Author Topic: 2008 LAPD Report on Harley Davidson Electra Glide FLHTPI Fleet Motorcycles  (Read 1758 times)


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Here is an interesting read if you like motorcycles, mechanics and business. The LAPD issued a report in 2008 on a fleet of Harley Davidson motorcycles purchased in 2005, and lists a number of problems LAPD encountered with the HD bikes, the costs associated with the problems, and attempts to make the case for awarding the next purchase contract to BMW. The main problem the LAPD had with the HD bikes was a brake line problem, which ended up causing HD to issue a recall, and because recalls are very expensive for any company, it created a long delay before HD could properly address the brake line problem. After reading this I felt the LAPD was just as upset with HD representatives as they were with the bikes. It should be noted that most of the problems listed in this report
were covered by the Harley Davidson 2 year warranty.

A few problems I had with the report are:

1) In two sections the LAPD compares 1 HD bike with 1 Kawasaki bike comparing the Average Cost Per Mile and Average Days Out of Service for maintenance and repair, but they don't say how they chose the motorcycles. Did they choose the worst performing HD bike and the best performing Kawasaki bike?

2) In another section they do an Average Cost Per Mile for maintenance, parts and repair comparison between HD, BMW and Kawasaki, than they give a projected Average Cost Per Mile for the HD bikes after the warranty expires, and it is based on current maintenance requirements, failure rate, additional mileage, years in service. Is this projected number based on all the problems listed in this report? If you have a part failure due to a design issue and the part is replaced with a good part, and future bikes are fitted with the good part, than you can't include the cost of this problem in a projected cost and get an accurate number. You can't assume this problem is a future problem. Right?

3) If you compare the number of problems encountered in years 2005, 2006 and 2007, the number of problems encountered in 2007 are a bit misleading. In 2007 HD replaced a defective cylinder head on 106 units. This problem was found in earlier years, but there was a long delay before HD could get the replacement parts delivered to the LAPD. If you ignore the cylinder head replacement in 2007, than you will see significantly less problems in year 2007, so there is a definite improvement over time.

HD did deliver bikes to the LAPD with inherant problems, but I don't believe the numbers given by the LAPD. I think the projected cost for maintenance, parts and repair is inflated and not anywhere near the real cost. If you look at the  HD motorcycle known actual cost per mile it is less than the Kawasaki and BMW. HD has a reputation for having a very low and competitive cost per mile for maintenance and repair. Until I am shown otherwise, I believe the numbers given in the single bike comparison between HD and Kawasaki are misleading, because I believe this report was meant to justify and steer a committee to award the next purchase contract away from Harley Davidson.

LAPD did go on to purchase a large fleet of BMW motorcycles, and I would love to see the current numbers on those motorcycles. If anyone knows could you please post it.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 09:06:44 PM by smallengineshop »
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