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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

  • Why is my Bandit 1250's exhaust popping?

    07 December 2011 by MCN

    Why is my Bandit 1250's exhaust popping?

    Q. I bought my 2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250SA new and I like everything except the massive end can. I replaced this with a twin outlet road legal can from Banditmania which looks and sounds great. The...

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  • How do I replace Suzuki SV650's radiator?

    07 December 2011 by MCN

    How do I replace Suzuki SV650's radiator?

    Q. While waiting for my shoulder to heal after a smash I took the radiator off my SV and got it repaired. What do I need to know about putting it back on? Is it as simple as stick it back on and fill...

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  • Is petrol damaging my 20-year-old bike?

    07 December 2011 by MCN

    Is petrol damaging my 20-year-old bike?

    Q. I've just seen an advertisement for a product that will protect motorcycle engines made before 1996 from damage that will, according to them, result from use of petrol containing ethanol. I have a...

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  • Wrong pressures on Honda CBF600 tyres

    30 November 2011 by MCN

    Wrong pressures on Honda CBF600 tyres

    Q. I have been using my Honda CBF600 for six months. I had got it into my head that the front tyre pressure was 42psi, which has always seemed fine. The other day I went to check the pressures and the...

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  • Where's my GSX-R600's engine braking gone?

    30 November 2011 by MCN

    Where's my GSX-R600's engine braking gone?

    Q. I’ve noticed the engine braking on my 10,000-mile GSX-R600 K5 has severely decreased when I roll off the throttle and I can quite happily ride round at 10mph with no throttle at all and the clutch...

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  • How to store a bike over winter

    30 November 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Suzuki Hayabusa's hot start issue

    30 November 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Best tyres for a BMW K1600GT

    23 November 2011 by MCN

    Best tyres for a BMW K1600GT

    Q. I love my BMW K1600GT but I have struggled to get a decent mileage from the OE tyres. On my best behaviour I can get 3500 miles tops, but I want to get it above 4000 miles otherwise a big trip...

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  • Best winter battery care

    23 November 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Oil light mystery on 2004 Yamaha R6

    23 November 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Yamaha YBR 125's revs won't drop

    17 November 2011 by MCN

    Yamaha YBR 125's revs won't drop

    I bought a 2005 Yamaha YBR125 privately few weeks ago, it didn’t tick over very well then but I thought it just needed a good service. It starts OK but after it’s warmed up and ready, if you throttle...

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  • Aprilia RSV can't find neutral

    17 November 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Is Honda CBR125 output shaft safe?

    12 October 2011 by MCN

    Is Honda CBR125 output shaft safe?

    Q. While fitting a new chain and sprockets to my son’s 2007 Honda CBR125R I noticed that the engine output shaft could be moved in and out by about 1-2mm. Is this normal on this model? A. Don’t panic...

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  • Tyres for a Kawasaki VN1600 Classic

    05 October 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • What's causing Sprint ST's starting problem?

    27 September 2011 by MCN

    What's causing Sprint ST's starting problem?

    I have a 2005 Triumph Sprint ST 1050 with a seemingly random starter problem. Sometimes it will turn over, but that’s it. Then the next day it works fine. The dealer has swapped the plugs over and...

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  • Can I fit mismatched tyres to my Fazer?

    27 September 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Cure for Honda CG125's juddering

    27 September 2011 by MCN

    Cure for Honda CG125's juddering

    When I’m slowing down on my Honda CG125 and I’m in third gear, then go down to second, when I slowly let out my clutch I get a fast juddering noise. It seems to do it more when cold. The chain tension...

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  • Why are my Hayabusa's brakes clicking?

    26 September 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Best tyres for a Suzuki B-King

    20 September 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Kawasaki ZZR1400 head bearing issue

    20 September 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Suspension fix for a 2004 Yamaha Fazer 1000

    20 September 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Best all-round tyres for a KTM Superduke

    08 September 2011 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Kawasaki ER-5 keeps stalling

    08 September 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Honda Hornet 600's surprise backfire

    08 September 2011 by MCN

    Honda Hornet 600's surprise backfire

    Yesterday, when I went to start up my 1998 Honda Hornet 600, I got a massive backfire. It’s never happened before and I’m wondering if it’s anything to worry about (damaging valves, etc)? The bike ran...

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  • Triumph Sprint ST downchange problem

    08 September 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Best tyres for a Honda CBR600RR

    30 August 2011 by MCN

    Best tyres for a Honda CBR600RR

    Q. I have just bought a Honda CBR600RR and the rear tyre’s just about squared off. It’s got a BT-015R on, would there be anything better for fast road riding? Or should I keep to the same type of...

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  • How to extract a bar end weight screw

    30 August 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Why are my bulbs blowing?

    30 August 2011 by MCN

    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...

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