My Bike and I
Engineer Paul Curran describes his first bike.
What was your first machine?
A Suzuki Bandit 250cc, essentially a small racing bike.
What attracted you to it?
Being at the right place at the right time;- colour (bright green), weight (light) and engine size (small) - also, it came from a trusted source.
How much did it cost?
Your current machine?
Honda Deauville 650cc - as used by the Presidential Escort and some gardaí. A very sound shaft-driven bike - no messy chain. It's as happy in town as out on the open road.
What did it cost?
€10,500 - before an additional €1,200 in extras for security and creature comforts.
What did the insurance cost?
€775, fully comprehensive.
What do you use the machine for?
In short, absolutely everything now, to the point that I'm in the process of selling my car. Commuting to and from work and touring add up to about 20,000+ miles a year. I've been known to drive from Dublin to Derry simply for a cup of tea and then to turn straight around and come home again. I'm actively involved in promoting safe long-distance biking in Ireland, being a founding member of The Iron Butt Association of Ireland (www.rr1000mcc.com). Our annual summer event is held in aid of a nominated charity. In 2000 we raised €30,000 for St Vincent de Paul and last year a similar amount for Temple Street Children's Hospital. This June we aim to raise the same again to buy an ambulance for the Chernobyl Children's Project.
How much did you spend on gear?
I'm riding bikes for three years this month so I'm still using my original helmet (€440), trousers (€220) and boots (€220). I bought a new jacket (€250) last year to celebrate the new bike - oh, and I wear out a pair of light leather summer gloves (€80) each year.
Your next upgrade?
Simple, Honda Pan-European 1100cc - as also used by the gardaí!