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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

  • Triumph Daytona 955i won't tick over

    06 June 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Cure for sticky CBR125R speedo

    06 June 2011 by MCN

    Cure for sticky CBR125R speedo

    I’ve owned my 2005 Honda CBR125 for around six months and it’s recently developed a problem where the speedo wavers annoyingly at around 60mph, occasionally sticking at this speed. Joshterry93, MCN...

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  • Why is my CBR600's mudguard cracked?

    06 June 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Why is my front tyre wearing unevenly?

    01 June 2011 by MCN

    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.

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  • Why is my Kawasaki ZXR750 clutch slipping?

    01 June 2011 by MCN

    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...

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

    18 May 2011 by MCN

    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)...

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  • Best coolant for a Honda CBF600

    18 May 2011 by MCN

    Best coolant for a Honda CBF600

    I’ve a 2008 Honda CBF600 and I need to refill it with coolant. The manual says it should be 50/50 antifreeze and distilled water, but I can’t get antifreeze at this time of year. What type of coolant...

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

    18 May 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Why is my radiator bubbling over?

    18 May 2011 by MCN

    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?...

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  • Why is my Kawasaki ZX-9R stalling?

    09 May 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Tyre's mystery line

    04 May 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Why are my GSX1400’s downpipes glowing?

    03 May 2011 by MCN

    Why are my GSX1400’s downpipes glowing?

    I have a Suzuki GSX1400 and I have just fitted a four-into-one Akrapovic exhaust system. When I start it up and it’s ticking over, my exhaust headers glow bright red. Could you tell me why this is...

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  • Why does my CBR125 keep stalling?

    03 May 2011 by MCN

    Why does my CBR125 keep stalling?

    I have a 2005 plate CBR125R and it runs fine, except it has a tendency to stall when slowing down just before stopping (eg. at traffic lights). It was also idling unevenly, but I tweaked the idle...

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  • Best tyres for a 2004 Honda Fireblade

    08 April 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Suzuki GS500E won’t idle

    08 April 2011

    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...

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  • Will my loud exhaust pass an MoT?

    08 April 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Best tyres for a KTM 950SM?

    29 March 2011

    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...

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  • Cure for stuttering ZZR1100

    29 March 2011

    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...

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  • What’s causing Ducati 749 error?

    29 March 2011

    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...

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  • Honda Varadero ignition problem

    29 March 2011

    Honda Varadero ignition problem

    My 2009 Honda Varadero 1000cc has an intermittent random fault that happens maybe once a day or once a week or several times a day. When I switch the ignition on, the light comes on, but there's no...

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  • What are the yellow dots on tyres?

    22 March 2011

    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...

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  • One-armed rider seeks braking solution

    22 March 2011

    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...

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  • Best tyres for a KTM SMT

    16 February 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • Will charger hurt my Rocket III’s battery?

    16 February 2011 by MCN

    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...

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  • My Kawasaki ZZ-R600 won’t tick over

    16 February 2011 by MCN

    My Kawasaki ZZ-R600 won’t tick over

    Q. My 2000 Kawasaki ZZ-R600’s idle is all over the place and it’s cutting out at speed, too. I’ve tried to adjust the tickover using the screw, but it’s seized solid, so I’ve had to do it with the...

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  • The best off-road tyres

    07 February 2011 by MCN

    The best off-road tyres

    Q. I own a Kawasaki KMX200 and I’m looking for a set of road-legal off-road tyres with the emphasis on their dirt performance. I've spent ages surfing the web but can’t find any that fit the bill. The...

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  • Yamaha R1 is skipping second gear

    07 February 2011 by MCN

    Yamaha R1 is skipping second gear

    Q. I’ve just bought a 2002 Yamaha R1 and the gear selection isn’t brilliant, with second gear skipping at 8000rpm. The fork seals are starting to leak too… Gordon Harrison, email   A. Oh dear, it...

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  • Is my ZX-7R suffering from carb icing?

    07 February 2011 by MCN

    Is my ZX-7R suffering from carb icing?

    Q. My Kawasaki ZX-7R P4 has an intermittent running problem that has me stumped. On cold mornings it will start fine, run fine for about five or 10 minutes then sometimes it will stutter and feel like...

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