Highlands & Islands

Aviemore biker 'did not know' he was riding at 149mph

Bike speedometer Image copyright Thinkstock

A biker who has been jailed for riding his machine dangerously claimed he did not know he had reached a speed of 149mph, a court has heard.

Barry Gray, 39, of Aviemore, told social workers he had not realised how fast he had been travelling on the A95 between Aviemore and Grantown on Spey.

Sheriff David Sutherland told him it was one of the highest speeds "ever recorded" in the Highlands.

Gray had earlier admitted to a dangerous driving charge.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that he was road testing the Suzuki 1100 bike while trying to sort a fault when he was detected speeding by police on at about 17:35 on 7 September 2015 at Auchendean, near Skye of Curr.

'Sudden burst'

Jailing Gray for four months, Sheriff Sutherland said: "It beggars belief you would test your bike in circumstances like this.

"But I am perturbed that not withstanding your knowledge of bikes, you were not aware of the speed you were doing. Therefore I cannot deal with this other than with a custodial sentence."

Gray, a regular motocross competitor, was also disqualified for driving for five years and ordered to re-sit the extended driving test before being allowed back on the road.

Fiscal depute Alison Wylie told the court that traffic on the road was "light" and the conditions were dry at the time of the offence.

She said: "Police saw the motor cycle and knew it was travelling well in excess of 60mph at that time.

"Then there was a sudden burst of speed and they immediately put the gun on it, recording 149mph."

'Still coughing'

Defending, Willie Young said Gray was familiar with riding bikes at such speeds as the former offshore oil worker competed regularly in Scottish biking championships.

He said the bike involved was 20-years-old and had an "issue" due to it having sat in a garage for eight years.

Mr Young said: "He had stripped it down and had taken it into Inverness to get good fuel and a fuel additive.

"The vehicle was still coughing and spluttering on the way back but, as he got near Aviemore, he felt the issue was starting to clear.

"He was familiar with this road and knew there was a straight coming up. He was the only vehicle in sight and he did a burst of acceleration over a distance of 1,000ft.

"He then decelerated down to the speed limit as he approached traffic up ahead."