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South Salt Lake Journal

It’s loud, it’s flashy, it promotes community—it’s the annual SSL Police’s Motorcycle Ride

Sep 08, 2022 11:54AM ● By Bill Hardesty

The third annual Motorcycle Ride, sponsored by the South Salt Lake Police Honorary Colonel, is planned for Sept. 17. Kickstands are up at 10 a.m. The Utah Jazz Bear riding a Harley-Davidson will lead the ride.

The ride begins at the South Salt Lake Harley-Davidson (2928 S. State St.). Then, the ride will travel through East Canyon and around Echo Reservoir. Finally, the ride ends at Central Park (2797 S. 200 East) with a provided lunch and raffle prizes.

Pre-registration is $25 on the SSL Honorary Colonels website ( Day of registration is $30 and begins at 8:30 a.m.

The first ride was held to honor Officer David Romrell, who was killed on duty on Nov. 24, 2018. He was the first SSLPD officer to die in the line of duty. The ride became an annual event to support SSLPD and all proceeds go to the department.

“Events like these provide an opportunity for law enforcement to engage the community in a positive environment,” Police Chief Jack Carruth said. “We appreciate the SSL Honorary Colonels for their continued support.” 

Sights to see…and hear

Parade onlookers love the police patrols with the roar of their engines, the precise riding, and the polished chrome. Planners are expecting 100 riders. They are also planning for an additional hundred family, friends, and community members who don’t ride but will attend lunch activities. The hope is to increase the number of riders each year.

As the riders travel in tandem up State Street to I-80, it is a sight to behold. With the average motorcycle weighing 700 pounds the roll of thunder is powerful. There’s BMWs (UHP), Ducatis, Harley-Davidsons (SSLPD), Hondas, Indian Motorcycles, Kawasakis, KTMs, and Suzukis, to name a few brands.

Besides the visual power is the powerful rumble. Motorcycles aficionados know that all motorcycles do not sound the same.

The best known rumble is the “potato-potato-potato” sound of a Harley. This unique sound is a result of the Harley-Davidson V-twin engine. While there are two pistons, they are attached to only one crankshaft. This means that each piston fires at uneven intervals. This sound is so tied to their brand that in 1994, Harley-Davidson tried to trademark the sound. However, after some pushback, Harley withdrew the application.

Ducatis also have V-twin motor. However, they sound very different. “This is because these Italian bikes are powered with 90-degree L-twin engines, which are also known as angled V-twins (one cylinder is vertical, one is horizontal). This engine configuration, along with Ducati’s dry clutch, produces the harsh mechanical sound of these bikes,” according to λ