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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

  • Best tyres for a BMW S1000RR?

    24 August 2012

    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...

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  • Suzuki Intruder won’t start up properly

    24 August 2012

    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...

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  • Why won’t my TL1000S fuel properly?

    23 August 2012

    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...

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  • Best track tyres for a Honda Fireblade

    08 August 2012 by MCN

    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...

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  • Kawasaki ZZR notchy steering solution?

    08 August 2012 by MCN

    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...

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  • Getting feel back in Fireblade’s lever

    08 August 2012 by MCN

    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...

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  • How to remove sheared spark plug

    08 August 2012

    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,...

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  • Best sports-touring tyres for an R1100RT

    30 July 2012 by MCN

    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...

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  • Why is my ZZR600 cutting out?

    30 July 2012 by MCN

    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...

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  • Why’s my Suzuki Bandit knocking?

    30 July 2012 by MCN

    Why’s my Suzuki Bandit knocking?

    Q. When my Suzuki Bandit 600 is cold or just warming up I can hear a knocking noise like a “tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap”. When the bike warms up it stops. Is this ok or something I should worry...

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  • How can I pep up my BMW R1200GS?

    30 July 2012 by MCN

    How can I pep up my BMW R1200GS?

    Q. I have an old 2004 BMW R1200GS. Recently I had a test ride on the latest model, which was a lot peppier to ride and felt much better for it. Having established that I am too weak-willed to go...

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  • Will my aftermarket exhaust become illegal?

    25 July 2012 by MCN

    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...

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  • Can I derestrict a Honda Varadero 125?

    25 July 2012 by MCN

    Can I derestrict a Honda Varadero 125?

    Q. I have been riding for 47 years and am heading for retirement, so I want a bike that’s easy to push around, that I can ride all day and is cheap to run. I like the Honda 125 Varadero, but can it be...

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  • Product review: SBK Generations

    09 July 2012 by Liam Marsden

    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...

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  • Best tyres for a Suzuki GSX400

    09 July 2012 by MCN

    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? ...

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  • Jacket review: Germot Oxford wax jacket

    09 July 2012 by Simon Brown

    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...

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  • How can I restrict a Honda VF400F?

    25 June 2012 by MCN

    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...

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  • Will WD40 damage tyres?

    25 June 2012 by MCN

    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...

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  • How to remove a seized bolt from CBR600F Sport’s radiator

    07 June 2012 by MCN

    Q. I've a Honda CBR600F Sport and was just about to give it a good clean today when one of the bolts on the V-piece under the radiator just kept turning. So I thought I'll take the left-hand fairing off and carefully take the V-piece off with the left-hand fairing. All was going well until I found another seized bolt in its rubber grommet on the left fairing. How can I get them out? Dom501, MCN...

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  • Have my wheel weights been wrongly fitted?

    07 June 2012 by MCN

    Have my wheel weights been wrongly fitted?

    Q. I have just had new Bridgestone tyres fitted to my Gold Wing by my local Honda dealer. The rear tyre has not got any weights and on the front they have put all the weights on one side, 2 x 10 and 3...

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  • What’s causing my Honda Hornet’s rattle?

    28 May 2012 by MCN

    What’s causing my Honda Hornet’s rattle?

    Q. I was advised the rattle on my Honda Hornet 600 was probably the camchain tensioner, so I had a new one fitted, but now the rattle has returned. However, where it used to rattle when cold, it’s now...

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  • Why is my Yamaha R6 dying on me?

    23 May 2012 by MCN

    Why is my Yamaha R6 dying on me?

    Q. I recently rebuilt my 2002 Yamaha R6 and all seems ok. It starts up and ticks over OK, but when I go to ride off it feels like it’s got no fuel and the revs die on me. She will restart just fine,...

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  • My Suzuki GSX-R750 is overheating

    23 May 2012 by MCN

    My Suzuki GSX-R750 is overheating

    Q. I have a 2003 Suzuki GSX-R750 and when it gets to its max temperature (107 degrees) it overheats and cuts out in traffic, I have to wait until it cools down before it starts again. It was fully...

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  • Why is my Deauville playing up?

    23 May 2012 by MCN

    Why is my Deauville playing up?

    Q. I was riding home on the M6 yesterday after a weeks touring round Scotland on my Deauville when my rev counter went haywire then died. Shortly after, the bike backfired twice and the engine cut out...

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