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.

  • Where can I buy an Ace Café jacket?

    15 February 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Where can I buy an Ace Café jacket?

    Q. I have lost the MCN edition from last year that had the advert for the Ace Café leather jackets in. Save £££s on motorcycle jackets Can you help me? I would like the address or email address to...

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  • Product advice: Is my tyre contaminated?

    15 February 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Product advice: Is my tyre contaminated?

    The rear tyre on my freshly-cleaned ZX-10 let go before I got to the end of my road, sending me and the bike sliding along on our sides. I can only think that the tyre must have had WD-40 or bike...

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  • How much oil should my new bike use?

    10 February 2010 by MCN

    How much oil should my new bike use?

    It is not unusual for bikes to use a litre of oil per 1000 miles. Oil consumption is determined by a variety of factors, and the one the rider has the most control over is the running in. If it is run...

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  • How can I get a spare ignition key?

    09 February 2010 by MCN

    How can I get a spare ignition key?

    Q. I've bought a good condition 2005 Yamaha TDM900 from a dealer 200 miles away. But it was only after it was delivered that I realised I should have had three keys, a code key and two ignition keys,...

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  • Why's my exhaust header pipe glowing?

    09 February 2010 by MCN

    Why's my exhaust header pipe glowing?

    Q. I have an N-reg Kawasaki GPz500 which is restricted at the moment. I noticed that as it was warming up the other night, the right hand exhaust header pipe was glowing red but the left side...

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  • Best tyres for riding to a track day?

    09 February 2010 by MCN

    Best tyres for riding to a track day?

    Q. I've just bought a 2000 ZX-9R for track days. Save £££s on motorcycle tyres However I have to ride to the track so I need some advice on suitable tyre options? Ollie, MCN Tyre forum A.

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  • How to adjust your chain properly

    05 February 2010 by Marc Abbott

    How to adjust your chain properly

    The first thing you've got to get right is the alignment. Check that by measuring the distance from swingarm to wheel on both sides. You can also put a straight edge against the rear tyre like a...

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  • How to get your kids started early

    05 February 2010 by Marc Abbott

    How to get your kids started early

    There are a handful of projects running around the country that give youngsters a taste of two wheels.   There’s an off-road school called the Geoff Mayes’ MX try-out (01379-852452) which...

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  • How to set up a Blade exhaust valve

    01 February 2010 by MCN

    How to set up a Blade exhaust valve

    Q. I’m having problems setting up the exhaust valve on my 2003 Blade. Save money on motorcycle exhausts With the ignition on, the index mark on the control valve is not aligning with the horizontal...

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  • Winter riding: keep your distance

    29 January 2010 by MCN

    Winter riding: keep your distance

    If you’re riding through your first winter, one thing that often gets forgotten is the need to leave more space between you and the vehicle in front. If your ABS-equipped car is the only experience...

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  • Best tyre for a 1250 Bandit

    27 January 2010 by MCN

    Best tyre for a 1250 Bandit

    Q. I’ve got a 2009 Suzuki GSF1250 GT and after 3500 miles I need a new rear tyre to replace the OE Dunlop D218N 180/55 V17. I spend 80% of the time touring, and 20% over the Dales. Save money on...

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  • Can I mix tyres on my VFR750?

    27 January 2010 by MCN

    Can I mix tyres on my VFR750?

    Q. I ride a 1997 VFR750, a superb bike. On the front I have a perfect Bridgestone Battlax BT56 with lots of tread left. Save £££s on motorcycle tyres My question is, can I replace the worn out BT57...

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  • How to change a Ducati 998 fuel filter

    27 January 2010 by MCN

    How to change a Ducati 998 fuel filter

    Q. I want to change the fuel filter on my Ducati 998, which sits inside the fuel tank along with the fuel pump, but I've heard that refitting the pump assembly and the attendant rubber seal is a...

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  • Will my 525 chain fit on a 520 sprocket?

    27 January 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Will my 525 chain fit on a 520 sprocket?

    Q. I’ve just bought a 15-tooth front sprocket for my GSX-R600. I bought it off eBay and it was advertised to fit a 525 chain, which I have. Save cash on chains and sprockets It came yesterday and...

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  • How to plan your first ride on a sports bike

    21 January 2010 by Marc Abbott

    How to plan your first ride on a sports bike

    You've passed your test, bought the kit and blown all your hard-earned on your dream bike. Now it's time to go for your very first ride. And that needs preparation. If you passed your test by the...

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  • Where can I get exhaust packing material?

    19 January 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Where can I get exhaust packing material?

    Q. I have extracted the pipe baffles out of the tail pipe of a Suzuki TS250L and noticed the wadding has completely disappeared. Save cash on motorcycle exhausts Can anyone recommend a suitable...

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  • Why is my Firestorm exhaust 'pinging'?

    19 January 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Why is my Firestorm exhaust 'pinging'?

    Q. I have had my Honda VTR1000 for a season now and it started pinging after just a few months of use. I have all the original parts except that famous baffle removal thing that really enhances the...

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  • Best tyre for a Triumph Daytona 675

    19 January 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Best tyre for a Triumph Daytona 675

    Q. I would like some advice on the best tyre for a 2009 Triumph Daytona 675. It currently has Pirelli Supercorsas but they are not very practical if it rains. Can you advise on a suitable tyre for...

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  • Block your exhaust over winter

    15 January 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Block your exhaust over winter

    Multi-cylinder bikes will always have one set of valves open when they are stopped. If you’re storing your bike over the colder months, to stop moisture creeping up the exhaust into the combustion...

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  • Look after your fuel this winter

    15 January 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Look after your fuel this winter

    If it’s your first winter since you passed your test, and you’ve laid your bike up until the spring, you want to be doubly sure your fuel won’t deteriorate. To do this, brim the tank to stop...

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  • How to de-restrict a Suzuki VX800

    12 January 2010 by Chris Dabbs

    How to de-restrict a Suzuki VX800

    Q. I have a Suzuki VX800 that pulls cleanly up to 80mph with no problem, but then seems to run into a brick wall. Save money on motorcycle products I think it could be restricted as it was brought to...

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  • How to avoid pins and needles

    12 January 2010 by MCN

    How to avoid pins and needles

    DeepSeaBiker: My friend complains of pins and needles and numb wrists from riding his 2005 GSX-R600 and he is thinking about selling his bike because of this. jaffa90: It could be the wrong angle on...

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  • Best tyres for a Suzuki GSX-R600 SRAD

    12 January 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Best tyres for a Suzuki GSX-R600 SRAD

    Q. What are the best tyres to use on a Suzuki GSX-R600 SRAD? My Pirelli Dragon Supercorsas need replacing in time for the first sunny day of next year. Save money on motorcycle tyres I got 5000 miles...

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  • Shifting corroded nuts and bolts

    12 January 2010 by Marc Abbott

    Shifting corroded nuts and bolts

    Q. I want to replace the standard exhaust system on my 34,000-mile Kawasaki ZX-9R with an aftermarket system, but all the fixing nuts and bolts are corroded solid. Save cash on motorcycle products I...

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