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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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rating is 2.5

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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Performing an emergency stop

MCN, 23 July 2010 17:25

An emergency stop can so easily become a panic response and end in tears with one or both wheels locking up and you either hitting the floor or the obstacle you were trying to avoid in the first place, so it’s important that you practice this safely. So, find an empty car park and set off up to about 15mph, ...

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rating is 4

The dreaded U-turn

MCN, 23 July 2010 17:22

One of the trickier manoeuvres to master when you’re starting out on bikes is the U-turn. Not only are you crossing two flows of traffic, but also you’ve got kerbs or grassy banks limiting your space to get around safely. Although it is a slow-speed manoeuvre it is important that you are on the move with the clutch out and ...

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Checking your new bike has a SORN

MCN, 02 July 2010 16:26

If you have bought a bike and applied for SORN at the same time, you should receive a new logbook and confirmation of its SORN status too. But if you can’t find the SORN paperwork anywhere, you can check the date of liability for your bike via http://www.taxdisc.direct.gov.uk or by calling vehicle enquiries on 0300 790 6802.  Get a friend ...

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rating is 1

Taking your test abroad

MCN, 02 July 2010 16:09

Planet Earth is a village these days and some Brits like David Barnett are taking their tests overseas. “I have just become a biker and I am living in Brisbane at the moment, although I’m from London. I am taking lessons now, with plans to come back to the UK, but I’m worried that I will have to retake my ...

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How to avoid a SMIDSY

MCN, 02 July 2010 16:04

No one likes crashing and it can dent your confidence and bank balance as well as injuring you. Here’s how to avoid one of the most common accidents, a SMIDSY (“Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You”) when another vehicle pulls out of a junction and you collide or fall off avoiding them. To avoid these as much as possible, keep ...

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rating is 4.5

Plan your first ride with care

MCN, 25 June 2010 17:00

You’ve passed your test, bought the kit and blown all your hard-earned on your dream bike. Now it’s time to go for your very first ride. And that needs preparation. If you passed your test by the Direct Access route, you’ll have ridden a Honda CB500 or similar. So what differences can you expect when you sling your leg over ...

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Taking care of your chain

MCN, 18 June 2010 14:14

There are two types of chain used on bikes. Off-roaders and commuter bikes up to 125cc use chains made of metal only, other road bikes use O-ring chains. O-ring chains have small rubber seals between the rollers and the sideplates to slow down wear. O-ring chains should be washed with a light oil or degreaser and then wiped down before ...

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rating is 5

Sorting out your confidence

MCN, 18 June 2010 14:06

Confidence isn't just a 'preference of the habitual voyeur' as Blur would have it, but arguably one of the most vital parts of a rider's armoury. Building it up as you start out, without straying into over-confidence is vital. The first thing is you need to have confidence in your bike. That means keeping it properly maintained with tyres inflated ...

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