Sunday, November 10, 2019

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown on How To Really Avoid Speeding Tickets

Willie Brown knows that when you are in power it is about taking care of other orbiting power centers in the same region.

He writes in the San Francisco Chronicle:
As Assembly speaker, I made sure the California Highway Patrol always had the best equipment and the best pay possible. In return, I never worried about being pulled over for speeding between the capital and San Francisco.
And this:

[W]hen I ran for mayor I was told I had no chance of winning the San Francisco police union’s endorsement, in part because I was trying to unseat Mayor Frank Jordan, a former police chief.

I went to the union’s endorsement meeting at the Fairmont Hotel more out of respect than anything else.

For whatever reason, there was an unusually large contingent of motorcycle cops at the endorsement meeting. As I was walking in, I passed a row of lightweight Japanese motorcycles that the department was using at the time.

“You gotta be kidding me,” I thought.

The first thing I asked, even before I started my endorsement pitch, was, “How many of you are riding those Japanese bikes outside?”

Half the room looked at each other and raised their hands.

“I hope you aren’t in love with those pieces of crap,” I said. “Because if I’m elected mayor, you are all going to be riding real motorcycles — Harley-Davidsons.” 
A roar of approval went up in the room. I didn’t have to say another word to win their backing.


  1. I don't believe the story. I've been involved in the motorcycle community for decades. Everyone knows that Harley's are generally thought of as junk compared to the big four rice burners and BMW and Ducati.

    Oh no, light weight motorcycles. Like that's a bad thing. Not only is overall weight important but even more so is the balance. The distribution of weight has a lot to do with why Harley's do not handle as well as some of their competitors.

    Nobody rides a Harley for performance or reliability. They sell because people like how they look and sound. Considering Harley's cost more than their Japanese competitors that cool factor must be worth a lot.

  2. The CHP was running Japanese motorcycles since at least the 1970s. Didn't Willie Brown ever watch an episode of CHiPs? (yes, they chose the correct motorcycles)

    They even do a close up that shows part of the badge where it is clearly Kawasaki:

    I doubt they would want Harleys. Slow and heavy. Not good for pursuit. 1970s Kawasakis were fast motorcycles and I doubt they would want to switch to slower bikes in the decades after that.