Old Skool MoFo: Illicit Behaviour

(I love these reader-contributed stories, and apparently you guys do, too, since I’ve been getting so many of them. So keep sending ’em in.)

This tale is one of many from way back in the day when I had (one of) my beloved motorcycles.

The bike in question was a 1995 Kawasaki ZX-7. Ninja to those of you who are curious. 0-60 in under 3 seconds, pulls into redline (12500 rpm) in 6th gear, which equates to 165mph by the tachometer. (If you’re wondering, yes, I *know*.)

Needless to say, this vehicle was a never-ending source of amusement to the local constabulary. When you’re riding a machine designed to leave other machines in your choking dust, you can just FEEL the eyes of Johnny Law burning holes in your back.

Anyway, on to the story. A buddy of mine and I were hanging out at the historic battery of beautiful downtown Charleston, SC, looking for friends of ours. Normally, weekend evenings and the battery meant lots of motorcycles, but this night we couldn’t find anyone. We decided to head to North Charleston and Rivers Avenue, which was the 2nd best option for hooking up with a crowd of hooligans.

We got on the beginning of Interstate 26 and started our ride. Three minutes and 16 miles later (that was fun) we exited I-26 on the river’s exit and pulled up to a stoplight that had a good view of the parking lot where everyone hung out. No one. At this point, the adrenaline from the 120 mph run up I-26 was still kicking, but we were on River’s Ave, which is cop central, especially at 11pm on a friday night. I was thinking “Ok, no call for being rowdy now. I really don’t feel like getting arrested.”

The light turned green, and of course, my buddy has to take off like a bat out of hell. Not to be outdone, I quickly catch and pass him, and for good measure, redline the bike in 3rd gear. This equates to 130mph in a 45 zone. We get about a mile down the road, and the adrenaline rush is so sweet now that i want to pull over and have a smoke. I pull into a gas station to fill the tank, my buddy pulls up next to me, then next thing I know, we’re BOXED IN BY COPS.

Oh shit.

One of the cruisers opens up and a smiling cop gets out. “Good evening, guys, how’s it going?”

“Um, not too good, now.”

“Yeah, any idea how fast you were going?” He’s smiling the whole time, looking at his pig-cop friends, laughing.

“Not really, officer, but it was probably a little bit faster than 45.” Lucky for me, I maintained a straight face through all this, didn’t show too much dissapointment, etc. Knowing I was doing almost three times the speed limit, I was waiting for handcuffs.

“You don’t know how fast? Do you think it was 90 mph?”


“No way officer, I’m sure it wasn’t 90.”


“Couldn’t have been.”


“It could have been 65 mph, though I’m not sure.”

So at this point, one of the other cops retires to his cruiser and starts writing tidings of joy in his little blue book. The other two leave, and this guy comes back with two tickets for 65 in a 45. I asked him how he arrived at 65 mph, and he said we admitted to doing that speed.

Hahaha, whatever, I said “might have been.” My buddy started to speak up, but I effectively shushed him, knowing I could call this cop 4 days before the trial and bargain with him, because he didn’t have a confession like he claimed.

In the end, we settled for a bullshit charge that came with a $100 fine and no points. (S.C. operates on a points system, if you accrue enough, you lose your license.)

Looking back on it, I paid $100 to rocket down River’s Avenue at 130 mph. Sweeet. : p

Peter Ramins

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