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How much oil should my new bike use?

MCN, 10 February 2010 16:55

It is not unusual for bikes to use a litre of oil per 1000 miles. Oil consumption is determined by a variety of factors, and the one the rider has the most control over is the running in. If it is run in too gently, the bores and pistons don't bed in very well and high oil consumption is the ...

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Winter riding: be seen when the days get longer

MCN, 29 January 2010 12:22

Here’s a handy tip to enable you to ride safely when the low, bright sun of late winter/early spring starts to accompany your commute... Check your shadow. If your shadow is directly in front of you when you’re riding, then the sun will be directly behind you, meaning oncoming traffic (and drivers in front of you in the same lane, ...

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Block your exhaust over winter

Marc Abbott, 15 January 2010 17:36

Multi-cylinder bikes will always have one set of valves open when they are stopped. If you’re storing your bike over the colder months, to stop moisture creeping up the exhaust into the combustion chamber, put a bung over the end of the exhaust. Make sure the bike is at ambient temperature before you do to avoid trapping moisture in the ...

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Look after your fuel this winter

Marc Abbott, 15 January 2010 17:34

If it’s your first winter since you passed your test, and you’ve laid your bike up until the spring, you want to be doubly sure your fuel won’t deteriorate. To do this, brim the tank to stop oxidisation and add a fuel stabiliser, NOT a fuel additive. There are plenty to choose from and they cost about ₤5-6 from firms ...

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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 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: How to top up a battery – the christmas way!

Marc Abbott, 25 December 2009 14:00

If you are running an older bike with a lead acid battery that needs topping up now and again with distilled water, save one of those discharged plastic 'party popper' cases from the Christmas festivities. They make excellent funnels for topping up the fluid.   Get a friend into biking and win £10000 for you, and £5000 for them with the ...

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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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How to claim against a rubbish training centre

Chris Dabbs, 10 December 2009 16:25

The vast majority of training firms out there give great service to trainee riders, but there are always a few who fall down, maybe by adding on extra charges buried in the small print or lending you a bike for the test that isn't roadworthy. If you are unlucky enough to encounter a situation like this there are steps you ...

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