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.

New Rider

Streetfighter gets Termi treatment

Streetfighter gets Termi treatment

MCN's Michael Neeves has fitted new Termignoni exhausts to his Ducati Streetfighter. Here's what he has to say about them... "Finally, my Streetfighter now sounds as good as it looks, thanks to the...

Keep warm, protect against cold.

If you're riding in poor weather conditions, getting colder, wetter etc. take a leaf out of the vintage motorcyclists book. Apart from slowing down, stop and have a break and a cup of tea etc. Buy a newspaper and put it under your jacket so it covers your chest, it will further insulate you against the cold weather. Also put plastic bags over your socks under your boots and get some plastic type...

Basic Skills: How to pick up a motorcycle

Basic Skills: How to pick up a motorcycle

Bikes are inherently unstable beasts on their two wheels and when they topple over it’s important that you know how to pick it up without damaging yourself, or your pride and joy some more. Whichever...

Basic Skills: How not to stall

Basic Skills: How not to stall

Stalling turns your fleet-footed steed that responds to every delicate touch, into a 150 kilo lump of metal that wants to crush your leg. But if you learn the warning signs you can pull away cleanly...

Aftermarket Hornet cans that won't cook your pillion

Aftermarket Hornet cans that won't cook your pillion

Can I fit a race exhaust to my Honda Hornet 600 which won't get too hot for my pillion. I have heard that carbon cans might not heat up as much ­ is this true? DL Fenner, email Save £££s on...

Best tyres for wet weather grip

Best tyres for wet weather grip

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. Save £££s on...

Best tyres for an 07 Yamaha R1

Best tyres for an 07 Yamaha R1

I need to replace the tyres on my 2007 Yamaha R1. I don't go mad riding and it's mainly for blasts in the country and posing! Save cash on motorcycle tyres So far I've narrowed it down to Pirelli...

Switching to HID bulbs for winter

Switching to HID bulbs for winter

Now that winter is here I intend to change my front light on my Suzuki Bandit 650 K8 model to an HID bulb as I have found that the standard bulb is not bright enough for my winter journey to...

Product advice: winter tyres for my CBF1000

Product advice: winter tyres for my CBF1000

I will be putting new tyres on my Honda CBF1000 to take me through the winter, so they need to be good all-rounders. I was thinking of Bridgestone BT021s? Harry White, Belfast The Bridgestones are in...

Product advice: Searching for GSX750 spares?

Product advice: Searching for GSX750 spares?

I own a 1993 Suzuki GSX750 (frame no. GR78A 129332). I am trying to order spares through my local motorcycle  shop but they are telling me that the frame number does not exist. Vern Lewis, email...

FAQ: What do I do if I've lost my motorcycle licence?

FAQ: What do I do if I've lost my motorcycle licence?

Don’t worry if you lose your provisional licence, according to Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 your entitlement to ride continues when a licence holder has applied for a duplicate driving...

FAQ: How do I check motorcycle wheel alignment?

FAQ: How do I check motorcycle wheel alignment?

Checking the wheel alignment on a bike is a really useful skill, especially when you’re out there looking to buy a new machine and you want to make sure the frame isn’t bent and the forks are still...

FAQ: What do I do if I lose my motorcycle key?

These days a lot of bikes have their ignition keys coded to the ECU to make it harder for thieves to get them going. But that means you have to take extra special care of those keys because if you are unlucky enough to lose both keys you could need a new ECU at up to ₤1000. The reason is that it’s often the case that two different companies make the ECUs and ignition system and the system is...

FAQ: How to handle a Failing to stop charge

FAQ: How to handle a Failing to stop charge

Some people say that when you get done for speeding you are really being punished for driving without due care because you failed to see the camera. But what happens if it was a manned speed trap and...

FAQ: How do I protect my motorcycle from theft?

FAQ: How do I protect my motorcycle from theft?

Aftermarket security systems like Datatag, Smartwater and Alphadot can make the difference between losing your bike forever and getting it back. Because villains know that they can’t sell the parts of...

Can you scrub in a tyre before fitting it?

Can you scrub in a tyre before fitting it?

Q. I'm off to Almeria in Spain this month and have bought a set of Maxxis Supermaxx sport tyres for the occasion. Save money on motorcycle tyres Do you think it would be a good idea to use the tyres...

FAQ: How much trouble can I get in for speeding?

FAQ: How much trouble can I get in for speeding?

It¹s very easy to get carried away with your new purchase, regardless of its power levels and capacity. Even a 125 can go fast enough to get you points on your licence on a country road. Here are the...

FAQ: Where do I meet fellow bikers?

FAQ: Where do I meet fellow bikers?

Any rider these days is spoilt for choice when it comes to an event to visit like a big bike meet. Just start by clicking on the 'riding and events' tab on the home page here and you can soon see if...

Which bike intercom to go for

If you're struggling to decide on which bike intercom will suit your purposes, struggle no longer as our web community gives its combined advice... Buy intercoms from the MCN online shop here Oaksey says: I'm looking for an intercom system for general rideouts and touring. Does anyone have any suggestions what a good system should have and what make I should be looking at? critch2203: From...

How to dismantle your forks

How to dismantle your forks

If you're struggling to follow your Haynes manual or are simply new to home spannering and need a helping hand, this Youtube clip will see you through the process of dismantling your forks. Save £££s...

Tyre advice: Tyres for road and track use

Tyre advice: Tyres for road and track use

Q. My Ducati 1000S is due a new set of tyres after 6500 miles on the original Phantoms. Can you recommend a good replacement for fast road use with the odd track day. I don't use the bike in the...

Tyre advice: Tyres for commuting in winter

Tyre advice: Tyres for commuting in winter

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. Save cash on...

Glove review: Alpinestars GPX

Glove review: Alpinestars GPX

Alpinestars GPX Glove £79.95 Miles covered/time: 6000/4 months What’s good? Whenever I wear these ‘shortie’ gloves it means one thing: I’m somewhere nice and hot! Save money on motorcycle gloves I’ve...

Luggage review: Oxford Deluxe Tailpack

Luggage review: Oxford Deluxe Tailpack

Oxford Deluxe Tailpack £89.99 (£80.99 in MCN shop) Miles covered/time: 4200/three months What’s good? This fits easily and securely onto the back of my Streetfighter, but I have to make sure I pull it...

Product review: Michelin road maps

Product review: Michelin road maps

Michelin road maps £4.49 Miles covered/time: 50,000/seven years What’s good? Sat navs are good for finding a tricky address or location, or if you have to be somewhere fast, but there’s nothing like a...

FAQ: Where can I get legal advice?

FAQ: Where can I get legal advice?

Getting all your documentation in order so you’re legal on the road can seem very complicated when you start out. But if you click here, the process for getting your various certificates and...

Product review: Aerostich Ultralight trousers

Product review: Aerostich Ultralight trousers

Aerostich Ultralight trousers Miles covered/time: 1000 / two months What’s good: So simple, so brilliant. Waterproof trousers that fold into their own pocket and pack small enough to stash into a...

When to replace your rear tyre

When to replace your rear tyre

Could you please advise whether the rear tyre on my track R1 is still useable. It has had a couple of very hard days at the track, the last being around the Brands GP circuit. Save money on...

Fitting tricky grips: an update

Fitting tricky grips: an update

Hello, just read your Q&A about getting grips on to handlebar ends (September 16). Save money on handlebar grips Lighter fluid (naptha) works a treat ­ just squirt it liberally all round the...

Product advice: Which sat nav to go for?

Product advice: Which sat nav to go for?

I'm new to the motorcycle world hence the email! My boyfriend is looking at getting a sat nav for his bike at some point but I was thinking of getting him one for Christmas. Save money on sat...

Exhausts from £34 on the MCN Shop!

Exhausts from £34 on the MCN Shop!

If you needed any more evidence that the MCN shop is the place to head for quality kit, check this link out. Owners of Suzuki's TL1000S can pick up a Remus slip-on exhaust for £34! Obviously you'll be...

FAQ: What to do if you're sold a bike with iffy mileage

FAQ: What to do if you're sold a bike with iffy mileage

If you've just come home with your latest purchase, a used bike from a dealer, and you discover that the mileage isn't as it was advertised, what can you do about it? Motorcycles for sale Assuming...

FAQ: Can I put stickers on my helmet?

FAQ: Can I put stickers on my helmet?

So you've bought your first motorcycle helmet, or inherited one from a friend or family member. The first question many riders ask in the flush of excitement that comes with passing a CBT is 'can I...

How to find a helmet that fits

Every wandered into a shop and had no clue how to tell if the helmet you were given by the salesman was a good fit? Compare and buy motorcycle helmets MCN's easy-to-understand video guide will ensure you don't buy something that's totally unsuitable.

How to stop a tankbag damaging your bike

How to stop a tankbag damaging your bike

TronBiker: I have been using a magnetic tank bag. Have noticed however that it has left a white mark on my tank that I can't remove. I have heard using a rubber cover underneath can work. Prepare...

Tyre advice: Cause of stepped wear in tyres

Tyre advice: Cause of stepped wear in tyres

Q. I have a problem in that my tyres - particularly the rear - wear in 'steps'. A clear step down develops across each groove. Compare and buy motorcycle tyres This has happened on my last two bikes...