I used to road race at WERA sanctioned events in the south-east region during the late 80's. I regularly raced at speeds over 100mph, sometimes nearing 165 depending on the track and bike. Fastest was a 1986 GSX-R 750 superbike at Road Atlanta, probably hit 165 on the back straight. I did this for several years and got pretty decent at it. The speed never bothered me because of the conditions. Safety, equipment, etc.
I also used to ride fast on the streets. Sometimes at speeds over 100 mph. One day I was in the Wash DC area tooling along on my 1998 1200 Sportster on the beltway at about 70mph in the middle lane. Two sport bikes passed me on both sides at an incredible speed. I'm guessing they were doing about 150mph. It actually scared me because I never saw them coming. That one incident was enough to make me realize how truly insane those guys were.
Speed has it's place. You can argue the legitimacy or lack of legitimacy of that speed on a track if you want. However, there is no argument. That kind of speed doesn't belong on a street - EVER! Who cares that the nut is risking his life? OTOH, most of us care that the nut is risking our life.
I personally know of one incident where a motorcyclist T-boned a car at a high rate of speed. It killed the motorcyclist and his passenger, plus killed the peopl in the car.
I know of one in Memphis where a guy (a corporate Vice President) talked someone at a gathering in a Friday's parking lot into riding his new Triumph 750 Triple. He told they guy he had experience with bikes, but he didn't tell him it was dirt bikes. He didn't have a helmet, and took a passenger with him who wanted to go but didn't know him. Ten minutes later he t-boned a little old lady in a Cadillac making a left turn. He left a skid mark at least 150 feet long (rear brake only, of course). Witnesses said the two riders flew up in the air as high as the power lines. The little old lady's passenger was killed too.
"It actually scared me because I never saw them coming."
That's what gives methe shivers too. I keep an eye on all my mirrors (SUV) all the time so I know where everyone is at so I have an escape. Everyone once in awhile there's someone that will go by going twice the speed of anyone else. It's amazing some of these cars and bikes don't get hit by normal lane changes they can come up so fast.
I went to Bonneville in 1954, in the very early days of Speed Week. There were a number of guys there with stripped Harley bikes, big engines of course. They ran stretched flat on the bike, chin on the handlebars and feet over the rear fenders, no helmets as I recall, hitting around 140-50 across the salt (which was like extremely coarse sandpaper). I wonder how many of them are still with us today.