Indiana State Police

The History of the Indiana State Police Motorcycle Unit

Back in 1933 the first troopers patrolled on motorcycles.  After the first Indiana State Troopers finished their initial “training” they were told to go Muncie where they picked up either a Harley Davidson or Indian motorcycle.  The average trooper in the early1930’s might patrol over 100,000 miles per year on a motorcycle on most unpaved, unpredictable roads in all kinds of weather.  This went on until the mid or late 1930’s when the first Indiana State Police cars were introduced.

While motorcycles were the first mode of transportation for the Indiana State Police, they were phased out in the late 1930’s and were merely a part of ISP history.  However, in 2003 the Indiana State Police reintroduced motorcycles back into its fleet for the first time in about 65 years.  Today there are 25 motorcycles patrolling Hoosier highways.  Unlike their predecessors, today’s motorcycle trooper is issued a standard patrol car in addition to a motorcycle.  During the winter months and inclement summer weather, today’s motorcycle trooper can patrol in a dry, heated, full-size sedan when temperatures dip below 40 degrees or when snow is flying or rain is falling.

1931 Harley-Davidson Model VL.
Photo provided by Ward
Photo provided by Ward
Photo provided by Ward
5-26-10 Trp Wes Rowlader stops to help a stranded motorist on 1-69 in Allen County
2010-6 Campers talk with ISP motorcycle troopers
6-17-10 Sgt. Luke Nathalang and the ISP motorcycle squad lead a procession for Vietnam War Veteran and MIA, Roy Prater in Columbia City. (M/Trp. Brian Bill’s brother is the son-in-law of the MIA that was escorted home.)
2010-07-16 Respect for Law Camp held at the University of Indianapolis
2010-08-03 Greencastle’s National Night Out Mascot with Trooper Chris Harcourt
2010-08-25 Motorcycle Troopers Ron Lowe and Chris Harcourt working at a construction area on I-70 WB
2010-10-09 A Trine University alumus, Trooper Kody Buell serves as an escort during this year’s homecoming game

Information and Photos provided by the Indiana State Police Public Information Office.