Okay, the headline sounds like the setup to a bad joke, but it pretty much describes the scene in the picture above released by the Piaggio Group.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is in China this month to mark the 40th anniversary of his secret diplomatic visit in 1971 which paved the way for formalized relations between China and the United States.
Last week, the noted diplomat went through the city of Chongqing, one of China’s largest municipalities and home of the Piaggio Zongshen Foshan Motorcycle Co., a joint venture partially owned by the Piaggio Group.
Piaggio Zongshen Foshan took the opportunity to debut the Chongqing police force’s fleet of 30 police-spec Aprilia Mana 850 motorcycles as Kissinger’s escort.
Powered by an 850cc 90-degree V-Twin engine, the Mana is equipped with an automatic transmission as well as a semi-manual 7-speed sequential transmission and three engine mappings. The police version is specially customized with radio equipment, sirens and other equipment.
Piaggio Group: the Aprilia Mana 850 is the motorbike of the Chongqing police force
Milan, 5 July 2011 – The thirty Aprilia Mana 850 motorcycles that have joined the fleet of the Chongqing police force have made their debut as the escort for former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
The Italian bikes accompanied the US diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate on his visit to Chongqing. Mr Kissinger is in the People’s Republic of China at the moment to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of his first official visit to China.
The Piaggio Group won the order through Piaggio Zongshen Foshan Motorcycle Co. Ltd., the joint venture active on the Chinese market in which Piaggio and China’s Zongshen motorcycle group each own 45%. The residual 10% is held by the Municipality of Foshan, Guangdong Province, where the joint venture is headquartered Chongqing is China’s largest direct-controlled Municipality, with the status of province. Its population currently stands at more than 32 million, with 3.4 million people resident in the Municipality’s urban area.
With its innovative SportGear automatic transmission, which makes it the perfect choice for use in urban and metropolitan areas, the Aprilia Mana features an 850cc liquid-cooled electronic fuel injection 90° V-twin engine. The electronically controlled sequential SportGear transmission offers a seven-speed manual gearshift or autodrive with three different mappings: Touring-Sport- Rain. The thirty Aprilia Mana bikes used by the Chongqing police force have been customised to meet the authority’s service requirements.