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Welcome

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Welcome to Old Ireland.
My initial idea for this site was to cover only classic vehicles, but since classicireland.ie was already taken and the best alternative I could find was this one, my thoughts for the site began to broaden.A lot of the inspiration for this comes from the few magazines for which I have written articles.Let’s get these mentioned early, because you should not be surprised to see a little of their influence here.Real Classic is subscription only in print, but also has an excellent site at https://www.real-classic.co.uk/, where Frank, Rowena and a host of writers entertain and inspire.Then there is Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly, formerly in print monthly, but now only on line at http://mnmotorcycle.com/.MMM’s archives could keep you reading happily for months, and the like it or not truths told by Thomas Day (Geezer with a grudge: see his own site at http://geezerwithagrudge.blogspot.com/), should make everyone on two wheels pause for thought.If you have time on the …

Bittersweet.

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Because the race was a victim of the current epidemic, the local BBC showed, Road, the documentary about Joey and Robert Dunlop and Robert’s sons in place of their North West 200 coverage.You can see it on Iplayer for a few more days at:https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jhws7Having never been involved in racing, I did not know either of them, although I have met Joey on a few occasions.The image of Joey as a quietly spoken, modest gentleman is exactly how he came across to me.Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, we had a reasonably active motorcycle club.For a few years during the off season for motorcycle racing, we organised a bus from Bangor to take us to Joey’s Bar in Ballymoney for the night.By phoning in advance, we were able to arrange an evening when Joey could be there.The first round of drink, for the whole busload of us was always on the house, and during the evening, the bar also provided a supper of sandwiches, cocktail sausages and all the usual snacks.Joey himself was hap…

All dressed up and nowhere to go.

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I have to say that during this Covid lock down I am not missing my daily commute to work.Even on a bike it is pretty hateful.Still, the Suzuki needed a little TLC before I have to start weaving between the traffic to Belfast again, and the sunny weather that we were having was an excellent opportunity to do this maintenance.
There were two linked things that needed to be done.
Change the worn out rear tyre. Change the exhaust so that removal of the rear wheel would be much easier in the future.
The Burgman with one lower panel removed.  you can see where the exhaust disappears up behind the bodywork and one of the frame tubes. I have complained about the inaccessibility of the Burgman’s rear wheel in a previous article.Rear wheel removal on this bike should be easy since the scooters engine and drive train are in essence a single sided swinging arm, with three nuts holding the wheel onto this assembly.Unfortunately, Suzuki’s designers then destroyed this simple arrangement by fitting a b…

Island life.

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OK, Islay has nothing to do with Ireland, but it is only twenty five miles off our coast, and the scenery and culture would be familiar to anyone who lives here in Ireland.  This story was originally published way back in 2008 in Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly, a great magazine in its time.  I thought this was sufficiently far removed from the current Covid crisis to give us all a small reminder of better times.

Enjoy.

__________ My home in Northern Ireland provides scope for many good scenic runs on a bike.  One familiar and rightly popular local run follows the coast north through County Antrim from the narrow confines of the Irish Sea to the open Atlantic.  The two waters meet off Ballycastle, a harbour sheltered by the rugged cliffs of Rathlin Island 3 miles offshore.  Look west from here on a good day, and the coast winds off toward Donegal and the open ocean, look north and off Scotland’s coast, the horizon is broken by Islay, the first of the Hebridies islands, and by the hills o…

The 751

I read this travel story years ago and decided to see if the site hosting it still existed.  Thankfully, it does, and has been extended with numerous other travel stories since the first 1999 instalment.


Read the original travel story here:  https://the751.com/1999/06/25/the-751/, a tale of just how far you could get with $751 and an old motorcycle 20 years ago.  It is a truly great read; definitely one for me to include in the sidebar.


This should help pass a few hours of lockdown, and give inspiration for that far off time when we are free to move about in the world again.


Enjoy.

The Irish Rebellion of April 1916

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Happy Easter everyone.  I thought it would be good to post this since it is both timely, and has absolutely nothing to do with the current crisis..  It comes from one of a series of books published by The Times newspaper (The Times History of the War).  These were published as WW1 was still in progress, so give a good contemporary account of events that were still then withing Britain.  There is a lot of detail here.

Enjoy.