How I met Ago on my first bike… aged seven

And th­ese days the rider runs Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley FC

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

One for your se­ries on peo­ple with their first bikes, this was my first bike – at just seven years old. It was a home­made rac­ing ma­chine fit­ted with a 32cc Cy­clemas­ter engine. I even had a John Cooper ‘mooneyes’ hel­met!

My fa­ther took me to the Isle of Man TT in 1969 where I met Gi­a­como Agos­tini and took my bike through the ‘weigh in’ with his MV Agusta. As you can see, the meet­ing with Ago made the press with me de­scribed as the ‘Clitheroe Kid’ and my dad quoted as say­ing: “I brought him to the is­land last year and he’s never for­got­ten it, so I just had to bring him again.”

I went on to pas­sen­ger John Holden at the 1988 and 1989 TT, fin­ish­ing fourth in Side­car For­mula 2 class both years.

David P Burgess, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley FC Ed: What a bril­liant experience!

Re­main­ing loyal to MV

What a sad state of af­fairs the way some MV Agusta own­ers have been treated by deal­ers who are now out of busi­ness (MCN, Fe­bru­ary 8).

As an­other busi­ness owner and MV dealer it seems hard for me to swal­low that deal­ers could be­have like this, no mat­ter how dif­fi­cult their own fi­nan­cial cir­cum­stances. I would like to bring your read­ers’ at­ten­tion to the other side of the MV Agusta story though: not­with­stand­ing the is­sues you raised and the fac­tory’s own fi­nan­cial woes.

The past year was very dif­fi­cult for all MV deal­ers with the fall­out of the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween MV and AMG Mercedes who still own 25% of the com­pany. What re­mains is a net­work of 10 fi­nan­cially strong deal­ers, none of whom, as far as I know is en­tirely de­pen­dent on MV.

Most of us are still com­mit­ted to the MV Agusta brand de­spite the trauma; largely be­cause, like our cus­tomers, we are en­thu­si­asts and you just can­not take away from MV the de­sir­abil­ity of the ma­chines they build.

By the end of Fe­bru­ary last year we had sold more MV Agus­tas than ei­ther Suzukis or Kawasakis, the other two man­u­fac­tur­ers that we deal with. In the mean­time the rest of 2016 was al­most writ­ten off due to the fight be­tween MV and AMG, although they con­tin­ued to sup­port us with spares and war­ranty is­sues. Like most en­thu­si­asts we hope that the lat­est news from Varese will man­i­fest in a much im­proved 2017.

We are still tak­ing de­liv­ery of new bikes and are also com­mit­ted to a sub­stan­tial stand space at the Ca­r­ole Nash MCN Scot­tish Mo­tor­cy­cle show in Ed­in­burgh on March 11-12, largely in or­der to dis­play our new MVS.

We don’t have a crys­tal ball, but like the fac­tory we re­main en­thu­si­as­tic about the bikes and com­mit­ted to the brand. Paul Wein­berger, Cu­par Mo­tor­cy­cles, Fife

On­go­ing mid-life cri­sis

Hav­ing re­cently fallen back in love with bik­ing again af­ter 20 years away, I treated my­self to a Honda CB1000R. And what a tool it is. Mine is al­ready stacked with a host of ex­tras in­clud­ing tail tidy, Puig screen, gun­fighter seat and an Ixil slip-on end can for that lovely bark.

Tour­ing, scratch­ing or pootling, it does it all. I en­joyed a num­ber of A272 blasts last year and sat com­fort­ably in the wake of the speed mer­chants up to Loomies café no prob­lem. Crack­ing fun!

Could it be my age or a slightly dis­torted view through my rose-tinted vi­sor? Sud­denly I have the urge to do a trackday although don’t tell the mis­sus, she’ll think the mid-life cri­sis is on­go­ing! Mark Si­bun, email

Bri­tain’s best truck fit­ter

On hear­ing that Guy Martin will be rac­ing this year – and a shock to us all, af­ter he said he wasn’t go­ing to race again – I’d like to say life is one big ride and full of sur­prises, you never know what’s round the cor­ner.

So good luck Guy, as he says him­self he’s just a me­chanic from Grimsby who loves rid­ing his bike. So take a step back and put your­self in his boots, give him some space to get on with it. Louise Cullen, Wir­ral

Give air am­bu­lance a lift

I was pleased to read your Let­ter of the Week (We should give Air Am­bu­lances a lift, 11 Jan­uary) and to learn that Wales Air Am­bu­lance was able to save the life of Gail Ben­nett’s hus­band Philip.

Your read­ers may be in­ter­ested to hear that last year Hamp­shire and Isle of Wight Air Am­bu­lance at­tended 712 mis­sions, 5% of which were as a re­sult of mo­tor­cy­cle in­ci­dents. It costs in ex­cess of £9000 a day to main­tain our life-sav­ing ser­vice, and we re­ceive no Gov­ern­ment or Na­tional Lot­tery fund­ing for rou­tine op­er­a­tions. Alex Lochrane, CEO, Hamp­shire and Isle of Wight Air Am­bu­lance

Honda need top rid­ers

So Honda ap­proach 2017 with a new Fire­blade, an ex­cit­ing prospect with mas­sive po­ten­tial. Look­ing back at last year we see that the old Blade was show­ing its age, in BSB, WSB, and on the roads.

My big ques­tion is this: have the re­spec­tive teams got the right rid­ers on their bikes? This could be the big year, the chance to put the Blade back on top. But, to beat the Kwak and Du­catis in BSB and WSB it’s go­ing to take some pretty hellish rid­ing

Honda should have gone out and grabbed some big names, like they did on the roads project. Get­ting Guy Martin back was a mas­sive move. Leon Dempsey, email

Test ride trou­ble

In the mar­ket for a used com­muter, I had £4500 and per­mis­sion from she who must be obeyed to buy and house a sec­ond bike. Re­sult. My bike of choice was a low-mileage Honda Deauville.

So, armed with my cash and search re­sults from the in­ter­net, I went off to three deal­ers in West York­shire. Surely any one of th­ese would gladly re­lieve me of my cash. Wrong. The first two said they didn’t of­fer test rides and the third said they would but then they couldn’t find the keys. My Deauville search continues! John Driscoll, email

Join us at the 59

I wish to thank you for such a bril­liant ar­ti­cle about The 59 Club. It’s both the mem­bers sup­port and the vol­un­teers’ hard work which has kept The 59 Club and its ethos go­ing for so long. If any­one wants to get in­volved, our con­tact email is the59­club@hot­mail.com.

The in­set pic­ture was not Fa­ther Bill Sher­gold but Fa­ther Gra­ham Hul­lett, who worked along­side Fa­ther Bill in the early years of the Club. San­dra Hall, 59 Club

‘As Guy says, he’s just a me­chanic from Grimsby who loves rid­ing his bike’

is a big sup­porter of Guy Martin Truck fit­ter, me­chanic, pro racer – Louise Cullen

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