New rider

  • How to get your motorcycle licence

    18 January 2013 by Steve Farrell

    How to get your motorcycle licence

    The new bike test regulations that are in effect from January 19 2013 may seem so complicated you need a separate qualification just to understand them. But MCN is here to help. Just follow our simple...

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  • Video: Learning to ride

    03 July 2013 by MCN

    We have a varied array of rider experience here at MCN HQ - but one thing that we all share is a love of motorcycling! This means that when you're new to the office and you need to pass your biking tests there can be quite a lot more pressure on you than usual. So naturally - just to add a little more stress - we decided to film the whole thing... Hopefully it will offer those of you who are...

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  • What you can ride under new licence laws

    30 January 2013 by MCN

    What you can ride under new licence laws

    The new licence laws, which came into effect on January 19 might seem baffling, but a grounding in smaller bikes is the foundation of brilliant riding. And there's no shortage of bikes to choose...

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  • Know your bike's oil consumption

    10 December 2010 by MCN

    Know your bike's oil consumption

    Just because a bike uses oil doesn’t necessarily mean that it has a problem. For a long time now, bike makers have designed engines with under piston oil feeds. These are there to cool down the piston...

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  • Shoei XR1100 wind noise

    31 May 2013 by Paul Smith

    I ride a Yamaha FZ6 which I have had for approx 4 years, during that time I had a Nolan Intergrale. Never once did I think about wearing earplugs with this helmet. I then booked a track day for later in the year and found I needed an helmet with the appropriate certification. I bought a Shoei XR1100 from Hein Gericke in Leicester, who were very good with fitting and care of my new helmet. The...

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  • Best tyres for a Yamaha R6

    26 November 2012 by MCN

    Best tyres for a Yamaha R6

    Q. I have been running Dunlops on my Yamaha R6 and didn’t get on very well with them. I did start looking at Pirelli Diablos or Metzelers, then someone suggested Michelin 2CTs… Plumbus, MCN Forums A.

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  • How to change a front sprocket

    26 November 2012 by MCN

    How to change a front sprocket

    Q. I want to raise the gearing on my 1997 Bandit 600 by changing the front sprocket. What's the best way of getting it off and torqueing it back up correctly again? vmcpakmcn, MCN forums A. Such a...

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  • My Honda VFR750 won’t rev past 6000rpm

    26 November 2012 by MCN

    My Honda VFR750 won’t rev past 6000rpm

    Q. My Honda VFR750FR revs and runs well in the first four gears, but struggles in fifth and sixth to get past 6000pm. It also backfires – especially at low revs. I've changed the fuel filters and air...

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  • Best suspension upgrade for a GSX-R750?

    24 September 2012 by MCN

    Best suspension upgrade for a GSX-R750?

    Q. My GSX-R750 K2 is now 10 years old (obviously!) and has nearly 35,000 on the clock. Everything I read about 'suspension' says it will need replacing or refreshing after about 16,000 miles, so I can...

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  • Best tyres for a Kawasaki ZZR1400

    24 September 2012 by MCN

    Best tyres for a Kawasaki ZZR1400

    Q. I am currently using Avon Storm 2 Ultras on my Kawasaki ZZR1400 but fancy trying Bridgestones what should I try, BT023 or S20s? I’m not a track day loon but I like to get a move on. But I want them...

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  • How do I clean my radiator?

    21 September 2012 by MCN

    How do I clean my radiator?

    Q. Is there a product or a process to clean aluminium radiators and oil coolers? You could eat your dinner off the rest of my bike but these get covered in crap and corrosion. It can't be good for...

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  • Can I put different sized tyres on my rim?

    21 September 2012 by MCN

    Can I put different sized tyres on my rim?

    Q. I have a bike with stupid tyre sizes - 100/90 x 19 front and 130/80 x 17 rear. I'm looking at the possibility of sticking different tyre sizes on the same rims. I've done this before but what I...

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  • Are aftermarket throttle grips any good?

    21 September 2012 by MCN

    Are aftermarket throttle grips any good?

    Q. Riding home tonight I was aware of a slight twinge in my throttle hand (nothing major) which set me wondering about my grips and the angle of the clip-ons. It feels like I was gripping (not...

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  • How to secure your new bike

    21 September 2012 by MCN

    How to secure your new bike

    Q. I'll be getting my first bike next week, a 2010 Kawasaki ER-6F and I'm trying to work out what kind of security mechanisms to get. The bike will be kept overnight in a locked compound (I live in a...

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  • Why is my GS750 hissing?

    05 September 2012 by MCN

    Why is my GS750 hissing?

    Q. I have an old Suzuki GS750 and it’s running very sweetly since I cleaned and synced the carbs, but it's just developed a bit of a hissing sound (in time with the engine) from the front of the...

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  • Does my Honda Hornet have a radiator fan?

    05 September 2012 by MCN

    Does my Honda Hornet have a radiator fan?

    Q. I'm wondering if my Honda Hornet 600 has a radiator fan. When I went on the recent Plymouth Megaride with 4000 bikes my bike was right up in the red on the temperature gauge. I had to keep turning...

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  • How do I tell my SV’s bearing are shot?

    05 September 2012 by MCN

    How do I tell my SV’s bearing are shot?

    Q. My 10-year-old SV650 is coming up to new tyre time and I was told to watch out for wheel bearing seals and spacers with high mileage bikes. The thing is, I don't actually know what I'm looking for...

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  • Will a loud horn cause MoT failure?

    05 September 2012 by MCN

    Will a loud horn cause MoT failure?

    Q. I am just wondering if there are any MoT or legal issues with a Steibel Nautilus horn that pumps out 139 decibels? My existing horn is fading slightly and I lost count of just how many people...

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  • Best tyres for a Kawasaki ZXR400?

    29 August 2012

    Best tyres for a Kawasaki ZXR400?

    With my 1991 ZXR400 weighing the same/slightly more than a modern 600 sports bike what rubber should I buy next? I use the bike every day as it is my only form of transport. So is there something that...

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  • Drop-down visors: are they any good?

    29 August 2012

    Drop-down visors: are they any good?

    What are your thoughts on internal drop-down sun visors? Are they worth having? Debthehog, MCN forums The only downsides to them are that a few can become loose and rattle inside your helmet or drop...

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  • ZZR1100 clutch has given up!

    29 August 2012

    ZZR1100 clutch has given up!

    I seem to have a major problem. After riding my Kawasaki ZZR1100 to work on a dairy farm I came back to it after milking to find that the clutch was completely unusable. The lever is solid and when I...

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  • Why’s my Gixer overheating?

    29 August 2012

    Why’s my Gixer overheating?

    My 1997 Suzuki GSX-R600 is overheating. After a 45-minute ride the temperature had risen to around 125°C. Since then I have had the radiator drained, flushed and filled with new coolant. I have had...

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  • Best tyres for a BMW S1000RR?

    24 August 2012

    Best tyres for a BMW S1000RR?

    I currently own a 2010 BMW S1000RR and will need to change the tyres soon. It has the stock Conti Sport Attacks at the moment, I am not too concerned about mileage as I use the bike socially when I...

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  • Suzuki Intruder won’t start up properly

    24 August 2012

    Suzuki Intruder won’t start up properly

    My Suzuki Intruder 1500 has a starting problem, sometimes it starts fine, but about 50% of the time it will turn over really slowly and not start. I have adjusted the decompressor cables, fitted a new...

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  • Why won’t my TL1000S fuel properly?

    23 August 2012

    Why won’t my TL1000S fuel properly?

    I have no fuel going into the cylinders of my Suzuki TL1000S. The ignition system is normal and the fuel relay kicks in, so the fuel pump in the tank working and fuel reaches the injector rail. The...

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  • Best track tyres for a Honda Fireblade

    08 August 2012 by MCN

    Best track tyres for a Honda Fireblade

    Q. I’m on my third track day using Bridgestone 016s on a Fireblade. I set the pressures at standard road pressure minus 2psi front and rear. But at the end of the day my tyres looked like I'd been...

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  • Kawasaki ZZR notchy steering solution?

    08 August 2012 by MCN

    Kawasaki ZZR notchy steering solution?

    Q. The steering on my Kawasaki ZZR1200 has gone all notchy. Is it worth changing them to tapered roller bearings? Vince Taylor, email A. In fact Kawasaki used to have taper roller bearings fitted to...

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  • Getting feel back in Fireblade’s lever

    08 August 2012 by MCN

    Getting feel back in Fireblade’s lever

    Q. I have replaced the original brake lines on my 2008 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade as they were feeling 'baggy' on a long, fast ride, but I can't get the lever to firm up now. If I tie the lever in...

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  • How to remove sheared spark plug

    08 August 2012

    How to remove sheared spark plug

    Q. I have managed to shear off a new spark plug from my 2005 Suzuki GSX-R1000. What are my options for getting it out? Oz Stephens, email A. You may well have to lift the cylinder head to get at it,...

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  • Best sports-touring tyres for an R1100RT

    30 July 2012 by MCN

    Best sports-touring tyres for an R1100RT

    Q. I am looking for sport touring tyres for a 1996 BMW R1100RT which has a rear size of 160/60 ZR 18. I’m rather taken by Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact that was recently tested. John Hagger, email...

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  • Why is my ZZR600 cutting out?

    30 July 2012 by MCN

    Why is my ZZR600 cutting out?

    Q. My 1992 Kawasaki ZZR600 cuts out in warm weather and won’t turn over with the electric start till it cools down. I can do quite a few miles before it cuts out again. All the ignition lights light...

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  • Why’s my Suzuki Bandit knocking?

    30 July 2012 by MCN

    Why’s my Suzuki Bandit knocking?

    Q. When my Suzuki Bandit 600 is cold or just warming up I can hear a knocking noise like a “tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap”. When the bike warms up it stops. Is this ok or something I should worry...

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  • How can I pep up my BMW R1200GS?

    30 July 2012 by MCN

    How can I pep up my BMW R1200GS?

    Q. I have an old 2004 BMW R1200GS. Recently I had a test ride on the latest model, which was a lot peppier to ride and felt much better for it. Having established that I am too weak-willed to go...

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