My Bike and I
Martin Hayden senior counsel and commuter on his biking experiences.
Your first bike?
A Kawasaki 800VN 3. I was 37, never rode a bike before, short and it had a low seat - as my first bike it was easy to stay upright.
How much did you pay for it?
I think it was £6,000.
Your present machine?
A Honda Pan European 1100A
How much did it cost?
. . . and insurance?
What do you use it for?
Commuting from Maynooth to the Four Courts and consultations around town.
How much did you spend on gear?
About €2,374.41 . . . Arai open-faced helmet - €444.40, Easy Dainese Goretex armoured jacket - about €570, Easy Dainese armoured trousers - about €457, Dainese Goretex boots - about €380, Dainese spine guard - €190, two pairs Dainese all-weather gloves €190 and Lookwell light-weather armoured gloves €139.67. About the jacket, trousers and helmet - these are the second set of each.
Any advice for would-be bikers?
Spend as much as you can afford on safety equipment. It's far cheaper and easier to replace jackets and armour than skin and bone. Riding a bike is great fun and affords great flexibility commuting, going to consultations and meetings - but it does bring an inevitable risk. In many cases it's not so much your own stupidity, which is present, but that of motorists who seem to forget there is an entire world outside the cabin of the car. I would advise everybody to take lessons with a qualified instructor - regardless of how many years driving a car, it's a different set of rules for two wheels.
Your next upgrade?
I'm changing it to the new Honda Pan European 1300 this week