We’re back with another Carole Nash Council interview, featuring former Building Services Manager, Derek Quinn. Derek has been involved with motorcycles for nearly five decades, and we enjoyed speaking to him about his experiences.
Can you give our readers some background into what you do?
I was a Building Services Manager prior to taking early retirement three years ago. I’m involved with helping a motorcycle racer and have been involved with Road Racing for longer than I care to remember!
How long have you been into motorbikes and what was your first biking experience?
I’ve been involved with motorbikes for over 46 years. My first experience involved riding an old moped on waste ground near my parents’ house in Leeds and attending the Battle of Britain race meeting at Croft in the late 1960s.
I presently have four bikes on the road: a Suzuki SV650, Honda CBF600, CB500 and a MSX125, which my wife bought me for my 60th birthday.
What made you want to be a part of the Carole Nash customer council?
I thought it would be a good way of giving feedback and helping with product research.
Do you believe motorbike riders are more aware of what’s going on in their surroundings than some motorists?
Yes definitely. You’re not enclosed in an air conditioned environment with music playing. You need to be aware of what’s going on around you and keep an eye on the weather to help you stay safe.
What kind of motorbikes have you owned in the past?
I have owned British bikes e.g. a Triumph T120 Bonneville that I used to pick my future wife up in from school. I’ve had various 1970s Japanese bikes such as a GT750 Suzuki and Honda 900F2, through to Suzuki SV650s.
What’s your opinion on the diesel and petrol vehicles 2040 ban?
I don’t agree with a total ban. Modern vehicles are a lot more fuel efficient and less polluting than they used to be. The noise and driving experience of fossil-fueled vehicles cannot be matched by electric vehicles.
Do you think electric bikes could be a more environmentally sustainable option than a regular motorbike?
No. Generating electricity still causes pollution and what about nuclear waste?
What are some crucial safety tips for new riders?
Get good training and protective gear. Ride within your capabilities and don’t be tempted to get a bike that’s too big and powerful for your experience. Be aware of what’s going on around you. There’s no point in being right if you get injured. Back off and live to ride another day.
In your opinion, was there ever a ‘golden era’ for motorcycles?
To me, the Golden Era of bikes was the 1970s. Japanese bikes had become affordable, reliable and a lot faster. There was such a vast choice of bike sizes and types from all the major manufacturers.
Speeding wasn’t such an issue and there wasn’t as much traffic. Big bikes were a lot faster than most cars. You didn’t get overtaken by small cars doing 90+ miles per hour. The motorway network was expanding and roads were getting better. Riding gear was improving, especially full face helmets. Modern bikes are a lot better, but overall the 70s were a great time to be riding bikes.