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Pre-2001 Licence categories

MCN, 10 September 2010 18:29

Vehicle tests have become more complex over the years with several modules and more extensive theory tests. Full motorcycle licence holders who’ve held their licences pre-2001, also have a B1 classification which allows them to use “Motor tricycles / quad cycles, 3 or 4 wheeled vehicles with an un-laden weight not exceeding 550kg”. Armed with this category they do not ...

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Aftermarket exhausts

MCN, 10 September 2010 18:22

Switching to an aftermarket exhaust is an obvious choice if you want to change the look, sound or performance of your bike. But you do have to consider a few things before you splash the cash. First of all, check with your insurance company what changes are permissible without your premium changing or cover being cancelled. Insurance companies operate on ...

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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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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 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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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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