Motorcycle Flips Car

Status: Undetermined (but probably true)
Alex Palmer forwarded me the following email which is circulating around, consisting of the following text and four pictures:

Subject: Picture is worth a thousand words.
The Honda rider was traveling at such a "very high speed", his reaction time was not sufficient enough to avoid this accident. Swedish Police estimate a speed of ~250 KM/h (155mph) before the bike hit the slow moving car side-on at an intersection. At that speed, they predicted that the rider's reaction time (once the vehicle came into view) wasn't sufficient enough for him to even apply the brakes. The car had two passengers and the bike rider was found INSIDE the car with them. The Volkswagen actually flipped over from the force of impact and landed 10 feet from where the collision took place.

All three involved (two in car and rider) were killed instantly. This graphic demonstration was placed at the Stockholm Motorcycle Fair by the Swedish Police and Road Safety Department. The sign above the display also noted that the rider had only recently obtained his license. At 250 KM (155 mph) the operator is traveling at 227 feet per second. With normal reaction time to SEE-DECIDE-REACT of 1.6 seconds the above operator would have traveled over 363 feet while making a decision on what actions to take. In this incident the Swedish police indicate that no actions were taken.

image image image image

The images and text are posted on quite a few sites, including one that shows a picture of the actual accident scene. I haven't been able to confirm any of the details, but this doesn't surprise me given that the incident apparently happened in Sweden, and I don't speak Swedish. (For instance, I don't pull up any references in Lexis-Nexis to a Stockholm Motorcycle Fair.) But it seems reasonable to me that if a motorcycle going 155mph hit a car side-on, it would definitely have enough force to flip the car (which is the detail that Alex Palmer was suspicious of). After all, that's a lot of energy, which has to go somewhere.

Email Hoaxes Photos

Posted on Wed Apr 12, 2006


Consider that the slug from a decent handgun leaves the barrel @ approx 1000 fps and weighs ~ 20g. The motorcycle was traveling only a fifth that speed, but weighs *much* more.
Momentum comparison:
9mm slug is 1000fps*20g=20,000 (whatever unit)
motorcycle is 227fps*350000g= ~80,000,000 (same whatever units) [est. bike weight+rider=800lbs]
Thats a factor of ~4000!

Quite a bit of damage possible. Wow. Slow down kids....
Posted by Kosmo  on  Wed Apr 12, 2006  at  05:58 AM
I used to work on the freeways in Los Angeles and have seen many bizarre accidents but this one takes the cake. If someone relayed this story via word of mouth I would be skeptical as it just seems impossible. Looking at the pictures though, I have to agree with Alex, it is probably true.

You would think someone traveling at that rate of speed on a motorcycle would have been literally launched head over handlebars and ended up conceivably as far as hundreds of feet from the impact as opposed to inside the vehicle he struck but hey, stranger things have happened.
Posted by Chuck  on  Wed Apr 12, 2006  at  07:03 AM
The vehicle looks like it was deffinately a rollover...but it's unlikely the motorcycle would have REMAINED in the vehicle during the rollover. That appears to have been added post-accident for affect.

Also, if the people had DIED in the car...there would be a certain...mess...know what I mean??

They might not have exploded or blown their guts all over the dash...but a fair amount of blood would be present. Also...if the M/C went INTO the vehicle, the rider would have come off the M/C right away...just like if a rider on a horse comes into contact with a tree branch. Hanging onto the reins won't keep you on the horse.

Most experienced riders know how to lay their bown down before an fact, most inexperienced riders would lay their bike down. I know it says he couldn't react...but he'd have at least let go of the handlebars. do they know what he could or couldn't do. Everyone involved died. No one can know what they were thinking...even witnesses can't be sure what they were *thinking*.
Posted by Maegan  on  Wed Apr 12, 2006  at  09:39 AM
I am a member of a volunteer rescue squad. As part of the heavy and tactical rescue team for about 14 years, extricating both live and dead people from mangled vehicles, I can tell you that everything you see and read in Alex's post can definitely be true. First, the impact could easily jamb the motorcycle in place, even through overturning the vehicle. Second, if you look at the second photo, you can see that the driver's side windows (opposite the impact side) are crushed down, as would likely happen in a rollover onto the driver's side of the car. The photo of the driver's door shows that the hinges appear to have been sheared off, likely from the jaws of life, used to remove the door to access the driver and remove his body. Also, the "A" post on the the driver's side (the post between the windshield and the driver's door glass) has been cut through, likely with a sawzall, as part of the body extrication process. As for the absence of blood, I have two theories. One, I've seen many a horrific crash where people are severely injured or killed, and not a drop of blood is spilled. Two, to eliminate some of the gastlyness of the static display of the meshed vehicles, the company had it carefully cleaned by a pro. There is probably a lot more I can say about this display, but in the end, I definitely believe this occurred, and due to the stupidity of an inexperienced driver, three people are dead.
Posted by Rescue 16 Mike  on  Wed Apr 12, 2006  at  09:59 AM
That stupid biker, can't he see that car is only a two seater.
Posted by Lonewatchman  on  Wed Apr 12, 2006  at  11:04 AM
The story is true. It made the rounds in Swedish media one or two years ago. The exhibit was at Stockholm International Fair, part of a yearly motorcylce fair with the English name "On Two Weels"

If I remember correctly, the accident occured in Scania (Sk
Posted by Lars  on  Wed Apr 12, 2006  at  11:56 PM
I once watched as a guy on a Honda 100 hit a car considerably bigger than this one at 50kmh (30mph). He impacted bang on the door pillar (probably a much stronger area than the door of this car) and the bike made it past the drive shaft cutting the floor in half as it went.

Of course a number of factors are involved but I can assure you, if the bike in the photo was doing anything like 250 kmh there would have been nothing to display but scrap metal.

The energy involved increases exponentialy as the speed rises. At 250 kmh that accident would have involved 25 times the energy of the accident I witnessed where the car was pretty much cut in half.
Posted by Animal  on  Thu Apr 20, 2006  at  03:41 PM
The accadent happened but this picture shown is a recreation of what happened.
Posted by mmk  on  Sun Apr 23, 2006  at  04:36 PM
I would give a PROBABLE on this one.

Here in Portugal we still had mandatory military service in the 90's and one of the unfit ones (I was also unfit because of a feet problem) had 3 platinium screws because of a situation very close to that one, he had cut the top of a car at over 200km/h when the car passed a red light.

He cut the roof (the equipment helmet/reinforced suit.. saved him) the motorcycle completely trashed the mini and killed everybody inside.
Posted by somewhere from portugal  on  Mon Apr 24, 2006  at  11:38 AM
This is very likely true. A similar accident happened several years ago here in Jacksonville. A Harley driven by a young Navy guy doing 100+ on Monument Road t-boned a full size SUV and flipped it. A friend of mine came on the scene moments later and nearly ran over the motorcyclist who lay dying in the road. It was pandemonium with the accident and all the good samaritans running around. Needless to say, speed kills.
Posted by John Lindsay  on  Mon Jun 19, 2006  at  11:28 AM
All I can say is that having been following a friend when a 4x4 coming the other way collided with the car in front of it, and spun tail end first right across in front of's true.

We were (legally) doing 60mph and he spun the 4x4 through 360 degrees. His bike cartwheeled over the top and he was demolished as he hit the roof.

I escaped with my life, although I came off when I ran over what was left of him on the other side. There wasn't much left of his body, it was scattered far and wide, and mains pressure blood sure goes around 30 feet in all directions.

4x4 owner had faulty brakes and caused the accidents, but got off with a few points and a paltry fine.

Yes, I still ride a bike every day, no reason to give up what I enjoy.
Posted by Rob  on  Tue Jun 27, 2006  at  11:17 AM
If it's true, there should have been some things around; like, where is the right door of the car(it should be smashed in and clearly visible on the driver's sit); like, why the front suspensions of the bike aren't visible (they should have turned inside out and be visible behind the driver's sit); like, how they managed to pull out the person sitting next to the driver WITHOUT FIRST pulling out the motorcycle; like, why the motorcycle IS NOT broken in the middle of it as a result of pressure; last and most of all, how the bike managed to break into the door, but not over the door (the motorcycle was ON the road, it wasn't flying...) which should be the most obvious to happen.
Sure, I've seen a lot of accidents-and it could have happened something similar, but obviously due to physics restriction not something like that. Oh, and what did you say? The car FLIPPED? With a bike inside it? And the bike DID NOT got out and remained inside the car? And the back side of the motorcycle had no impact? Give me a break...

I believe it's probably a "modern-art" thing at some exhibition and nothing more.
Posted by Christos  on  Sat Jun 16, 2007  at  03:30 PM
No way did that Honda do ''155mph''. It's a VFR400R isnt it? An NC30?
Posted by Jimmy Nail  on  Wed Aug 22, 2007  at  04:33 PM
Just having his discussion, glad someone from Sweden has commented on it.

Sorry Jimmy but the bike in question is a VFR750R RC45, capable of 160mph straight out of the box.

Race going fettled examples can easily acheive 190mph
Posted by Kal  on  Thu Sep 25, 2008  at  08:32 PM
Looking at that rear tyre size and the location of the exhaust, it looks like a 400 honda and probably an NC30 due to the single sided swinging arm. If it is not the VFR400 it will be the CBR400RR2 model.
Posted by Matt J  on  Tue Oct 20, 2009  at  10:47 AM
Posted by Mike Robinson  on  Fri Oct 23, 2009  at  10:30 AM
The rollover is probable. The speed disclosed is definitely NOT, if it is indeed an NC30, as it definitely looks to be. The top road tested speed is 208kmh/130mph according to Performance Bikes magazine (ref: I have a hard time believing a 1990 model year 400cc could do 155mph without serious modification!
Posted by Kevin  on  Tue Oct 27, 2009  at  11:42 AM
I've just received this e-mail and it says the driver was at fault for being on the mobile at the time of the accident.

Actually it wasn't just the driver at fault, Sweden's top speed limit is 110/120km/h (which closely matches the UK's 70mph).

The motorcyclist was going way too fast, even if the person hadn't been on the phone they probably wouldn't have had time to react either way.

The other week I nearly ran a pedal cyclist over at a junction as he came straight across the front of the bonnet on a cycle lane in dark clothes with no lights on, and then he had the cheek to put his middle finger up at me and start shouting obscenities, next time I wont bother with the emergency stop and he can be thrown into the path of a lorry on Winwick Road.
Posted by Darren  on  Tue Nov 10, 2009  at  08:17 AM
We have been sent these pictures as part of a don't use a phone while driving campaign. I'm not convinced. How would they know the driver was using a phone in such an accident? I'm sure everything inside was quite mangled. No the blame must be on the biker who must have been going way too fast in order for the bike to have ended up inside the vehicle.
Posted by Barfbagger  on  Tue Dec 08, 2009  at  02:13 AM

i have seen 110 mhp crash and i think it could have been true i would think 155mph honda is also possable and not to hard to get a bike that will do 150 right out of the box. if you have the cash you can get any thing to ga fast.
Posted by scott  on  Fri Apr 30, 2010  at  01:08 AM
Snopes is still not able to confirm or disprove the story, although to me it has all the earmarks of a bogus story. Most significant is its lack of specificity as to where it happened or what agency created the exhibit. The version I first received just called it the "police and road safety department", although there are over 29,000 sites on Google that refine it further to the "Swedish police and road safety department". Think for a minute: if such a department actually existed, wouldn't you expect them to be getting coverage for something other than this bloody exhibit? I don't claim to have checked all 29,000 sites, but it didn't seem to me there were any among them that were NOT related to this VW/Motorcycle collision. Where is the internet coverage of the department's other activities, like drunk driver checkpoints, promoting safe driving courses, school visitations, sponsoring research on protective helmets, etc? My conclusion is that there is no such department, and since the whole story hinges on the department's existence, the story itself must be rejected as a hoax.
Posted by Honda 50 veteran  on  Fri Apr 30, 2010  at  10:40 PM
i did find this about the sweeden police och Intrapolis/Informationsmaterial/01 Polisen nationellt/Engelskt informationsmaterial/Road_Safety_Policy_eng070831_webb.pdf

i dont know any thing else as of yet.
Posted by scott  on  Fri Apr 30, 2010  at  11:04 PM
ok when doing some more looking i did find more info in sweeden police at

seems there maybe a type of national police dept in sweeden
Posted by scott  on  Fri Apr 30, 2010  at  11:21 PM
Hi, Scott. The second link was a pretty comprehensive presentation on the way the Swedish Police Service is organized. These departments are mentioned: SKL (Forensics), Public Order, Criminal Investgation, Administrative, and Foreign Affairs. I think the absence of any reference to "Police and Road Safety Department" strengthens our case that this is a hoax.

I've never said that there is not a need for educating people about road safety, but those who advocate it should do so honestly.
Posted by Honda 50 veteran  on  Sat May 01, 2010  at  08:53 AM
I can say about this display, but in the end, I definitely believe this occurred, and due to the stupidity of an inexperienced driver, three people are dead.
Posted by pillar drill  on  Sun May 02, 2010  at  05:05 AM
bike looks like a gen 2 (older than 90) 750 vfr (88 and 89 was sold in europe but not the states due to harley tariff) I have a gen 3 750 vfr and it has the single swing arm its lines are just cleaner/smoother.

here is a pic of a gen 3 (91) 750 vfr from the right side, note no swing arm
Posted by lisa  on  Sat May 15, 2010  at  12:08 AM
oh and here's a picture of an 1989 vfr 750 (note the exhaust is on the left and there's nothing on the right, not even a swing arm.
Posted by lisa  on  Sat May 15, 2010  at  12:11 AM
For all those of you who ask what happened to the blood and the bodies, and to those who say the bike was put in afterwards, the answer is simple.

The bike was removed to be able to remove all the bodies and blood and mess etc, it was then reassembled for the display. Maybe it was not placed as accurately as some might like, but the display still does it's job as a warning.

And does it really matter if the rider ended up in or out of the car? Or if the bike was doing 100, 200 or 250 kph? Or if the car did or didn't roll?

The warning is there. Slow down and pay attention when driving and riding.
Posted by Guy  on  Wed May 26, 2010  at  05:24 AM
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