2009

Tyre Advice: What affects tyre life on a GSX-R1000?

Tyre Advice: What affects tyre life on a GSX-R1000?

There are four factors that affect the life of a tyre. First, pressures; on your bike it should be 36psi front, 42psi rear. Next, the suspension needs to be compliant enough to help the tyre cope. If...

Kit: How to buy a bike lock

Kit: How to buy a bike lock

Buying a motorcycle lock is all about one thing – tailoring it to your specific needs. The motorcycle lock world is diverse with a variety of options meaning you could actually buy three or four...

Kit: How to choose leather trousers

Kit: How to choose leather trousers

As important as your leather jacket, leather trousers serve the same purpose (that of protection), albeit with slightly less style if you’re riding to the pub.  Compare and buy leather...

Kit: How to choose a leather jacket

Kit: How to choose a leather jacket

It doesn’t matter what we say here – most motorcyclists, if they’re being honest, will choose something that looks good. And why not? Compare and buy leather jackets in the MCN Shop However, beyond...

How does suspension affect understeer?

How does suspension affect understeer?

Also known as running wide, understeer is the bike's inability to track a line through a bend. It usually occurs when a bike is set up too soft and the suspension wallows and struggles as physical...

FAQ: How to cure a vibrating wheel

FAQ: How to cure a vibrating wheel

If you have some harsh vibrations or the steering feels loose or wobbly then your front wheel could be out of balance. Those vibes will stress wheel bearings, make the tyre run hotter and could...

Suspension FAQ: How can your suspension and tyres cause a slide?

Suspension FAQ: How can your suspension and tyres cause a slide?

The rear end of a bike can slide for a number of reasons. Over-firm suspension dials out compliance and suppleness, making a bike's tyre do more work than the suspension itself. This can cause the...

Best tyre for a Suzuki Bandit 1250

Best tyre for a Suzuki Bandit 1250

Reader Mike Lecras came to us looking for the perfect combination touring and sporty rubber for his 2009 Suzuki GSF1250 GT. He was running the standard Dunlop D218N 180/55 V17 at the rear. MCN's...

Tyres FAQ: Why do tyres have wire in them?

Tyres FAQ: Why do tyres have wire in them?

The high-tensile steel wire is also known as the bead and runs circumferationally around the inner part of the tyre. Its job is to anchor the tyre on the rim so that the tyre can't creep on the wheel...

Kit: How to buy winter motorcycle boots

Kit: How to buy winter motorcycle boots

Think about what sort of riding you'll be doing, and when you¹ll be doing it. If you'll be commuting throughout the year, there will be days when you rue the purchase of those vented summer race...

Kit: How to buy summer motorcycle boots

Kit: How to buy summer motorcycle boots

Whether it's a race-spec boot or a simple touring boot for summer rides or commuting, the theory behind making sure it fits is the same. The golden rule is to make sure you visit a dealer to try on as...

Tyres FAQ: Why do tyres have air in them?

Tyres FAQ: Why do tyres have air in them?

A tyre has to deform slightly at the point of contact with the road for instance in, order to achieve any change of direction or speed and it has to do this in a progressive and predictable way in all...

Tyres FAQ: Why are tyres black?

Tyres FAQ: Why are tyres black?

There isn't any natural rubber in a tyre's construction. But there are about 200 raw materials from man-made rubbers, reinforcing fillers, rayon, nylon, all sorts of additives and aramid...

Kit: How to buy motorcycle gloves

Kit: How to buy motorcycle gloves

You hands are the most vital parts of your body for riding a bike ­ they control your speed, your upper body balance and are unfortunately the first things to hit the deck in a crash on almost every...

How to change your tyres at home

How to change your tyres at home

Tyre changes are quite easy to do at home if you have the right tools. A purpose-made bead breaker will get the tyre off the rim, and once the rubber is in the 'well' of the wheel, good quality tyre...

The importance of balancing your wheel

The importance of balancing your wheel

If you've got some harsh vibrations or the steering feels loose or wobbly then your front wheel could be out of balance. Those vibes will stress wheel bearings, make the tyre run hotter and could...

Tyre advice: Running different tyres

Tyre advice: Running different tyres

Q. I ride a 1997 VFR750, a superb bike. On the front I have a perfect Bridgestone Battlax BT56 with lots of tread left. My question is, can I replace the worn out BT57 with a new Bridgestone Battlax...

Can adjusting your chain affect the suspension?

Can adjusting your chain affect the suspension?

In short, yes. When the suspension is compressed to about one third, the front sprocket, swingarm pivot and rear spindle form a straight line. Compare and buy motorcycle suspension This is the...

Suspension advice: Replacing fork seals

Suspension advice: Replacing fork seals

The first piece of advice for replacing for seals would be to always get a workshop manual of some description when stripping major components down, if only for the torque settings. Compare and buy...

Tyre advice: Good tyres for light trail use

Tyre advice: Good tyres for light trail use

Q. I have a 2009 Triumph Tiger 1050, which I am delighted with. I am well aware it is not a full-blown off-road motorcycle, but I would like to improve the grip on light trail use, without sacrificing...

How to make sure your tyres are legal

How to make sure your tyres are legal

As well as inflating them correctly, the Law says that the grooves of the tread pattern must have a depth of a least 1mm throughout a continuous band measuring at least three-quarters of the breadth...

Where to go for suspension

Where to go for suspension

Here's a list of useful contacts in the suspension world. Whether it's set-up advice, work or shock and fork components, these guys are among the country's greatest. Harris Performance, Hertford.

USD versus conventional forks

USD versus conventional forks

Suspension-wise, given springs and dampers of equal quality, there is no difference between upside-down and conventional forks. But the fork leg is not a suspension unit, it is also a structural...

Fork 'pump down' explained

Fork 'pump down' explained

Pump down, or packing, occurs when you hit a series of bumps after dialling in too much rebound damping. Because you've over-slowed the rate at which the suspension can return once it's compressed,...

Unsprung weight explained

Unsprung weight explained

Sprung weight is the mass of those parts supported by the suspension. Unsprung is the rest; wheels, tyres, brakes, chain etc. Changing the unsprung weight has no direct effect on springing (as it's...

How to repair a puncture

How to repair a puncture

If you need to repair a puncture at the roadside, there are several methods you can use. There are preventative sealants out there that are designed to seal off a puncture as soon as it...

Kit: Buying waterproofs

Kit: Buying waterproofs

There’s three key things to consider when buying waterproofs – they’re completely waterproof (obvious, but there are things to look for), they’ve quick and easy to get on and they’re...

Suspension advice: 2002 Aprilia RSV1000R: Setting the suspension for you

Suspension advice: 2002 Aprilia RSV1000R: Setting the suspension for you

I have just bought a 2002 Aprilia RSV1000R Mille. I have no idea who has fiddled with the suspension in the past or how it’s set up now. It will be a while before I get on a track to have it tweaked...

How to tell when it's time to change your suspension

How to tell when it's time to change your suspension

Age takes its toll on the rubber seals through degradation and springs sag as the coils deform under the continued load. You can spot seal problems such as perishing or oil leaks, but to check springs...

British Standards for puncture repairs

British Standards for puncture repairs

A British standard exists for motorcycle tyre repairs (BSAU159f), which determines the strength of the repair and where it can and can’t be made in the tyre. Compare and buy motorcycle tyres Being a...

What effect does ride height adjustment have?

What effect does ride height adjustment have?

Ride height adjustment is usually only found on top-of-the-range sports bikes, nakeds and the occasional sports-tourer, It raises or lowers the height of the rear shock, lifting or lowering the entire...

How to scrub in your tyres

How to scrub in your tyres

In a word 'gently'. When the tyre comes out of the mould there are release agents that need to be removed before the rubber performs at its optimum. Compare and buy motorcycle tyres To do that you...

How much to spend on a rear shock

How much to spend on a rear shock

If you're thinking of replacing your rear shock and are unsure of how much to spend, consider this... Choose a specialist supplier/manufacturer who can give decent back-up and advice. You are going to...

Firmer brakes overnight

Firmer brakes overnight

For an easier way to get better brakes, use a cable-tie or similar to hold the front brake on quite tightly and leave overnight. When returning to the bike next day tap the brake hoses thoroughly to...

Suspension advice: Stopping my bike 'flopping' into corners

Suspension advice: Stopping my bike 'flopping' into corners

Q. My 2004 Kawasaki ZR-7 has a tendency to flop into corners although I fitted a new rear shock recently. Compare and buy suspension products I've checked the head bearings for play and set the tyre...

How to extract a weathered header pipe bolt

How to extract a weathered header pipe bolt

If your socket just spins on the bolt, don't panic! Go for a run on the bike to get it really hot, then when you get back leave it ticking over for 5-10 minutes. Compare and buy motorcycle...