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April 2015


Major insurance news from two providers this month, the world's first four wheeled scooter (not a quad) and the first news of Ride to Work Day on June 15th.

If you’re planning a motorcycle related event in Ireland in 2015, let us know by sending details to and we'll add it to the Irish Motorcycle Events Calendar for free.

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Principal Insurance now quoting Irish motorcyclists

Principal Insurance now quoting Irish motorcyclists

Back in February we reported on the planned launch of Irish operations by UK insurance broker Principal Insurance.

We're pleased to report that on 1st April last Principal Insurance officially opened for business to Irish riders and are now quoting.

MAG Ireland was instrumental in opening up the Irish motorcycle insurance market through our complaint to the competition authority. Since then, competition has flourished and the announcement by Principal Insurance means the choice for Irish riders is now wider than ever.


Parking - Tell us your stories

We're currently engaged in consultation with a number of local authorities in relation to parking issues and we need your help.

We want to hear from riders about their own experiences with parking whether good, bad or indifferent. We'll use a selected extracts from your submissions - anonymously of course - to form part of a briefing document for local authorities.

e-mail your parking stories to and include as much detail as you can. Most importantly, tell us where.

You'll be helping us to build up a picture of the "state of the nation" as far as bike parking is concerned and the results will be used to try and make things better for everyone.


Join us at the VJMC Show, Sunday 3rd May

This year's Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Show will take place at the National Show Centre, Swords, Co. Dublin on Sunday 3rd May from 10:30am to 4:30pm.

A family day out with something for everyone, the VJMC Show is a firm favourite on the calendar and MAG Ireland will be there on the day.


Read MAG Ireland in Bike Buyers Guide

Bike Buyers Guide Banner

The May issue of Bike Buyers Guide is now in shops nationwide. As ever, it’s packed with bike news and reviews and of course the MAG Ireland column.

This month we take a sideways look at how history and policy combine and we see how very different the Irish motorcycle landscape might have looked today had we been just a little more continental in our choices.

Elsewhere in this issue, Roland Brown rides the new Suzuki GSXS1000, there's a look at the new KTM Adventure 1050 and Aidan Lynam reports on the first round of the Masters series from Mondello.
In the used bike section this month is a very nice VFR800 plus the latest incarnation of Yamahas R1


Carole Nash revives classic insurance

Carole Nash has announced a range of improvements to their classic bike policies.

SPECIALIST insurance brokers Carole Nash has boosted its Irish portfolio with an extended range of benefits now available to owners of classic motorcycles.

In a move unique to the Irish market, the company has decided to lower the age at which it classes a motorbike as a classic vehicle. Whereas the term previously only applied to bikes aged over 15 years, it will now incorporate machines as soon as they reach 10 years old.

The minimum age at which a motorcyclist is allowed to ride a classic bike has also been reviewed, dropping down from 25 to 23 years old. Additionally, Carole Nash announced that Irish bikers who possess a learner permit will now be permitted to insure a classic bike, a privilege previously reserved to full license owners only.

Starting this month, eligible Irish motorcyclists will have access to a wider range of benefits – some of which no other insurers offer – including free agreed value, excesses as low as €25, cover for club rallies and salvage retention rights. Members of an owners' club can also secure an exclusive discount on their insurance of up to 7.5%.* 

Rebecca Donohue, Head of Marketing for Carole Nash, said:

“Our revamped classic bike insurance is an exciting step for the business, and something we're confident Irish riders are going to be equally enthusiastic about. The new-look policy creates more diversity and extra peace of mind for owners of younger bikes, who can now secure more substantial levels of protection for their pride and joy.

We've been working closely with the local bike community for over 15 years, actively listening to our customers, and as a result we're constantly evolving to make sure we offer exactly what they need. Our latest move is further evidence of this." 

Chris Hill, Vice Chairman for the Irish Vintage and Veteran Motorcycle Club (IVVMCC), commented:

"We believe that Carole Nash's latest move is going to be of great benefit to our members. Aside from the low policy excess, to have free agreed value on classic bikes means greater peace of mind to owners who pride themselves in maintaining their machines to very high standards. 

"The additional discount for club members also shows that Carole Nash recognises the role organisations such as ours play in the preservation of classic machines. The company is to be congratulated for continuously supporting the Classic scene in Ireland, from the time they entered the market back in the 90s with their Emerald Policy."  


Carole Nash is one of Ireland’s largest motorcycle insurance specialists and has been trading in the country since 1999. A provider of all-encompassing insurance, their policies include a range of benefits as standard such as up to €100,000 motorcycle legal protection, extensive Irish and European accident and breakdown recovery, plus their exclusive DNA+ protection system worth €35.

Current World Superbikes series leader Jonathan Rea, who has admirers on both sides of the border, has been sponsored by Carole Nash for several years. The insurance firm is also a long-standing partner of key bike shows and races in Ireland, including the Irish Motorbike & Scooter Show, The IVVMCC October Leopardstown Show and the Kells Road Race.

For further information, please contact the Carole Nash press office on 0161 669 4708 or email


Launch of new membership card including ICE number

MAG Ireland recently launched our new membership card which now carries the option of having an In Case of Emergency (ICE) number.

The new credit card style membership card replaces the paper card version which has been in use for many years. Joining MAG Ireland for the launch were representatives from the RSA, First Bike on Scene, Blood Bike Leinster and Principal Insurance who donated the card printing machine to MAG Ireland.


National Ride to Work Day 2015

Monday, June 15th 2015 is National Ride to Work day. The idea is simple, get on your bike and ride to work, school/college, or simply meet up with a few like-minded souls for breakfast or a coffee.

The aim is to get as many bikes on the road as possible, and in so doing to raise awareness among other road users about the benefits of motorcycling. It really is as simple as that.

There are over 50,000 registered motorcycles in Ireland. By taking part in Ride to Work Day, you’re not only going to enjoy your commute, you’ll be doing your bit to help promote motorcycling as a fun, positive, safe and efficient way to travel for work or leisure.

The new web site will be launching soon and we're currently talking to the insurance companies to make sure your policy covers you to commute on the day. More details in next month's RoadRunner.

Being out of the country is no excuse, this event occurs all over Europe.
For Poland: See


Press Release: April 28th, 2015

Rider's gratitude to MAG Ireland as organisation helps him become Principal's first policyholder

MAG Ireland (The Irish Motorcyclists’ Association) has earned praise for helping a frustrated rider finally get on the road by becoming the very first policyholder of new player in the Irish market, Principal Insurance.

Roland Schaffrath had resorted to riding his Triumph Tiger up and down the short drive of his Killarney home having spent months trying to arrange insurance. Roland moved to Ireland last November and shipped his Tiger and a Bonneville SE from his previous home in Malta in January. But it wasn’t until Principal opened for business on April 1st that he was finally able to take to the open road.

“One reason I moved to Ireland was to ride but I did know that for somebody moving here getting insurance could be difficult, with only a few companies offering cover,” he explains.

“I got in contact with MAG Ireland who pointed me in the direction of a broker who initially refused to cover me. I was told by them and others that I needed live here for three years before I could obtain insurance. I’m 55, I like motorcycles and I don’t have three years to waste!”

He was subsequently offered cover but told his exemplary riding record - in nearly 40 years’ riding he’s never made a claim - could not be taken into account, his maximum no claims bonus nullified because the agent believed, mistakenly, that Malta wasn’t in the EU. His frustrations grew further when one company sent him a quote but later denied doing so whilst others ignored emails or lead him a telephone merry-go-round.

Exasperated, he returned to MAG Ireland for further assistance. By this time the Irish motorcyclists’ association had got wind of Principal’s plans to launch in Ireland and passed details on to Roland. “I sent Principal an explanation of who I am and what I wanted and they answered quickly and then kept the promises they made. Then I got a call to say they could deal with it and get me on the road.”

Better still, not only could they cover him but they could do so at much lower cost than he’d been quoted elsewhere. Other brokers were “much, much more expensive” he says with one quoting more than double the €388 he paid to cover his Tiger and Bonneville.

Such was his enthusiasm and impatience that Roland insisted he become the firm’s first policyholder with cover that started at a second after midnight on the day Principal began trading. “I was so frustrated seeing the weather getting better every day and motorcycles passing by the house which is on a very scenic coast road. I must have done a kilometre riding up and down my little gravel drive in first gear!

So come April 1st he was straight out and over the following two weeks completed five tours with partner Maggie Daly riding pillion. “I couldn’t get her off the bike,” he smiles, adding that she too is now riding the road on a scooter also insured by Principal.

Whilst the first, Roland is one of many who have already taken advantage of Principal’s arrival. Founded in the UK four years ago the company has grown rapidly, the specialist insurance group now generating over £3.3m in annual premium income. Firmly established it set its eyes on Ireland after sensing market complacency was infuriating Irish riders.

“Everything had got a bit staid with a loss of competitiveness and, it seemed, no real desire to offer quality service” says Aly Dixon who heads the company’s Dublin-based operation.

“Roland’s experience illustrates this and how Principal is going to shake things up by focusing on giving truly personal service coupled with market-leading premiums.”

When news originally broke of Principal’s plans It was swiftly welcomed by Victor Donnelly, public relations officer for MAG Ireland, the Irish Motorcyclists' Association who on hearing the news said: 

“MAG Ireland was instrumental in opening up the Irish motorcycle insurance market in 2002 since when we have watched it grow and develop. Today, Principal Insurance adds a new level of diversity and choice for Irish riders and the decision to extend the business here represents a vote of confidence in the growth potential of the Irish motorcycling sector."


4-wheeled scooter

Launching soon in the UK: The world's first 4-wheeled scooter. It is powered by a 346cc single cylinder engine making 30hp. There's also a three wheeled (two front, one rear) version from the Swiss manufacturer Quadro.

According to their website: Quadro scooters are homologated in the powered tricycles category (L5E) and can be ridden with the car licence all over EU.



Dublin motorcycle commuting level falls.

According to the National Transport Authority from 2006 to 2014 there was a 42% drop in the number of motorcycles crossing the Dublin canal cordon during the morning peak period.


Help to protect motorcycling - Join Us

MAG Ireland

MAG Ireland represents Irish riders and is funded by Irish riders but we can only do that with the financial support of members subscriptions.

It now costs just €20 for a years membership, that’s less than 6 cent per day.

Not only that but we aim to save you the cost of your membership many times over via our exclusive vouchers and our group discount scheme. To get your member-only discounts follow the link on the top right hand side of the site:

You can potentially save the cost of your membership many times over with great discounts like 10% off at all Halfords stores. 

If you can’t stretch to a membership subscription but you’d still like to help, just click the donate link on the menu at and give whatever you can.


Member only discount scheme

Going on holiday? Stena Line describes itself as the world’s leading ferry company and biggest ferry operator in Europe, offering the largest fleet as well as the widest selection of routes and destinations. MAG Ireland members now get 4% cashback on all bookings.

If you prefer to fly, why not get up to an extra 10% off car hire just for being a MAG Ireland member?

These are just some of the discounts available to you as a member of MAG Ireland. How much could you save?



You can follow MAG Ireland on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, RSS, email newsletter or website.

We aim to make it easy to keep up with everything we're doing no matter what platform you prefer to use.

Join us online today...


Help Needed

MAG Ireland is interested in hearing from riders with relevant expertise to assist the effort.

  • Civil/Roads Engineers for barrier and parking issues
  • Accountancy Professionals
  • Journalist/copywriter
  • Researchers:

Help Offered

We are interested in hearing from riders with a specific issue or campaign which they are pursuing at an individual or local level.

We're currently following up a number of parking issues for example. Let us know what's happening in your locality.


Bike Buyers Guide

Read MAG Ireland in this month's Bike Buyers Guide. See


Irish Bikers Bible

News, reviews and rally reports. Full details on