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

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...

Best tyres for a Kawasaki ZZR1400

Best tyres for a Kawasaki ZZR1400

Q. I am currently using Avon Storm 2 Ultras on my Kawasaki ZZR1400 but fancy trying Bridgestones what should I try, BT023 or S20s? I’m not a track day loon but I like to get a move on. But I want them...

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...

Will a loud horn cause MoT failure?

Will a loud horn cause MoT failure?

Q. I am just wondering if there are any MoT or legal issues with a Steibel Nautilus horn that pumps out 139 decibels? My existing horn is fading slightly and I lost count of just how many people...

What’s caused sudden loss of tyre pressure?

What’s caused sudden loss of tyre pressure?

Q. I recently changed my tyres just fine, but 300 miles later I was on my way home from work when the front went all soggy and it was obvious the front tyre had lost pressure. I limped to the nearest...

Best tyres for a Kawasaki ZXR400?

Best tyres for a Kawasaki ZXR400?

With my 1991 ZXR400 weighing the same/slightly more than a modern 600 sports bike what rubber should I buy next? I use the bike every day as it is my only form of transport. So is there something that...

Drop-down visors: are they any good?

Drop-down visors: are they any good?

What are your thoughts on internal drop-down sun visors? Are they worth having? Debthehog, MCN forums The only downsides to them are that a few can become loose and rattle inside your helmet or drop...

ZZR1100 clutch has given up!

ZZR1100 clutch has given up!

I seem to have a major problem. After riding my Kawasaki ZZR1100 to work on a dairy farm I came back to it after milking to find that the clutch was completely unusable. The lever is solid and when I...

Why’s my Gixer overheating?

Why’s my Gixer overheating?

My 1997 Suzuki GSX-R600 is overheating. After a 45-minute ride the temperature had risen to around 125°C. Since then I have had the radiator drained, flushed and filled with new coolant. I have had...

Best tyres for a BMW S1000RR?

Best tyres for a BMW S1000RR?

I currently own a 2010 BMW S1000RR and will need to change the tyres soon. It has the stock Conti Sport Attacks at the moment, I am not too concerned about mileage as I use the bike socially when I...

What’s causing my GSX-R600’s poor fuelling?

What’s causing my GSX-R600’s poor fuelling?

My brother's got a problem with his GSX-R1000 K6, the symptoms are: No fault codes showing; misses when held between 3-4000rpm; only does it when hot; all four plugs sooted up; no problem...

Suzuki Intruder won’t start up properly

Suzuki Intruder won’t start up properly

My Suzuki Intruder 1500 has a starting problem, sometimes it starts fine, but about 50% of the time it will turn over really slowly and not start. I have adjusted the decompressor cables, fitted a new...

How can I turn my bike around in an enclosed space?

How can I turn my bike around in an enclosed space?

Getting my Triumph Sprint in and out of a more and more cluttered garage is becoming hard work. So much so that I am avoiding taking it out. I know that you can spin a motorbike around on the...

Why won’t my TL1000S fuel properly?

Why won’t my TL1000S fuel properly?

I have no fuel going into the cylinders of my Suzuki TL1000S. The ignition system is normal and the fuel relay kicks in, so the fuel pump in the tank working and fuel reaches the injector rail. The...

Best track tyres for a Honda Fireblade

Best track tyres for a Honda Fireblade

Q. I’m on my third track day using Bridgestone 016s on a Fireblade. I set the pressures at standard road pressure minus 2psi front and rear. But at the end of the day my tyres looked like I'd been...

Kawasaki ZZR notchy steering solution?

Kawasaki ZZR notchy steering solution?

Q. The steering on my Kawasaki ZZR1200 has gone all notchy. Is it worth changing them to tapered roller bearings? Vince Taylor, email A. In fact Kawasaki used to have taper roller bearings fitted to...

Getting feel back in Fireblade’s lever

Getting feel back in Fireblade’s lever

Q. I have replaced the original brake lines on my 2008 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade as they were feeling 'baggy' on a long, fast ride, but I can't get the lever to firm up now. If I tie the lever in...

How to remove sheared spark plug

How to remove sheared spark plug

Q. I have managed to shear off a new spark plug from my 2005 Suzuki GSX-R1000. What are my options for getting it out? Oz Stephens, email A. You may well have to lift the cylinder head to get at it,...

Best sports-touring tyres for an R1100RT

Best sports-touring tyres for an R1100RT

Q. I am looking for sport touring tyres for a 1996 BMW R1100RT which has a rear size of 160/60 ZR 18. I’m rather taken by Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact that was recently tested. John Hagger, email...

What’s cause of my Fireblade’s oil leak?

What’s cause of my Fireblade’s oil leak?

Q. Over the past couple of days I've noticed a small amount of oil dripping from one of the breather hoses under the rear shock on my 2001 Fireblade. I've only noticed this happening after I've ridden...

Why is my ZZR600 cutting out?

Why is my ZZR600 cutting out?

Q. My 1992 Kawasaki ZZR600 cuts out in warm weather and won’t turn over with the electric start till it cools down. I can do quite a few miles before it cuts out again. All the ignition lights light...

How to grip Honda CLR125’s rounded-off bolt

How to grip Honda CLR125’s rounded-off bolt

Q. I have to replace the fork seals on my Honda CLR125, but someone’s been in there before me and the Allen socket on the end of the damper rod has rounded out so my Allen key just spins around.

Will my aftermarket exhaust become illegal?

Will my aftermarket exhaust become illegal?

Q. If I have a dealer-approved Arrow exhaust system fitted on my Triumph by the dealer and these EU rules come in saying no aftermarket exhausts, would this mean I have to take it off and refit the...

What’s causing FZ750’s fuelling problem?

What’s causing FZ750’s fuelling problem?

Q. I've got a technical problem with my 1986 Yamaha FZ750. Everything was fine until I removed the radiator to spray it, and then add new coolant. Whilst the radiator was off, I cleaned up the HT...

Is it worth buying a Category C write-off VFR?

Is it worth buying a Category C write-off VFR?

Q. I'm looking at a 1997 Honda VFR750FV that has had category C damage, apparently cosmetic only. The guy says it's been repaired and is straight. Do you think it's worth me getting seriously involved...

Product review: SBK Generations

Product review: SBK Generations

SBK Generations, £29.99 Time played: One month What's good? The career mode is improved from last year. You now start in 2009 and have up until the end of the 2012 season to win the WSB title. So this...

Best tyres for a Suzuki GSX400

Best tyres for a Suzuki GSX400

Q. I am having problems finding a pair of matching road tyres for my 1982 Suzuki GSX400. The front is a 90/90/19, the rear is a 110/90/17, if I have to mix brands what would be the best combination? ...

Jacket review: Germot Oxford wax jacket

Jacket review: Germot Oxford wax jacket

Germot Oxford wax jacket, £239.99 Miles covered/time: 2000/three months What’s good: This jacket combines retro charm with a degree of 21st century protection and I really love wearing it – it’s a...

How can I restrict a Honda VF400F?

How can I restrict a Honda VF400F?

Q. I am looking into buying a Honda VF400F. But I can't find a 33bhp kit or any legal way of restricting it. I have tried as many people and places as I can think of, including Honda dealerships and...

Will WD40 damage tyres?

Will WD40 damage tyres?

Q. My son can be a bit like Frank Spencer sometimes. When cleaning his chain he often gets WD40 all over his rear tyre, too. Despite me warning him not to, he declares: "It's OK, I clean it off...