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San Francisco Motor Cops Can Chase You Up Stairs + Video

Thu, 13 Mar 2014

Let’s get one thing out of the way: trying to evade the police is dumb. One way or another you’re going to lose. And if you’re thinking of evading a San Francisco motor cop, or a law enforcement officer trained by them, by heading off the beaten path or up a flight of stairs, think again. Armed with dual-sport motorcycles, stairs are hardly an obstacle.

The SFPD’s Honda unit (otherwise known as the dirt bike unit) has an intense two-week training course to teach its own officers, and sometimes those in other agencies, the ins and outs of tactical riding in off-road, trail-like conditions — an area a typical police bike, or worse yet, a Crown Victoria, can’t reach. Apart from the dirt, however, the training also places a heavy emphasis on stairs training.

Starting with your standard cones course, the students learn the basics of motorcycle maneuvering, ramping up the intensity progressively over time.  When ready, the training moves to the streets and trails of San Francisco, including Golden Gate Park, where stairs are then introduced.

“We come across situations where…we might have to pursue or go into terrain that requires us to go up stairs,” says Peter Richardson, an officer of the SFPD Honda Unit. “These bikes are capable of doing it, but at the same time we need to be able to do it in a safe manner. That’s what we emphasize in the training.”

What does the training look like? Check the video below to find out. Courtesy of

By Troy Siahaan

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