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 deal with horses on the road

How to deal with horses on the road

The roads aren't just occupied by motorcycles, cars and other motorised vehicles, they're also used by horses and their riders, and passing a horse isn't as simple as overtaking a car. Horses are big,...

Each engine has its own characteristics

Each engine has its own characteristics

When you first start out, chances are that you will go through several changes of bike, from a small capacity two-stroke scooter, to a 1000cc inline four, 900cc V-twin or 675cc triple. Each engine has...

Video: MOD 1 bike test, see how it's done

Video: MOD 1 bike test, see how it's done

You've read the books, done the training and talked to your friends who've been through the convoluted process of passing their bike test but there's no substitute to actually seeing it done. YouTuber...

Thinking about your observation

Thinking about your observation

Observation is a key element of piloting any vehicle, but it’s importance while riding a motorcycle is far more prominent. As drivers become increasingly distracted by their phones, what hope do we...

'Mum, Dad - I want to ride a motorbike'

'Mum, Dad - I want to ride a motorbike'

Andy Morrison, former boss of Rapid Training, had a saying about new motorcycle riders: “You start out with a full bag of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the experience bag...

Moving on up: Kawasaki Z650 vs Yamaha MT-07 vs Suzuki SV650

Moving on up: Kawasaki Z650 vs Yamaha MT-07 vs Suzuki SV650

If your motorcycling career has started on a 125cc bike adorned with L-plates, then moving up to something bigger, heavier and faster can seem like a big step, but the latest crop of twin-cylinder...

Hibernate your bike this winter

Hibernate your bike this winter

Planning on hibernating your bike this winter? Storing a bike well takes the same meticulous level of preparation as braving the elements. Read on for top tips from RiDE magazine on how to do it...

High street bargains for Christmas

High street bargains for Christmas

As fun and enjoyable as motorcycling is, it's not always the cheapest hobby. Bikes aren't cheap, and neither is motorcycle-specific gear, especially if you want the best stuff. But for some things,...

Get a student discount on rider training

Get a student discount on rider training

Learn for less with an NUS card Kawasaki UK will launch their Kawasaki Rider Training scheme (KRTS) at Motorcycle Live tomorrow and are offering NUS-card holding students a £15 discount. TOP...

Get On two wheels for free in 2017!

Get On two wheels for free in 2017!

This weekend Get On were at the Carole Nash MCN Festival of Motorcycling getting people of all ages and sizes on motorbikes and scooters for the first time.  Get On brings its free ride...

155 years of experience: Top tips for new riders from the MCN staff

155 years of experience: Top tips for new riders from the MCN staff

There's perhaps no other office in the world that offers the same wealth of motorcycle knowledge as MCN. With that in mind, we asked a few of the members for their top tips for new riders. Between the...

Are aftermarket throttle grips any good?

Are aftermarket throttle grips any good?

Q. Riding home tonight I was aware of a slight twinge in my throttle hand (nothing major) which set me wondering about my grips and the angle of the clip-ons. It feels like I was gripping (not...

How to use a paddock stand on my own?

How to use a paddock stand on my own?

How can I safely use a paddock stand on my own? "I recently purchased a rear paddock stand for my Honda NC750X. Unfortunately, my wife isn't confident holding the bike in an upright position for me to...

Video: How to ride a motorcycle in the rain

Video: How to ride a motorcycle in the rain

As you've proabably already noticed, the British summer is quickly turning into another damp squib. The chances of running into a few sharp showers is high and if you're inexperienced in wet weather...

Video: The perfect MOD 2 bike test pass

Video: The perfect MOD 2 bike test pass

You’ve left your CBT and Motorcycle Theory Test long behind you by now…your Module 1 was only a few weeks ago and you passed with flying colours… NOW comes the  big one. You’re preparing for...

Herald Rambler 250 first ride

Herald Rambler 250 first ride

Herald describe themselves as a British company that designs, builds and creates stylish, yet simplistic, vintage-themed motorcycles. And there is a refreshing honesty about the way they conduct their...

Learn new skills with Kawasaki and BikeSafe

Learn new skills with Kawasaki and BikeSafe

Kawasaki Motors UK and BikeSafe are extending their partnership to continue offering the BikeSafe Off Road Skills courses run by Kawasaki Off Road Experience partners. The course is designed to show...

How can I keep my Suzuki SV650 safe from tumbles?

How can I keep my Suzuki SV650 safe from tumbles?

Q. I'd like to protect my Suzuki SV650 against crash damage. What are the best options? Sharpey, email Answered by Tony Hoare, MCN Consumer Editor Because the SV650 is raced in a series called...

Have you got any bright ideas for high-viz clothing?

Have you got any bright ideas for high-viz clothing?

Q. Now I'm commuting in the dark, my other half wants me to wear high-viz. What's best? Phillip Brewer, Dorset  Answered by Tony Hoare, MCN Consumer Editor There are several things you can do to...

Coping with extreme cold

Coping with extreme cold

Riding in cold weather can be more dangerous than in hot. As your body redirects your blood to protect vital organs our brains fall into 'emergency-mode' and sensible cognitive thought becomes a...

Stay visible this winter

Stay visible this winter

The nights are drawing in, and for most people it's now dark on the way home from work. If as a new rider you've never ridden in the dark, it can be quite a daunting prospect, especially if you add in...

The route to getting your licence

The route to getting your licence

The motorcycle licence system in the UK can be confusing and daunting at first, depending on your age and riding experience.  The interactive flow chart here will make your journey to getting...

Shoei XR1100 wind noise

I ride a Yamaha FZ6 which I have had for approx 4 years, during that time I had a Nolan Intergrale. Never once did I think about wearing earplugs with this helmet. I then booked a track day for later in the year and found I needed an helmet with the appropriate certification. I bought a Shoei XR1100 from Hein Gericke in Leicester, who were very good with fitting and care of my new helmet. The...

Video: How to take your helmet on and off without undoing the D-ring

Video: How to take your helmet on and off without undoing the D-ring

Consumer Editor Tony Hoare lets us in on the little known secret of taking your helmet on and off without undoing the D-ring.

What you can ride under new licence laws

What you can ride under new licence laws

The new licence laws, which came into effect on January 19 might seem baffling, but a grounding in smaller bikes is the foundation of brilliant riding. And there's no shortage of bikes to choose...

Best tyres for a Yamaha R6

Best tyres for a Yamaha R6

Q. I have been running Dunlops on my Yamaha R6 and didn’t get on very well with them. I did start looking at Pirelli Diablos or Metzelers, then someone suggested Michelin 2CTs… Plumbus, MCN Forums A.

How to change a front sprocket

How to change a front sprocket

Q. I want to raise the gearing on my 1997 Bandit 600 by changing the front sprocket. What's the best way of getting it off and torqueing it back up correctly again? vmcpakmcn, MCN forums A. Such a...

My Honda VFR750 won’t rev past 6000rpm

My Honda VFR750 won’t rev past 6000rpm

Q. My Honda VFR750FR revs and runs well in the first four gears, but struggles in fifth and sixth to get past 6000pm. It also backfires – especially at low revs. I've changed the fuel filters and air...

Why won’t Bandit 1250S start on the button?

Why won’t Bandit 1250S start on the button?

Q. My dad has a Suzuki Bandit 1250S on an ’07 plate and it's 50/50 whether it will start each time he thumbs the button. He's replaced the battery but it's not turning over at all. Suzuki Dude, MCN...

Best suspension upgrade for a GSX-R750?

Best suspension upgrade for a GSX-R750?

Q. My GSX-R750 K2 is now 10 years old (obviously!) and has nearly 35,000 on the clock. Everything I read about 'suspension' says it will need replacing or refreshing after about 16,000 miles, so I can...

How do I clean my radiator?

How do I clean my radiator?

Q. Is there a product or a process to clean aluminium radiators and oil coolers? You could eat your dinner off the rest of my bike but these get covered in crap and corrosion. It can't be good for...

Can I put different sized tyres on my rim?

Can I put different sized tyres on my rim?

Q. I have a bike with stupid tyre sizes - 100/90 x 19 front and 130/80 x 17 rear. I'm looking at the possibility of sticking different tyre sizes on the same rims. I've done this before but what I...

How to secure your new bike

How to secure your new bike

Q. I'll be getting my first bike next week, a 2010 Kawasaki ER-6F and I'm trying to work out what kind of security mechanisms to get. The bike will be kept overnight in a locked compound (I live in a...

Why is my GS750 hissing?

Why is my GS750 hissing?

Q. I have an old Suzuki GS750 and it’s running very sweetly since I cleaned and synced the carbs, but it's just developed a bit of a hissing sound (in time with the engine) from the front of the...

Does my Honda Hornet have a radiator fan?

Does my Honda Hornet have a radiator fan?

Q. I'm wondering if my Honda Hornet 600 has a radiator fan. When I went on the recent Plymouth Megaride with 4000 bikes my bike was right up in the red on the temperature gauge. I had to keep turning...

How do I tell my SV’s bearing are shot?

How do I tell my SV’s bearing are shot?

Q. My 10-year-old SV650 is coming up to new tyre time and I was told to watch out for wheel bearing seals and spacers with high mileage bikes. The thing is, I don't actually know what I'm looking for...