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

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...

Technical advice : Aprilia air filters

Technical advice : Aprilia air filters

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 read numerous forum postings about de-restricting an...

Suspension advice: Fork internal problems

Suspension advice: Fork internal problems

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert hereQ. My Yamaha Fazer 1000 has developed an occasional knocking...

Technical advice: Suzuki TL1000R rain problems

Technical advice: Suzuki TL1000R rain problems

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related. If you have any questions, ask an expert hereQ. My Suzuki TL1000R runs fine until the rain starts to fall.

Clothing advice: Jackets for the larger man

Clothing advice: Jackets for the larger man

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 desperately trying to purchase a lightweight Gore...

Long life tyres for the Kawasaki ZX-10R

Long life tyres for the Kawasaki ZX-10R

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 Kawasaki ZX-10R and do around 160 miles a day on it.

Oxford heated grips problem fixed

I bought Oxford Hot Grips at the NEC show, but like most people never kept the receipt. They failed after just 2 months and initially Oxford just said buy a new switch. After reading comments on forums, this appears to be a common fault. However I called Oxford again and spoke to an excellent member of their staff named Charlotte. She has done everything she...

Suspension advice: setting up your rear shock

Suspension advice: setting up your rear shock

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 2006 Speed Triple 1050 which I absolutely love.

Bike accessories advice: ACF50

Bike accessories advice: ACF50

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. A number of weeks ago I spotted an article in your weekly...

Bike accessories advice: Boring out your Africa Twin

Bike accessories advice: Boring out your Africa Twin

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 fit a big-bore kit to my Honda Africa Twin.

Clothing advice: Perfect gear for the work commute

Clothing advice: Perfect gear for the work commute

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 recently started a new job that means an hourly commute.

Clothing advice: Choosing a back protector

Clothing advice: Choosing a back protector

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 Dainese leather jacket with a Backspace G back...

Technical advice: Aprilia RSV sidestand trouble

Technical advice: Aprilia RSV sidestand trouble

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 1999 Aprilia RSV is a stonking bike. It is an absolute joy...

Acumen Cat 1.1 smallest in UK

Acumen Cat 1.1 smallest in UK

Acumen claims its latest motorcycle alarm is the smallest available in the UK. The Acumen Cat 1.1 alarm and immobiliser measures 112x56x32mm, and meets the Thatcham Category 1 standard. Compare and...

70mph & the U turn

After 30 years of driving a car I went back to 2 wheels, did my CBT & DAS, the instruction was perfect - the trainee struggled. CBT was a bit of an eye opener & made me realise how over relaxed my driving was (I drive about 35K miles annually),no problem with braking angears but even on the 125cc the U turn was going to be my nemisis - but got through the day thoroughly enjoying every...

My bike test report

Like most, I too decided to spend a small fortune and do the DAS course with a company in Southend-on-sea. The first day was taken up with the CBT which I found quite easy. I havent ridden a bike for nearly 20 years so I was pleased with how at ease I felt. All was good with the figure of 8, U-turns, emergency stop etc. Even out on the road I felt very confident. After the first day and passing...

How to stop your visor misting this winter

How to stop your visor misting this winter

Good visibility is crucial to staying safe when riding this winter and a big barrier to that is the age old problem of visor misting. As temperatures drop the likelihood of this problem occuring is...

Hand Guards for Street Bikes

Hand Guards for Street Bikes

I don't always get MCN but one week recently I did and saw a short press release on the new Acerbis hand guards for street bikes – their model “Dual Road”. I made enquiries in the trade and the...

Bikers shell out £1000 a year on kit

British motorcyclists spend an average of almost £1,000 on kit every year, according to research by retailer Infinity Motorcycles. Shop for over 45,000 products with MCN Leather goods account for the lion’s share of the £960 per annum average spend, with riders shelling out £321 each year on jackets and jeans. Helmets were the next highest (£241), followed by textiles (£183), boots (£138), and...

So what does the SHARP motorcycle helmet test really mean?

So what does the SHARP motorcycle helmet test really mean?

It’s long been a subject of great debate among riders – and particularly helmet manufacturers – whether a £500 top-of-the-range race replica offers better protection in a crash than a £50 budget lid.

Top 10 tips for looking after your motorcycle helmet

Top 10 tips for looking after your motorcycle helmet

Motorcycle helmets are a lot more fragile than you might think but as we all know they're pretty damned important for protecting your head. MCN has put together 10 tips to keep your helmet in top...

Get your suspension set up to suit you!

Having ridden motorcycles since the age of three, I thought there was bugger all my mucker Gaffs could tell me about bikes! But after the obligatory half a gallon of grog on a Friday night, he convinced me to stop being a m**ge bag, and part with forty quid to have my suspension set up professionally! being an engineer, I was convinced that modern bikes come out of the factory set up to almost...

MCN shopping proves a huge success

MCN shopping proves a huge success

MCN’s new online shop has gone live. The site is the first in the UK to allow riders to browse and compare the prices of more than 50,000 bike products, supplied by the country’s biggest retailers,...

New MCN Shop lets you find the best deal on products and kit

New MCN Shop lets you find the best deal on products and kit

The UK’s first online motorcycle shop that lets you track down all your biking kit in just a few seconds and compare prices to get the best deal goes live this week. MCN has teamed up with some...

Adam Shorrock's motorcycle test diary

Adam Shorrock's motorcycle test diary

I passed my CBT last summer with CAM Rider and must admit I was surprised I passed. Looking back at handling my first 125cc motorcycle are memories of excruciating pain in my crotch and a thumping...

30mph limit is dangerous

I believe that 70mph is the speed limit on dual carriageways. As long as you are not a hazard to others then you travel at the speed you are happy with. If 70mph is a must during your motorcycle test how can the goverment justify the 30mph limits for 50cc motorbikes and scooters?! These are allowed to use dual carrageways. HGV's are governed to 56mph max and only allowed to 40mph on unrestricted...

Data Tag registration

Hi, I bought my bike last year, it has a data tag number on it but no phone number to register it, does anyone know how to do this? please help. Thanks.

SarahC's Suzuki and BSM DAS Dary: D Day take two

SarahC's Suzuki and BSM DAS Dary: D Day take two

So it was once again the day of doom or the first day to the rest of my life. I headed to the BSM Training Centre for 9am ready for another day with big Chris. After a chill out we headed out towards...

SarahC's Suzuki and BSM DAS diary day seven: I'm back and almost ready

SarahC's Suzuki and BSM DAS diary day seven: I'm back and almost ready

Well, it’s been a few weeks and I’ve made it back to Birmingham for a quick refresher session ahead of my test tomorrow. As I’m up here mid week, it’s not Lichfield I’m going to test at but the South...

SarahC's Suzuki and BSM DAS Diary day five: I'm really starting to enjoy this

SarahC's Suzuki and BSM DAS Diary day five: I'm really starting to enjoy this

Well with just one full day’s riding ahead of my test tomorrow the heat really was on. I started off by taking myself out round the pad to warm up Kay and also to put in some U-Turns so that I could...

SarahC's Suzuki and BSM DAS diary day four: By George I think she's got it!

SarahC's Suzuki and BSM DAS diary day four: By George I think she's got it!

My first major problem of the day was actually getting out of bed. The left side of my back has decided to go in to spasm probably after the windy ride yesterday – oh great. On arrival at BSM’s...

SarahC's Suzuki and BSM DAS diary day three: To SV650 or not SV650? that is the question

SarahC's Suzuki and BSM DAS diary day three: To SV650 or not SV650? that is the question

After the highs of yesterday and the unexpected success on the Suzuki SV650 the plan for the day was to go out on the road to see how I get on with the ‘big’ bike before making a final decision...