Getting your car or bike customised can be a rather expensive affair. As a result, automobile customisers cater to a niche market, that’s more often than not the hard core auto buffs with cash to spare. Enter Gabriel Zuzarte, a Vasai-based entrepreneur who’s created a custom bike with one specific target audience in mind, Mumbai's very own police brigade. Gabriel’s intention has been to ensure his creation matches up to a motorcycle truly fit for a cop.
Christened the ‘Hi-Tech Police Bike’, his prototype is loosely based around an age old police favourite, the 350cc Royal Enfield Electra Twinspark. This prototype retains the stock mechanicals and chassis of its donor motorcycle. The additions are slight modifications and a whole lot of tech that helps make life easier on the road for policemen on duty.
This is a dual purpose siren and speaker system.
What catches your eye first are the wide front fairing and large metallic boxes positioned behind the pillion seat, as well as on either side of the bike. The front fairing houses two potent LED lights and a night-vision enabled high-definition CCTV camera, this to record footage of anything happening around the bike. The leg-guard has been modified to hold a fire extinguisher on the right and dual siren and speaker system to the left.
The bike comes with a removable first aid box, it’s essential medical equipment positioned under the rider’s seat. The battery-box, originally housed here has now been displaced to the centrally located top box. Gabriel chose to keep the first-aid box within easy reach of the rider to ensure swift medical help is always at hand for anyone in need.
There’s rather interesting boxes at the back as well. A box on top contains a laptop, this even connected to its own printer, allowing the traffic police the freedom to book offenders while issuing them ‘challans’ on the spot! The laptop is equipped with dummy software, which Gabriel was happy to demonstrate to us. The policeman needs to open a specific program and select the offences committed from a list of available options. Next, the printer issues a receipt, faster than you could say 'presto'. Once approved, the new software could perhaps be synced to a central server that allows traffic police to immediately identify and deal with habitual offenders.
Then there’s a second night-vision-enabled high-definition CCTV camera. The front and the rear cameras run continuously to capture footage while the cop rides his bike. The footage from the cameras is continuously recorded and simultaneously streamed live via the internet to the police control room as well, this allowing department officials continuous awareness. The bike connects to the internet courtesy a dongle. There’s also a hard disk, router, an inverter and a few additional plug points, in case our on-duty policemen need to charge their phones or walkie-talkies. To cope with these extra power requirements, the prototype gets a bigger 18amp, 12V battery.
The removable first aid box is positioned under the rider's seat, where the original battery box used to be located.
Within the motorcycle left side box comes additional storage for essential equipment that on-duty traffic cops typically use, water bottles, a high power torch, high visibility jackets, raincoats, hats, pollution masks amongst others.
Gabriel estimates his modifications add about 20-25kg. On close examination, one notices Gabriel has paid good attention to the little details while designing his bike. There are all-metal footpegs that won’t bend or break easily if the bike is dropped while parking. All three boxes come with railings around the top for riders to place their helmets without scratching the bike’s paint. Keeping in mind traffic cops are forced to ride over varied terrain, there’s Pirelli on-off road tubeless tyres, wrapped around alloy wheels.
Before embarking on developing this prototype, Gabriel went around Mumbai interacting with numerous traffic police personnel, gathering a first-hand report of the numerous problems they face on a daily basis. The police indicated macho Royal Enfield bikes are their favourites, and that’s how his creation is based on one.
The idea of customising a motorcycle for the police, struck Gabriel in 2010, while watching an episode of ‘Orange County Choppers.’ It’s cost around Rs 5 lakh to customise this prototype, entirely sponsored by his generous mum-in-law. The good news is that Gabriel’s ‘Hi-Tech Police Bike’ has already received an NOC, or No Objection Certificate from the Thane RTO and is ready to be test-ridden by the Mumbai police. Once the elections are over and cops have time, they will start taking Gabriel’s prototype out for a spin.
This prototype is based on a 350cc Royal Enfield Electra Twinspark.
Although this is just a prototype, the quality of customisation is so good it doesn’t look or feel like one. This police motorcycle prototype is close to a stock Royal Enfield loved by our cops, but smothered in extra functionality and oodles of desirability. Apart from making Mumbai’s traffic cops look good on duty, the ‘Hi-Tech Police Bike’ will also make their job a lot easier. Post approval, I can think of just one problem Gabriel’s prototype might create for himself; making enough bikes because we’re certain all of our police force will be vying to get their hands on one.