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Posted on Sat, Sep. 25, 2004





Motorcyclist can't drive 205, experts say

SPEEDING CYCLIST:The State Patrol claims it clocked a Stillwater man at that speed, but enthusiasts say the bike he was riding can reach only 185 mph without unlikely modifications.

BY HANK SHAW

ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS


Can motorcyclist Samuel Tilley of Stillwater, Minn., really get his machine to do 205 mph? The State Patrol says Tilley was clocked at that speed last weekend while driving his 2003 Honda RC51 sport motorcycle on a stretch of U.S. 61 near Wabasha.

He faces misdemeanor charges of speeding, reckless driving and riding without a motorcycle license.

After the Pioneer Press first reported the details of Tilley's citation, the nation's media picked up the story and, within hours, the motorcycle racing world began buzzing about whether Tilley could have reached such a record-breaking velocity.

There are more than a few skeptics.

"Theoretically, it could happen -- anything is possible -- but I don't believe it," said John Ulrich, editor of Roadracing World, a magazine that covers sport bike racing. "Guys who want to break speed records and go over 200 mph have to go to great lengths to get there."

Ulrich is a leader in a chorus of motorcycle aficionados who doubt the State Patrol's timing methods.

They note that if the State Patrol pilot who timed Tilley were off by half a second -- which critics say is possible given variables such as the altitude, speed and angle of approach of his Cessna -- it drops Tilley's speed to about 185 mph.

This still would be the unofficial state record for the fastest speeding ticket, and everyone agrees a Honda RC51 can hit that speed. But it's not the double C-note.

The State Patrol is sticking to its guns -- and stopwatch. Spokesman Kevin Smith said it's possible for Tilley's bike to go that fast and noted the pilot who timed Tilley has more than two decades of experience on patrol.

"What we have is what we have," Smith said. "That is the number he came up with, and there's really no going back on it. We have no reason to believe he's wrong."

Smith suggested that if Tilley were to plead his case down, it wouldn't help him beat the reckless driving charge. "Let's say he was going 186 -- that's still 121 mph over the speed limit. I don't see the relevance."

Enthusiasts of sleek, colorful sport bikes designed for track racing and made famous by movies such as "Torque" and "Faster" say the relevance is the magic number -- 200.

Two hundred mph is difficult to comprehend, and critics say the misplaced fear of zooming "crotch rockets" blasting by mom's minivan could lead opportunistic politicians to try to place restrictions on the bikes.

"They're making it like these are missiles going down the road," said Jason Farrell, a sport bike racer who runs 2 Wheel Authority, a performance shop in Oshkosh, Wis. "This gives sport bikers a bad name. These bikes are fast enough as it is. We're not looking for some government official to put speed limit (restrictors) on them."

As it is, bike experts say that most unmodified sport bikes top out at about 185 mph because of limits with their fuel injectors. To get an RC51 up to 200 mph, they say, the owner would have to change the bike's transmission, fuel injectors and gears -- and might have to add a supercharger or pumpnitrous oxide or methane into the fuel system. All of these changes are possible but seriously expensive.

And anyone with those kinds of modifications probably wouldn't tool around southern Minnesota withnitrous or jet fuel in his bike, they say.

"It's just not something that some dude can roll out of his garage and go for a ride and do," Ulrich said. "A hundred fifty? No problem. Two hundred? Big problem."

Tilley, who did not return a call seeking comment Thursday, will get a chance to plead his case in Wabasha County District Court on Oct. 25.
 

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Tazz
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Flying on 2 wheels!

My 72 Kaw Z1E would do 160 mph and thats back in the days before fuel injection. I installed a duel point mallery Dist and welded the two piece crank and punched it ot 1040cc. A 200mph street bike would be a ral KILLER....no pun intended.


Tazz


Rat Rods Rule!
 

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Like I said in the first post on this subject. A turbocharger would do the trick however I don't believe that anyone makes a bolt on kit for RC51's like those available for Hyabusa's, ZX12's and Blackbirds.

Even with nitrous the bike wouldn't reach that speed because it simply won't ingest enough of it. To make the the required power for that speed it would need 200bhp at the rear wheel at a minimum. Nitrous on a RC51 won't do it. Maybe with methanol for fuel, $5K in a factory race kit and nitrous, but a stocker just won't do it.

I say take the guys motorcycle liscense permanently, suspend his driving priveledges for a year, fine the snot out of him and sell his bike at an auction. The new owner should submit the bike for testing to dispute the states claim of 205MPH and prove them wrong.

That's all I have to say, thank for your support.

Larry
 

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Left Nut, Right Nut....Squish!
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He faces misdemeanor charges of speeding, reckless driving and riding without a motorcycle license.
OOOOOOOOHH WOW only a misdermeanor!!!??? I'd be happy as hell if I was doin that fast and only got a misdermeanor. Here in California I think anything double speedlimit or close to that is a felony (I'm not totally positive about this).... But my god he should be happy he's not really getting screwed, clocked at 205 ok lets knock 75mph off that (the speed police say 205 - 75= 130mph ) should be good enough accurate speed for a guy on bike hauling *, the fool's still doin double the speed whats his problem he was speeding. Speeding is speeding no matter how fast your going.

Hypothetical situation:

205mph guy: Uh yea judge I wasn't doing 205mph I was going

130-150mph.

Judge: what posessed you to go above 75mph the us. national max speed?

205mphguy: Umm, I sayd I wasnt going 205mph.

Judge: Ok sir, I'll take off 100mph Now tell me Why u were doing
105 mph.

205mph guy: uh dang you already took off 100mph?

judge:yes

205guy: im screwed. the end

That guy should take it like a man, you do the crime you do the time. No matter how you look at it, He was definately hauling balls, putting peoples lives 4x the risk covering more ground than a normal driver does (1/4 miles in like 4.5 seconds or so at that speed) he should just be glad he came out alive with fines and jail or whatever.


Abe
 

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Come Home Safe Soldier
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Regardless of whether or not he was traveling at that speed,does not matter.It was extremely dangerous.That is one scary ride on a public road.But dont knock the guy too awful hard.Isnt there a thread going on in the lounge where several people have mentioned 120+speeds on public highways?120-MPH or 220 MPH,either way it is fracturing a law,right?




Man Ron,why do you have to be such a buzz kill???????
 
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Over 25 years ago I had a motorcycle. It was a Yamaha RD350A. It was supposedly the fastest model bike on the road when it was built, atleast that was what I was told by several people that were into that stuff. That bike was relatively small by today's standards. The bike I had would do 120 in the 1/4. I had it up to 120 a couple of times and it scared me plenty. It was so light, the slightest breeze would make you change lanes a long way. I could not immagine a motorcycle being stable in any way at 185, let alone at 205. The slightest bump could be disasterous.

In VA someone charged with thise charges could bet on jail time.
 

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Hmmm, I rode one of those once in a vintage race. What you say is absolutely true about that bike. You'd be very surprised at just how stable these newer bikes really are. I'm not condoning what the moron did in any way. I'm just saying that these bike today are much easier to ride fast than the stuff we had 20+ years ago.

I have a Kawasaki H2 750 triple, it's a two stroke for those that have never heard of one. It's overpowered and hops around like you're on a bullride when you try to push it too hard. I have an '89 Kawasaki 600 that is old and tired by todays standards. It's light years ahead of the old H2 in handling. So much better that, even though it's smaller and has less power, I can ride it faster around a track than a pro could on the H2.

The guys still an idiot though. I love my bikes and I love to ride. People like this idiot just make it more difficult and more expensive for me to do it.

Larry
 

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NYOFP4RJ3CHRIS
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adtkart said:
Over 25 years ago I had a motorcycle. It was a Yamaha RD350A.
That sucker was a two stroker wasn't it?

My brother had a buddy with an RD400 Yamahammer that was two stroke and that thing would haul!
 

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Hotrodders.com Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a buddy with a 1200 Kawi, he's had it up to 180, says it feels like 100 compared to his old Kawi 1000, very stable, he had to check the speedo twice to believe he was going that fast. The mechanic in Fresno where he gets service work says with with some type of chip (?) sprocket and tire he'd get 200 plus. He says he doesn't want that kind of speed, it's crazy enough with the power he has. 205 is very believable to me. Regardless, this guy in the article is out of his mind..lol. Dan
 

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A bike going 205 mph is a lot safer to the people in other cars than another car going 85 or 100 mph if the car hits its going to do a lot more damage then the bike will do I mean the guy on the bike will be dead 100 times over but the person in the vehicle will be a lot safer than if a car hit it going way slower.
 

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Chec, do the math. Force = Mass X Velocity squared. A 1000# cycle doing 200 MPH impacts with 36% more force than a 4000# auto going 80 MPH. Regardless, extreme speeds do not have a place on the roadways. Maneuvering a bike at these speeds is virtually non existent; in part because of the amount of force to over come the gyroscopic action of the wheels and the instability caused by that action. Additionally, it takes very special tires to hold together at extreme speeds and I would be very suspect of any thing that came on a bike/car that is pushed beyond the manufacturer's advertised top speed.

Right, wrong or indifferent, if I were the Judge in this case, this guy would have his license lifted for a year and only reissued after he has been evaluated by a shrink that says he really does not have a DEATH WISH.

Trees
 

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Anyone who last rode a motorcycle pre 1980 should find a way to ride a modern bike. Things like bias ply tires and chasis flex are a thing of the past. Now you can have a 100hp 600cc bike with fuel injection that starts and idles like a sewing machine, has better brakes than a Corvette, and will get 40+mpg.

Comparing a 70's bike with what is out there today is not even close - it's like the Wright Brothers vs an F16. (Excluding Harley, which is still using 1950's technology on their bikes...)

I didn't know it was an RC51 - no way was he even close to the double ton. That is a Vtwin race bike that in stock form would be lucky to get to 180mph. A turbo Busa - no problem, but a RC 51 - no way. Make me believe it. For you non-bike guys, this is like saying you have a street legal car in the high 9's - you very well may, but I won't believe it without serious proof. As far as changing sprocets and such, while there will be a difference in top end and acceleration, it would not overcome the aerodynamics invloved. I do not believe this bike with factory body work could be made to go over 190mph with any less than 215 rwhp. (stock it is under 130hp at the rear)

And as for everyone with their friend who has a bike that does 175+, bear in mind that every manufacturer has an intentional speedo error of at least 5-8% - so your buddy who's 600 was indicating 150 was actually going more like 142mph.

As far as I recall, the Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R was the fastest stock motorcycle. In the later 90's several were clocked at 192-195mph. In the early 2000's, every manufacturer decided to voluntarilly self-regulate to the European standard of limiting the top speed of their models to 189mph. Because of this, models such as the current Hayabusa and Kawasaki's 1200Ninja are slower than what their potential would indicate, A 2005 Hayabusa is actually slower than an older model b/c of the limiter on the new bike.
 
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