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

Clothing advice: Custom leather jackets

Clothing advice: Custom leather jackets

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'd like to get a leather jacket made with some...

Clothing advice: summer gloves with visor wipes

Clothing advice: summer gloves with visor wipes

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. All the bugs have started coming out again, so my...

Clothing advice: Textile suits to go over your clothes

Clothing advice: Textile suits to go over your clothes

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 commute to work involves a bit of motorway riding. I'd...

Clothing advice: Cleaning your visor

Clothing advice: Cleaning 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. I commute all year round so my visor gets extremely mucky.

Bike accessory advice: Aftermarket indicators

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 cracked a front indicator on my Yamaha R6 and I want to know whether I can fit a set of aftermarket flush-mounted indicators instead. Is it legal to use side repeaters and does the light need to be projected forward? Jeff Miller, Bournemouth A.

Bike accessory advice: Interchangeable parts

Bike accessory advice: Interchangeable parts

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 just about to trade in my Zx-6RJ1 for a 2003...

Technical advice: Loosening corroded bolts

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. want to replace the standard exhaust system on my 12,000 mile Kawasaki ZX-7R with an aftermarket system, but all the fixing nuts and bolts are corroded solid. I managed to get the larger collector box nuts off with WD40 and a long extension on the socket,...

Bike accessory advice: Fitting different bulbs

Bike accessory advice: Fitting different bulbs

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. Can I change the 35/35w headlight bulbs in my Yamaha...

Bike accessory advice: Improving the brakes

Bike accessory advice: Improving the brakes

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 want to uprate the brakes on my 2002 Suzuki GSF600...

Bike accessories advice: Getting a new log book

Bike accessories advice: Getting a new log book

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 the second owner of my 1999 Yamaha R1 and I've...

Bike accessories: Changing the sprockets for accelleration

Bike accessories: Changing the sprockets for accelleration

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 been told going one tooth down on the front...

Technical advice: Sorting a misfiring engine

Technical advice: Sorting a misfiring engine

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 got a 1985 BMW K100RT which has been misfiring for...

Clothing advice : Loud helmet

Clothing advice : Loud 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. My helmet is really noisy, a friend suggested that...

Clothing advice : A jacket for riding on route 66

Clothing advice : A jacket for riding on route 66

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'm going to ride route 66 this summer. Can you...

Bike accessories advice: Mirror extensions

Bike accessories advice: Mirror extensions

Q. I need some mirror extensions for my CBR600F, does anyone know who makes them? Phil Walden, Gosport A. A VFR Owners Club member from Hatfield, Pete Morgan, manufactures and supply mirror extensions...

First time bikes for tall riders

First time bikes for tall riders

Q. I am due to take the Direct Access Scheme and test in a couple of weeks. Once I pass, I am looking to buy an all-rounder middleweight. However, being a tall bloke - 6'4", I...

New rider advice: Finding the balance between comfort and feel

New rider advice: Finding the balance between comfort and feel

Q. I'm a newish biker with a pleasant 50 mile commute. My BMW R1100RT is supremely comfortable with the screen in the touring position. With the screen down the riding feel improves noticeably. But I...

Clothing advice: Use a head torch to work on the bike

Clothing advice: Use a head torch to work on the bike

No matter how well-lit you think your garage is, one of those head torches is invaluable for grovelling under the swingarm Chris Berry, Wellingborough

Tyre advice: Changing wheels for the right tyre

Q. I am missing out on so many good tyre deals because my 1998 RRW Fireblade has got a 16 inch front wheel that I want to switch to a 17 incher. Will a VFR800/Hornet wheel drop straight in? Andy Kent, e-mail A. It is possible to change the front wheel of a Fireblade from 16 to 17 inches. If the bike is a 1992-1996 model it will take the same wheel and discs that are fitted to CBR600s and...

Technical advice: Fuel problems with my carb

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 1992 Honda PC800 starts well from cold, ticks over beautifully and usually pulls away smoothly on small throttle openings. However as soon as I open the throttle wider it coughs and backfires through the carbs until I close it down again. As it gets warmer,...

Technical advice: Fixing a dodgy battery

Technical advice: Fixing a dodgy battery

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-6R has had a new battery and...

Clothing advice: Cheap riding gear for commuters

Clothing advice: Cheap riding gear for commuters

MCN expert Marc Abbot is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert here. Q. I've just passed my direct access test and I'm...

Tyre advice: Make sure you use the correct size tyre

Tyre advice: Make sure you use the correct size tyre

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 recently bought a 2002 Honda SP2 which has got...

Technical advice: Fixing gear selectors

Technical advice: Fixing gear selectors

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 own a Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja on a 2001...

Technical advice: Changing to a race-pattern gearbox

Technical advice: Changing to a race-pattern gearbox

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 ride a Suzuki GSX-R1000 K5 and would like to change it...

Everything you need for a bike rally

Everything you need for a bike rally

Torches, sleeping bags, stoves, tents. The MCN Shop has everything you’ll ever need for a summer of bike rallies (except maybe a guaranteed hangover cure). With torches for the price of a pint and...

Clothing advice: Make sure your kit fits after Christmas

Clothing advice: Make sure your kit fits after Christmas

Here’s a tip for anyone thinking of getting back on their bike this weekend after a winter lay-off… try your kit on before you get to the garage with your bike keys in your hand. Ask an expert...

Clothing advice: Iridium visors for pillions

Clothing advice: Iridium visors for pillions

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. Can you help settle an argument between my girlfriend...

Bike accessories advice: Aftermarket bulbs

Bike accessories advice: Aftermarket bulbs

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 don’t want to get nicked for using a coloured headlight...

Tyre advice: Scrubbing new tyres in

Tyre advice: Scrubbing new tyres in

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 heard new bike tyres need to be “scrubbed in”. What...

Technical advice: Kawasaki ZZR400 carb icing

Technical advice: Kawasaki ZZR400 carb icing

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. As soon as the weather gets a bit cold my Kawasaki ZZR400...

Bike accessory advice : Honda RVF400 exhausts

Bike accessory advice : Honda RVF400 exhausts

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 am looking to buy a second hand Honda RVF400 from...

Tire advice : Honda CB1000 Big One tires

Tire advice : Honda CB1000 Big One tires

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 ride a Honda CB1000 Big One, its rear tyre is a...

Clothing advice : youth size helmets for motorcross

Clothing advice : youth size helmets for motorcross

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 looking for a youth-sized helmet for my son, but...

Bike accessory advice : BMW R1100GS replacement handlebars

Bike accessory advice : BMW R1100GS replacement handlebars

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 1996 BMW R1100GS handlebars are looking rather rusty and...

Technical advice : BMW R1150S oil consumption

Technical advice : BMW R1150S oil consumption

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 new BMW R1150S seems to be using quite a lot of...