Nah. Kalifornia has a high crime rate. Nazi Germany had a very high crime rate... the criminals were the govt. The Soviet Union also had a very high crime rate. Foreigners were only allowed to visit Potemkin Villages and never saw the true high crime throughout the rest of the Soviet Union.
The belief that crime is low in totalitarian states is a myth. The criminals are in charge. Totalitarian States tend to be quiet...not the same thing as low in crime.
I think there's a misconception here. The officer was not chasing "a runner" (yet). He was simply trying to catch up to a speeder. What would he do when he caught him? Flip on the lights and attempt to pull him over to issue a citation.
If it was simply trying to pull over a speeder then a motorcycle is fine, however needing to exceed 85 mph to catch said speeder tells me he should have called for backup. The fact is you just do not know who is operating the car and what they may do. A person late for an appointment/meeting may pull over; an instable mental patient/felon will run you off the road.
An Electra Glide should not be used for high pursuit and the cop knew he had an issue with the bikes handling. I believe they also wear half helmets which are not suitable for high speeds either.
I think the police department policy to pull the bikes from areas where said high speed pursuit may happen is sound. As cop bikes the HD niche is in urban environments and where speeds are much lower than freeways.
More advanced technology than an HD? Any bike that uses an aluminum frame, variable valve timing, titanium connecting rods, anti-lock brakes, and or titanium valves.
So a Goldwing, most BMWs, VFRs, CBR1000s, ZX-10s, and many more.
I am not saying that more advanced is better. I am not even going to say that HDs make a bad choice for police motorcycles. I am going to say that yes there are more advanced bikes available than Harley Davidson sells to police forces and at least some of the technology is from long after the 1930s.
Chrome alloy is a later development than aluminum. HD is a couple of decade ahead on this one.
"variable valve timing"
I believe used by Mercedes in the 1950s. Sure after 1930 but
"titanium connecting rods" + "titanium valves"
Ditto. Titanium has been around since the 1950 too (I believe), definitely since 1960s.
Mmm, hardly modern though, at least 30 40 years old if not more?
Of course I can counter and say all HD use EFI, something Honda cannot say.
"I am going to say that yes there are more advanced bikes available than Harley Davidson sells to police forces and at least some of the technology is from long after the 1930s."
Swings both ways actually. Some may use different technology which has been highly refined because they have a requirement for it i.e. high horsepower from small CC.
Many of these "technologies" will serve no purpose in meeting the requirement for HDs. Why in the world would I want titanium valves if I need a motor to peak out at 4000 4500 rpm? I think calling some thing old tech when its use in an application presents the best balance of performance/cost/reliability doesnt make much sense to me.
Dual saddles are later development than single saddles, but I am sure you would agree that a single seat version of a 999 is no less advanced a dual seat version.
The only piece of tech that I think HD should get is antilock brakes.