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Kawasaki Police Special KZ 900, left side

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Kawasaki Police Special KZ 900, left side
Sergeant Kevin Gordon, California Highway Patrol

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


On the Interstate:  I-10, 1956–1990
On the Interstate: I-10, 1956–1990 — Safety

OTHER VIEWS
Kawasaki Police Special KZ 900, right side
Kawasaki Police Special KZ 900, right side


California Highway Patrol motorcycle and officer
California Highway Patrol motorcycle and officer


Highway patrol motorcycle
Catalog #: 2003.3094, Accession #: 2003.3094.1
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection

This motorcycle was manufactured by Kawasaki Motors Corporation's U.S. plant in Lincoln, Nebraska. The model was designed in cooperation with Kawasaki, police departments, and the automotive designer and race car driver Dan Gurney. The California Highway Patrol has used different makes of motorcycles. The department purchased Kawasaki motorcycles during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The last CHP Kawasaki was run out in 1999. The California Highway Patrol donated the motorcycle to the Smithsonian Institution for the "America on the Move" exhibit. CHP mechanics spent 300 hours of their own time to ready the motorcycle for exhibition. This included research and searching for original parts, including tires, contemporary of the vehicle. The CHP donated it in Los Angeles in August of 2003.

Physical Description

Artifact: Kawasaki model KZ900 Police Special. Dimensions: 87"L x 32"W x 65"H. Weight: 584 lbs. Horsepower: 81. Maximum speed: 120mph. Engine: 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, air-cooled. Brakes: front, disc; rear , drum. Transmission: 5-speed. Starter: electric/kick. The motorcycle is painted white with black trim and outfitted with a radio, safety bars, sirens and emergency lights.

Details
Date Made:
1976
Dates Used:
1976 - 1990
Locations:
California
Note:
Location of use
Credit:
Gift of the California Highway Patrol
History
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has used motorcycles since it was created in 1929. The use of motorcycles by CHP officers has evolved from the early days when they patrolled country roads and two-lane state highways. Today, motorcycles are a lifeline on gridlocked urban freeways because their maneuverability allows officers to respond quickly to accidents and traffic tie-ups.
Related People, Places, and Events
Manufacturer
Kawasaki Motors Corportation
Frame, fuel tank, wheels and assembly were built at the Lincoln, Nebraska plant; Assembly plant was built in Akashi, Japan


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