A motorcyclist killed on a ride into North Wales had owned his powerful machine for only three days, it was revealed at an inquest.

Merseyside firefighter Michael Cheetham was killed when he was thrown from his Honda 1,000cc bike on a notorious section of the A5 between Betws-y-Coed and Cerrigydrudion known as Padog Bends on April 18 last year.

Witnesses described how they had seen his distinctive coloured machine travelling at a “ridiculous” speed shortly before he lost control on a left-hand band.

Thomas Roberts, who was driving towards Cerrigydrudion, told police that one motorbike passed him in the opposite direction at about  60mph but Mr Cheetham, who was a short distance behind, was going even faster.

“He was never going to make it around the bend,” he said in a statement read at the hearing in Ruthin.

Both Mr Roberts and another motorist Barry Owen said the bike was going at a ridiculous speed.

Mr Cheetham was thrown from his machine which slid into an oncoming Vauxhall Sharan driven by Rebecca Williams, who said she saw it fall onto its side .

“I knew it was going to hit us but there was nothing I could do to avoid it,” she said.

Forensic collision investigator Ian Thompson said it was impossible to determine what speed the Honda had been doing but Mr Cheetham had clearly braked just before the bend, the maximum theoretical speed for which was 62mph.

Though he had owned the bike for only three days he had passed his test in 2013, and his history as a motorcyclist was not known.

Mr Cheetham, a father-of-three, of Hooton Green, Hooton, Wirral, was certified dead at the scene and his helmet was found in a nearby field. The cause of death was given as multiple crush injuries.

Joanne Lees, assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, read a statement from his wife  Jennifer in which she said he had told her he was going out for a ride to North Wales but would be back by 2pm.

She said he loved and was proud of his work with the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, was “full of life and very happy”.

“He was an adoring, loving husband and the children idolised him,” she said.

The coroner recorded a conclusion of a road traffic collision.