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Choosing kit (Jan - Dec 2009)

  • Kit: How to buy a cheap helmet

    28 August 2009 by Chris Dabbs

    Kit: How to buy a cheap helmet

    If you are starting out on two wheels your budget has to cover a lot of first-time purchases. One of the most important is your crash helmet which could costs hundreds. But there are great savings to...

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  • Exhaust advice: Discoloured downpipes

    27 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    Exhaust advice: Discoloured downpipes

    I've bought a used 2006 Yamaha XJR1300 with 3000 miles on clock which runs very well. However the front downpipes are discoloured and have gone slightly purple. What do you think is the cause? Should...

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  • Suspension advice: Front end knocking

    27 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    Suspension advice: Front end knocking

    My Yamaha Fazer 1000 has developed an occasional knocking (movement) at the front end. It tends to happen in corners and it feels very similar to loose head bearings. It's been around for the last...

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  • Suspension advice: How age affects suspension

    26 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    Suspension advice: How age affects 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 the...

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  • Kit: How to buy a bike lock

    20 August 2009 by Rob Hull

    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...

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  • Kit: How to choose leather trousers

    19 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Kit: How to choose a leather jacket

    19 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • How does suspension affect understeer?

    19 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • FAQ: How to cure a vibrating wheel

    19 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Best tyre for a Suzuki Bandit 1250

    12 August 2009 by MCN

    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...

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  • Tyres FAQ: Why do tyres have wire in them?

    12 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Kit: How to buy winter motorcycle boots

    05 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Kit: How to buy summer motorcycle boots

    05 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Tyres FAQ: Why do tyres have air in them?

    05 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Tyres FAQ: Why are tyres black?

    05 August 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Kit: How to buy motorcycle gloves

    31 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • How to change your tyres at home

    29 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • The importance of balancing your wheel

    29 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Tyre advice: Running different tyres

    29 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Suspension advice: Replacing fork seals

    22 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Tyre advice: Good tyres for light trail use

    22 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • How to make sure your tyres are legal

    16 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Where to go for suspension

    16 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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.

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  • USD versus conventional forks

    16 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Fork 'pump down' explained

    10 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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,...

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  • Unsprung weight explained

    10 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • How to repair a puncture

    10 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • Kit: Buying waterproofs

    03 July 2009 by Rob Hull

    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...

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  • British Standards for puncture repairs

    01 July 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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  • What effect does ride height adjustment have?

    24 June 2009 by Marc Abbott

    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...

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