MCN tours Ireland

Published: 11 August 2004

After another night back in Bray, the pair set out to make the long trip back all in one go. 100 miles to the ferry, a two and a half hour crossing and 350 miles across Britain seemed like a do-able task, but throw in torrential rain and an accident that blocked the M25 and forced them to go through London on the North Circular and the journey came to an incredible 14 hours.

Thankfully the roads North of London were completely clear and they managed to make it home just shy of Midnight, enough time to be fresh and ready for work the next day.

Discuss the CBR600F

Discuss the VFR800 VTEC

MCN’s touring duo are back in the office after nearly 1500 miles on the road, riding the length of the emerald isle, taking in two capital cites, the North West 200 circuit and some fantastic mountain roads.

After surviving several potential disasters on their long-term test bikes (see related stories, right) and nights out in two capital cities in as many days, Angus Farquhar (Honda CBR600F from DK Motorcycles) and Marc Abbott (Honda VFR800 VTEC from CMC Motorcycles) left their luggage safely in Belfast to lighten the load ready for the famously beautiful, but notoriously twisty, Antrim coast.

After a quick stop in Joey Dunlop’s bar in Ballymoney and a lap of the North West 200 road race circuit around Portrush, their route took them past the Giants Causeway and down some very tiny roads.

Until this point there had been nothing to choose between the bikes apart from tank range, with the CBR always having to stop for fuel first, but on the smaller roads the massive weight of the VFR began to show with tight hairpins proving a particular problem to negotiate.

After more than 100 miles of continuously twisty coast road they made it back to Belfast for an overnight rest stop before heading back south to the republic to sample the roads of the Wicklow Mountains.

It was a long ride down, but the R754 from Blessington through the Wicklow Gap was well worth the wait, offering nearly 50 miles of mountain roads with good surfaces and fantastic views.

At the end of the road the pair made it to Avoca, the location of the BBC drama Ballykissangel just in time to have dinner in Fitzgeralds, the pub that featured strongly in the series.