The sense of freedom and connection to the machine that motorbikes can give just can’t be matched by anything on four wheels. The only trouble is, you have to accept you’re much more vulnerable. A big part of that is being wary of other road users, who can often be pretty terrible about noticing you’re there, but it’s also important to responsibly use the incredible amount of performance many bikes offer.
Sadly, the rider in the footage below decided to exploit the speed of his bike on a busy public road at night, with disastrous consequences. Before watching we should warn that you may find it disturbing due to its shocking nature. It’s been released by South Australia Police to raise awareness of the dangers of reckless riding after the helmet camera footage was passed on by the rider’s wife.
It shows the rider reaching speeds of up to 267kmh (166mph) in his Suzuki GSXR, weaving in and out of traffic. He only gets away with this for so long, accelerating hard around one car as a small lorry changes lanes up ahead. By the time he reacts, it’s too late. At the moment of the impact, the digital speedometer reads 140kmh, which is about 87mph.
Incredibly, thanks to the quick reactions of other motorists, the man survived. He was resuscitated by bystanders under the instructions of the emergency services over the phone but sustained life-changing injuries. The rider was in a coma for two months and has been left with a brain injury.
The text towards the end of the video notes that he can no longer communicate clearly, and has two full-time carers. The message goes on to point out that the impact of this crash goes well beyond just the rider - his family must now care for him for the rest of his life, and the members of the public who saved his life have to deal with what they witnessed that night. The final message says, “Someone has to pick up the pieces”.
The release of the footage coincides with the introduction of new laws by the South Australian government this week. These are aimed at toughening penalties against drivers and riders travelling at an “extreme speed,” defined as 55kmh or more over the limit in any zone marked as 60 or less, or 80kmh+ above any limit marked over that 60. The maximum penalty for such infractions is now five years in prison, while a five-year driving ban is mandatory.