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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

Help­ing hands

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

Scrap num­ber­plates

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

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