Why We Picked It:
Kawasaki had an established history in its home country of Japan for providing the police there with scooters and bikes to make it easier to navigate through the sometimes tight and twisting streets. It is only natural, then, that they also brought their know-how to the USA, before Harley-Davidson established themselves as the police bike of choice due to heavy discounts and subsidies for government vehicles.
Starting in 1975 with the K1-P, Kawasaki brought forth many ideas that gained traction with police departments nationwide, but it was the 1982 KZ1000P that brought all of the little things together perfectly. It had 998cc inline four, producing 102 HP and 67 lbs-ft of torque. It was relatively lightweight at 595 lbs fully wet, before any panniers or top boxes were added. It had race-grade disc brakes front and rear. It could also crawl along in first gear with very little power without needing to constantly slip the clutch.
The KZ1000P was so popular, and so just overall good, that it remained in production until 2005, after 50,000 plus were put into service across the USA and Canada. As they were eventually retired out of police service, many have been bought up at government surplus auctions or private sale to be used by VIP protection companies and even some funeral service provides, as escorts for the funeral procession.
In a bit of a side note, for those that grew up watching the police procedurals of the early 1980s, you will probably recognize the KZ1000P and its predecessor, the KZ1000C, from the show "CHiPs," about the California Highway Patrol riding around on Kawasaki police bikes!