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New rider engine layouts: Singles

MCN, 10 September 2010 18:18

The simplest bike engine design is the single cylinder and it’s what’s fuelled generations of young and new bikers’ love affair with two wheels, as well as keeping the masses moving in poorer countries. Its chief advantages are its relative simplicity and cheapness with one of everything and light weight too, making it favourite for use in smaller capacity machinery ...

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New rider engine layouts: V-twins

MCN, 03 September 2010 17:24

The V-twin engine has a long and noble history in motorcycling as it was adopted early on by manufacturers like Harley and Indian because it allowed two cylinders to be bolted into the narrow, bicycle-type frames of the early 1900s. That same advantage of a narrow engine holds true today, and V-twins come in a variety of degrees, from 90 ...

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Properly fitting a set of leathers

MCN, 03 September 2010 17:17

A set of leathers is a major investment, so it’s important that they fit you well. Although leathers will give a little bit over time, they aren’t as flexible as textile garments, so the makers cut them to fit well when you are in a typical riding position. But that can vary a lot from a sit-up-and-beg tourer stance to ...

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Securing your bike on a ferry

MCN, 27 August 2010 17:15

If you are heading abroad on the ferries it’s important that you are able to tether your bike down properly in the hold in case of rough weather. Park it so it is almost leaning against the deck wall and out of people’s way. You want to tie it down so that the suspension is compressed and the weight of ...

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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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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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