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.

  • Suspension fix for a 2004 Yamaha Fazer 1000

    20 September 2011 by MCN

    Suspension fix for a 2004 Yamaha Fazer 1000

    Q. This is my second Fazer 1000, an ’04 model after several Blades and R1s. Ticking nearly all of the boxes: performance (Akrapovic system) and practicality aswell as all-day comfort, the glaring...

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  • Best all-round tyres for a KTM Superduke

    08 September 2011 by Marc Abbott

    Best all-round tyres for a KTM Superduke

    I have a KTM Superduke and need to replace both tyres. I ride quite hard so need something that inspires confidence, but often get caught out in the wet, so need something that doesn’t slide all over...

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  • Kawasaki ER-5 keeps stalling

    08 September 2011 by MCN

    Kawasaki ER-5 keeps stalling

    I have a 2002 Kawasaki ER-5, the engine starts and runs perfectly, but as soon as you put it in gear and start to release the clutch the bike will stall, no matter how high the revs are. It's not the...

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  • Honda Hornet 600's surprise backfire

    08 September 2011 by MCN

    Honda Hornet 600's surprise backfire

    Yesterday, when I went to start up my 1998 Honda Hornet 600, I got a massive backfire. It’s never happened before and I’m wondering if it’s anything to worry about (damaging valves, etc)? The bike ran...

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  • Triumph Sprint ST downchange problem

    08 September 2011 by MCN

    Triumph Sprint ST downchange problem

    I bought a new Triumph Sprint ST a year ago. Right from the start, I have had problems getting a smooth, slick downchange, especially from fourth to third to second and first. Occasionally I get it...

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  • Best tyres for a Honda CBR600RR

    30 August 2011 by MCN

    Best tyres for a Honda CBR600RR

    Q. I have just bought a Honda CBR600RR and the rear tyre’s just about squared off. It’s got a BT-015R on, would there be anything better for fast road riding? Or should I keep to the same type of...

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  • How to extract a bar end weight screw

    30 August 2011 by MCN

    How to extract a bar end weight screw

    Q. I have a bar end weight screw stuck in the end of the bar after the bar end snapped off. There isn’t much sticking out to get a grip of, so I’m going to have a go at drilling it out, but are there...

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  • Why are my bulbs blowing?

    30 August 2011 by MCN

    Why are my bulbs blowing?

    Q. I replaced a bulb for the speedo on my, but when I was on my way home from work late this evening I accelerated hard to overtake a car on the slip road and join the motorway, and shortly after my...

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  • Yamaha YBR125 clutch problem

    30 August 2011 by MCN

    Yamaha YBR125 clutch problem

    Q. Just recently my YBR125 has started mucking around when it comes to shifting up from first to second. It will eventually go into gear, but only after several de-clutchings and an embarrassing 30...

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  • Why are my Aprilia Mille's tyres deflating?

    09 August 2011 by MCN

    Why are my Aprilia Mille's tyres deflating?

    Q. I have bought a 2002 Aprilia Mille that is having tyre problems – they’re deflating for no reason. I have put new tyres and valves on and the problem is still there. Motorcycle tyres for sale. The...

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  • Honda VFR800's header pipe snapped

    09 August 2011 by MCN

    Honda VFR800's header pipe snapped

    Q. I have a Honda VFR800FI, a 1998 model. The front header pipe has snapped right at the point it joins to the cylinder head so I've had to invest in the whole downpipe collector unit. I've never had...

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  • Suzuki Bandit 600 is misfiring

    09 August 2011 by MCN

    Suzuki Bandit 600 is misfiring

    Q. I’ve recently bought a mint condition 2002 Suzuki Bandit 600 with 8000 miles on it. While riding home I noticed when slowing down for junctions that when I reopen the throttle the bike misses...

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  • Is Honda CG125 chain over-tight?

    09 August 2011 by MCN

    Is Honda CG125 chain over-tight?

    Q. When I spin the back tyre of my Honda CG125 in neutral I can hear a rumble and sometimes when I change down gears and don’t blip the throttle to match engine speed I get a “clanking” noise like the...

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  • Best retro helmet for less than £200

    04 August 2011 by MCN

    Best retro helmet for less than £200

    Q. I'm looking for an open-face helmet to wear on a Triumph Bonneville and I've about £200 to spend (although I'd rather spend less!). Cheap motorcycle helmets for sale. What are my options? Martin...

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  • Best tyres for 25-year-old Sportster

    04 August 2011 by MCN

    Best tyres for 25-year-old Sportster

    Q. I have a 1986 Harley Sportster 1100XLH, currently fitted with an Avon Venom-X MT90B16 on the rear (half-inch chicken strips) and a Dunlop Roadmaster TT100 4.10H19 61H at thefront (worn to the...

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  • Why's my FZ1 rear brake useless?

    04 August 2011 by MCN

    Why's my FZ1 rear brake useless?

    Q. The rear brake on my Yamaha FZ1 is useless. I told my local Yamaha dealer when they had it for its 12,000-mile service and afterwards they said it was OK. They said the pads looked almost new (they...

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  • What's holding my tyre to the rim?

    25 July 2011 by MCN

    What's holding my tyre to the rim?

    Q. Why does the rear wheel of a motorcycle not spin within the tyre? A great emphasis is placed on maximising tyre grip against the road surface, so why do the wheels not spin inside the tyre - the...

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  • Perfect tyre for a BMW K1200RS

    20 July 2011 by MCN

    Perfect tyre for a BMW K1200RS

    Q. I've come to the end of the road with the current tyres on my trusty '01 BMW K1200RS (Front Avon Azaro 120/70ZR17, Rear Avon 'Storm' AV56 180/55ZR17) and need a little guidance. My annual mileage...

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  • How do I get exhaust bolts out?

    20 July 2011 by MCN

    How do I get exhaust bolts out?

    Q. What’s the best method of getting exhaust bolts out? I have two Allen head studs and the heads inside are rounded off. mjhammer92, MCN forums A. If you can get to them OK then you can hammer a Torx...

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  • Can I buy a 190-section Bridgestone BT021?

    13 July 2011 by MCN

    Can I buy a 190-section Bridgestone BT021?

    Q. I have a VFR1200 2010 model it has Bridgestone BT021 190/55ZR17 rear and BT021 120/70ZR front I wanted to know if I could put Bridgestone BT023 or BT023 GT as my friends are running them on their...

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  • Why is my Honda CBR125R losing power?

    13 July 2011 by MCN

    Why is my Honda CBR125R losing power?

    Q. I have a 2005 Honda CBR125R and often have a problem with it when opening the throttle on a uphill stretch of road. It happened a few times before, so I removed and totally cleaned the carb and...

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  • Why does my Triumph TT600 cut out?

    13 July 2011 by MCN

    Why does my Triumph TT600 cut out?

    Q. I have a 2002 Triumph TT600 with 20,000 miles on the clock. I'm having intermittent issues with it cutting out. The bike will start fine to begin with, but cuts out mid-ride. When it does this the...

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  • Sticky rubber upgrade for Honda CBR600RR

    04 July 2011 by MCN

    Sticky rubber upgrade for Honda CBR600RR

    Q. I have just bought a 2007 Honda CBR600RR and the rear Bridgestone BT-015R is just about squared off. Cheap motorcycle tyres for sale. Would there be anything better for fast road riding, or should...

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  • Sticky BMW K75RT throttle grip

    04 July 2011 by MCN

    Sticky BMW K75RT throttle grip

    Q. I currently own a 1992 BMW K75RT. It has just failed its MoT on one single point. The throttle grip does not return to tickover when released. I have taken the handlebar mechanism apart and it is...

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  • How to inflate your tyres

    27 June 2011 by MCN

    How to inflate your tyres

    Q. I have only had one issue with my Bandit GSF650, and that is pumping the tyres up to correct level. Petrol stations compressors have that long steel nozzle, which is OK for cars, but the angle to...

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  • Why is my Hornet's front end squeaking?

    27 June 2011 by MCN

    Why is my Hornet's front end squeaking?

    Q. I have just upgraded from my trusty CBR125 to a 2004 Hornet 600, in very good conditionjust under 11,000 miles and a brilliant bike in itself. I have just had a new tyre and pads put on the front,...

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  • Cure for GS's flashing ABS lights

    27 June 2011 by MCN

    Cure for GS's flashing ABS lights

    Q. My BMW R1150GS has ABS – as soon as the bike starts to move I could hear the noise of the ABS engaging and at the same time two simultaneously flashing red lights on thedash would go out. Recently,...

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