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Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - To some in the motorcycle world, Samuel Armstrong Tilley is a folk hero. Others call him an idiot.

Ever since a State Patrol pilot clocked Tilley's 2002 Honda RC51 at 205 miles an hour, people in chatrooms, garages and biker bars from Sturgis, S.D., to Los Angeles have been buzzing about Tilley's alleged feat on Highway 61 near Wabasha.

Much of the discussion has been on whether that particular model could go that fast, especially amid the thousands of riders on the annual Flood Run along the bluffs north of Winona on Sept. 18.

State Patrol pilot Al Loney, a 27-year veteran, and his superiors stand by their stopwatch, which clocked Tilley going a quarter-mile in 4.39 seconds.

Also at issue is whether Tilley deserves his urban legend status.

"Certainly anyone who flouts the law to that extent is seen by some as a latter-day Robin Hood, flying in the face of authority and doing stuff we all want to do but common sense stops us from," said David Edwards, editor-in-chief of Cycle World, a magazine based in Newport Beach, Calif.

Edwards, like many experts, doubts Tilley topped 200 mph.

"It's extremely unlikely that that bike was going that fast," he said. "More likely, the cop with the stopwatch had an itchy trigger finger."

Former St. Paul Police Chief Bill Finney is another doubter. Finney was riding a Boss Hoss bike with a V-8 car engine during the Flood Run.

"The most common viewpoint is: That Honda could not have done 205 miles per hour," Finney said. "There are Suzukis that can go 180 miles per hour out of the crate, and racing Hondas may get there after spending a million bucks on them. That 200 miles per hour is a tough nut to crack."

Tilley hasn't been talking. He doesn't have a listed phone number and hasn't returned numerous reporters' calls for his side of the story. He's due to appear in Wabasha County Court on Oct. 25.

"He was a cocky kid, kind of arrogant," said Laurie Hansen, his English teacher at Stillwater High School, where he graduated last spring.

His father is a patrol sergeant for the Washington County Sheriff's Office, and his stepmother, who co-owns the motorcycle, is a nurse.

Tilley purchased his motorcycle last summer from Tousley Motorsports in White Bear Lake, where he once worked. Tousley President Larry Koch insists Tilley is a nice guy.

"But I really want to ask him: 'What in the hell were you thinking?'" Koch said.

Devin Harrington, of Minneapolis, was another rider on the Flood Run. When he stopped for gas near Wabasha, he saw a clean-cut young man wearing jeans and racing boots sitting on a curb as riders sped past.

Harrington asked him what happened. The man said his bike was towed because he got a speeding ticket. Harrington asked how fast was he going. Nonchalantly, Tilley told him, "Well, they gave me a ticket for 205."

That ticket lists fines of $215 for going 140 mph over the limit, $115 for failing to have his motorcycle endorsement with him and a reckless driving charge.

Four days later, Harrington had forgotten the whole matter, when his dentist brought it up. The guy on the sidewalk, he realized, had become a cause celebre.

"This is hilarious," Harrington said. "Now, we'll have some idiot trying to top that mark, whether it is true or not. They will try killing themselves, for what? To see who's the fastest?"

Not only is it the record speeding ticket in Minnesota, by the State Patrol's reckoning, but it tops William Faenza's ticket for going 182 mph in a Lamborghini Diablo in Pennsylvania last spring.

"He's upset the whole sport bike world," said Erie Presley, of Salt Lake City. "Not so much that he broke the law, but he apparently broke several racing records, and we're wondering if he really did it."

Tim Carrithers, editor of Motorcyclist magazine in Los Angeles, said his phone rang nonstop as word of Tilley's speed spread nationwide.

"The guy couldn't have gone that fast, no way," said Carrithers, adding that his staff members once clocked an RC51 at a high of 163 mph during a magazine review of the bike in 2000. "There's no street bike in stock that will approach that speed."

Edwards, the editor of Cycle World, said Tilley's bike would have needed an add-on turbo charger to go above 165 mph.

"There are lots of guys who have been spending a lot of money and a lot of years at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah trying to join the official 200 Club and most still haven't done it," Edwards said. "It's a pretty remarkable feat to go that fast on a motorcycle and I doubt that's what happened here."

Edwards said he once rode a bike at 175 mph.

"Between the wind tearing at you, the engine screaming and the leather flapping, it's not a fun place to be," he said.
 

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V-Twin Moddin
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I can't wait to see what happens at court with this!!
 

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ShanMan14 said:
"The most common viewpoint is: That Honda could not have done 205 miles per hour," Finney said. "There are Suzukis that can go 180 miles per hour out of the crate, and racing Hondas may get there after spending a million bucks on them. That 200 miles per hour is a tough nut to crack."
Ignorant.

The guy came out and said he was doing more like 170, but there are plenty of 200mph bikes out there.
 

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I'd like to see how much you gotta $$ you gotta dump into an RC51 to make it go 205...real time! :eek:
 

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I want to do 205mph to. :lol: We all know he didn't even get close to that speed. How comes these cops are being so damn stupid about it?? :bash:
 

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GSXR750DJ said:
I want to do 205mph to. :lol: We all know he didn't even get close to that speed. How comes these cops are being so damn stupid about it?? :bash:

you dont have the jewels to do 205 MPH..neither do I ! :eek:

its all a conspiracy, and somebody will with a cheap walmart stopwatch...
 

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GSXR750DJ said:
How comes these cops are being so damn stupid about it?? :bash:
I don't hate cops, but they always are on these deals. "I was sittin' there in my LT1 HiPo car when a vette passed me at 180. I took me almost half a mile to catch up with him, but I got him." lol
 

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Pigface1 said:
I don't hate cops, but they always are on these deals. "I was sittin' there in my LT1 HiPo car when a vette passed me at 180. I took me almost half a mile to catch up with him, but I got him." lol
Im sure they've been known to embellish there stories, while standing around the water cooler, just like everybody else does at times, Im sure..I dont hate them either, but they do piss me off now and then. ;)
 

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Need4Speed750 said:
you dont have the jewels to do 205 MPH..neither do I ! :eek:

its all a conspiracy, and somebody will with a cheap walmart stopwatch...

We don't know this. I have seen 160+. Give me a bike that will do those speeds and all the gear and we'll see what I do.
 

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GSXR750DJ said:
We don't know this. I have seen 160+. Give me a bike and all the grea and we'll see what I do.
u just opened yourself up wide open on that one..but I wont go there.

160 - 200 ..its all flying to me.... unless you get me on a closed course, I aint touching those speeds..i'lll leave that to the squids of the world.
 

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Need4Speed750 said:
u just opened yourself up wide open on that one..but I wont go there.

You won't go there because you haven't seen those speeds. :dthumb:
 

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Need4Speed750 said:
u just opened yourself up wide open on that one..but I wont go there.

160 - 200 ..its all flying to me.... unless you get me on a closed course, I aint touching those speeds..i'lll leave that to the squids of the world.

Did you just call WOS members a squid?? :lol:
 

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NOW NOW DJ, I know you didn't just do that!!! :lol: You callin me? You callin me a squid? :lol:

I know what you mean.

As far the cops being assesss about this. It is due to all the publicity around this case. They are going to use this guy as a example. he better get a good lawyer!!
 

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Im sure he'll have the best lawyer he can get..johnnie cochran's probably knocking down his door as we speak, just to see if he can win this case.
 

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Gas Man said:
NOW NOW DJ, I know you didn't just do that!!! :lol: You callin me? You callin me a squid? :lol:

I know what you mean.

As far the cops being assesss about this. It is due to all the publicity around this case. They are going to use this guy as a example. he better get a good lawyer!!

Nope...not me. But Matt did say:

nEED4sPEED750 said:
I aint touching those speeds..i'lll leave that to the squids of the world.

Didn't you tell me that it doesn't get fun untill you hit thoses speeds. LOL Its all good and we all know we love going fast. Just have fun, ride in your limits, and have a great time. :dthumb:
 

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Do you dare go trying to twist my words around your own little parfait of idiosy... hey, that was pretty good, I should frame that saying on my walls or put it in my sig... :D
 

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I think you should to. You better hurry up and do it before you forget what you just said. :lol: :crazy:
 
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