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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 make sure your tyres are legal

    16 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Where to go for suspension

    16 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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.

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  • USD versus conventional forks

    16 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Fork 'pump down' explained

    10 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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,...

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  • Unsprung weight explained

    10 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • How to repair a puncture

    10 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    How to repair a puncture

    If you need to repair a puncture at the roadside, there are several methods you can use. There are preventative sealants out there that are designed to seal off a puncture as soon as it...

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  • Check before you buy

    09 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    A good tip when you’re buying your first used bike is to always scan the paperwork to see whether the shims have been checked and take a good look at the steering head bearings as they are often insufficiently greased from the factory. Further reading: Find your ideal motorcycle

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  • New rider: Top 5 commuter bikes

    03 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    New rider: Top 5 commuter bikes

    Are you new to biking and looking for affordable and comfortable work transport? You’ll be needing our guide to the top 5 used commuter bikes. Thinking of trading in? Sell your bike with MCN for...

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  • Kit: Buying waterproofs

    03 July 2009 by Rob Hull

    Kit: Buying waterproofs

    There’s three key things to consider when buying waterproofs – they’re completely waterproof (obvious, but there are things to look for), they’ve quick and easy to get on and they’re...

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  • British Standards for puncture repairs

    01 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    British Standards for puncture repairs

    A British standard exists for motorcycle tyre repairs (BSAU159f), which determines the strength of the repair and where it can and can’t be made in the tyre. Compare and buy motorcycle tyres Being a...

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  • Motorcycle Safety: Get started young

    26 June 2009 by Marc Abbott

    A field bike and a patch of grass was many a teenage new rider's introduction to bikes, but these days there are a few schemes dotted around the country, many run by local authorities that give youngsters a taste of two wheels. The Auto Cycle Union has a list of national schemes. Contact Debbie Walmsley: 01788-540519.   The best way to build up your skills from an early age is to enter...

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  • Buying your first bike on a budget

    26 June 2009 by Marc Abbott

    Buying your first bike on a budget

    If you are in the market for a new bike, but your budget is tight so you are heading towards one of the crop of Chinese-made bikes that have entered the market over the last few years, you need to...

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  • What effect does ride height adjustment have?

    24 June 2009 by Marc Abbott

    What effect does ride height adjustment have?

    Ride height adjustment is usually only found on top-of-the-range sports bikes, nakeds and the occasional sports-tourer, It raises or lowers the height of the rear shock, lifting or lowering the entire...

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  • How to scrub in your tyres

    24 June 2009 by Marc Abbott

    How to scrub in your tyres

    In a word 'gently'. When the tyre comes out of the mould there are release agents that need to be removed before the rubber performs at its optimum. Compare and buy motorcycle tyres To do that you...

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  • How much to spend on a rear shock

    24 June 2009 by Marc Abbott

    How much to spend on a rear shock

    If you're thinking of replacing your rear shock and are unsure of how much to spend, consider this... Choose a specialist supplier/manufacturer who can give decent back-up and advice. You are going to...

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  • Firmer brakes overnight

    19 June 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    Firmer brakes overnight

    For an easier way to get better brakes, use a cable-tie or similar to hold the front brake on quite tightly and leave overnight. When returning to the bike next day tap the brake hoses thoroughly to...

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  • Kit: Choosing the right kit

    17 June 2009 by Laura Kennerley

    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...

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  • 125cc motorcycles information centre

    15 June 2009 by MCN

    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...

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  • 5 great 125cc scooters

    12 June 2009 by James Keen

    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...

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  • FAQ: Petrol station etiquette

    11 June 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    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...

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  • FAQ: How do I clean my motorcycle gloves?

    11 June 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    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...

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  • Tyre advice for Triumph Daytona 675

    11 June 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Suspension advice: Nitride coating on forks

    11 June 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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