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.

  • How to tune your bike

    08 January 2010 by Chris Dabbs

    How to tune your bike

    If you've had your new bike for a while and you want to start 'tuning' it, one of the simplest ways is to alter the gearing by changing the front/rear sprockets. If you lower the gearing that will...

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  • If you could only carry one thing...

    07 January 2010 by Marc Abbott

    If you could only carry one thing...

    If you could only carry one accessory or gadget with you while riding in the current snowy weather, what would it be? Save £££s on motorcycle products A V2 visor sponge for constantly clearing salty...

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  • Tyre advice: Tyres for 18-inch wheels

    05 January 2010 by MCN

    Tyre advice: Tyres for 18-inch wheels

    Q. I have just bought a 1984 Ducati Pantah 500 and its existing tyres are a pair of very old Metzelers. Save cash on motorcycle tyres With 18-inch wheels front and rear I suspect my choice is limited...

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  • Tyre advice: 16.5inch wheels for road bikes

    03 January 2010 by Chris Dabbs

    Tyre advice: 16.5inch wheels for road bikes

    Q. I have been offered a set of 16.5in Dymags for the right money for my GSX-R1000 K5. Getting race tyres is not a problem and I can get treads cut in them. I thought I heard a rumour about tyre...

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  • How to corner with confidence - part 5

    31 December 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    How to corner with confidence - part 5

    Here's the final key to supreme cornering, the final part of our five-section guide ­ accelerating out of the bend. STAGE FIVE Accelerate: You've leant the bike into the corner with a smooth,...

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  • Kit review: Arai SZ Ram

    31 December 2009 by Simon Relph

    Kit review: Arai SZ Ram

    Arai SZ Ram 111, £324.99 (from £299.99 on MCN shop) Tester: Simon Relph Miles covered/time: 2800/Nine months What’s good? The SZ Ram 111 is the update to my old SZ/F which has unfortunately passed...

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  • Kit Review: Dannisport X2 Racer leathers, £399

    31 December 2009 by Samuel Pinney

    Kit Review: Dannisport X2 Racer leathers, £399

    Dannisport X2 Racer leathers, £399 Tester: Samuel Pinney Miles covered/time: 1000/one month What’s good? I tested them on the Reclaim Wales protest rally, so I wore them constantly between 7am and...

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  • New rider: How to ride in a snowstorm

    31 December 2009 by Marc Abbott

    New rider: How to ride in a snowstorm

    If the roads are white with snow you are best off leaving the bike at home. But if you get caught out by a sudden weather change and you've no choice, here are some tips to keep you rubber side...

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  • Could my exhaust fail an MoT for noise?

    23 December 2009 by Marc Abbott

    Could my exhaust fail an MoT for noise?

    Q. I've been finding it difficult to find out what the current law is regarding motorcycle noise levels. Can you help? Save £££s on motorcycle exhausts My MoT test centre told me it is now 'lax' and...

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  • How to cure a ZZR1100 wheel wobble

    23 December 2009 by MCN

    How to cure a ZZR1100 wheel wobble

    Beaconsman: I¹ve been fixing up my ZZR11 on a tight budget this year and I have an issue with the rear wheel. The bearings are OK, but when assembled, the sprocket and cush drive move quite a lot. A...

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  • Best tyres for a Suzuki Hayabusa

    23 December 2009 by Marc Abbott

    Best tyres for a Suzuki Hayabusa

    Q. I've owned a 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa from new and I've been using Michelin Pilot Sport HPXs which were great. When I was in France in the summer I got a puncture in the rear so I got a Suzuki dealer...

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  • New rider: corner with confidence, part two

    18 December 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    New rider: corner with confidence, part two

    Now you've read the road ahead to get a good idea of what's in store, it's time to get yourself in the correct position to tackle it. STAGE TWO Position: This is making sure that you have moved...

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  • New rider: corner with confidence, part one

    17 December 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    New rider: corner with confidence, part one

    Cornering with confidence is one of the great joys of riding a bike. Setting yourself up for the bend, picking your moment to lean the bike into the turn, then powering out smoothly and progressively...

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  • What's the best tyre for year-round riding?

    16 December 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    What's the best tyre for year-round riding?

    Q. As I commute through winter on my bike, I'm interested in fitting a rear tyre that will cope with all the rain, slush and snow and still give decent grip when the weather is fine. I've got the OE...

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  • What's the best track day rubber?

    16 December 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    What's the best track day rubber?

    Q. I'm gearing up for next year's track days already and I'm looking for some fresh rubber. I've used Pirelli Super Corsa Pros but my supplier is suggesting the Bridgestone 003s which are cheaper too.

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  • Benefits of changing brakes lines

    16 December 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    Benefits of changing brakes lines

    Q. When I replace the brake lines on my Yamaha FJR1300 is there any benefit (apart from cost) in braking function or performance to change the set-up from a single line splitting with a Y-piece into...

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  • New rider: How to perform a U-turn

    10 December 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    New rider: How to perform a U-turn

    A U-turn is the real-life use of all those slow speed skills you have built up by practicing in deserted car parks and on your riding course. It's also one of the most common fails during the test,...

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  • Can't see anything

    10 December 2009 by committed

    I once had a 2 day green laning adventure in the Welsh mountains in snow. I had absolutely no problem keeping warm because of the amount of work I had to do to stay on the bike, but my goggles kept steaming up. When you ride slower your breath has more effect upon what happens to the inside of your helmet. So I smear a small amount washing up liquid onto the inside of my visor if I'm anticipating...

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  • New rider: How to filter safely

    10 December 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    New rider: How to filter safely

    There's a great deal of pleasure to be had from filtering past hundreds of frustrated car and lorry drivers. You are in charge of your own destiny and over time you are saving days of your life to do...

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  • How to claim against a rubbish training centre

    10 December 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    How to claim against a rubbish training centre

    The vast majority of training firms out there give great service to trainee riders, but there are always a few who fall down, maybe by adding on extra charges buried in the small print or lending you...

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  • Tyre advice: Tyres for longevity

    08 December 2009 by MCN

    Tyre advice: Tyres for longevity

    Q. I need to replace the Bridgestone BT-021 on my Honda VFR800 VTEC. I ride all year and in all conditions but I'm not bothered too much about out-and-out grip ­ more about mileage. What would you...

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  • How to stop your padlocks frosting up

    08 December 2009 by MCN

    How to stop your padlocks frosting up

    Ginnelli: Hi. What is the best way to prevent padlocks from freezing up? Last year I had matching padlocks on my garage door and back gate. When I went to open the gate the key just snapped clean in...

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  • How to tell if your tyres are past it

    08 December 2009 by Marc Abbott

    How to tell if your tyres are past it

    Q. My Honda CBR400RR has had the same tyres on it for at least three years, possibly even longer than that. I have Bridgestone Battlax front and rear and they have more than enough tread to see me...

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  • Vapour blasting, the easy way

    08 December 2009 by Simon Relph

    Vapour blasting, the easy way

    I recently bought a Bultaco Sherpa T, my dream bike. But because it was in quite tatty condition I had the opportunity to add a few personal touches, like paint. I decided the colourscheme would be...

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  • MCN stocking fillers: Bike Havoc DVD

    07 December 2009 by Marc Abbott

    MCN stocking fillers: Bike Havoc DVD

    This DVD features over 160 crashes with action from various on and off-road bikesports including GPs, drag racing, the Le Touquet and Southport beach races, trials and the Paris Dakar rally.

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  • How to touch up paint on the cheap

    03 December 2009 by MCN

    How to touch up paint on the cheap

    If you are unlucky enough to damage your bike's paintwork it can sometimes be pretty hard to get hold of the paint from the dealer network to carry out the repairs yourself. But there are two...

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  • How to avoid being dazzled by the sun

    03 December 2009 by Marc Abbott

    How to avoid being dazzled by the sun

    At this time of year with the sun low in the sky it's all too easy to be dazzled unexpectedly, but there's not enough biright sunlight around to justify a dark visor. An easy temporary fix is to put a...

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  • Just £45 for expert suspension set-up!

    02 December 2009 by Mykel Nicolaou

    Just £45 for expert suspension set-up!

    MCN's Mykel Nicolaou recently took a trip to Harris Performance to sort out his ill-handling Monster. Save £££s on motorcycle suspension parts What he found was surprising, but nowhere near as...

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