New rider

Welcome the the MCN New Rider section, where we'll help you navigate your way from complete biking novice to confident beginner. If you're unsure how to begin your journey onto two wheels, the diagram below is for you.

This process diagram has been designed by TDL-LONDON, an information design consultancy.

  • The route to getting your licence

    13 October 2015 by MCN News

    The route to getting your licence

    The motorcycle licence system in the UK can be confusing and daunting at first, depending on your age and riding experience.  The interactive flow chart here will make your journey to getting...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • Top 125 bikes: Scooters

    18 July 2016 by MCN News

    Top 125 bikes: Scooters

    When it comes to practicality and ease-of-use the scooter is king. A clumsy clutch lever and gears are out, replaced with twist-and-go power and underseat storage for your helmet or shopping. While...

    Read more ...
  • Top 125 bikes: Sportsbikes

    14 July 2016 by MCN News

    Top 125 bikes: Sportsbikes

    Naked bikes are easy to use and practical, but what self-respecting 17-year-old cares about practicality? All that matters at that age is looking fast, which is where our top 125cc sportsbikes come...

    Read more ...
  • Top 125 bikes: Nakeds

    05 July 2016 by MCN News

    Top 125 bikes: Nakeds

    The 125cc market is a huge part of the motorcycle industry. It's not only made up of teenagers at the beginning of their two-wheel journey, but also commuters looking to beat city traffic. Head into...

    Read more ...
  • Video: How to ride a motorcycle in the rain

    24 June 2016 by Ped Baker

    Video: How to ride a motorcycle in the rain

    As you've proabably already noticed, the British summer is quickly turning into another damp squib. The chances of running into a few sharp showers is high and if you're inexperienced in wet weather...

    Read more ...
  • Video: The perfect MOD 2 bike test pass

    17 June 2016 by MCN News

    Video: The perfect MOD 2 bike test pass

    You’ve left your CBT and Motorcycle Theory Test long behind you by now…your Module 1 was only a few weeks ago and you passed with flying colours… NOW comes the  big one. You’re preparing for...

    Read more ...
  • Video: MOD 1 bike test, see how it's done

    10 June 2016 by Ped Baker

    Video: MOD 1 bike test, see how it's done

    You've read the books, done the training and talked to your friends who've been through the convoluted process of passing their bike test but there's no substitute to actually seeing it done. YouTuber...

    Read more ...
  • Herald Rambler 250 first ride

    24 May 2016 by Jon Urry

    Herald Rambler 250 first ride

    Herald describe themselves as a British company that designs, builds and creates stylish, yet simplistic, vintage-themed motorcycles. And there is a refreshing honesty about the way they conduct their...

    Read more ...
  • 125cc best-sellers go back to school

    20 May 2016 by Andy Davidson

    125cc best-sellers go back to school

    You’re looking at the UK’s most important machines – the best sellers. And they’re record breakers for a reason because they’re the new– and urban – riders’ bikes of choice. These are the machines...

    Read more ...
  • A2 licence group test: The light brigade

    15 April 2016 by Adam Child

    A2 licence group test: The light brigade

    Not so long ago, learner bikes were perceived as nondescript, you weren’t part of the club as a newbie. Low-capacity bikes – by which we mean sub-500cc – were shrugged-off by mainstream bikers. I...

    Read more ...
  • Learn new skills with Kawasaki and BikeSafe

    04 March 2016 by MCN News

    Learn new skills with Kawasaki and BikeSafe

    Kawasaki Motors UK and BikeSafe are extending their partnership to continue offering the BikeSafe Off Road Skills courses run by Kawasaki Off Road Experience partners. The course is designed to show...

    Read more ...
  • Coping with extreme cold

    17 December 2015 by Simon and Lisa Thomas

    Coping with extreme cold

    Riding in cold weather can be more dangerous than in hot. As your body redirects your blood to protect vital organs our brains fall into 'emergency-mode' and sensible cognitive thought becomes a...

    Read more ...
  • Video: Protect your bike this winter

    08 December 2015 by MCN News

    Video: Protect your bike this winter

    Once you've got all the thick, horrible winter road grime off your pride and joy you'll need to make sure you protect it, to keep corrosion over the winter months down to a minimum. Follow the steps...

    Read more ...
  • Video: Keep your bike clean this winter

    25 November 2015 by MCN News

    Video: Keep your bike clean this winter

    Winter certainly feels like it's here already, and the roads are already noticeably grimier, which means dirtier bikes, even after a quick ride to the shops. Keeping your bike clean and free of grime...

    Read more ...
  • Stay visible this winter

    03 November 2015 by MCN News

    Stay visible this winter

    The nights are drawing in, and for most people it's now dark on the way home from work. If as a new rider you've never ridden in the dark, it can be quite a daunting prospect, especially if you add in...

    Read more ...
  • A2 licence sportsbike group test

    29 September 2015 by Andy Davidson

    A2 licence sportsbike group test

    Yamaha’s new YZF-R3 has KTM’s RC390 and Kawasaki’s Ninja 300 in its sights. To find out if it has what it takes to be the king of the A2 sportsbikes, we take all three for a thrashing on road and...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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.

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...
  • 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...

    Read more ...