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Minnesota Trooper Writes 205 Mph Speeding Ticket to Man Riding Motorycle

The Associated Press

WABASHA, Minn. Sept. 21, 2004 — With a State Patrol airplane overhead, a motorcyclist hit the throttle and possibly set the informal record for the fastest speeding ticket in Minnesota history: 205 mph.
On Saturday afternoon, State Patrol pilot Al Loney was flying near Wabasha, in southeastern Minnesota on the Wisconsin border, watching two motorcyclists racing along U.S. Highway 61.

When one of the riders shot forward, Loney was ready with his stopwatch. He clicked it once when the motorcycle reached a white marker on the road and again a quarter-mile later. The watch read 4.39 seconds, which Loney calculated to be 205 mph.

"I was in total disbelief," Loney told the St. Paul Pioneer Press for Tuesday's editions. "I had to double-check my watch because in 27 years I'd never seen anything move that fast."

Several law enforcement sources told the newspaper that, although no official records are kept, it was probably the fastest ticket ever written in the state.

After about three-quarters of a mile, the biker slowed to about 100 mph and let the other cycle catch up. By then Loney had radioed ahead to another state trooper, who pulled the two over soon afterward.

The State Patrol officer arrested the faster rider, 20-year-old Stillwater resident Samuel Armstrong Tilley, for reckless driving, driving without a motorcycle license and driving 140 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 65 mph.

A search of speeding tickets written by state troopers, who patrol most of the state's highways, between 1990 and February 2004 shows the next fastest ticket was for 150 mph in 1994 in Lake of the Woods County.

Tilley did not return calls from the newspaper to his home Monday. A working number for him could not immediately be found by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Only a handful of exotic sports cars can reach 200 mph, but many high-performance motorcycles can top 175 mph. With minor modifications, they can hit 200 mph. Tilley was riding a Honda 1000, Loney said.

Kathy Swanson of the state Office of Traffic Safety said unless Tilley was wearing the kind of protective gear professional motorcycle racers wear, he was courting death at 200 mph.

"I'm not entirely sure what would happen if you crashed at 200 miles per hour," Swanson said. "But it wouldn't be pretty, that's for sure."
 

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A 20 year old Unlicensed motorycle going 205mph. I guess natural selection was sleeping this day. I am sure with his vast 4 years of driving he will tell u he was in complete control and it is his right if he wants to kill himself. That should be an Automatic loss of license for atleast 5 years.

On the other hand that must have been one hell of a rush, ur lucky to hit 190mph freefalling... he must have made himself small!
 

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It would have been easier if the pilot had VASCAR...he could have dialed in the distance ahead of time and just used the time switch...and avoided the math!
 

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205mph could you imagine the mess that would have left if this nitwit had crashed. I had a GSXR 1100 when I was in my late teens fastest I ever got that up was 110 and that was on a track and that was crazy.
 

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Very sick

This has been of much discussion among us motorcyclists, and this is being called BS by most

that bike is not capable of reaching those speeds without some serious modifications. going from 170 to 180 takes a ton more HP that say 100 to 110.

This is going to be one heck of a fight for vascar in court and its reliability...

F the kid anyways, punks like him give all of "us" a bad name....
 

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Amen to that reno911. That's one thing I don't miss about being retired from a municipal, agency. The courts in Mass suck! At leat here we can fall back on the good ole UCMJ!
 

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Damn! That ticket was cheap. I calculated our fine for speeding in VT, and the ticket would cost $1171.00. Plus, not to mention the criminal issues. Just doing 50 over is $481.00 fine.
 

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The fastest ticket I ever wrote was 120 in a 55 zone, and I threw in an operating to endanger and had the kid's license pulled with an immediate threat write up.....I told him I would be happy to go an immediate threat hearing and hear him explain why he was going 75mph over the speed limit!
 

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The pilot was not using VASCAR...he was using a stopwatch. Further, I wrote many, many speeding cites with VASCAR...I only lost one in court: Judge Gibson from Ware DC was sitting at Spfld DC...she couldn't understand the whole 'time/distance' thing, so she found the guy NR (and, yes, those were her words: "...well, I can't understand it so I going to find him not responsible"). :shock: As you can imagine, the court room was full of state and local cops...they found my response "Sorry, your honor, I didn't know the laws of physics were open to judicial interpretation." rather humorous. 8) (At that point I did an about face and exited the court room). She retired a short time later (from a post she should have never held, in my opinion).

Secondly, I'd like to thank all the motorcycle enthusiasts for helping to keep me employed. Jump on your bike, go down to the 'Gin Mill' and have a drink on me! :twisted:
 

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VOR,

Say it isn't so! Who deleted your post? I thought you were a lord-high-muckedy-muck!
 

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Was Speed Of 205 Mph A Goof?
............
HANK SHAW
Associated Press

Can Stillwater motorcyclist Samuel Tilley 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 really 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 trooper who timed Tilley were off by a half-second which critics say is possible given variables such as the altitude, speed and the 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 CR51 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 even if Tilley were to plead his case down 20 mph, 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 already 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 either a supercharger or pump nitrous oxide or methane into the fuel system. All of these changes are possible, but seriously spendy.

And anyone with those kinds of modifications isn't likely to tool around southern Minnesota with nitrous 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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