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Basic Skills: How to take a pillion for the first time

If you are a new rider about to take a pillion for the first time, the chances are that your passenger is a novice too, so take some time to brief them on the dos and don'ts of happy two-up riding before you fire the bike up. That way they will be confident and more relaxed and you shouldn¹t notice ...

  • New rider
  • 13 November 2009

Basic Skills: How to check your tyre pressure

Checking your tyres on a weekly basis is a really good habit to get into. Not only will you ensure that your bike¹s handling stays sweet, but simply crouching down to check pressures and condition of the rubber will help you spot any other adjustments that may be needed to the chain or brakes. Tyre pressures should always be checked ...

  • New rider
  • 13 November 2009

Basic Skills: How to pick up a motorcycle

Bikes are inherently unstable beasts on their two wheels and when they topple over it’s important that you know how to pick it up without damaging yourself, or your pride and joy some more. Whichever side it’s lying on, move round so you’re facing the handlebar nearest the ground. Turn the bar onto full lock toward the fuel tank, then ...

  • New rider
  • 06 November 2009

Basic Skills: How not to stall

Stalling turns your fleet-footed steed that responds to every delicate touch, into a 150 kilo lump of metal that wants to crush your leg. But if you learn the warning signs you can pull away cleanly and trickle along in the highest gear possible at walking speed, never putting a foot down. A stall happens when there is insufficient power ...

  • New rider
  • 06 November 2009

Basic Skills: How to improve your riding skills

Riding a bike is a life-long learning experience and getting good training through your biking life is crucial. BikesafeBikeSafe is an initiative run by police forces around the United Kingdom who work with the whole of the biking world to help to lower the number of motorcycle rider casualties. Go on a Bikesafe course and you’ll get the chance to ...

  • New rider
  • Getting a licence & training
  • 09 October 2009

Basic Skills: How to position your body when cornering

You don't have to be a racer to hang your body off a bike! Changing your body position when cornering can get you round safer and with less lean angle required from your bike, as MCN's Michael Neeves shows one reader in our video.   Further reading:Basic Skills

  • New rider
  • 02 October 2009

Basic Skills: Changing gear smoothly

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. All the good riders I know can change gears really fast and really smoothly, but I seem to have trouble with this particularly when I need to get down the gearbox quickly when I’m approaching a ...

  • New rider
  • 15 May 2009

Riding skills: The Art of changing gear

If you have problems changing gear really fast and cleanly without upsetting the bike there are steps you can take. To start with, the best way going up the gearbox is to back the throttle off very slightly and tap the gear lever. If you have your lever set in the correct position then you don't need to use the ...

  • Riding & Events
  • Riding Skills
  • 09 April 2009

Riding Skills: Turn-in points on the road

We're often told to use a deeper turn entry point on bends to improve visibility through the corner, but some people worry that it makes the corner sharper at the point of turn which loads up the front tyre and increases the risk of a crash which seems to defeat the object. But it's all a matter of degree, if ...

  • Riding & Events
  • Riding Skills
  • 03 April 2009

Don't get done by poor servicing

About 12 months ago Pete Hales bought an 06-plate Triumph ST1050 from an authorised dealer. It had had one owner from new with full service history from the dealer who he bought it from. The bike had been recently serviced and had a full MOT.   “I have just had the four year service done by the same dealer. During the ...

  • Riding & Events
  • Riding Skills
  • 09 July 2010


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