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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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New Rider: Slow speed shimmy

Chris Dabbs, 09 July 2010 14:12

If you are new to biking there are lots of fresh sensations to get to grips with, from leaning into bends, to the front dipping under braking or that pull on your arms as you accelerate hard. One strange one you may come across is a shake through the forks at certain speeds, mainly between 40-50mph and mostley when you ...

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New Rider: Best 33bhp bike for distance

Chris Dabbs, 09 July 2010 14:09

Bogumil Kusiba has just passed his bike test for the 33bhp restricted licence and he wants to trade in his Honda Varadero 125. “It’s a great bike, however due to my high commuter mileage, 54 miles each way, mainly motorway. my Varadero is struggling and I am concerned that it may be too many miles for such a small  engine.” ...

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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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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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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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New Rider: How to ride safely on a motorway

Chris Dabbs, 11 June 2010 10:21

Motorways may be boring to ride on, but they are the safest roads in Britain despite the high speeds and vast volumes of traffic that use them. This is because they traffic joining them filters on and off on the slip roads at junctions, instead of pulling across at right angles to on coming traffic. The two streams of traffic ...

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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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