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of propulsion. It has a heart and soul with every one having its own DNA. I’m all for progress, but give me the rocket science of Kawasaki’s H2 supercharger over a Zero any day. John Woodmore, Canada
Is it safe to go open face?
Being off at Christmas I had plenty of time on my hands. So when the boss was out I got control of the TV remote for a few hours. I would watch anything with motorcycles in it and while watching many programmes involving Henry Cole I realised how often he would wear open face lids. I was just wondering whether it’’s a safety risk (I know he’s a bit of a nutter) or is it just down to the feeling of riding with an open face lid compared to a closed one? Glenn Madden, Belfast
Who still uses hand signals? From a conversation with biking mates, it seems not many. During daylight hours l have used hand signals for left/right turns at busy junctions/ roundabouts for many years, I passed my test in 1981. I feel hand signals are a useful tool on today’s roads. Any thoughts? GP, Notts
I have just read your article about thieves using stolen and cloned numberplates (MCN, December 19). Surely it does not take Einstein to figure this one out? All vehicles have a unique code, the VIN number. Why are all vehicles not tagged at the factory? Then all the security services would scan this number. The cost would be negligible, how much does it cost to microchip a dog? I cannot believe we still rely on a number screwed on the outside of the vehicle. I realise the poseurs who waste thousands on personal plates might not be happy, but I am sure they can find other ways to waste their money. Peter Wilson, email
Keep up the crackdown
I was surprised to see that readers Bill Diggins and David Thomas are concerned over strong Police tactics currently being used to deal with CRIMINALS using scooters and bikes in the commission of their crimes! I say surprised because I’m convinced that the majority of us are overjoyed to at last see justified force being used in these days of ‘soft’ policing. And as for the question of our feelings if the kids involved were our own, asking why their kids are involved in crime might be more appropriate. And as to Mr Diggins’ suggestion that such Police tactics might be used if you’re using a loud exhaust or small numberplate? Oh come on, get real, please. Barrie Lynn, Aberystwyth
Riding with the gods
Moodie, Griffiths, Anstey, Britton and Mcguinness peel as one into the three apexes of the 32nd in what looks like the choreographed movements of biking gods. I watch from the back of the pack, trying my hardest to simply stay attached on the run through Windy Corner. Onto the 33rd we move, following their sweeping lines out towards the road’s edge before dipping towards the first apex, when David Jefferies arrives, moving past me on the outside as if I was standing still. As he moves towards the first apex, he turns around fully, giving me the thumbs up. My brain tells my left hand to respond with a thumbs up, self preservation overrides and releases my little pinky. Jefferies acknowledges with another thumbs up, all the time facing backwards towards me whilst leaving a large black line across the road as he drifts through the first and then second apexes. And this was just Wednesday night practice. I am one of those you don’t often hear about at the TT, always starting towards the back of the grid with last year's bike, mis-matched leathers and no sponsors, but with the same aim to qualify and be on the same tarmac as the gods. These days you are more likely to find me listening to the TT on the radio, wobbling around MX tracks with my kids who tell anyone that will listen they are faster than their dad who was once a TT rider. Damien Brady, email
Happy birthday Phil
I am lucky enough to know legendary bike racer Phil Read and have had the pleasure to meet him several times lately. The Prince of Speed is turning 80 this month. The ‘Speed’ in his nickname may be less relevant in recent years, due to the extreme price of the bikes Mr Read is riding currently, but the ‘Prince’ part of his nickname, is still very apt. I've never met a more noble gent and I am proud to call him a friend. Kiril Ianatchkov, Czech Republic Ed: See our birthday tribute to the great Phil