A motorcyclist who set jaws dropping across the nation last month when he was stopped for going 205 miles per hour south of the Twin Cities tells a reporter for Midwest Quick Throttle Magazine in an upcoming issue that he was going closer to half that speed, said magazine editor Pat Andrews.
The interview was apparently the first for media-shy Samuel Tilley, 20, of Stillwater, who has not spoken publicly about his record-setting ticket since he was stopped near Wabasha on Sept. 18.
"He's beside himself about the whole thing," Andrews said Tuesday evening.
Tilley said in the interview that he's not sure exactly how fast he was going because he was watching the road and another rider who was nearby, said Scottie Ard, who wrote the story for Quick Throttle. The other rider was ticketed for going 111 mph.
Samuel Tilley"He doesn't know how he could have been going 205 miles per hour, especially when the guy he was with was going 111," Andrews said.
A Minnesota State Patrol pilot saw Tilley from the air and used a stopwatch to time him as he passed quarter-mile markers along Hwy. 61. The pilot's reading of 4.39 seconds translated into Tilley's 205 mph speed.
Tilley's ticket, posted on the Internet at www.thesmokinggun.com
, has fueled heated conversations among motorcycle enthusiasts, with many doubting that Tilley's Honda RC51 could reach such high speeds.
Tilley told the Quick Throttle that tests conducted recently at Hitman Motor Sports in White Bear Lake revealed his bike's top speed to be 159 mph. "You strap the bike down and power it up," Andrews said. "You check horse power, power curve and max speed on it. It doesn't lie."
Tilley has turned down repeated requests for interviews. Andrews said Tilley finally spoke to Quick Throttle reporter Brett Dahl after the two saw each other at Treasure Island Casino, where Dahl works. Dahl, an "extreme motorcycle enthusiast," found Tilley inside the casino after someone told him he was there with friends. Dahl then promised to portray him kindly, said Andrews.
Andrews said Tilley has been embarrassed by the notoriety of his ticket. "He doesn't want to be known as the person who was giving motorcyclists a bad name, or causing insurance rates to go up or even being a reckless individual," he said.
Tilley showed up at Yarusso Bros. Italian Restaurant in St. Paul on the restaurant's "bike night" on Oct. 6 to sign T-shirts, Andrews said. The money raised was sent to Gillette Children's Hospital.
"He was the belle of the ball," Ard said. "Every rider there wanted to speak with Sam Tilley."
Tilley is scheduled to appear in Wabasha County Court on Oct. 25.