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.

  • 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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  • Why does my RS125 judder?

    22 June 2011 by MCN

    Why does my RS125 judder?

    Q. I’ve noticed a problem when using the front brake on my 2008 RS125. Sometimes, when braking lightly, the whole front of the bike starts vibrating quite violently - it's not a massive problem but it...

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  • Cure for spluttering ZZR1400

    22 June 2011 by MCN

    Cure for spluttering ZZR1400

    Q. I’ve owned a 2008 Kawasaki ZZR1400 ABS model from new. Recently when it’s at about 60mph in fourth or fifth gear it will start to splutter as if it is running out of petrol or firing on three...

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  • FJ1200 fuel cut-off woes

    14 June 2011 by MCN

    FJ1200 fuel cut-off woes

    Can you help me with a fuel reserve cut-off problem on my 1986 Yamaha FJ1200 please? The fuel tap solenoid appears to be faulty and it cuts off the fuel supply when there’s still lots of fuel in the...

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  • Best tyres for a Triumph Daytona 675

    14 June 2011 by MCN

    Best tyres for a Triumph Daytona 675

    I’ve just acquired a 2006 Daytona 675 fitted with old Dunlop Sportmax D208s which don't inspire confidence. I used Pirelli Diablo Corsas on a 2000 Blade, which worked well. Would you recommend the...

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  • Where are my ZZ-R600's spark plugs?!

    14 June 2011 by MCN

    Where are my ZZ-R600's spark plugs?!

    I decided to check the plugs on my Y-reg Kawasaki ZZ-R600 so dutifully got out my Haynes manual, read up on the steps to take. 1. Remove seat, 2. Disconnect battery, 3. Remove tank 4. Access plugs…...

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  • Yamaha R1 gearbox troubles

    14 June 2011 by MCN

    Yamaha R1 gearbox troubles

    I've just bought a 2004 Yamaha R1. It shifts through all the gears fine if going steady but if I am accelerating hard when I shift into fifth it will hit a false neutral then find sixth. I'm thinking...

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  • How to fit performance brake lines

    13 June 2011 by MCN

    How to fit performance brake lines

    This step-by-step video shows you how to replace ageing brakes lines with a set of high performance lines for increased braking power. While older bikes are still great fun one of the easiest ways of...

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  • Triumph Daytona 955i won't tick over

    06 June 2011 by MCN

    Triumph Daytona 955i won't tick over

    I have a 1999 Triumph Daytona 955i. It refuses to tick over when started from cold. After a couple of miles down the road, it seems fine. If I restart it before it gets cold it’s OK. If I leave it...

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  • Cure for sticky CBR125R speedo

    06 June 2011 by MCN

    Cure for sticky CBR125R speedo

    I’ve owned my 2005 Honda CBR125 for around six months and it’s recently developed a problem where the speedo wavers annoyingly at around 60mph, occasionally sticking at this speed. Joshterry93, MCN...

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  • Why is my CBR600's mudguard cracked?

    06 June 2011 by MCN

    Why is my CBR600's mudguard cracked?

    I have a Honda CBR600 Sport that I have owned for eight years. After my second outing this year I noticed a series of cracks around the lower mounting point of one side on the front mudguard. I fitted...

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  • Why is my front tyre wearing unevenly?

    01 June 2011 by MCN

    Why is my front tyre wearing unevenly?

    Q. I have a Kawasaki ZX-10R with a Metzeler front motorcycle tyre which has worn around one side only, similar to tracking wear on a car tyre, with the wear starting from the centre of the tyre.

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  • Why is my Kawasaki ZXR750 clutch slipping?

    01 June 2011 by MCN

    Why is my Kawasaki ZXR750 clutch slipping?

    Q. I’ve just put some new clutch plates in my Kawasaki ZXR750 H2, but it’s still slipping. Can I adjust it out? wingy46, MCN forums   A. As your clutch is hydraulic, the only adjustment is at...

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  • What’s caused my tyre valve to blow out?!

    18 May 2011 by MCN

    What’s caused my tyre valve to blow out?!

    Last week I had what I think was a fairly lucky escape. I was checking the tyre pressures on my 2001 Honda CBR1100XX, but when I put the tyre gauge on the valve stem the stem itself (thread included)...

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  • Best coolant for a Honda CBF600

    18 May 2011 by MCN

    Best coolant for a Honda CBF600

    I’ve a 2008 Honda CBF600 and I need to refill it with coolant. The manual says it should be 50/50 antifreeze and distilled water, but I can’t get antifreeze at this time of year. What type of coolant...

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  • How hard is it to swap my GPZ500’s engine?

    18 May 2011 by MCN

    How hard is it to swap my GPZ500’s engine?

    I’ve a Kawasaki GPZ500 with loads of top-end grief, including a new camchain and tensioner, so I’m thinking that another engine for around 100 quid could be the best deal, although its condition is an...

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  • Why is my radiator bubbling over?

    18 May 2011 by MCN

    Why is my radiator bubbling over?

    A line of small white foam bubbles have started to appear all along the lower edge of my radiator. Although the expansion tank level has not really dropped, do I need to consider Radweld or a repair?...

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  • Why is my Kawasaki ZX-9R stalling?

    09 May 2011 by MCN

    Why is my Kawasaki ZX-9R stalling?

    Why is my ZX-9R stalling? I own a late Kawasaki ZX-9R and it will only turn over and start when the bike is in neutral and the clutch disengaged. The moment I pull in the clutch lever it packs up. I’m...

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  • Tyre's mystery line

    04 May 2011 by MCN

    Tyre's mystery line

    I have about 400 miles on the Bridgestone BT023R on the front wheel of my 2005 Honda CBF600N and I’ve noticed a strange line just left of centre that runs the circumference of the tyre. Has anyone...

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  • Why are my GSX1400’s downpipes glowing?

    03 May 2011 by MCN

    Why are my GSX1400’s downpipes glowing?

    I have a Suzuki GSX1400 and I have just fitted a four-into-one Akrapovic exhaust system. When I start it up and it’s ticking over, my exhaust headers glow bright red. Could you tell me why this is...

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  • Why does my CBR125 keep stalling?

    03 May 2011 by MCN

    Why does my CBR125 keep stalling?

    I have a 2005 plate CBR125R and it runs fine, except it has a tendency to stall when slowing down just before stopping (eg. at traffic lights). It was also idling unevenly, but I tweaked the idle...

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  • Best tyres for a 2004 Honda Fireblade

    08 April 2011 by MCN

    Best tyres for a 2004 Honda Fireblade

    Q. I bought my 2004 Fireblade with Pirelli Corsa IIIs and they seem OK but a little ‘slidy’ on the rear at times (in the damp). I’m trying to decide whether to replace the pair with Corsa IIIs or buy...

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  • Suzuki GS500E won’t idle

    08 April 2011

    Suzuki GS500E won’t idle

    Q. I can’t get my Suzuki GS500E to idle on the tickover screw. I either wind it right in, so the throttle is stuck on 4000 revs, or it stalls as I back it off. I have fitted new spark plugs and...

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  • Will my loud exhaust pass an MoT?

    08 April 2011 by MCN

    Will my loud exhaust pass an MoT?

    Q. I have a US-import GSX-R750 with a Yoshimura end can fitted which hasn’t got any markings on it at all. No 'not for road use' or 'race use only', but it does seem a little loud. Where do I stand...

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