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.

  • Product advice: How to get better Busa bulbs

    13 April 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Product advice: How to get better Busa bulbs

    I have a 1999 Suzuki Hayabusa and I wanted better lighting, so I changed the bulbs for 100 watt. The main beam is now less than useless no matter how I adjust it. It is just a diffused light with no...

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  • Boot review: Alpinestars Tech 2

    08 April 2010 by Ian Jubb

    Boot review: Alpinestars Tech 2

    Alpinestars Tech 2 boots, £159.99 Miles covered/time: 5000/two years What’s good? They might not be exactly the right thing to where on a road bike buy hey, I think they look pretty cool. Save £££s...

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  • Suspension set-up guide for Honda CBR600F

    07 April 2010 by MCN

    Suspension set-up guide for Honda CBR600F

    What suspension settings are best for solo riding on a CBR600F, 2002 model? I weigh 88kg in full riding kit and ride on the road with the odd track day. I also carry a pillion and luggage a couple of...

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  • Suzuki GSX-R750 fuel pump fault

    07 April 2010 by MCN

    Suzuki GSX-R750 fuel pump fault

    Q. At the moment my Suzuki GSX-R750 K3 will rev through to redline without issue in first, but only to 8000rpm in any other gear if I give it a handful. If I feather the throttle as I accelerate I can...

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  • VFR reg/rec fault? It could be your chain

    07 April 2010 by MCN

    VFR reg/rec fault? It could be your chain

    Q. In a recent issue of MCN in the top ten most reliable motorcycle section relating to the Honda VFR800FI, you mention a rectifier problem. I have a 1999 VFR800FI and I have noticed for some time now...

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  • Perfect track day tyre pressures

    29 March 2010 by MCN

    Perfect track day tyre pressures

    Road tyres have to work from the minute they start rolling from the garage, when they are cold, so industry advice is to check the pressures when they are cool. How long they take to become cool after...

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  • How to clean titanium exhaust pipes

    29 March 2010 by MCN

    How to clean titanium exhaust pipes

    Every wondered what the experts say is the best method of cleaning your titanium pipes? Save £££s on motorcycle cleaners Quill exhausts reckon: “Give them a good wipe down with thinners, then spray...

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  • Want to be a suspension expert?

    29 March 2010 by MCN

    Want to be a suspension expert?

    Always found yourself put off by the seemingly black art of suspension adjustment? Or do you sometimes make colossal errors of judgement and screw up your settings because you forgot to take a note of...

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  • The best tyres for a 12-year-old Fireblade

    29 March 2010 by MCN

    The best tyres for a 12-year-old Fireblade

    Q. I own a 1998 Honda CBR900RRW FireBlade which needs new tyres. Which would be best for road riding and one or two trackdays in the novice group, as my first ever track day is at Croft in May? Kurt...

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  • Am I adjusting my chain too often?

    23 March 2010 by MCN

    Am I adjusting my chain too often?

    jon66: At the end of January I replaced my chain and put new sprockets on at the same time. I've done around 1200 miles since then, but I'm finding that the chain needs adjustment about every second...

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  • Are my R1's stock tyres good for track days?

    23 March 2010 by MCN

    Are my R1's stock tyres good for track days?

    Q. I’ve recently bought a 2009 Yamaha R1 which came fitted with Dunlop Sportmax D210 tyres. Could you tell me if they are any good? Save cash on motorcycle tyres I mainly ride on the road, but do the...

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  • What difference do bar-risers make?

    23 March 2010 by MCN

    What difference do bar-risers make?

    Q. I wonder if you might know the answer or could advise me on this? I have a new ZZR1400 and I asked the dealer to fit Genmar bar risers which raise the bar position by 25mm and back by 16mm. Instead...

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  • Has my alarm killed my R1?

    23 March 2010 by MCN

    Has my alarm killed my R1?

    Q. I put my regularly used 2004 Yamaha R1 away for a night and now it has decided not to fire up. 48 hours after I stopped it the alarm went off for no apparent reason, and after I’d turned the...

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  • Will a new air filter cure carb icing?

    16 March 2010 by MCN

    Will a new air filter cure carb icing?

    Q. I have had no problems with my 2005 Suzuki GSF650 Bandit until the weather turned before Christmas. Since then on cold days the bike starts fine, but then after about five minutes of riding the...

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  • Why won't my headlights turn on?

    16 March 2010 by MCN

    Why won't my headlights turn on?

    Fastasfox: I have a 2003 ZX-6R and I can't get the headlights on. The lights should turn on when the engine is fired up and I have looked at the bulbs, connections, new battery (on a battery...

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  • Pirelli Angel ST: "planted and smooth"

    16 March 2010 by MCN

    Pirelli Angel ST: "planted and smooth"

    Q. I'm thinking of fitting Pirelli Angel ST touring tyres to my Suzuki 1250 Bandit. How good are they? davegsxr1000, MCN tyre forum Save £££s on motorcycle tyres A. A Speed Triple rider on the forum...

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  • Best boots for all-day use?

    16 March 2010 by MCN

    Best boots for all-day use?

    Q. I was just wondering if you could advise me on motorcycle boots as I am looking to find a pair I can use on and off the bike as I go about my daily business. Save cash on motorcycle boots So far I...

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  • Yamaha XJR1300 oil cooler conundrum

    09 March 2010 by MCN

    Yamaha XJR1300 oil cooler conundrum

    Q. Can you tell me if the oil cooler pipes and hoses from a 99-01 Yamaha XJR1300 will fit a 2002 model? Save £££s on motorcycle products Mine are leaking from the hose and I've managed to locate some...

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  • Best tyres for a Ducati 999

    09 March 2010 by MCN

    Best tyres for a Ducati 999

    Q. I have a new (grey import and been in a case for six years) Ducati 999 which I bought in 09. I am going to do a few track days on it this year but most of my riding will be on roads where I am...

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  • Best tyres for a 2000 Triumph Sprint ST 955i

    09 March 2010 by MCN

    Best tyres for a 2000 Triumph Sprint ST 955i

    Q. I ride a 2000 Triumph Sprint ST 955i and can't afford to change it, so I have lowered the gearing to give it a bit more stomp. It's a great bike but I would like it to steer a bit quicker with some...

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  • Where can I get cheap RSV brakes discs?

    09 March 2010 by MCN

    Where can I get cheap RSV brakes discs?

    Q. I need some new front discs for my 2003 Aprilia RSV1000 and I've been quoted about £400 for a pair (fitted), which seems steep to me. Save cash on motorcycle products Have I got any other...

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  • How do I combat fork lacquer 'worming'?

    02 March 2010 by MCN

    How do I combat fork lacquer 'worming'?

    Kellyt: My Triumph Speedmaster suffers with lacquer 'worming' problems on the lower forks, top yoke and risers. They have been changed five times under warranty but the worming keeps coming back, the...

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  • Best RS250 tyres for road and track

    02 March 2010 by MCN

    Best RS250 tyres for road and track

    A. I am replacing my tyres on an Aprilia RS250. My thoughts so far are Bridgestone BT090s, BT-003RS or Dunlop SP GPR Alpha 10s? Save cash on motorcycle tyres Looking on the Bridgestone website shows...

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  • Are my exhausts making my bike run badly?

    02 March 2010 by MCN

    Are my exhausts making my bike run badly?

    Q. I've recently traded in my old bike for a Ducati 748R. Unfortunately it seems to have a flat spot as soon as you crack the throttle open, and appears to be running very rich. Save cash on...

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  • Golden rules for helmet painting

    02 March 2010 by MCN

    Golden rules for helmet painting

    Q. I want to get my fiberglass crash helmet painted to match my bike. What do I have to look out for to make sure it will still keep my bonce intact if I do take a tumble? Michael Acton, Plymouth...

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  • Fab motorcycle goggles

    24 February 2010 by Jim Forkin

    I needed a pair of glasses that could be multi-function; sun-glasses, regular prescription and most importantly comfortable. I purhcased a pair of Davida WRS74 Goggles and I have to say for just under £120 they are fantastic, comfortable and great with an open face helmet.

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  • How to set up your bike, the Ron Haslam way

    23 February 2010 by MCN

    How to set up your bike, the Ron Haslam way

    Road race ace Ron Haslam’s years of experience of tracks and public-road circuits have taught him something that’s a mystery to most of us – how to set up a bike. Suspension changes are the only...

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  • Best tyres for a Triumph Speed Triple

    23 February 2010 by MCN

    Best tyres for a Triumph Speed Triple

    Q. I’ve just bought a new Triumph Speed Triple for very spirited riding on the roads (well, it’s what it was built for!) and for fast group track days. Save £££s on motorcycle tyres As I bought...

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  • Brake disc rivets explained

    23 February 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Brake disc rivets explained

    Q. I recently read your advice column in MCN on floating discs from an Andrew Carroll (MCN, November 25) and was wondering, should the rivets on my discs rotate freely on my Aprilia RS250 because at...

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  • New rider: questions to ask a seller

    19 February 2010 by MCN

    New rider: questions to ask a seller

    When you’re buying a new bike it’s easy to get carried away with the occasion and just rush to swing your leg over and get riding  But before you hand over the cash for those lovely keys, there...

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  • New rider: what to look for in a test ride

    19 February 2010 by MCN

    New rider: what to look for in a test ride

    If you’re looking at a bike to buy and you’ve given it a good once over, ask for a ride. You may have to leave the asking price in cash, or your family, or both. At the very least you should get a...

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