2009

Kit: How to buy a bike lock

Kit: How to buy a bike lock

Buying a motorcycle lock is all about one thing – tailoring it to your specific needs. The motorcycle lock world is diverse with a variety of options meaning you could actually buy three or four...

Kit: How to choose leather trousers

Kit: How to choose leather trousers

As important as your leather jacket, leather trousers serve the same purpose (that of protection), albeit with slightly less style if you’re riding to the pub.  Compare and buy leather...

Kit: How to choose a leather jacket

Kit: How to choose a leather jacket

It doesn’t matter what we say here – most motorcyclists, if they’re being honest, will choose something that looks good. And why not? Compare and buy leather jackets in the MCN Shop However, beyond...

How does suspension affect understeer?

How does suspension affect understeer?

Also known as running wide, understeer is the bike's inability to track a line through a bend. It usually occurs when a bike is set up too soft and the suspension wallows and struggles as physical...

FAQ: How to cure a vibrating wheel

FAQ: How to cure a vibrating wheel

If you have some harsh vibrations or the steering feels loose or wobbly then your front wheel could be out of balance. Those vibes will stress wheel bearings, make the tyre run hotter and could...

Passing module 1

I passed my mod 1 test yesterday, no real problems other than initial nervs, all I can say is train with a good riding school with area to practice mod 1. Practice over and over till your confidence and skills are good, keep your nerves under controll on the day and listen to the examiners instructions. The swerve test is not a problem as long as you are prepared and riding skills are...

FAQ: Bike security tips - lock it or lose it

FAQ: Bike security tips - lock it or lose it

UK bike security firm Tracker has urged motorcyclists to keep bikes locked this summer and offered top tips for new riders to make sure your bike doesn’t get stolen.  Compare and buy motorcycle...

FAQ: Strange squeaking noises from a new motorcycle

FAQ: Strange squeaking noises from a new motorcycle

If your new bike is making an odd sound like a sort of squeaking noise, or rubbing sound, that comes and goes, check the relative positions of the footpeg and rear brake pedal. It's all too easy to...

FAQ: How to check wheel alignment

FAQ: How to check wheel alignment

Checking the wheel alignment on your bike is an essential skill, especially if you have removed the wheels to fit new tyres or chain and sprockets. The first thing you need is a straight edge and an...

Suspension FAQ: How can your suspension and tyres cause a slide?

Suspension FAQ: How can your suspension and tyres cause a slide?

The rear end of a bike can slide for a number of reasons. Over-firm suspension dials out compliance and suppleness, making a bike's tyre do more work than the suspension itself. This can cause the...

Best tyre for a Suzuki Bandit 1250

Best tyre for a Suzuki Bandit 1250

Reader Mike Lecras came to us looking for the perfect combination touring and sporty rubber for his 2009 Suzuki GSF1250 GT. He was running the standard Dunlop D218N 180/55 V17 at the rear. MCN's...

Tyres FAQ: Why do tyres have wire in them?

Tyres FAQ: Why do tyres have wire in them?

The high-tensile steel wire is also known as the bead and runs circumferationally around the inner part of the tyre. Its job is to anchor the tyre on the rim so that the tyre can't creep on the wheel...

Kit: How to buy winter motorcycle boots

Kit: How to buy winter motorcycle boots

Think about what sort of riding you'll be doing, and when you¹ll be doing it. If you'll be commuting throughout the year, there will be days when you rue the purchase of those vented summer race...

Kit: How to buy summer motorcycle boots

Kit: How to buy summer motorcycle boots

Whether it's a race-spec boot or a simple touring boot for summer rides or commuting, the theory behind making sure it fits is the same. The golden rule is to make sure you visit a dealer to try on as...

Tyres FAQ: Why do tyres have air in them?

Tyres FAQ: Why do tyres have air in them?

A tyre has to deform slightly at the point of contact with the road for instance in, order to achieve any change of direction or speed and it has to do this in a progressive and predictable way in all...

Tyres FAQ: Why are tyres black?

Tyres FAQ: Why are tyres black?

There isn't any natural rubber in a tyre's construction. But there are about 200 raw materials from man-made rubbers, reinforcing fillers, rayon, nylon, all sorts of additives and aramid...

Kit: How to buy motorcycle gloves

Kit: How to buy motorcycle gloves

You hands are the most vital parts of your body for riding a bike ­ they control your speed, your upper body balance and are unfortunately the first things to hit the deck in a crash on almost every...

Basic Skills: How to deal with heavy rain

Basic Skills: How to deal with heavy rain

As our so-called ‘Barbeque Summer’ has been replaced by another deluge it’s well worth knowing the correct procedure for dealing with standing water on two wheels. If you hit a patch of standing water...

Basic Skills: bike controls explained

Basic Skills: bike controls explained

Anyone who's ridden a bicycle will be familiar with one of the controls of a motorcycle. The front brake lever is mounted on the right handlebar and operates the brake caliper(s) mounted on the...

How to change your tyres at home

How to change your tyres at home

Tyre changes are quite easy to do at home if you have the right tools. A purpose-made bead breaker will get the tyre off the rim, and once the rubber is in the 'well' of the wheel, good quality tyre...

The importance of balancing your wheel

The importance of balancing your wheel

If you've got some harsh vibrations or the steering feels loose or wobbly then your front wheel could be out of balance. Those vibes will stress wheel bearings, make the tyre run hotter and could...

Tyre advice: Running different tyres

Tyre advice: Running different tyres

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

Win a Shoei XR1000 by filling in the new rider survey

Win a Shoei XR1000 by filling in the new rider survey

If you have only recently got your bike licence. Or you are thinking about learning to ride, MCN would like to hear from you. All you have to do is fill in an online survey to let us know if you...

Can adjusting your chain affect the suspension?

Can adjusting your chain affect the suspension?

In short, yes. When the suspension is compressed to about one third, the front sprocket, swingarm pivot and rear spindle form a straight line. Compare and buy motorcycle suspension This is the...

Suspension advice: Replacing fork seals

Suspension advice: Replacing fork seals

The first piece of advice for replacing for seals would be to always get a workshop manual of some description when stripping major components down, if only for the torque settings. Compare and buy...

Tyre advice: Good tyres for light trail use

Tyre advice: Good tyres for light trail use

Q. I have a 2009 Triumph Tiger 1050, which I am delighted with. I am well aware it is not a full-blown off-road motorcycle, but I would like to improve the grip on light trail use, without sacrificing...

FAQ: Common myth about speed traps

One of the common myths about speed traps is that the police officers have to wear fluorescent clothing and be on show. The facts are that police officers do not have to wear specific clothing when engaged in roads policing or provide any other warning of their presence. Assuming they caution you correctly at the road side you just have to take the points and fine.  Do you have any...

FAQ: How to get oil off your hands

If you're trying to get oil off you hands properly after your first go at home maintenance, but you haven't got a decent hand cleanser around, use washing up liquid and put a dab of washing powder in your hands. Further reading: Motorcycle FAQ

What to do if you lose your provisional license

If you have lost your provisional licence, don't worry too much - you are entitled to continue riding while waiting for a duplicate licence. Entitlement to ride or drive runs from the date the first licence was issued, and isn't dependant on you having the actual licence in your possession. The new licence should arrive within 15 working days of the application being received at...

How to make sure your tyres are legal

How to make sure your tyres are legal

As well as inflating them correctly, the Law says that the grooves of the tread pattern must have a depth of a least 1mm throughout a continuous band measuring at least three-quarters of the breadth...

Where to go for suspension

Where to go for suspension

Here's a list of useful contacts in the suspension world. Whether it's set-up advice, work or shock and fork components, these guys are among the country's greatest. Harris Performance, Hertford.

USD versus conventional forks

USD versus conventional forks

Suspension-wise, given springs and dampers of equal quality, there is no difference between upside-down and conventional forks. But the fork leg is not a suspension unit, it is also a structural...

FAQ: How to get a motorcycle on a paddock stand

FAQ: How to get a motorcycle on a paddock stand

Owning your first big bike is a fantastic feeling, but if you are nervous of lifting the rear of your bike onto the paddock stand on your own, then use the entrance of your garage to keep the bike...

Basic Skills: Taking pillions on your motorcycle

Basic Skills: Taking pillions on your motorcycle

It's great when you've passed your test and you can take friends and family out on the back, but it's not so good if they can't relax on the back and tense up, not leaning in at the right time so...

Fork 'pump down' explained

Fork 'pump down' explained

Pump down, or packing, occurs when you hit a series of bumps after dialling in too much rebound damping. Because you've over-slowed the rate at which the suspension can return once it's compressed,...

Unsprung weight explained

Unsprung weight explained

Sprung weight is the mass of those parts supported by the suspension. Unsprung is the rest; wheels, tyres, brakes, chain etc. Changing the unsprung weight has no direct effect on springing (as it's...