments spend a lot of bucks on police bikes, most motorcycle manufacturers have at least one. The most popular are the Harley-Davidsons and BMWs, but these are two-cylinder powered bikes. So, as in the case of the standard models, the 2009 Honda ST1300P/1300P ABS compete with the Yamaha FJR1300A Police motorcycle. This late is powered by a superior (compared to the HD and BMW) inline-four engine and looks pretty much the same as the ST does.
Although I’m not familiar with the criteria through which countries elect their bikes as I’ve seen a Harley-Davidson law enforcement bike in Germany, the ST1300 and FJR1300 seem like adequate for roads covering all relief forms.
Police bikes have fascinated me ever since I was a kid and that is probably because they look imposing and powerful. The 2009 ST1300P and ST1300P ABS are among the greatest I got a glance of recently and, to be quite honest, they look like a great day at the office for me. Basically, that includes comfort and with both adjustable seat and windshield (motorized, as I mentioned before) no wonder Police officers spend hours in those seats.
Honda doesn’t sell fully equipped versions so we’ll have to indulge with what appears to be a White painted standard ST1300/ABS. But the details make all the difference and the main ones are the 8mm side fairing air-deflector set, the weather protective electronics cover and the left and right lower engine guards.
Apart what is previously mentioned the bike doesn’t undergo that much of a transformation (oh, I forgot to mention the protective pads on the gas tank) so if you see a black and white ST make sure you’re not speeding.
Apparently we’ll be seeing more and more such patrol models on the road next year as a result of Honda restarting production, but I’m waiting for a parade video featuring the 2009 ST1300P and ST1300P ABS, hopefully, pretty soon. The MSRP hasn’t been announced but it should be close to the one of the standard bike. Usually these kinds of bikes, fully equipped, can go as high as $30,000.