Aprilia Pegaso 650

3 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Aprilia Pegaso 650
Aprilia Pegaso 600

Aprilia Pegaso 650

Sometime in the distant past of my early childhood the government of the day, possibly predecessors of the same bureaucratic lunatics who are responsible for Transport 21 announced a ring road was to be built around Dublin. It was to be modelled on the M25 in London with the added benefit of a toll bridge in the middle of it. How could things possibly go wrong? Fast forward to twenty years later and while it’s been completed length wise, it appears not to have been made wide enough.

While Chris Rea sang about the road to Hell being the London ring road, the M50 which now runs from the M1 just outside Dublin airport to the N11 at Loughlinstown could, on a rainy January morning be described as a road in Hell. Having lived and worked in various different places in the greater Dublin area over the last few years I’ve used the M50 to commute on a motorcycle on an almost daily basis. I’ve also learned to ride the old back roads in and around it which is where the idea to map a route from Dublin airport on the M1 to Kilmacanogue on the N11 without riding on the M50 came from.

THE BIKE

Around the same time as the first sections of the M50 were being completed a 650cc Rotax manufactured engine was being put to use in a BMW F650GS and also in an Aprilia with a similar frame known as the Pegaso. While the Pegaso has evolved over the years there are now two models available, a standard one and a factory model which has carbon fibre detailing and spoked wheels. BMW meanwhile have used the same engine in the F650GS the F650 Dakar, the G650X Country, G650 X Challenge and G650 X Moto.

To say the engine is well proven would be somewhat of an understatement. When taking on this particular challenge I thought it would be best to take on a mid engined mid sized bike. And When Tony Bannon at MotoPoint suggested that I use his Pegaso it seemed like a good idea.

Starting off from Kinsealy near Malahide in north county Dublin, I head down Baskin Lane and what remains a fairly basic county road. While the Pegaso initially looks small to sit on and certainly looks low, I am releaved to find the travel in the suspension combined with the wide profile 17 inch wheels provide plenty of grip.

At the T junction on Baskin Lane I turn right and take a long left hand sweeper enjoying the Pegaso’s sure footedness and responsiveness which leads me up to a small roundabout on the Swords road. Taking the second exit off the roundabout I’m on the R108 which I follow around the back of the airport and past the maintenance hangers where giant passenger jets are being serviced. The road leads me past the runway and on down to Saint Margaret’s. I’m now running parallel to the M50.

I continue on for another few kilometres enjoying light traffic and easy overtakes. I do notice that the Pegaso requires a bit more work from the gear box than the bigger engine bike I’m used to riding but the brakes are excellent.

At Kilshane Cross I meet my first set of traffic lights on the N2. The lights turn green and I drop the Pegaso into first gear and ride across the N2 heading for Blanchardstown. Until recently this stretch of road was narrow badly paved and found it difficult to contain the heavy trucks which were using it. Now however, while the big trucks are still here, the road is wider and the roundabouts at Northern Cross Business Park are like the corners on a well designed race track!

I ride down past the national Aquatic Centre and across the N3. I stand up on the pegs of the Pegaso and below me the traffic queues to get onto the M50. I continue past Blanchardstown Shopping centre my progress unimpeded by several more roundabouts. I ride on into Clonsilla Village and follow the R121 where I cross the railway line, the Pegaso twitching ever so slightly on the wet tracks. I turn left and then right and follow the wall of Luttrellstown Castle down to the Strawberry Beds.

At the bottom of the hill I turn right and head for Lucan looking into the well proportioned mirrors of the Pegaso I can see the toll bridge on the M50 which towers above the valley.

Once in Lucan I cross the Liffey on the ancient bridge and ride straight up through the village, the Adamstown Road and cross the N4. Again I continue straight on and cross yet another railway bridge followed by a hump backed bridge over the Grand Canal. The road here is fast but technical and as I pass the Piedmont hospital I tip my hat to the Professor and his 999. The road leads on to Newcastle where I take a left and follow the road to Rathcoole.

Aprilia Pegaso 600

At Rathcoole I use yet another flyover to cross the N7, or as it’s better known, the Naas Road. From Rathcoole I follow the Mill road to the Blessington Road behind Tallaght. The Blessington Road is also know as the N81 and has a reputation for being one of the filthiest roads in the country.

Here I head back into suburbia and follow the Tallaght Bypass back to the Old Bawn Road where I turn right and follow this road all the way to Firhouse where I find myself dangerously close to the M50 yet again. All the time I am stopping and starting, slowing and speeding up, using the gear box and the brakes. The Pegaso feels light and easy to manouver in the traffic and does everything asked of it.

At this point, I take the Ballycullen Road up the hill and ride towards the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. Up past the Pine Forest, down to Jonny Fox’s where you take a right turn and ride through the Devil’s Elbow, the Pegaso is flawless. Follow the road straight on over the hill and here I use a trail road to cut through to Enniskerry, once down in the village I take a right turn at the monument and ride up the hill past Powerscourt and continue on through Wicklow.

Once I get to the R170 I take a left and head down through Rocky Valley to Kilmacanogue.

You should note that if you ever take someone else’s Pegaso for a spin and run out of fuel you’ll find the filler cap in the middle of the tank but hidden under a panel for which there is no obvious release. On the instrument cluster of the left handle bar beside the clutch lever there is a small button and once you release this the panel will pop up top revel a small but practical storage space and access to the fuel tank. Whatever you do don’t call the owner and reveal your ignorance!

All in all, at eight o’clock on a rainy morning this run took just over 90 minutes on a bike that is practical and modest as the Pegaso. Meanwhile a colleague was commuted from Sutton to Bray by car reported an average speed of just four kilometres an hour! Two wheels good, four wheels bad!

Last modified on Saturday, 19 November 2011 14:46

Aprilia Pegaso 600


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