What do cops need in a cop bike? Comfort and reliability. Make all the Italian jokes you want (see below), but the Moto Guzzi Ambassador and its Eldorado predessor fit that bill for many police departments in the late 60’s/ early 70’s. The LAPD was one to make a few that ran a large fleet Guzzi’s in the 70’s. Find this 1971 Moto Guzzi Ambassador Police Model for sale in Seattle, WA for $4,200 via craigslist.
The Ambassador was powered by a 750cc 90 degree V-twin producing about 60hp. In a bike weighing in at 575lbs, it wasn’t going to win the Moto-Giro Italia, but it would eat up the miles with its enormous 6 gallon fuel tank. It had an enormous 58 inch wheelbase along with a high saddle and relaxed riding stance which made it stable and comfortable to ride for hours. Just what a motorcycle cop wants.
This bike has “era specific” electrics, which is a euphanism for original Italian electrics, so it is said to run fine, but most of the lights and switches don’t work. Too bad, the “dash” reminds me of the motorcycle merry-go-rounds I rode at the county fair as a kid.
The best way to identify that your Ambassador is a former cop bike is that it retains a siren bracket on the trailing arm. This one still does. Apparently most were cut off prior to auction by police departments.
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