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

How to extract a weathered header pipe bolt

How to extract a weathered header pipe bolt

If your socket just spins on the bolt, don't panic! Go for a run on the bike to get it really hot, then when you get back leave it ticking over for 5-10 minutes. Compare and buy motorcycle...

Why does a single-shock set-up work better than twin shocks?

Why does a single-shock set-up work better than twin shocks?

The greatest difference comes from how the dampers are driven. With twin shocks the dampers travel almost the same distance as the wheel. Compare and buy suspension parts The tends to over-heat the...

Tyre advice: I need a tyre for high mileage commuting

Tyre advice: I need a tyre for high mileage commuting

Q. I just took the plunge and bought a Sprint 955 which I'm loving but I need a new rear tyre. The bike is currently fitted with Bridgestone BT014s. Compare and buy motorcycle tyres However, I am a...

Kit: Choosing the right kit

Kit: Choosing the right kit

Choosing the right kit for any motorcyclist, new or experienced, should always follow the same guidelines. Just because you’re a new rider, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the optimum level of...

Motorcycle Safety: Stay sharp after you’ve passed

Motorcycle Safety: Stay sharp after you’ve passed

So you’ve got through it. Decades of blissful riding stretch out in front of you. Well, I’ve been riding for decades, and spent almost as long studying what makes people good, happy riders (or lousy,...

125cc motorcycles information centre

125cc motorcycles information centre

Welcome to the launch centre for 125cc motorcycles, encompassing everything from cheap 125cc scooters to the newest and fastest 125cc sportsbike. Here you'll be able to find everything you wanted to...

Top five helmet tips from Arai race truck

Top five helmet tips from Arai race truck

Arai is celebrating its 25th anniversary appearance at the TT this week, commending their TT relationship with a special celebration helmet and giving MCN readers the fruits of their...

5 great 125cc scooters

5 great 125cc scooters

So you've just passed your CBT and you're in the market for a decent 125cc scooter... but which one? There's so much choice out there it can be overwhelming for new riders. That's why we've short...

FAQ: Petrol station etiquette

FAQ: Petrol station etiquette

It¹s a sad fact that bikers are lumped in with armed robbers at petrol stations and can¹t get served until they've taken their crash helmet off. But what to do if it's a flip-front lid and you still...

FAQ: How do I clean my motorcycle gloves?

FAQ: How do I clean my motorcycle gloves?

If your bike gloves smell sweaty when warm and make your hands stink you can do something about it. If they are leather with a man-made lining turn them inside and hand wash them with some detergent...

Tyre Advice: are some tyres better than others at resisting punctures?

Tyre Advice: are some tyres better than others at resisting punctures?

Some high mileage commuters find themselves picking up punctures every 2-3000 miles and they start searching for more puncture-proof rubber. But that puncture rate is more a comment on the type of...

Suspension advice: When your used bike is like a rocking horse

Suspension advice: When your used bike is like a rocking horse

If you¹ve bought a used bike that¹s over five years old and it rocks back and forth even when you¹re feathering the brakes chances are the fork springs are more than a little tired. Fortunately...

Tyre advice for Triumph Daytona 675

Tyre advice for Triumph Daytona 675

Q. I'm getting through the rear Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa on my Triumph 675 on my daily commute and I want to switch to a tyre that will give me better mileage and decent levels of grip. I don¹t...

Suspension advice: Nitride coating on forks

Suspension advice: Nitride coating on forks

Q. What is nitride coating and what does it do for your forks? A. The structural elements of a fork leg are two precision-made tubes, one sliding inside the other. When the forces of riding are...

New Rider guide: Your biking future starts now

New Rider guide: Your biking future starts now

Flick through the digital magazine below for everything you need to know to prepare for life on two wheels. Get 3 issues of RiDE magazine for £5 The New Rider magazine, which came free in this...

How to: Modify your 125

How to: Modify your 125

Part of the joy of owning a bike is making it your own – but when you’re starting out it’s easy to get it wrong. As well as the question of taste, there are also legal implications with certain...

Mystery Rossi helmet

Mystery Rossi helmet

I purchased a racing bike back in 2001 and this helmet came with it. I have since sold the bike but the helmet has been hanging in my office ever since. I would like to know were it came from or what...

What's the difference between race and road suspension?

What's the difference between race and road suspension?

What's the difference between suspension on my road bike and a race bike? In two words, quality and focus. Pukka race suspension is far more adjustable than road suspension ­ but within a narrower...

Tyre advice: I can only lean so far

Tyre advice: I can only lean so far

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. My Kawasaki ZX-636 is fitted with its standard Dunlop tyres...

Technical advice: Stalling on downshifts

Technical advice: Stalling on downshifts

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. I got a Ducati Monster 1100S a couple of weeks ago and I...

Suspension advice: finding the base settings

Suspension advice: finding the base settings

Before you go tweaking away at the bike's adjustable suspension, make a note of what the settings were before you started. This might sound simple, but many an afternoon has been ruined by haste in...

Is a Honda CBR600RR sensible as a first bike?

Is a Honda CBR600RR sensible as a first bike?

MCN's problem-solving community has the answers to most biking queries you could imagine. Here, they help another newbie with their bike choice...  Burqoil: All my friends and work mates are...

Naked or faired for a first bike?

Naked or faired for a first bike?

MCN's problem-solving community has the answers to most biking queries you could imagine. Here, they help a newbie with new bike choice... Ziqnzoq: I passed my test last week and am now thinking about...

Suspension advice: Yamaha 2003 R1

Suspension advice: Yamaha 2003 R1

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. I'm experiencing problems with the back end of my standard...

Readers vote Shoei top helmet

Readers vote Shoei top helmet

Shoei's XR1000 has been voted best for comfort and best overall helmet over £400 in our MCN Biking Britain survey. To join 12,000 other readers in making your voice heard, click here to enter the...

Keeping rain off your visor

Regarding keeping rain off your visor, the best way is to use a V-Wipe. No, not the sponge in a bag that helps you keep it clean but a rubber sheath complete with windscreen wiper-like blade that you slip over your gloved finger. I think it's made by Bob Heath. Brilliant!

FAQ: Should I warm up my bike before a ride?

FAQ: Should I warm up my bike before a ride?

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. Could you please clear something up for me? My DAS instructor...

Kit: Finding motorcycle clothing for large riders

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. I’ve jsut passed my test and I’m eager to get going, but I’m stumbling across a few problems finding kit to fit. I’m of the oversized group and I am finding it very hard to find the gear I need in my size. I know I have a few options, like go on a crash...

Product advice: Keeping rain off your visor

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. My summer gloves can't shift the rain off my visor - is there anything else I can use? A. Try giving your visor a coat of Raincoat - it claims to waterproof your visor, making it harder for water droplets to stick to it. Also, an alternative method of shifting...

Clothing advice: Getting your own design on your helmet

Clothing advice: Getting your own design on your helmet

MCN expert Marc Abbott is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. I want to get my helmet sprayed up to my own...

How to find a helmet that fits

How to find a helmet that fits

Different brands of helmet seem to fit different shapes of head, and there’s little to be gained from splashing out on the latest top-end race rep if your head is going to rattle around in it. Follow...

Tyre advice: Touring tyres on a trackday

Tyre advice: Touring tyres on a trackday

MCN expert Marc Abbott is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. I've recently fitted a pair of Dunlop Roadsmarts to...

Suspension advice: Sorting out tired rear shocks

Suspension advice: Sorting out tired rear shocks

MCN expert Marc Abbott is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. My Honda Hornet 600 has racked up 10,000 miles on...

Bike accessory advice: Raising the back without a paddock stand

Bike accessory advice: Raising the back without a paddock stand

THE Honda CBR125 doesn’t come with centrestand which makes adjusting the chain a pain. A lightweight bike like this is easy to balance with a car axle stand on the swingarm and a block of wood under...

Bike accessory advice: Removing scratches

Bike accessory advice: Removing scratches

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. I’ve scratched the screen of my BMW R1100RT. Watch can I do...

Technical advice: Suzuki Hayabusa clutch slipping

Technical advice: Suzuki Hayabusa clutch slipping

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here Q. I have a very clean ‘99 Hayabusa with 14,000 miles on...