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 store a bike over winter

How to store a bike over winter

Q. I own a 2010 Honda VFR800. My bike is used most of the year but could be off the road for a couple of months in bad weather. It is garaged and has a battery conditioner fitted. Can I do any form of...

Suzuki Hayabusa's hot start issue

Suzuki Hayabusa's hot start issue

Q. I have a 1999 Hayabusa with a hot start problem. It starts fine when cold and on choke, and also when hot if you start straight away after stopping, such as after fuelling up. The problems start if...

Best winter battery care

Best winter battery care

Q. I am going to need to take my BMW F800R off the road over the winter and would like some advice on how best to look after the battery. I cannot fit a trickle charger as there is no electricity...

Oil light mystery on 2004 Yamaha R6

Oil light mystery on 2004 Yamaha R6

Q. I have an ’04 Yamaha R6, and on cold mornings the oil light comes on for about 30 seconds after I have been riding for a couple of minutes. When the bike has done about three or four miles or when...

Best road and track tyres for a Honda CB1000R

Best road and track tyres for a Honda CB1000R

I have a 2011 Honda CB1000R ABS, and want to do track days, what tyres are best suited to being ridden to the circuit, do a track day and then ride home? Roearn, MCN Tyre forum Any of the new breed of...

Does my Kawasaki ER-6 battery need replacing?

Does my Kawasaki ER-6 battery need replacing?

My Kawasaki ER-6 gives a buzzing sound when I hit the starter button and that’s it. Could this mean that the battery needs replacing, as it sounds like it’s struggling to kick in. Shuks, email  ...

Aprilia RSV can't find neutral

Aprilia RSV can't find neutral

I have a 2004 Aprilia RSV Factory on which it is impossible to select neutral when stopped. It is sometimes possible to slide it into neutral from second gear as you come to a halt, but at a...

Do I need tyre warmers for early trackday sessions?

Do I need tyre warmers for early trackday sessions?

I've been getting into track days recently, and this year's Indian summer has been a godsend. But even with the sun shining the tracks are pretty cold in the mornings. Is it time I invested in some...

Which Honda CBF250 sprocket to replace to raise gearing?

Which Honda CBF250 sprocket to replace to raise gearing?

If you want to raise the gearing, which makes more difference (if any), an extra tooth on the gearbox sprocket or one fewer on the rear wheel sprocket? Will either option affect the length of the...

Tyres for a Kawasaki VN1600 Classic

Tyres for a Kawasaki VN1600 Classic

I am trying to source a rear tyre for my Kawasaki VN1600 Classic, a 170/70 x 16 Bridgestone G722. I have trolled through pages of Google search, but have been unable to locate one. I have just put on...

How to recalibrate speedo to match new gearing

How to recalibrate speedo to match new gearing

Kevin Ash in his Insight column a few weeks ago described raising the gearing to improve fuel economy. I would love to do this on my Tiger 800, which like most bikes is unnecessarily undergeared at...

Can I fit mismatched tyres to my Fazer?

Can I fit mismatched tyres to my Fazer?

The front Dunlop Sportmax on my Yamaha FZ6 Fazer is getting due for replacement and I’d like a reasonably priced new tyre that would suit. The rear tyre is also a Sportmax but has lots of life...

Video: How to fix a puncture using the Gryyp Turn & Go

Video: How to fix a puncture using the Gryyp Turn & Go

This step-by-step video shows you how to fix a punctured motorcycle tyre using the Gryyp Turn & Go puncture repair kit.  

Why are my Hayabusa's brakes clicking?

Why are my Hayabusa's brakes clicking?

I changed the front pads on my Hayabusa recently, but now after hitting the brakes I keep hearing an annoying ‘clicking’ sound like something is touching the brake discs. I took it back to the...

Best tyres for a Suzuki B-King

Best tyres for a Suzuki B-King

Q. I’m looking for the best all-round tyres for my Suzuki B-King. On the web forums a lot of people are changing from the 200/50 rear to a 190/55, saying you get better turn in. Plus there is more...

Kawasaki ZZR1400 head bearing issue

Kawasaki ZZR1400 head bearing issue

Q. I have a 2007 Kawasaki ZZR1400 that has, from new, produced a loud crack from the head race area. During the guarantee period I was always told at each service that there was nothing to worry about...

Suspension fix for a 2004 Yamaha Fazer 1000

Suspension fix for a 2004 Yamaha Fazer 1000

Q. This is my second Fazer 1000, an ’04 model after several Blades and R1s. Ticking nearly all of the boxes: performance (Akrapovic system) and practicality aswell as all-day comfort, the glaring...

Best all-round tyres for a KTM Superduke

Best all-round tyres for a KTM Superduke

I have a KTM Superduke and need to replace both tyres. I ride quite hard so need something that inspires confidence, but often get caught out in the wet, so need something that doesn’t slide all over...

Kawasaki ER-5 keeps stalling

Kawasaki ER-5 keeps stalling

I have a 2002 Kawasaki ER-5, the engine starts and runs perfectly, but as soon as you put it in gear and start to release the clutch the bike will stall, no matter how high the revs are. It's not the...

Triumph Sprint ST downchange problem

Triumph Sprint ST downchange problem

I bought a new Triumph Sprint ST a year ago. Right from the start, I have had problems getting a smooth, slick downchange, especially from fourth to third to second and first. Occasionally I get it...

How to extract a bar end weight screw

How to extract a bar end weight screw

Q. I have a bar end weight screw stuck in the end of the bar after the bar end snapped off. There isn’t much sticking out to get a grip of, so I’m going to have a go at drilling it out, but are there...

Why are my bulbs blowing?

Why are my bulbs blowing?

Q. I replaced a bulb for the speedo on my, but when I was on my way home from work late this evening I accelerated hard to overtake a car on the slip road and join the motorway, and shortly after my...

Why are my Aprilia Mille's tyres deflating?

Why are my Aprilia Mille's tyres deflating?

Q. I have bought a 2002 Aprilia Mille that is having tyre problems – they’re deflating for no reason. I have put new tyres and valves on and the problem is still there. Motorcycle tyres for sale. The...

Best retro helmet for less than £200

Best retro helmet for less than £200

Q. I'm looking for an open-face helmet to wear on a Triumph Bonneville and I've about £200 to spend (although I'd rather spend less!). Cheap motorcycle helmets for sale. What are my options? Martin...

Why's my FZ1 rear brake useless?

Why's my FZ1 rear brake useless?

Q. The rear brake on my Yamaha FZ1 is useless. I told my local Yamaha dealer when they had it for its 12,000-mile service and afterwards they said it was OK. They said the pads looked almost new (they...

What's holding my tyre to the rim?

What's holding my tyre to the rim?

Q. Why does the rear wheel of a motorcycle not spin within the tyre? A great emphasis is placed on maximising tyre grip against the road surface, so why do the wheels not spin inside the tyre - the...

Exactly what tools do I need to replace my chain?

Exactly what tools do I need to replace my chain?

Q. I am about to replace the drive chain on my Honda Fireblade and I wanted clarification on which tools I’ll need for the job as the retailer wants to sell me a tool to peen over the hollow link...

What’s up with recently rebuilt Hayabusa motor?

What’s up with recently rebuilt Hayabusa motor?

Q. I’ve bought a second-hand Busa for good money that’s just had an engine rebuild. The reason I got it really cheap was because it misfires between five and 7000rpm and won’t rev past that. I’m...

Why are my Kawasaki ZR7’s brakes playing up?

Why are my Kawasaki ZR7’s brakes playing up?

Q. I have recently had my Kawasaki ZR7 serviced. The front brake was playing up and new pads were installed to restore service. But my brakes are still in a bad way – there is so much travel in the...

Perfect tyre for a BMW K1200RS

Perfect tyre for a BMW K1200RS

Q. I've come to the end of the road with the current tyres on my trusty '01 BMW K1200RS (Front Avon Azaro 120/70ZR17, Rear Avon 'Storm' AV56 180/55ZR17) and need a little guidance. My annual mileage...

How do I get exhaust bolts out?

How do I get exhaust bolts out?

Q. What’s the best method of getting exhaust bolts out? I have two Allen head studs and the heads inside are rounded off. mjhammer92, MCN forums A. If you can get to them OK then you can hammer a Torx...

Can I buy a 190-section Bridgestone BT021?

Can I buy a 190-section Bridgestone BT021?

Q. I have a VFR1200 2010 model it has Bridgestone BT021 190/55ZR17 rear and BT021 120/70ZR front I wanted to know if I could put Bridgestone BT023 or BT023 GT as my friends are running them on their...

What's caused my F650Gs's brake disc to warp?

What's caused my F650Gs's brake disc to warp?

Q. I have a 2008 BMW F650GS, which I bought last June with 1900 miles on the clock. BMW replaced the front disc under warranty, saying it had becomewarped. Although no reason was given to why it may...

Why does my Triumph TT600 cut out?

Why does my Triumph TT600 cut out?

Q. I have a 2002 Triumph TT600 with 20,000 miles on the clock. I'm having intermittent issues with it cutting out. The bike will start fine to begin with, but cuts out mid-ride. When it does this the...

Video: How to fit an Interphone F3 communications system

Video: How to fit an Interphone F3 communications system

Dan Sager, from Interphone UK, demonstrates how to sync and fit the Interphone F3 communications system to a Shoei Multitec helmet. The Interphone F3 can be paired with two other bluetooth devices at...

BMW K75RT tickover issue

BMW K75RT tickover issue

Q. I currently own a 1992 BMW K75RT. It has just failed its MoT on one single point. The throttle grip does not return to tickover when released. I have taken the handlebar mechanism apart and it is...