A speed camera has clocked a man riding a Ducati motorbike on State Highway 5 at a speed a local expert suggests should be attempted only on racetracks.
Dylan Roberts, 24, was snapped by a speed camera on June 23, travelling at 199km/h on State Highway 5 near Eskdale.
In the Napier District Court yesterday, Roberts pleaded guilty to a charge of driving at a dangerous speed, which carries a maximum penalty of three months' imprisonment or a $4500 fine.
He said he had gone up and down the road only once as he was test-driving the bike.
Lawyer Leo Lafferty told the court Roberts had been the only driver on the road at the time he was caught by the speed camera, which was mounted in a roadside van.
It was a clear day and road conditions were good.
Judge Richard Watson ordered Roberts to pay a $400 fine and said there was a mandatory six-month disqualification accompanying the charge.
The judge said the $400 fine was substantially less than Roberts would have otherwise been given had he not been disqualified.
Ericksen Honda Napier director Hayden Ericksen said yesterday while it didn't take much to get up to speeds of 200km/h or more on some bikes, it was dangerous to do so on public roads. "If there are other cars around - or trucks or anything - it doesn't take much to get into trouble."
Mr Ericksen said it was especially important to be careful in winter when driving conditions were not the greatest.
While it was easy to get up to high speeds, 200km/h was "pushing it".
"When you're on a bike you're not looking at the dash all the time, so 120 or 130km/h can come up on you pretty quickly. 200km/h is pretty fast, though.
"Those kinds of speeds should only be done on racetracks where the environment is controlled."
Hawke's Bay road policing manager Sergeant Clint Adamson said the stretch of road had a reasonably high crash history, which would be exacerbated travelling at excessive speeds.
"If you're on a motorbike at those kinds of speeds and you make a mistake, you're dead."
The speed was possibly not the fastest he'd ever seen but would "certainly be up there" in recent years.
Mr Adamson said most motorbike drivers were reasonably responsible but the odd few took advantage of the speeds they were able to reach.
"Clearly travelling at that speed is extremely dangerous."