In the late 1970s San Jose began to look at what the large agencies were purchasing for their patrol duties.  The CHP had done testing and had chosen the 1977 Kawasaki KZ 1000.  After initial testing San Jose also chose to use this motor for traffic enforcement duties.  The Kawasaki KZ series went on to be one of the most successful police package motorcycles ever made, spanning 30 years of production with very little change.


This 1980 Kawasaki was purchased new by the City of Brisbane in 1980 for patrol duty.  In the late 1980's it was taken out of regular patrol service and used as a trainer bike.  In February of 1996 it was sold as surplus from the city of Brisbane to a private owner.  It was restored back to its original police specs, including paint and radio box.  In December of 2004 it was purchased by a King City Police Officer who had plans to continue the restoration.  After meeting some San Jose Police Officers and learning about the San Jose Police Historical Society, he chose to donate the motorcycle since he did not have the time to restore it.  In May of 2012 he trailered the motorcycle to the Police Department and signed it over to the historical Society. 

Officers originally rode their own motors with added lights and mechanical sirens.  They would receive extra pay to help off-set the cost of maintenance and gas.  All different varieties of motors were used, but the most popular were the Harley Davidson and Indian motorcycles.

The San Jose Police Department has had a long history with the motorcycle.  On February 14, 1912 the San Jose Police Motors unit was formed with the purchase of one  motorcycle (that was painted yellow) to be used for traffic enforcement.  The  first motor officer for the San Jose Police Department was Officer Mike Margasan, a large man who had just the right amount of persuasion to get his point across to any law violator foolish enough to argue the stop.    

 

    1980 Kawasaki KZ 1000

The San Jose Police Historical Society it currently looking for the correct era equipment to add back on the motorcycle, as well as re-wire it with the correct lights, siren, and radio so that it may be used in parades and other educational forums.  If you have an item to donate or know someone who can do the work please send us a message in the contact page!