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Old 10-04-2007, 03:18 PM   #1
waterinthefuel
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What kind of bike did Ponch and John ride?

I miss CHIPs, and as a child that was one of my favorite shows. I was wondering what kind of bike they rode, and what were its stats, was it a reliable machine, etc etc. Were they really used as cop bikes or was that only for the show?
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:28 PM   #2
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Re: What kind of bike did Ponch and John ride?

The original show had Kawasaki KZ 1000 Police Bikes and yes the CHP did use them. They were good for a bit over 100mph and had the proverbial hinge in the middle. The fact that the radio box on the back was mounted on a pivot and would swing to the inside when you leaned over didn't help.

When I worked at Kawasaki of Chico in the mid 80s we saw a few and most were pretty used up. CHP was done with them at about 50K and some were sold to the Mexico City Police Dept who rode them for another 50K.

The new "CHIPs Movie" used R1150 RT-P BMWs. Which is what the CHP uses today. The 1150 is slowly being replaced with the new R1200RT-P these days.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:29 PM   #3
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Re: What kind of bike did Ponch and John ride?

I beleive they were on either Kawasaki KZ1000s or KZ1300s, that is what CHP used back in the day.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:30 PM   #4
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Re: What kind of bike did Ponch and John ride?

The bikes were Kawasaki KZ1000 police models and they did very little real riding. Most of the time the bikes/riders were filmed on a low-boy flat bed trailer being pulled around an abandond air strip at Terminal Island Naval Base or on the little used and short Terminal Island Freeway.

Note: Used police/CHP motorcycles of this type can be bought for about $2500. Most have about 40~50k miles on them. The front tires/fenders are huge. Just talked to a guy that was riding one two weeks ago. The only thing he did to it was install a cup holder....no lie.
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Old 10-04-2007, 06:40 PM   #5
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Re: What kind of bike did Ponch and John ride?

Ponch and Jon rule!!!

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Old 10-04-2007, 07:06 PM   #6
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Re: What kind of bike did Ponch and John ride?

It was the KZ1000 like others have said. The KZ1000 was still in use by many police departments up until Kawasaki quit making them a few years ago, and many still have some around. That was the bike I rode during my 5 years in motors. Not great at high speeds, but they excelled in low speed cone patterns. Despite the width of the bikes they were very good for splitting traffic because you could easily slide up between cars in the #1 and #2 lane, then if that got tight, hang a sharp right turn between a couple of cars and conitnue on up between the cars in the #2 and #3 lane. They were great for getting around in heavy traffic. Relatively good ground clearance for going up/down curbs and up/down stairs if needed. And yes, we rode them up and down stairs... Lots of fun!

I'm thinking about picking up a used one and restoring it just for fun.

Ride safe,
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Old 10-04-2007, 07:22 PM   #7
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Re: What kind of bike did Ponch and John ride?

Want a used one?
http://stores.ebay.com/HOLLYWOOD-MOTORS

Here's the web page. They're just a couple miles from me and they have hondreds of them.
http://www.hollywoodmotorscorp.com/
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:36 PM   #8
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Re: What kind of bike did Ponch and John ride?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixxerdale
Want a used one?
http://stores.ebay.com/HOLLYWOOD-MOTORS

Here's the web page. They're just a couple miles from me and they have hondreds of them.
http://www.hollywoodmotorscorp.com/
They do have lots. Looks like pretty reasonable prices too. My plan is to just buy one and clean it up then keep it in the garage to keep around as kind of a history thing. One of our mechanics at work has a bike identical to our original HD's that he restored. Awesome bike, HD paid to have it trucked back to their headquarters for their big anniversary celebration awhile back.

Thanks for the link Dale. I appreciate it.

Ride safe,
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:37 PM   #9
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Re: What kind of bike did Ponch and John ride?

Definitely KZ1000's. I did an interview with Larry Wilcox, "John", in 2000 or 2001, he shared some great stories from the set. The best was how they had the bikes on a trailer to simulate riding while filming, so they could talk and whatever...but they shot alot of it out in Pacoima and neighboring communities...that were filled with biker clubs, that would laugh hysterically and point when they "rode" by.

Wilcox is a rider in real life and found the humor in that stuff, Ponch...not so much-ismo.
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:10 PM   #10
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Re: What kind of bike did Ponch and John ride?

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