Lifestyle

Meet the owner | Des Beech

By David Chapman

Des Beech’s first motorbike was a blue Yamaha 100 at age 21.

‘‘I’d never been on a bike before,’’ he said.

‘‘They delivered it to me at the job site, the house I was working at because I’m a carpenter, they brought a helmet for me too and I paid $460 cash.

‘‘I went 100m down the road on it, to the corner, and a woman ran over the top of it.

‘‘I saw it all coming so I got off the bike. The bike fell over and she ran over the middle of it and just kept on going.

‘‘It was just an ordinary sedan. She turned into a house down the street and I ran up and looked underneath the car and there was a blue plastic guard.

‘‘She said she didn’t even know she ran over the bike.’’

Fortunately Des was uninjured and it didn’t deter him from getting on a bike again.

‘‘I’ve owned motorbikes for a lot of years,’’ he said.

‘‘I had three Harleys but they were all stolen.

‘‘My wife travelled on the bikes but they put her legs to sleep.’’

It was travelling through NSW one day when his life changed. He came across a three-wheeler with an armchair on it and he was born into the world of trikes.

He bought his first trike in 2001 and hasn’t looked back since.

THE CAR (TRIKE)

Des’ 2012 Boom Trike is designed to travel on the autobahns of Germany at speeds of 180km/h.

It has a Ford Escort 1.6L-fuel injected engine and Ford five-speed gearbox with reverse.

‘‘There are two big German manufacturers of trikes — Boom and Rewaco — and they sell most of the trikes around the world,’’ Des said.

It came with independent suspension. It didn’t come with the flaming paintwork or cruise control or a duck — but they’re all on there.

‘‘It’s unique paintwork,’’ Des said.

‘‘It arrived with delco paint on it. I got natural flames painted on. People just see the blue but there is purple colour which lifts the blue and the white.’’

A cigar-chomping black duck sits on the mudguard of the trike’s front wheel, proudly displaying Des’ West Australian heritage whenever he is touring around Australia.

‘‘The emblem of WA is the black swan so we’re known as the little black ducks from WA,’’ he said.

The cruise control he had installed allows Des to sit back and glide along the highway. ‘‘I’ve added all that — and a lot of polish,’’ he said.

WHERE DID YOUR TRIKE COME FROM?

The trike was imported into Australia new from Germany in December 2012 by Oz Trikes.

‘‘I went down to the wharf with the Oz Trike agent and there were two trikes in the shipping container,’’ Des said.

‘‘He took one and I took the other.

‘‘It was the first shipment of the trikes into WA.

‘‘I had another trike long before this but I thought I’d go top of the range.

‘‘I’ve gone to the Rolls Royce of trikes.’’

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THE TRIKE?

While it may be designed to go 180km/h, Des’ limit has been 160km/h.

‘‘It just glides along the road,’’ he said. ‘‘It doesn’t bounce.’’

‘‘I didn’t want noise. I’m past the big noise stage. I’ve had Harleys and drilled holes out of the exhaust pipes and all that.’’

Des and his wife Helen can sit back in comfort with their trailer in tow which folds out to comfortable accommodation containing a double bed, a fridge/freezer ‘‘which keeps my beer really cold’’ and cooking facilities.

‘‘I can hit cruise control, lean back and steer one-handed if I want to,’’ Des said.

It has a Ford Escort 1.6L-fuel injected engine and Ford five-speed gearbox with reverse.

‘‘We can go off for a low cost holiday, get where we want to go at 100km/h with our trailer. It’s just enjoyable.’’

So far Des and his wife have been to Victor Harbor, the Sunshine Coast and all over WA on the trike.

‘‘With it as fast and as comfortable as it is, Helen can sleep in the back of it and won’t fall out,’’ Des said.

There’s no problem meeting people and making new friends on the trike, as Helen can attest to.

‘‘If I could charge $1 a photo I’d pay for the trip,’’ she said.

Among the many photo opportunities was one guest at a caravan park who approached Des and Helen and was willing to pay $50 for them to take his young son, who was a motorbike fan, for a ride on it.

‘‘I said ‘I don’t charge but if you wanted to donate the money to the farmers’ fund, I’ll match it’,’’ Des said.

‘‘So we gave $100 to the farmers’ fund between us.’’

Another highlight was when an elderly grandmother pushing a walking frame told Des how her late husband was a motorbike rider in his day.

‘‘She asked if she could take a photo of the trike with her (phone) camera and I said ‘on one condition’," Des said.

‘‘She said ‘what’s that?’ And I said ‘you have to be sitting in the front seat'.

‘‘There was a high kerb in front of her. Well, she couldn’t get down quick enough. Like greased lightning.

‘‘She sat in the seat and reminisced about her husband and his bikes. It made her day and it only cost me one minute of my time.’’

SO WHAT’S YOUR PERFECT CAR (TRIKE)?

‘‘This is it,’’ Des said.

‘‘If I won a couple of million dollars, I’d buy the later model in an automatic.

‘‘If I went to the agent to buy a brand new one, it would have a different motor and gauges but it would basically be the same.

‘‘The 2019 model would be identical to this except for the artwork and they’ve changed the motors and a few other pieces.

‘‘Boom has been working on the engine for three years but won’t release the trike until it’s 100 per cent. That’s the Germans for you.’’