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How to push a motorcycle

Chris Dabbs, 04 June 2010 14:57

It’s hard to believe when you are tipping your bike into a bend with the merest fingertip pressure on a bar, that your bolide weighs a couple of hundred kilos. But when you’ve got to push it into the garage past the car and the kids’ bikes that weight is all too apparent. The keys to moving your bike at ...

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How to tell if you have a puncture

Chris Dabbs, 04 June 2010 14:52

The tubeless tyres that are fitted to the vast majority of bikes these days are more puncture-resistant than tyres with inner tubes and don’t tend to suffer from the rapid deflation that is a characteristic of a tubed tyre when they do pick up a puncture. This is because the object that pierces the tyre often stays embedded in the ...

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New rider: Each engine has its own characteristics

Chris Dabbs, 30 April 2010 14:47

When you first start out, chances are that you will go through several changes of bike, from a small capacity two-stroke scooter, to a 1000cc inline four, 900cc V-twin or 675cc triple. Each engine has its own characteristics, and that includes vibration. When you’ve been used to it at one frequency or a certain revs, then it can be disconcerting ...

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New rider: Learning your bike's noises

Chris Dabbs, 30 April 2010 14:30

Bikes have a disconcerting habit of rattling at different times, and it’s hard to tell whether it’s serious, or just a sign of a certain age. If it sounds like it is coming from the clutch area when the bike is ticking over, it’s caused by the plates and other parts chattering around when there is no load on them. ...

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New Rider: What to do if your bike stops but has fuel

Chris Dabbs, 26 March 2010 16:42

You are out on your first touring holiday having diligently loaded up your bike with all the stuff you think you’ll need, packing a tankbag to the gunnels with maps, spare gloves, waterproofs, travel documents you name it, and then your bike packs up on you, as though it’s run out of gas. Checking the fuel level shows it to ...

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Suzuki owners: Check your coolant colour, now!

Chris Dabbs, 08 January 2010 17:19

If you are buying a Suzuki that is less than three years old and the engine coolant isn't green, start asking questions. Because someone somewhere has drained the factory-fitted coolant out and replaced it with aftermarket stuff. The only reason they should have for draining it is that the engine has been apart which indicates there was something wrong with ...

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How to tune your bike

Chris Dabbs, 08 January 2010 17:15

If you've had your new bike for a while and you want to start 'tuning' it, one of the simplest ways is to alter the gearing by changing the front/rear sprockets. If you lower the gearing that will improve acceleration as you use more of the higher gears more of the time. If you raie the gearing that will give ...

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How to corner with confidence - part 5

Chris Dabbs, 31 December 2009 12:41

Here's the final key to supreme cornering, the final part of our five-section guide ­ accelerating out of the bend. STAGE FIVEAccelerate: You've leant the bike into the corner with a smooth, progressive movement that keeps the bike stable and balanced and helps you maintain your speed right through the bend on a balanced throttle. Now the vision limit is ...

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New rider: corner with confidence, part two

Chris Dabbs, 18 December 2009 10:34

Now you've read the road ahead to get a good idea of what's in store, it's time to get yourself in the correct position to tackle it. STAGE TWO Position: This is making sure that you have moved yourself onto a line that gives you the best view of the road ahead. That way you’ve got the most time possible ...

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New rider: corner with confidence, part one

Chris Dabbs, 17 December 2009 16:04

Cornering with confidence is one of the great joys of riding a bike. Setting yourself up for the bend, picking your moment to lean the bike into the turn, then powering out smoothly and progressively elevates riding to an art, but there’s good science behind it too. We’ll look at cornering in the five sections that the Institute of Advanced ...

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