View Full Version : Motorcycle Clocked at 205 MPH

The Big Spank Daddy
September 21st, 2004, 02:23 PM
This is on Channel 2 News today:


September 21st, 2004, 05:49 PM
:eek: 205... Wow More positive press about motorcycles :rolleyes:

[ September 21, 2004, 18:49: Message edited by: Gerald Anderson ]

September 21st, 2004, 07:53 PM
I'd buy a frame for that ticket and put it on my wall! Its not too often you get certified into the 200 mph club by your local law enforcement agency. It kinda reminds me of a couple years back when Wesley Snipes got busted for doing 180 on a ZX11 and it was all over the news.

September 22nd, 2004, 03:06 PM
Link to the actual ticket:


September 22nd, 2004, 05:49 PM
No license... :rolleyes:

I'm sure he's ridden dirt bikes before...

Sean Smith
September 22nd, 2004, 08:29 PM
Dr. Gaudino Weighs In On Infamous 205-mph Speeding Bust In Minnesota

Copyright 2004, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.


Via e-mail:

Normally I just read new reports like this and laugh at the obvious errors made by those reporting. But in this instance, I felt compelled to respond. There are possibly a number of errors at work here simultaneously, but without more detailed information regarding the altitude the plane (which may or may not have the curvature of the earth as a factor depending on how high the plane was), the speed of travel, direction of travel relative to the motorcycle, and angle of attack of the plane (whether the plane was level, descending, ascending, or banked into a turn), my comments can only be viewed as information that can put a "reasonable doubt" into the minds of any person who claims to actually use their brain. It is obvious that the "Airborne State Troopers" don't fall into this category, or don't understand motorcycles and physics very well. This preamble leads us to a well known phenomena, called Parallax.

First some basic math. 60 mph = 88ft/sec. At this rate of speed (notice I didn't say acceleration) the 1/4 mile is traveled in 15 seconds. The one correct part of this whole thing is that, Yes....1/4 mile in 4.39 seconds does = 205 mph. But an approximate half-second difference (1/4 mile in 5 seconds instead of 4.39 seconds) would drop that speed to 180 mph. A 1-second error (1/4 mile in 5.39 seconds) drops that speed to 168 mph.

168 mph is a completely believable speed for a stock CBR1000RR, as is 180 mph for a moderately to highly tuned 1000cc street legal sportbike.

Is it possible to introduce a half second or 1 second human error into this equation? YES, especially when Parallax is considered. The definition of Parallax is provided below.

Source: The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary, Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Main Entry: par·al·lax
Pronunciation: 'par-&-"laks
Function: noun
: the apparent displacement or the difference in apparent direction of an object as seen from two different points not on a straight line with the object

From this definition, it becomes apparent that a large number of factors can introduce optical illusion errors. Since the original article states that the motorcycle was accelerating away at an apparent rate of twice the speed of the plane, and the plane is viewing the entire event from above and behind, there is very little chance the measurement made from hundreds of feet in the air is anywhere near accurate. The spotter would be "ASSUMING" when the front tire did in fact cross the line that he used to start the watch, AND worse yet as the bike accelerates (not speeds) away and increases the distance between the plane and the motorcycle, the timing when the front wheel crosses the second line used to stop the stop watch is even MORE OF AN ASSUMPTION.

Then we have to ask, was the bike going uphill or downhill at all? Because if it was doing either, depending on what height the plane was, the motorcycle may have look like it crossed the line sooner from a viewing position above and behind. Or if the plane was traveling at any direction other than perpendicular to the direction of travel of the motorcycle, that would also effect the person's ability to accurately judge the time the motorcycle crossed the white line.

The officer also said he was "ready." Well, how ready was he? Did he maybe time the rear wheel as it crossed the first line and then the front wheel as it crossed the second line? All these issues add a significant degree of error due to the extremely short time duration over which the entire event occurred.

This also explains why the "photo-finish" cameras are placed perpendicular to the direction of travel of the "racing objects" as they cross the finish line in ALL FORMS OF RACING. Or, more simply, the photo finish camera is taking a picture that is parallel to the finish line, as things move across the finish line. You never see the photo finish cameras above and behind the finish line. Add in the height of plane and consider if the plane was high enough the curvature of the earth must also be factored into the equation, and you can see why this claim is just a publicity vehicle for that police department.

I could get into the physics required to push a motorcycle that fast against air, or that the really basic error is that NO VEHICLE, be it two wheels or four wheels, that is street legal in any way, shape or form can accelerate to 205 mph in 4.39 seconds regardless of how fast they were going to start with because of the wind resistance at those speeds, but I won't. So the question becomes, why didn't the police stop the bikes earlier when they saw them racing along an interstate with other traffic?

Any lawyer with a basic college understanding of physics and motorcycles would be able to get this case reduced or thrown out.

Reginald J. Gaudino, Ph.D.
Gaudino & Associates, Inc.
Oceanside, California

Dr. Gaudino is a licensed road racer...Editor.

More, from another reader and racer:


Via e-mail:

Just a note about the 205 mph-streetbike.

This morning on the Paul Harvey radio show on 700 WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio, he told a story of two motorcyclists being caught racing on Highway 61 in Minnesota at speeds "in excess of 205 mph."

Now it's two bikes at over 205 mph. WOW!

Jeff Wood

More, from another reader:


Via e-mail:

First: I applaud John Hopkins for the maturity he is showing in MotoGP. It takes a strong person to stand up and say that he forgives someone and wishes them no penalty. Bravo, John!

Second: 205 mph, on a Honda 1000, at that rate, my stock 636 should do an easy 180 mph! Give me a freaking break.

Eric Robinson
Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania

More, for still another reader:


Via e-mail:

No doubt that the guy was acting like an idiot. However, it would be interesting to know how the state patrol could clock him at 205 mph when the top speed of the Cessna 182s that they fly is only 143 - 148 kts (165 - 170 mph.) Even if they were using the one aircraft they have with retractable gear, an R182-RG Skylane, its top speed is only 160 kts (184 mph).

Adam Boklage
Vancouver, Washington

September 23rd, 2004, 02:10 AM
If the link on the previous post is a photocopy of the ticket, why isn't Mr. Tilley's signature on it? Also why is there a red arrow on a black and white photocopy?

I guess you could call the perp on the phone and ask him how fast he was going. I you can believe the ticket is real, his name is Sam Tilley, phone # 651-656-3524.

September 23rd, 2004, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by Brad Hearn:
If the link on the previous post is a photocopy of the ticket, why isn't Mr. Tilley's signature on it? Also why is there a red arrow on a black and white photocopy?many jursidictions don't require a speeding ticket be signed to be valid. perhaps this is one of them?

re: the red arrow, I suspect TSG added the arrow to highlight where the alleged speed is reported on the ticket.