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Posted at 7:35 AM ET, 12/ 9/2010

High-speed Va. conviction thrown out

By The Virginian-Pilot

A Virginia motorcyclist whose throttle was stuck open has had his conviction for driving at least 130 mph thrown out in court.

The Virginian-Pilot reports a judge overturned 27-year-old Frank Parker's conviction on charges of reckless driving and eluding police.

The Virginia Beach resident says he was heading home from work in August when the nightmare occurred on U.S. 58. During the incident Parker was involved in a 2-mile police chase. He was able to bring the bike to a stop after holding in the clutch.

Parker got the conviction overturned last week after he produced a repair order from a motorcycle shop.

Parker had bought the motorcycle about three months before to save gas. Now he says he's just happy to be alive.

By The Virginian-Pilot  | December 9, 2010; 7:35 AM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse, Virginia  
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Comments

"The Virginia Beach resident says he was heading home from work in August when the nightmare occurred on U.S. 58. During the incident Parker was involved in a 2-mile police chase. He was able to bring the bike to a stop after holding in the clutch."

It is amazing he is alive, considering it took him 2-miles to figure out that all he had to do was hold the clutch and hit the engine kill.

I suspect he just 'got away' with pulling the wool over the eyes of the court. I suspect the police/prosecutor did not use due dilligence in investigating the case to better understand what happened, what actions the accused could/should have taken, etc.

To get to that speed, he had to shift gears a number of times; and if his throttle were stuck (as he claims) it would be difficult to shift without using the clutch. Ok, so lets presume he did use the clutch. At the first shift point he should have realized that pulling the clutch was an option to remove power from the rear wheel. Did he risk blowing up his engine? Yup. But that is why there is an engine kill switch.

What I suspect happened was:
- He decided to 'open it up'
- Got busted going through a speed trap
- Police caught up/radioed ahead
- He realized he couldn't get away
- He fabricated the story
- He got one of his buddies to write up a work order/repair order for a $100.

MOST (not all) throttles feature push/pull cables to allow the user to prevent a throttle from sticking open.

Posted by: Disbelief | December 9, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

To: Disbelief

I work with the NHTSA, you may not want to be so quick to judge. You would surprised if you knew how many motorcycles and vehicles are currently under investigation for this very problem.

Posted by: bobby31 | December 9, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

To: Disbelief

I work with the NHTSA, you may not want to be so quick to judge. You would surprised if you knew how many motorcycles and vehicles are currently under investigation for this very problem.

Posted by: bobby31 | December 9, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

HD's don't stick. Get off the rice burner!

Posted by: Bebunk | December 9, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

US 58 looks like a main road through town -- if he was clocked at 130 mph, then he is lucky to be alive. It's not always obvious to people what to do in an emergency.

I nearly slammed into a traffic accident that occured in front of me while trying to dial 911. It was an otherwise empty road.

Posted by: blasmaic | December 9, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

http://hamptonroads.com/2010/12/convictions-tossed-130mph-ride-runaway-motorcycle

There are a few additional details there, there was a passenger on the bike. He immediately sold it after that incident.

Not having motorcycle experience myself, I'm inclined to believe it was an relatively inexperienced rider with a malfunction who panicked.

Posted by: pudenda1 | December 9, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I've seen a few motorcycle throttles stick open, so it's not entirely unheard of. Sometimes cables don't get lubricated, or people do sloppy home repair jobs on their throttle.

2nd, he wouldn't necessarily have had to shift. It's not mentioned what type of bike he was riding but it'll suffice to say that it's very possible to go from a highway legal speed to 130 mph in the same gear on some bikes. Actually, some can hit 100 mph in first gear alone (although successive gears are much shorter). Highway cruising is easy going in 2nd and 3rd gear, and there are 6 gears on these bikes - note only *certain* bikes are capable of this.

A lot of newbies who don't know what they're getting into are attracted to these powerful machines without the skill to back it up.

Posted by: atact88 | December 9, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

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