Well since I suggested it, I'll start the ball rolling.
You need a licence to ride a bike. Here for some details.
In Ireland, there are only 2 motorbike insurers, Hibernian and Carole Nash. If you're under 25, you can try Carole Nash but they generally only insure over 25s on bikes obver 250cc. You can get online quotes from Hibernian but only phone quotes from CN.
There are some brokers who deal with motorbike insurance. AON is the largest. They deal with Hibernian and offer discounts on the Hibernian price. Some of the bike shops can also sort your insurnace out. They have a deal with AON. Some examples of these bike shops:
There are 3 types of insurance:
Third Party (TP) - you pay for damages to you and your bike
Third Party, Fire and Theft. As above but also covers for fire and theft, strangely.
Fully Comprehensive. As above but also includes cover for damage to you and your bike.
Bikes are assigned a grouping by insurers. This is based on the power to weight ratio of the bike. So for example a 50cc 10 BHP scooter is group 1 and a 1300cc 150BHP sports bike would be group 12, and more expensive to insure. The differences between groups is small for riders over 40. A table of the prices is not available online at the moment.
There are various places to learn to ride a bike. Irish School of Motoring (ISM) will provide bikes. As will the Star Rider courses run by Fingal and I believe South Dublin Co Council. These are not year round courses though. And there is a long waiting list for school bikes. Most independent trainers (Irish Rider Training Association IRTA) do not have bikes due to prohibitive insurance costs. This may change with driver instructor certification due in 2004.
So you want to drive
Easy rider training good information
on bikes and training.
Irish rider training
Motorcycle news there reviews of bikes and gear.