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New rider engine layouts: Inline fours

MCN, 27 August 2010 17:04

The inline four-cylinder engine is the most popular layout for bikes because it combines high performance with relatively low cost. First made popular by Honda in 1970s, after they’d gained experience making ridiculously high-revving 125s for grand prix racing, the other Japanese manufacturers soon followed suit, and nowadays BMW and MV Augusta also offer this layout. The inline-four is much ...

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Position yourself correctly

Anonymous, 20 August 2010 18:30

Getting yourself in the right position in the lane of the road you are travelling on is a vital skill that keeps you safe and lets you make good progress. The greatest risk to you is other road users, so it’s important that you make yourself as obvious as possible. So, don’t hug the gutter, position yourself midway across the ...

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How do you know your tyres are warmed up?

MCN, 20 August 2010 18:00

With your contact on terra firma reliant on two hand-sized patches of rubber it’s hard to know when your bedded-in tyres are up to operating temperature, but there are a couple of factors that will enable you to know without stopping at the side of the road and feeling them with your hand. The first is the weather and time ...

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How to tell when your tyres need replacing

MCN, 13 August 2010 15:27

The obvious visual sign that your tyres are worn are when the tread becomes so shallow that tread wear indicators, which are small raised areas at the bottom of the main tread grooves, have reached the surface of the tyre rubber. But way before then, you may well feel changes in your bike’s handling. Because most of us don’t spend ...

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How to fit earplugs

MCN, 13 August 2010 13:47

Part of the attraction of riding a bike is being in touch with the elements around you, not cut off in a little steel box. But one of those elements, wind noise, can be distracting and damage your hearing in the long-term. So, ear plugs that cut down the decibels are important, but it’s vital that you fit them in ...

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New rider: what was that noise?

MCN, 06 August 2010 16:06

When you get your first big bike, it can take some time to get used to all the mechanical noises that it makes, and they can seem quite worrying at first. If you're on a tight budget and your new bike is a bit long in the tooth, there are a few noises that you should watch out for. If ...

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What's engine braking and how does it differ?

MCN, 06 August 2010 15:58

Engine braking can be a useful tool to riding smoothly when you first start out, or it can get you into a bit of trouble if you don't pay attention to the gear you're in. It occurs when you shut the throttle, at that moment the engine goes from producing power to having its pistons pumped by the rotating rear ...

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New bike dos and don'ts

MCN, 30 July 2010 17:42

When you've got your first bike there are a few add-on dos and don'ts. Do consider fitting a hugger. It will keep the back of your bike cleaner and looks neat. Don't just fit any old loud pipe. Quite apart from insurance problems, you could upset the way the engine runs with poor throttle response and misfires, as well as ...

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Getting used to your first big bike

MCN, 30 July 2010 17:21

So, you’ve hunted through the ads, visited the dealers and sat on loads of bikes in showrooms, even managed to persuade a dealer to take you out on the pillion and you've splashed four figures on your first big bike and it's ready for you to ride away, but you're looking at it with a mixture of excitement and nervousness, ...

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Jennie Gow blog: I've passed my bike test!

Jennie Gow, 28 July 2010 14:41

I'm on a Honda GR 125, the sun is streaming off the River Thames and I have a massive smile on my face as I look down at my Speedo and realise I've just passed the 50mph mark for the very first time. This has to be one of the best feelings in the world! But I've got carried away ...

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