BMW Boxer engine saves a life
October 20, 2006 For most people high-speed car chases and action heroes are something that they only encounter when they go to the movies but for Jason Bishop (below, right) it’s all part of his job as a motorcycle police officer for South Wales Police in the UK. Police Constable Bishop’s company vehicle is a BMW R 1150 GS Adventure. As part of the Motorcycle Intercept team he uses it to help catch the criminals of south Wales. But Jason got a bit more than he bargained for when he was on routine patrol recently at a roadside checkpoint near Swansea. “I noticed a Volvo T5 turning off the motorway to avoid the checkpoint up ahead,” explained Jason. “It looked suspicious so I started to follow him, but when he realised I was a police officer he accelerated and tried to lose me.” What followed was a series of events that would usually be found in a Hollywood action movie. “I followed the fugitive down a narrow residential street with cars parked on both sides of the road,” PC Bishop explained. “At the end of the street another car was blocking the driver’s path, so the thief put his car into reverse and accelerated back towards me at high speed.” The car hit the Adventure on its front wheel and right-cylinder, knocking it and PC Bishop to the ground. “I really think the BMW’s cylinder configuration saved my life,” he explained. “I was being pushed along the floor trapped under my BMW. The only thing that stopped me being crushed was the fact that the car thief couldn’t drive over the exposed cylinder head of the bike.”
After pushing PC Bishop along the road for 30 metres the car thief made his next major mistake, stalling the car’s engine. This gave PC Bishop the time he needed to get away from his bike and around the side of the car to the driver’s window, which was open. As he fought with the criminal to get hold of the keys the driver managed to start the car and drive away, taking Jason with him.
“I was being dragged alongside the car and was getting bounced off parked vehicles until I managed to grab the keys and disable the car,” recalled PC Bishop.
Once he was arrested it soon became clear why the car thief was so desperate to get away. Not only was the car stolen but he was also wanted by the police for a long list of crimes. Incredibly, PC Bishop escaped with no broken bones – in fact his most serious injury was ligament damage to his ankle, from which he is currently recovering.
“I’ve always said that the R 1150 GS Adventure is the perfect bike for my job; it handles fantastically on road but has the ability to perform equally well off-road,” he enthused. “Now I’m even more impressed, in fact I’m convinced that the Boxer configuration saved my life.”