There are an amazing number of devout fans of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Taiwan, and with some new Harleys costing more than a locally produced car, Taiwan’s market for used Harleys has really taken off. As long as the essentials like cylinders and gearboxes are well maintained, twenty to thirty-year-old vintage Harleys are still able to fly across town like a bat out hell with that distinctive roaring Harley sound.
Taiwan’s military police were using Harleys back in 1983, and these bikes now have a market price of roughly NT$200,000, which means they are better at retaining their value than Mercedes Benzes and BMWs of the same age.
The first three generations of Taiwan’s Military Police Motorcycle Company, which has been established for almost 40 years, used Harley Davidson motorcycles, though the last two generations have made the switch to Yamaha bikes.
The Harley-Davidson company no longer make the models originally used by Taiwan’s military police, and hoped that they could buy back the bikes and place them on display. However, the military police turned the offer down.
A high-ranking military police official said that these bikes are a priceless part of the history of the Military Police Motorcycle Company and cannot be sold. He also said that once the military police museum is opened, the first four generations of bikes would be put on display at the museum.
The Military Police Motorcycle Company is a model unit with extremely strict selection criteria. Apart from coming from a decent family, members have to be at least 180cm tall, must have held a civilian heavyweight bike license for at least one year and must also pass through rigorous training and exams.
Chuck: What’s with all those brochures?
Pedro: I’m trying to decide whether to buy a motorbike or a car. Any suggestions?
Chuck: Well, if you get a car you’ll be able to use it all year round, even when it gets cold.
Pedro: That’s a good point. Anything else?
Chuck: Cars are safer. If you get into an accident, there’s less chance of getting hurt. But then again, motorbikes look a lot cooler and will help you meet girls.
Pedro: Thanks a lot. I think you’ve just tipped the scales in favor of the bike!
tip the scales 起決定性的作用
If a piece of information tips the scales, it is the factor that causes a decision to be made.
若某項資訊「tip the scales」，就表示它是起決定性作用的因素。
The march-past of the Military Police Motorcycle Company is a major part of the annual National Day celebrations. Members of the unit have said that the Motorcycle Company is not just for show. During a war, the bikes will be stripped of their medals of honor, logos and designs, and will be disguised as civilian vehicles so they can be driven to the front line and be used to gain information on the enemy. (TRANSLATED BY DREW CAMERON)