Driven: Hi-Tech Police
Mumbai boy dreams a cop bike. Makes one
It all started after watching an American biker build-off show where one of them actually ended up making a bike for local cops. Thirty-one-year-old entrepreneur, Gabriel Zuzarte, then embarked on his own mission on making one for Indian cops – a bike that not only will help them intimidate the wrong-doers but also be high-tech enough to help them with their actual on-duty chores.
Thus the humbly-named Hi-Tech Police bike was born. It is essentially a 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet Electra which has been aptly modified into an Indian-cousin of all the big Harley-Davidson cop bikes made famous by Hollywood. Considering the time and money needed to get a new ARAI certificate, Gabriel has refrained from touching the original chassis of the bike, which he says “Is good enough, and more importantly, loved by cops”. But what he has done is changed the wheels to alloys and given it slightly lower profile tyres. Most of the chrome too has been replaced by well-finished black powder coating for a mean look.
The major add-ons to the bike include the hand-crafted front fairing, two big metallic boxes on the side and one sitting on top just behind the seat. The latter is an important bit because it houses a laptop and a printer which can be used to print instant challans to offenders. In fact, Gabriel has also made a special software that can connect to the Traffic Police website via an internet dongle (also on the bike), and even list out names of repeat offenders.
The box on the right houses all the major electrical systems while the one on the left can be used for storage such has emergency light. The original battery slot has been replaced with a removable first aid box. There are also high-definition CCTV cameras on the front and back that sends feeds to the storage device (on the bike) which can help get video footage of any crime, if being committed around the vehicle.
Gabriel says all this has added another 20-25kg on the bike. Which is hard to tell to be honest because in a straightline it still rides like a regular Electra. Of course, there were some additional rattles this being a pre-production bike plus the laptop housing has altered the cornering ability of the bike thanks to its sheer weight and position. If you take a corner, the front tends to feel light and wobbles, but Gabriel says it is a matter of getting used to. And to prove it he even cornered the bike and did manage to control the front wobble.
While the bike is yet to get a go ahead from the cops, Gabriel is confident of making progress because of the positive feedback he has received from the authorities. Obviously, it helps that cops in India have little options if they were to go shopping for a high-tech police bike.
Says Gabriel: “I recently went to Dubai and was shocked to see the kind of vehicles their cops have. I think Indian cops deserve better too. This is my own little way of doing something for them and the country.”
Read more about the Hi-Tech Police bike in our May issue. On stands by April 24th