A tradition among police forces in Mexico for almost 100 years, motorcycle acrobatics are seeing a revival as new generations and groups strengthen their ties and keep the practice alive.
The sport arrived in Mexico around the end of the 1920s and by 1927 the Mexico City traffic police department had the country’s first squadron dedicated to the practice.
It peaked in popularity two decades later with the release of two movies in 1951, A toda máquina (Full Speed Ahead) and its sequel, ¿Qué te ha dado esa mujer? (What Has That Woman Done to You?)
Starring classic movie star and singer Pedro Infante, along with Luis Aguilar and Aurora Segura, both movies follow two motorcycle traffic policemen (Infante and Aguilar) in Mexico City. Both are good friends and intense romantic rivals. As members of the traffic department, both characters also took part in the now iconic motorcycle acrobatics scenes.
Keeping the tradition alive, Federal Police Commander Edmundo Montes, a fervent follower of Infante’s career, three years ago founded the group “Gladiadores México,” following the steps of the histrionic Infante, dubbed “the idol of México.”
Montes has been practicing the sport ever since, training new generations and instilling in them a passion for the world of motorcycling.
To join Montes’ squad, the only requisite for Federal Police officers, men or women, is to be disciplined. “There are no easy acrobatics,” he said in an interview with Máspormás. “Everything we do has an elevated risk factor and entails hours of teamwork and training.”
“A motorcyclist needs at least three months of practice, three times a week,” explained the acrobatics enthusiast.
Members of the squad must wear their usual police uniforms, plus several modifications: “we also wear gloves, boots and additional furnishings and accessories, which include a small plastic piece attached to the officer’s belt, used as support by the acrobats.”
They also use special motorcycles. “We usually use Harley Davidsons built between 1946 and 1980 because we need carbureted machines with suicide shifters and a few other details that only those bikes have,” said Montes.
The leader of Gladiadores México says the sport has become a way of life for him: “When I’m on a bike I feel very excited, full of adrenaline, and with a great passion for motorcycles.”
Gladiadores México belongs to the Alas de Acero (Steel Wings) squadron of the Federal Police, created with the goal of motivating young generations to take part.
The squadron travels throughout the country, showing off the riders’ dexterity and abilities aboard the classic machines in fairs and festivals. Their next presentation will be on August 1 in Tlaxcala.
Source: Más Por Más (sp)