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

Sticky BMW K75RT throttle grip

Sticky BMW K75RT throttle grip

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...

Why is my Hornet's front end squeaking?

Why is my Hornet's front end squeaking?

Q. I have just upgraded from my trusty CBR125 to a 2004 Hornet 600, in very good conditionjust under 11,000 miles and a brilliant bike in itself. I have just had a new tyre and pads put on the front,...

Cure for GS's flashing ABS lights

Cure for GS's flashing ABS lights

Q. My BMW R1150GS has ABS – as soon as the bike starts to move I could hear the noise of the ABS engaging and at the same time two simultaneously flashing red lights on thedash would go out. Recently,...

Will changing my rear tyre affect dyno results?

Will changing my rear tyre affect dyno results?

Q. My bike used a 190/55 x 17 rear tyre as original equipment, but now it’s on a 190/50. Will there be a difference in rear wheel torque as a dyno measures it on the rear wheel? Motorcycle tyres for...

Why does my RS125 judder?

Why does my RS125 judder?

Q. I’ve noticed a problem when using the front brake on my 2008 RS125. Sometimes, when braking lightly, the whole front of the bike starts vibrating quite violently - it's not a massive problem but it...

Cure for spluttering ZZR1400

Cure for spluttering ZZR1400

Q. I’ve owned a 2008 Kawasaki ZZR1400 ABS model from new. Recently when it’s at about 60mph in fourth or fifth gear it will start to splutter as if it is running out of petrol or firing on three...

FJ1200 fuel cut-off woes

FJ1200 fuel cut-off woes

Can you help me with a fuel reserve cut-off problem on my 1986 Yamaha FJ1200 please? The fuel tap solenoid appears to be faulty and it cuts off the fuel supply when there’s still lots of fuel in the...

Best tyres for a Triumph Daytona 675

Best tyres for a Triumph Daytona 675

I’ve just acquired a 2006 Daytona 675 fitted with old Dunlop Sportmax D208s which don't inspire confidence. I used Pirelli Diablo Corsas on a 2000 Blade, which worked well. Would you recommend the...

Where are my ZZ-R600's spark plugs?!

Where are my ZZ-R600's spark plugs?!

I decided to check the plugs on my Y-reg Kawasaki ZZ-R600 so dutifully got out my Haynes manual, read up on the steps to take. 1. Remove seat, 2. Disconnect battery, 3. Remove tank 4. Access plugs…...

Yamaha R1 gearbox troubles

Yamaha R1 gearbox troubles

I've just bought a 2004 Yamaha R1. It shifts through all the gears fine if going steady but if I am accelerating hard when I shift into fifth it will hit a false neutral then find sixth. I'm thinking...

How to fit performance brake lines

How to fit performance brake lines

This step-by-step video shows you how to replace ageing brakes lines with a set of high performance lines for increased braking power. While older bikes are still great fun one of the easiest ways of...

Triumph Daytona 955i won't tick over

Triumph Daytona 955i won't tick over

I have a 1999 Triumph Daytona 955i. It refuses to tick over when started from cold. After a couple of miles down the road, it seems fine. If I restart it before it gets cold it’s OK. If I leave it...

Why is my CBR600's mudguard cracked?

Why is my CBR600's mudguard cracked?

I have a Honda CBR600 Sport that I have owned for eight years. After my second outing this year I noticed a series of cracks around the lower mounting point of one side on the front mudguard. I fitted...

Why is my front tyre wearing unevenly?

Why is my front tyre wearing unevenly?

Q. I have a Kawasaki ZX-10R with a Metzeler front motorcycle tyre which has worn around one side only, similar to tracking wear on a car tyre, with the wear starting from the centre of the tyre.

Why does B-King's lever come back to the bar?

Why does B-King's lever come back to the bar?

Q. I am having problems with the brake lever travel on my Suzuki B-King. When cold, with the lever set at full span it almost comes into the twist grip, with no resistance. But once I get a very...

Why is my Kawasaki ZXR750 clutch slipping?

Why is my Kawasaki ZXR750 clutch slipping?

Q. I’ve just put some new clutch plates in my Kawasaki ZXR750 H2, but it’s still slipping. Can I adjust it out? wingy46, MCN forums   A. As your clutch is hydraulic, the only adjustment is at...

Why is my GSX-R1000's gear position indicator wrong?

Why is my GSX-R1000's gear position indicator wrong?

Q. I’ve just got a Suzuki GSX-R1000 K7, which is very nice, but when I changed the oil there were some milky deposits in the fluid and the gear position indicator keeps going crazy, reading first for...

Why can't you get run-flat tyres for motorcycles?

Why can't you get run-flat tyres for motorcycles?

Q. My BMW car is fitted with run-flat tyres which I appreciate as I got a puncture the other day about 60 miles from home. I was able to continue back home at 40 to 50mph, although I couldn't get it...

Should I bleed my brakes after a piston popped out?

Should I bleed my brakes after a piston popped out?

Q. I changed my brake pads today and when I pushed one of the pistons back another one popped out. I managed to get it back in OK after a small spillage and it’s not leaking at the moment. Will I need...

What’s caused my tyre valve to blow out?!

What’s caused my tyre valve to blow out?!

Last week I had what I think was a fairly lucky escape. I was checking the tyre pressures on my 2001 Honda CBR1100XX, but when I put the tyre gauge on the valve stem the stem itself (thread included)...

How hard is it to swap my GPZ500’s engine?

How hard is it to swap my GPZ500’s engine?

I’ve a Kawasaki GPZ500 with loads of top-end grief, including a new camchain and tensioner, so I’m thinking that another engine for around 100 quid could be the best deal, although its condition is an...

Why is my radiator bubbling over?

Why is my radiator bubbling over?

A line of small white foam bubbles have started to appear all along the lower edge of my radiator. Although the expansion tank level has not really dropped, do I need to consider Radweld or a repair?...

What's up with my Triumph Trophy's fuel sensor?

What's up with my Triumph Trophy's fuel sensor?

What’s up my Triumph Trophy’s fuel sensor? The fuel gauge on my Triumph Trophy 900 won’t stop flickering between half and three quarters full and the MoT is coming up. Does it need to be giving an...

Why is my Kawasaki ZX-9R stalling?

Why is my Kawasaki ZX-9R stalling?

Why is my ZX-9R stalling? I own a late Kawasaki ZX-9R and it will only turn over and start when the bike is in neutral and the clutch disengaged. The moment I pull in the clutch lever it packs up. I’m...

How much to fix my GSX600F’s chain and sprockets?

How much to fix my GSX600F’s chain and sprockets?

I recently bought a Suzuki GSX600FW. The chain looks really dodgy as do the sprockets, while the brakes need some attention as well, particularly the discs. Where can I source these parts at a...

Tyre's mystery line

Tyre's mystery line

I have about 400 miles on the Bridgestone BT023R on the front wheel of my 2005 Honda CBF600N and I’ve noticed a strange line just left of centre that runs the circumference of the tyre. Has anyone...

Best tyres for a 2004 Honda Fireblade

Best tyres for a 2004 Honda Fireblade

Q. I bought my 2004 Fireblade with Pirelli Corsa IIIs and they seem OK but a little ‘slidy’ on the rear at times (in the damp). I’m trying to decide whether to replace the pair with Corsa IIIs or buy...

Suzuki GS500E won’t idle

Suzuki GS500E won’t idle

Q. I can’t get my Suzuki GS500E to idle on the tickover screw. I either wind it right in, so the throttle is stuck on 4000 revs, or it stalls as I back it off. I have fitted new spark plugs and...

Will my loud exhaust pass an MoT?

Will my loud exhaust pass an MoT?

Q. I have a US-import GSX-R750 with a Yoshimura end can fitted which hasn’t got any markings on it at all. No 'not for road use' or 'race use only', but it does seem a little loud. Where do I stand...

Best tyres for a KTM 950SM?

Best tyres for a KTM 950SM?

I am looking for some new tyres for my 2006 KTM 950SM. I currently have Pirelli Diablo Corsa IIIs on, which have been great, although I haven’t used them in the wet much. I am planning a trip to the...

Cure for stuttering ZZR1100

Cure for stuttering ZZR1100

My ZZR1100 was running rough and when I checked the valve clearances there were six tight on the exhaust side. I also balanced the carbs, and it’s now much smoother and responsive, but it sort of...

What’s causing Ducati 749 error?

What’s causing Ducati 749 error?

I have just started my Ducati 749 for the first time in about a month. The bike starts OK every time but the amber EOBD light stays on. According to the owner’s manual it should go out after about...

What are the yellow dots on tyres?

What are the yellow dots on tyres?

I was browsing websites looking for info regarding those red and yellow dots on the tyre sidewalls and could have sworn I'd seen an MCN feature about them being factory balance markings and where they...

One-armed rider seeks braking solution

One-armed rider seeks braking solution

Q. I have a paralysed right arm and ride a 1999 Honda Hornet 600 with all the controls fitted to the left side handlebar. At the moment I use an ISR clutch master cylinder that I have connected the...

Best tyres for a KTM SMT

Best tyres for a KTM SMT

Q. I've got a KTM SMT 990. Can you suggest a set of sticky tyres for it? The stickier the better, and I'm not bothered about tyre life as I only go out for 50-60 mile blasts. Your help would be much...

Will charger hurt my Rocket III’s battery?

Will charger hurt my Rocket III’s battery?

Q. My Triumph Rocket III is fitted with an alarm and clock and I was wondering whether should I put an Optimate on after every ride, even though it’s generally only left for 12 hours? Is it worth it...