Enjoy this list of alphabetically listed motorcycle related terms. Also be sure visit the help section.

numbers a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z



1% er (One Percenter) Outlaw Biker

A biker who's beliefs and/or actions are outside (or not accepted by) the common public.


13th letter stands for Motorcycles or Marajauna.

2 Second Rule

The minimum gap or distance between two vehicles travelling in the same direction. As the vehicle in front of you passes a particular mark on the road or sign along the road, count two seconds and your vehicle should pass the same mark or sign. If road conditions are poor, the gap should be extended to three seconds or more. If you are following less than two seconds, there is not sufficient time to react to emergency evasive manoeuvres to avoid the possibility of hitting the vehicle in front. When riding in staggered formation this means that you would maintain a minimum of 1-second spacing between your motorcycle and the next bike in the group ahead of you. 2-seconds becomes a distance when you measure how far your motorcycle moves in that amount of time. Thus, no matter what speed you are riding at, the minimum following distance automatically 'adjusts' by using this concept.




1. Anti-lock braking system. System that senses when a tire is about to loose traction during braking and decreases braking force, preventing tire lock up. 2. The ABS detects when a wheel is not turning and releases pressure to the brake on that wheel, preventing a skid. 3. A component added to the braking system that detects wheel lock up. The system then modulates the brakes at that point with the idea of stopping you faster than you could yourself.


Angels Forever Forever Angels


American Motorcycle Association.


American Petroleum Institute.


National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.


All The Gear All The Time - This refers to a safety attitude which presumes that safety gear should always be worn when riding a motorcycle regardless of temperature, distance to be ridden or peer pressures that might encourage not doing so.


All Things Motorcycle

Accelerator pump

Extra pump in the carburetor to temporarily increase the amount of fuel delivered to the air stream.


In motorcycle context, good aerodynamics means that the motorcycle is designed to have as little resistance from the air as possible. This is essential to achieve great speeds. The manufacturers often make use of wind tunnels during the development of a new motorcycle.


The sector of the market that sells parts and accessories other than OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer... ie, Honda, BMW, Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, etc.)

Air Intake Valves

Reed Valves

Air cooling

Mechanism used to keep the engine at operating temperature by using air flowing over heat sinks (engine fins) to disperse excess heat into the environment directly.

Air cooling

The direct removal of heat from an engine by the passage of air over it. The engine's surface area is increased by adding fins.

Air filter

Air entering the carburettor is filtered to remove dirt. Filters are made of paper, fabric, oiled gauze or oiled plastic foam.

Air fuel ratio

Proportions in which air and fuel are mixed to form a combustible gas.

Air lock

Similar to vapor lock, a pocket or air develops that blocks the normal flow of a fluid, such as in a hydraulic brake line. Common in two stroke engines when the oil injection system is allowed to run dry.

Air springs

Suspension system using compressed air instead of coil springs. The air is contained in a rubber bag or cylinder.

Air/fuel ratio

The proportions in which air and fuel are mixed to form a gas which will burn.


Mesh-like, highly tear-resistant Dynafil polyamide weave.


A term for older, air-cooled BMW Boxer Twins.


80% nitrogen, 19% oxygen, some carbonic gas and minor trace elements.


A solid or homogenous solution that is a mixture of two or more metals to create a combined metal with better characteristics for a specific purpose.


Modern replacement for the dynamo generator, producing large quantities of alternating current to run the electrical systems of a motorcycle.


Gauge that measures amps in electrical current.

Analog gauges

Shows information in a continuous forum, often a dial; often considered the opposite of digital gauges. Old school gauges.

Anch's or Anchor



A technique used to coat the surface of a metal with an oxide layer. It may be used to increase corrosion resistance, increase wear resistance, allow dyeing or prepare the surface for other processes and coatings including paint. Anodization changes the microscopic texture of the surface and can change the crystal structure of the metal near the surface. The process derives its name from the fact that the part to be treated forms the anode portion of an electrical circuit in this electrolytic process.

Anti-dive System

A front-end suspension component that reduces how much the forks compress under braking, popular with motorcycles built in 1980s.


An opening, hole or port.

Apes or Ape Hangers

1. Handlebars that are very high, and which often raise the rider's hands above his or her shoulders. High handlebars so Biker's hands are at or above their shoulder height.. Refers to a handlebar style where the handgrips are located at a higher position, so as to enable the rider's arms to "hang" Picture "Clyde" from "Every Which Way but Loose" and you'll get a perfect understanding of the riding position. 2. Very high handlebars. Usually found on choppers. 3. A term coined at the height of the custom-bike movement to describe tall handlebars that forced the rider to reach skyward to graps the controls, making the rider adopt an ape-like posture.


The vertex of tightest (middle or centre) point of a curve.


A layer of water can build up between the tyre and the road when riding in rain. This causes loss of directional control and braking ability.

Armacor (GORE-TEX Armacor)

A new kind of highly tear-resistant material combining Kevlar and Cordura with the first class weather properties of GORE-TEX in a 3-layer laminate.

Aspect Ratio

The ratio of the height of the wall of a tire to the width of the tread expressed as a percentage. Section height divided by section width equals aspect ratio. If the section height is one half the section width, the aspect ratio is 50%.

Automatic gearbox

One in which the ratios are changed automatically in response to engine revs and road speed.


clutch Also known as a centrifugal clutch. One in which the speed of the engine determines whether or not the drive is transmitted. Found on many mopeds.



B. F. H.

Big F@#$ing Hammer used to remove rusted axles, bearing cups from the frame neck etc.


Buell Riders Adventure Group


Buell Riders Adventure Group.

BAB (Born Again Biker)

Someone who has recently returned to riding after a period of absence and really ought to get some advanced training" Matt the Rat


Bottom dead canter of a piston. Opposite of TDC (Top dead center)


Brake horse power. A unit of measurement for engine power output.

BMW (pronounced Bee em vee in English or Bay emm vay in German)

BMW AG (an abbreviation of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or in English, Bavarian Motor Works), is a German company and manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. The old 60's and 70's BMW motorcycles do have a nick name used very often: "Gummikuh" (Rubber Cow) because they used to become instable in curves when you close the throttle surprisingly.


Basic/Beginner's Rider Course - Entry level motorcycle safety riding class hosted by the MSF. No experience necessary.


British Small Arms. English motorcycle maker until the 1970's.


Butt Ugly But Fast ( A Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 'A' Model)


Broke Urban Biker


Big Ugly Guy- a big, hostile person, as in "So me and my bros had to fight off these Bugs.." or "You shoulda seen this Bug's ride"

Back Door

The last (and most experienced) rider in a group ride.

Back Marker

A slow rider marking the back of the pack.

Back Warmer

A girl on the back of your motorcycle.


Explosion of the fuel in the intake manifold or carburetor, but often used to describe the explosion of unburned fuel in the exhaust system.

Backing it in

A move brought from dirt track racing where a rider approaching a corner brakes hard and causes the rear of the motorcycle to slide while counter-steering. This enables the rider to quickly go through the corner and straighten up for a fast exit.


A plate used to partly block a silencer, making the exhaust less noisy. Also used to stop fuel sloshing about in a partly-full tank.


Sound deadening material that sits inside a muffler and quiets the exhaust note


A motorcycle equipped with saddlebags and other touring amenities.


A head and neck "sock" with mouth and eye slits.

Ballistic Nylon

A specific nylon developed by Dupont for the U.S. Department of Defense for use in flak jackets. Later it was replaced by Kevlar. The basket-weave construction helps add abrasion resistance as opposed to a plain weave. The name is used as a marketing tools with ballistic sounding like something "bulletproof" therefore really tough. May motorcycle apparel companies us the word "Ballistic" when describing material. In many cases the materials tear and abrasion strength does not meet a minimum standard for motorcycle apparel and the word is used only as a sales gimmick.

Bar Hopper Bike

The cool customs and pristine bikes that only come out of the garage Friday and Saturday nights during the summer (and only if it's real nice out -never in rain) to prowl from bar to bar. A motorcycle that is not very comfortable on longer rides, yet lavishly styled. Rigid frames and hardtails fall into this category.


Honda Gold Wing

Barn Disease

When a bike has been idle a few years and the battery is dead, calipers seized and of course the carbs are filled with varnish sludge.

Barn Queen

1. Really pristine bike everyone claims a buddy found in some farmer's barn and bought for $50. 2. A motorcycle that has been stored in a barn or other outbuilding for many years.


Another term for Engine Cylinders or Jugs.

bash plate

A protective plate fitted under the engines of off-road machines to prevent damage caused by grounding.

Basket Case

1. A Bike being built from scratch with parts from other Bikes. 2. Typically (at least in the 'old days') a bike that someone had taken apart and hadn't the skill to reassemble. You'd find an ad in the paper and go over...."my brother took it apart and never could figure out how to put it back together, what will you give me for it?" Also - someone who is unhinged as in, "she/he is a real basket case." So, a bike that is in pieces, usually has been for a while. A bike that is built from pieces of other bikes would be (or would have been) known as an 'assembler' (out west), or a person that is way 'out there'.


Edge of lip of a tire.


The wire-reinforced edge of a tyre, which holds it on to the rim of the wheel.

Beaker points

Points face with silver, platinum or tungsten which interrupt the primary circuit in the distributor to induce a high tension current in the ignition.


Load supporting part designed to accept the wear and punishment of moving parts while protecting more valuable parts. Three type of bearings are roller ball, tapered and metal collar cap type.


BMW motorcycle.

Beer Cans

The can shaped covers on Harley FL front forks.



Belt drive

1. Final drive (sometimes also the cam drive) using a fabric belt to provide power to the rear wheel. Harley-Davidson motorcycles are famous for their use of belt drives.


Built-up dirt on the outside of a turn, either created with a bulldozer or as riders continually go through the turn. A berm helps a rider take the turn much faster because it acts as banking.

Bias Ply

A type of tire construction utilizing plies that run diagonally from one bead to the other. One ply is set on a bias in one direction, and succeeding plies are set alternately in opposing directions crossing each other. Sometimes called a cross-ply tire.


Repair manual

Big Dog Rider

An experienced and aggressive motorcyclist known for feats of daring and skill, such as riding at high speeds on public roads, without apparent fear of accident or arrest.

Big Dog

Annual dual sport ride with BMW's in the Rockie Mountains

Big End

End of connecting rod that fits on the crankshaft

Big Five

Refers to the five major motorcycle manufacturers - Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha.

Big Slab

Interstate Highway

Big Twin

1. Any large sized V-Twin motorcycle engine. V-Twin motorcycle engines have really grown in size over the past 10 years so this definition today fits V-Twins over 1200cc. Examples include the Roadstar by Yamaha 1700cc (102 ci), Harley-Davidson motorcycles over 1200cc, Honda VTX 1300/1800, Kawasaki Vulcan 1500/1600/2000, Suzuki Boulevard. 2. Slang for the engine in the larger Harley-Davidson bikes.

Biker Friendly

A business establishment that doesn't treat you like you have the plague when you walk in wearin' leather


Simply put, a motorcycle operator. True bikers have a passion for the art of motorcycling, and easily get all wrapped up in this passion during even a simple 1/2 mile commute, but they rarely allow their motorcycle to sit for more than a week without taking it somewhere. Anywhere. Just for the simple excuse of a joy ride will do.



Binned it

A rider crashes out of a race either completely, or almost, wrecking the bike.

Bitch Bar

A sissy bar.

Bitch Pad

Passenger Seat.

Black Flag

Rider disqualified or problem with motorcycle

Black Ice

Ice that cannot be seen on the road surface as it takes upon the colour of the road. Usually found in cold spots on the road like under a bridge. Very dangerous hazard to a motorcyclists.


A dark streak left on the asphalt by the rear tyre when a motorcycle drills away from a stop. White smoke often accompanies the formation of a blackie.


Insurance companies list of motorcycle models that they do not want to insure because of performance, likelihood of them being stolen or are too expensive to replace.


Letting unwanted air out of a hydraulic brake or oil system.

Blind Corner

Blind Turn - A turn in the road that is partially hidden by visual obstructions such as trees or an embankment, making it so that a rider cannot see the roads path around the rest of the turn.


Turn Signals


1. Snapping the throttle quickly, as in "blip the throttle". 2. Quick throttle burst.


A sudden increase in throttle opening and engine revs, done when changing gear.

Block pass

Going into a turn, a rider attempting a block pass will accelerate before the apex and slip his motorcycle on the inside of the leader, then quickly pivot and make the turn directly in front of the other rider. The rider being passed must brake because his line is now blocked.


The Evolution engine (V-Twin, produced from 1984 - 2000)


Basic engine lump containing one or more cylinders.


Exploded fuel and gases forced past the piston rings into the crankcase.


Slang for a supercharger, a rotating pump which increases the amount of air/fuel mixture delivered to an engine.


Supercharger. Mechanical pump driven by the engine to push more air past the carburetors.

Blown or Blower Bike

A bike that is supercharged.

Blue Hairs

Elderly Cage Drivers

Bob, Bobbers, Bobbed or Bobbing

The art of shortening a bike's appearance by cutting down the size of its fenders. These bikes were also known as "bobbers". Appeared before choppers. They got the name from the rear fender being cut down to a minimum. And the rest of the bikes were stripped also. This was all part of the early customizing done by the returning WWll flyers.

Body English

A method used by motorcycle riders to help control lean angle or direction independent of the handlebars by moving body position on the motorcycle.

Body Steering

See Body English).

Bologna (Baloney) Skin

Tire tube


Salvage yard for used bikes & parts, most indie shops also have their own boneyards next to the shop


The amount of pressure applied by the supercharger or turbocharger.


The interior diameter of a cylinder.

Bottom End

The bottom part of the engine, where the crankshaft and (usually) the transmission reside.

Bottom out

The Suspension runs out of room to travel and hits the internal stops.

Bow Wave

A wave of water pushed ahead of a tire.

Bowden cable

The trade name for a flexible control cable, as used in brakes. It consists of twisted steel strands which can transmit only a pulling force, not a pushing one.


A two cylinder engine with the pistons opposing each other, resembling fists flying away from each other. BMW Boxer engine, Honda Goldwing engine are examples.

Brain bucket


Brain bucket

Slang term for a helmet.

Brake check

Rider brakes hard while entering a corner causing the rider directly behind to brake hard, thus the rider in front gains distance.

Brake cylinder

Cylinder with movable piston which forces brake shoes or pads against the braking surface, usually a drum or disk.

Brake fade

A reduction in the grip of the brake linings, caused by heat building up. This can happen in drum brakes during hard use.

Brake horsepower

Although theoretically equal to standard horsepower, "brake" horsepower specifies that a specific engineering process was used to arrive at that horsepower number.

Brake marker

A marker at the side of the track indicating where a rider may want to start braking prior to entering a corner.


Disc - Disc brakes are located on the front tire (and can also be found on the rear as well) and use stationary calipers that squeeze pads agaist the discs that rotate with the wheel.


Drum - Drum brakes are located on the front tire (and can be found on the rear as well) and use horseshoe shaped brake shoes that expand agaist the inner surface of the wheel hub.


The high beam of the headlight.

Bronson rock

Anything that is NOT a bonified tool that you use to fix a bike -- I.E., in one show of Then Came Bronson he used a rock to straighten out his crumpled fender after going over the highside so as he could rideon.


Conducting material which contact commutator of a electric motor or generator.

Bubble Gum Machine

Law ahead, usually patting the top of your helmet warns those behind you that a cop is ahead.


A style of handlebar that comes up higher and sweeps towards the rider, the stance is more like holding a steering wheel in a car than a handlebar on a motorcycle. A popular style from the 1960's and 1970's and still in service today.

Buddy Pegs

Motorcycle passenger footpegs.


When Harley Davidson 1200 Duo Glide came in 1957 it came with a new feature, the "Bullneck" is a headlight cover that stretches from the headlight to the steering handle. The "Bullneck" followed the Duo Glide until the end in 1964, when the Electra Glide continued with it for some years. "Bullneck" is self-explanatory.

Bump start

A way to start a motorcycle by turning on the ignition, placing it in gear, disengaging the clutch, then running along side the motorcycle, jumping on and engaging the clutch suddenly. Hard on the drive train and clutch but will start a bike with a dead battery when no one is around to provide a "jump".

Bungee Cord

A stretch cord for attaching things to a motorcycle cheaply and quickly.

Burning up miles

Going down the highway.


1. Spinning the rear wheel while holding the front brake causing the bike to stay in one place. 2. Rider applies the front brake and quickly accelerates causing the rear wheel to loose traction and spin so that the tyre rubber overheats and begins to smoke and disintegrate.

Bus or Busa

GSX1300R Hayabusa

Bus stop

A slow first gear corner.

Bush Pad

Passenger Seat


A removable liner for a bearing.



C (Motorcycle designation suffix)

Custom (Honda Shadow VT600C)


Cranial Colon Impact Syndrome is a self explanatory term coined by a friend of mine a few years ago for those afflicted and deserving of such praise or attention.


compulsory basic training' a one day training course which all newbies must complete before being allowed to ride on the road in the UK. (It also stands for 'Cognitive Behavior Therapy' which many car drivers could do with to improve the way they relate to bikers.)


Cubic centimeters. A 1000cc engine = 1000 cubic centimeters in volume.


Kawasaki Concours Owner's Group ( http - // )

Cafe Chop

Converting a stock motorcycle into a cafe racer is known as doing a cafe chop on a bike.

Cafe Racer

1. Motorcycles modified to resemble racing motorcycles from the 1950's and 1960's. They are called cafe racers because their owner supposedly raced from cafe to cafe in London, where the bikes first appeard in the 1960's. 2. Sportbike (in Europe Bikers would ride from coffee house to coffee house)


A person driving a car, truck, or van. Cage operator, or driver.


A car, truck, or van. The sworn enemy of motorcyclists, more commonly known as automobiles. The name stems from being all cooped up inside a closed shell, with no contact with the outside air.

California Roll

See California Stop. Coming stop without stopping but proceeding through at a slow rate of speed.

California Stop

Phrase often used by motorcyclists meaning to stop, typically at an intersection, without putting a foot down.


Devices for measuring inside of outside distances and thinknesses.


Non-rotating components of a disc brake that straddles the disc and contains the hydraulic components.

Cam Shaft

The shaft with cam lobes used to open and close the valves.


1. Inward or outward tilt of a wheel. 2. Convex curvature of the road surface. 3. Sideways angle of slant of the pavement.


The shaft carrying the cams which open and close the valves in a four-stroke engine.


A rod with lobes on it that opens the valves.

Can Of Tuna

Suzuki Kantana

Caning it or Thrashing it

Self-explanatory terms for taking the bike for 'a blast'.


Performance enhancing exhaust muffler or back box, fitted to the exhaust system, made of stainless steel or titanium to improve acceleration and mid-range power torque.

Canyon Bites

Serious accidents that occur while riding fast on twisty roads that are often found in canyons of mountainous areas.

Canyon Carving

Riding the twisties (road curves/corners) to an extreme.


Muffler (AUS)


A device for storing or collecting a surge of electrical current. Also called a condenser.

Carbon Fiber

A high-tech material favoured in many motorcycle applications because it is extremely h3, light and expensive. The distinctive look of carbon fiber has become trendy.


see also Carbon Fiber) - Heat-resistant chemical fibre, lighter than glass fibre. Characterised by high strength and rigidity.


1. The part of the bike that mixes air and fuel in correct proportions before it is entered into the engine cylinder(s). 2. Mechanism for mixing fuel and air and controlling the amount entering the combustion chamber. 3. A mechanical device found on the intake side of the engine which mixes fuel and air to create the volatile mixture that gets ignited in the engine.


The mechanism which mixes fuel and air to form a gas which will burn in the cylinder.


Carburetor, Fuel Management System


Like traditional Karma but occurs when cagers do stupid things to bikers. The energy is much more fierce and vengeful and will infect a cager's ride with radiator leaks, blowouts, bad gas, thrown rods, and overall bad radio reception. These phenomena will only occur when the cager is more than a mile in distance from the biker as to avoid any motorcycle catastrophes. Also works in positive ways when cagers allow a biker plenty of room and are aware of their presence and respect their right to the road. AM reception is unusually clear and the cage experiences a 35% increase in gas mileage.


Refers to hard fast cornering on roads with many curves, stems from laying the bike down to a nearly horizontal position and "carving" a line through the road like a knife.

Case Guards

See Highway Bars: Thick, often chrome, tubes that connect to a motorcycle's frame. Designed to protect the engine in case of a collision, but popular for their appearance. Popular with cruiser-style motorcycles.


The two clam-shell-like halves in the bottom end of the engine surrounded hy a metal shell.

Casing it

Coming up short on a double or triple jump and landing on the top of the last jump instead of clearing it. Casing refers to landing on the frame rails and engine cases.


Forward tilt of steering axis that tends to stabilize the steering.

Catalytic Converter

Exhaust device to reduce pollution emissions recently used on motorcycles.


Riding a motorcycle on the rear wheel only, more commonly known as a "wheelie".

Center of Gravity

The point in or near a body where the force of gravity appears to act. If a body is balanced at any point on the vertical line through it's center of gravity, it will remain balanced. The center of an object's mass.

Centerstand Tang

A small lever attached to the centerstand.


A stand that supports the motorcycle in an upright position located under the motorcycle frame.

Chain Drive

The word chain drive usually refers to primary drive, in which sense it means the chain transferring power to the rear wheel. As opposed to the two alternatives, shaft or belt drive, the chain is a lightweight solution and does not cause lag in throttle response or elevation effects. On the other hand it is a solution that needs a lot of maintenance.

Chain drive

System of transmitting the drive force from the engine to the rear wheel by a chain.

Chain spring link

The removable link in a chain which allows it to be taken off for cleaning and adjustment.


Transfers power to the rear wheel from the engine on a chain drive system. Made up of over a hundred links that provide flexability and adjustability. Runs on two sprokets, one located on the engine drive shaft, the other on the hub of the rear tire.


A common term for a side car.


Chaps are a clothing accessory designed for protection and fashion. Usually made of leather and are fastened around the waist, with an open butt area/back. They snap at the ankles and zip down the legs.

Chase Vehicle

Van or truck that follows a pack of riders on a run to assist or haul any bikes that might break down


The combined frame and suspension on a motorcycle.

Checkbook Biker

Same as "InstaBiker" Someone who goes down to the dealership and writes a check for a new bike and new gear.

Checkered Flag

First across wins: race over

Cherry Juice

Tranny Fluid.

Cherry Tops

Cop cars.


A series of "esses" (S) or turns on a race track.

Chicken Strips

The tread left on the sidewalls of a sport bike. How much of this there is (or isn't) is how some Bikers size each other up.


Honda Gold Wing


Air restriction device to enrich the fuel mixture with more gasoline.


1. A style of motorcycle that appears deceptively light, has a greater angle on the front end than usually seen, and radical styling. The word originates from the post WW2 era when former GIs were looking for performance mods, there was no aftermarket back then and once all engine mods were out of the way the bike's weight needed to be reduced... Owners began to remove unnecessary components and eventually began to cut away (or "chop") sections of the bike and frame. Used to be called "bobbing" but the word "chop" became the more popular phrase. 2. A radical customized bike with extended and raked front end, from which all unnecessary parts have been stripped. The early choppers weren't raked, so the front end was high making it necessary to reduce the size of the front wheel. They are very stable in a straight line, but not to agile in turns. 3. Term originated from owners removing, or "chopping," features from the motorcycle and adding their own customized detailing. Now refers to a motorcycle with heavily raked front forks, "high-rise handlebars and an increased angle of frame to fork head". 4. Once described as a custom motorcycle that had all superfluous parts "chopped" off in order to make the bike faster, a chopper today is a type of custom bike that usually has an extended fork, no rear suspension and high handlebars.

Chopping the Throttle

This refers to rapidly closing or backing off the throttle to reduce speed.


Those addicted to putting on more and more chrome, regardless of the functionality.


Chrome plating is a finishing treatment utilizing the electrolytic deposition of chromium. The most common form of chrome plating is the thin, decorative bright chrome, which is typically a 10 micrometer layer over an underlying nickel plate. It imparts a mirror-like finish to items such as metal furniture frames and automotive trim.


That one biker who keeps adding more and more chrome, a chrome-overkill.


Club meetings


Anyone who is not a member of a Biker Organization.


A Violent Act

Clincher rims

Type of wheel rim used with early beaded-edge tyres.


Handlebars that attach directly to the top of the fork tubes, rather than on the top yoke, that hold the fork tubes together. Clip-ons can provide faster steering response by lowering the riding position for countersteering. They lower a rider's upper body on the front of the motorcycle for a racier position.


Racing-style handlebars.


A motorcycle built to resemble and function like a Harley-Davidson motorcycle without actually being a Harley-Davidson motorcycle (the vehicle title will identify it as something other than a Harley-Davidson)

Closing the Door

An expression that describes what a drag/sweep/tail gunner in a group ride does when he recognizes that a lane is about to be lost. Specifically, that rider will move into the lane that is about to be lost in order to prevent a vehicle from trying to pass the group so that it will not run out of lane and, thus, then have to cut into the group of motorcycles.


One who has club affiliation


Also referred to as MC Club A motorcycle organization made up of members who have banded together in a common interest, members have pledged their loyalty (also called prospecting or a prospect) for some time before becoming active. Not to be confused with riding clubs or riding organizations, the distinguishing feature here is a three piece patch consisting of a logo and upper & lower rockers worn on the back of their riding jacket or vest. A patch with or simply the letters MC will often accompany the club name. Treat these people with utmost respect.


1. The clutch is operated by a handle in order to, ultimately, engage or disengage power to the rear wheel. 2. Device to engage and disengage engine power to drive train. 3. A device that disengages power from the crankshaft to the transmission, allowing a rider to change gears.


Means whereby the transmission from the engine to the rear wheel can be disconnected, allowing the motorbike to stop and start without stopping the engine.


cage driver (usually the bastard that cuts you off)


Plates used to block the holes when removing Reed Valves


Part of the electrical circuit. It converts the 6v or 12v low-tension current from the generator into the high-tension current needed to cause a spark and ignite the air/fuel mixture in the engine cylinder.


Transformer in ignition circuit to step up voltage to the spark plugs.


Signifies a motorcycle club or organization patch.

Combustion chamber

1. The area at the top of the cylinder where the fuel charge burns and pushes the piston down.
2. The part of the cylinder in which the fuel is compressed and explodes.

Coming on the Cam

The term used when a four stroke reaches its powerband.

Coming on the Pipe

The term used when a two stroke reaches its powerband.


Anyone who normally rides his Bike to and from work.

Compression Ratio

1. The compression ratio specifies how much the fuel is compressed when the engine's piston is at its highest point. 2. Amount of compression of the fuel:air mixture in a piston.

Compression Release

Used in two-stroke engines, the compression release opens an extra valve to prevent compression and increase engine drag.


A condition in which the volume of fuel and air in an engine cylinder is reduced as a result of increased pressure by a piston. The compression ratio of an engine is the ratio of the volume above the piston at the bottom of its compression stroke to the volume above the piston at the top of its stroke.


See capacitor. (Capacitor - A device for storing or collecting a surge of electrical current. Also called a condenser.)

Connecting Rod

1. These attach the crankshaft to the pistons via the eccentric hournals, and the rods up and down movement is converted into a circular motion through the design of the journals. 2. Rod connecting piston to crankshaft.

Constant Radius Turn

A turn with a steady, nonchanging arc. In a decreasing radius corner, the arc gets sharper as you progress through the curve, while in a increasing radius corner, the arc becomes less sharp.

Contact Patch

The area of your tire that actually contacts the road while you ride. Also called "foot print".

Cool Collar

A wrap for use around the neck used to provide significant cooling to a rider in very hot weather. The wrap is a cloth tube that either contains a bead-like material that swells when moistened and dries slowly, or contains an inner platic tube which, in turn, contains ice and/or ice water.


1. A high tenacity, air textured nylon fiber, made exclusively by Dupont. Superior abrasion resistance over any other fabric in a head to head comparison. Hundreds of nylon materials exist but 500 Denier Cordura is the industry minimum standard for apparel material abrasion and tear strength. 2. Nylon yarn which consists of 100% polyamide.The manufacturing process involves respinning and weaving the cut polyamide fibres. The melting point is 210 degreeC. Cordura 700 is even more tear-resistant.

Corn Snakes

Dried cornstalks that blow across the road especially at harvest time.

Counter Balancer

A weight inside an engine that spins with the engine rpm to cancel out some of the engines vibration and make the engine feel smoother.

Counter Steer

see also Countersteering) 1. Action of moving the wheel to the opposite direction desired in a turn. 2. To turn the handlebars so the contact patch shifts in the opposite direction from that which the rider wishes the motorcycle to lean.


1. The act of turning the bikes handlebars in one direction(at higher speeds) and having it go in the opposite direction. 2. The way you use the handlebar to lean the bike into a turn. If you want to turn right, you push the handlebars left, and vice versa.


Turning the bikes handlebars in one direction(at higher speeds) and having it go in the opposite direction


Rotating shaft used to offset vibration. Sometimes called counterbalance or countershaft.


This is a traffic ticket.


A piece of bodywork that covers the engine, transmission and/or mid section of a bike crash bar area.

Crack It

Turning up the throttle

Cradle Frame

Frame design where the bottom tubes "cradle" or embrace the engine.

Crank it over

To turn an engine over in the process of starting it up.


External housing for the crankshaft.


The housing of the crankshaft assembly. In a two-stroke engine it acts as the compression chamber for the air/fuel mixture before it is transferred to the cylinder.


Rotating part of engine to which connecting rods are attached.


The shaft which converts the up-and-down motion of the pistons into rotary motion, which drives the rear wheel.

Crash Bars

The incorrect term for engine guards. If you want to see a factory lawyer cringe, there's no faster way than saying this term.

Crash Bungs or Mushrooms

are terms for the plastic 'bungs' you attach to the frame to protect the fairing etc in case of a 'spill' or crash.

Crash Padding

A motorcyclists protective clothing, especially abrasion resistant and impact absorbing riding gear and helmet.


RUB's Ride

Cross winds

Wind flow at an angle to the direction of travel of the motorcycle.


what connects a front & rear cylinder exhaust pipe together.


Extreme motorcycles designed for driving in rough terrain or on cross tracks.

Crotch Rocket

1. A slang term for Sport Bikes. 2. A small sport bike with big HP engine. 3. Small, fast motorcycle.


The tops of the pistons.


1. A newer term that surfaced in the late 1980's that refers to the laid back styled street bikes with chrome and boulevard styling. 2. Factory made decedents of customized choppers offering a classic look. Characterized by low seat, swept back look, lots of torque with a h3 exhaust note and lots of chrome and accessories.


Cool Shades like the original Ray-Ban Wayfarers

Cubic Inch Wars

Refers to the ongoing battle between the "Big 5" companies for the largest displacement OEM MC engine.


The up and down motion of the piston. The terms cycle and stroke are used interchangeably when referring to engine types.

Cylinder Block

The hunk of aluminum which holes bored through it, inside which the pistons move up and down.

Cylinder Head

The engine piece that closes off the top end of a cylinder.

Cylinder Sleeve

Liner for a cylinder.


1. The cylinder shaped space in an engine where the piston moves up and down to compress and explode fuel, which generates the engine's power. 2. Parallel sided circular (or oval) cavity usually housing a piston. 3. The hollow shafts in the top end of an engine inside which internal cimbustion occurs.




Double-breasted Mattress Thrasher - when you're out 'bird' watching.


Direct Current.


Do I Look Like I Give A F_ _ K


Dual OverHead Cam. Two camshafts found in the head or top of the engine that open and close the valves. Two cams allow more precise control than one.


Double OverHead Valves.


Department of Transportation. Each country has its own separate DOT. It's a government agency that regulates all phases of transportation, including all types of vehicles, as well as roads and highways. A DOT rating on a motorcycle helmet indicates that it's passed DOT testing and a DOT sticker can be found inside the helmet.


Disqualified (as in a race).


Driving Standards Agency. The UK government body which, among other things, controls the content of the British bike test.


Dyin' To Get Off - Refers to either the rookie female passenger or the seasoned one, depending on how you look at it.


Those devices on the back of your pins that you will almost always drop. Can be used synonymously with Jesus-clips


The act of eliminating, or device used to eliminate (damp), unwanted oscillations (vibrations) and unwanted energy.


Device for controlling unwanted movement or absorbing unwanted energy. Weighted bar ends, bar snake, buckshot, gel handgrips are items used to dampen handlebars.


Part of the suspension system, which reduces bouncing.

Dead Centre

The two positions at either end of the piston travel when the piston seems to be standing still. At its highest, the piston is at Top Dead Centre (TDC) and at its lowest it is at Bottom Dead Centre (BDC).

Death Grip

Usually how a first time rider grabs the handle bars.


Slang for decarbonize: to remove unwanted carbon deposits from the combustion and exhaust system.

Decreasing Radius Corner

A turn where the arc gets sharper as you progress through the curve.

Deflector Piston

Piston designed for two stroke engines to channel fresh fuel up to the head forcing burnt fuel out the exhaust posts.


A change in velocity, acceleration or direction.


a unit of measurement used to describe the strength of a material like nylon. Simply - the bigger the number the bigger the thread.

Desmodromic valves

Valves which are closed by mechanical means instead of by springs.


Ducati designed valve opening and closing system that does not rely on springs. Design offers better high RPM valve control. Desmodromic valves are closed by a cam and rocker arm rather than a valve spring. Advantages include less friction, higher valve acceleration and deceleration without the risk of valve float and higher engine speeds for a given valve size. Disadvantages include greater complexity of the valve train and the need for more frequent adjustment intervals. All Ducati motorcycles still use desmodromic valves today.


In-depth cleaning, polishing, waxing and other maintenance to make a motorcycle look great.


See Pre-Ignition.

Diamond Frame

Tubular frame design derived from the bicycle layout. The engine cases often form part of the structure. In profile it resembles a diamond shape.


1. Taking the risk of racing one or more riders, usually on public roads. 2. Riding a motorcycle in dense traffic.


Ignition in a gasoline engine of the fuel vapor by means other than spark plug. Also called per-ignition or run-on.


A nick or scratch in the paint.

Dip stick

The long slender piece of metal that goes into the oil collection point of an engine, or sump, to check the oil level.

Dirt Bike

Bikes intended for off-road use that are not legal to ride on public roads. Sometiemes the term "pure dirt" is used to distinguish a dirtbike from a dual sport motorcycle.

Disc Brake

Brake that utilizes friction pads held in a caliper on either side of a rotation disc.

Disc brakes

Brakes in which brake pads, held by callipers, press on a metal disc fixed to the hub of the wheel.


These are the metal rotors the caliper presses the pads against to brake.


1. The size of an engine, in cubic centimeters (cc) or cubic inches (ci). 2. The volume through which the piston travels during a single stroke of an engine. This term is sometimes also used for the total volume displaced by all engine pistons. The displacement is measured in cubic centimeters (ccm).


An electrical circuit breaker often consisting of points, timing advance device, condenser and cam used to direct high tension current to spark plugs at the proper timing. Often replace with electronic ignition.


1. Tendency of the front suspension to compress during hard braking. 2. To quickly change direction such as suddenly leaning the bike into a tight turn.


Cloth coverings that are used to cover the rider's hair and forehead in an effort to keep sweat from dripping into the eyes and to avoid 'helmet hair. Also can be used as a fasion statement.


A projection from one moving part, such as a gear pinion, which connects with a dog or hole on another part so that the two are locked together.

Donor Cycle

Firefighter Term for Sportbikes because their drivers tend to kill themselves.


Highly combustible alcohol/methanol-based fuel mixture.

Dos Equis

Honda CBR1100XX Blackbird

Double Cradle Frame

A bike frame with two steel tubes circling the engine from the front and "cradling" it.

Doubles / Triples

Doubles and triples are large multiple jumps that allow riders to fly through the air rather than traversing each jump one at a time. Triple jumps are the signature obstacle of Supercross, requiring cool nerves and precise throttle control.


Rider who performs a burn out and carefully moves the motorcycle to encompass a 360-degree circle thus leaving a circular mark of rubber on the road surface.

Drag Bars

A straight styled handlebar that does not sweep up from the risers. Low, flat, straight handlebars.

Drag Pipes

1. These were short exhaust pipes that ran low along the frame. 2. Straight exhaust pipes with no baffles.


The resistance of the air to forward motion. A flat disc moving broadside along its axis has a nominal rating of 1.00


A motorcycle set up for long distance touring.

Drum Brake

Brake design with brake shoes forced out against a rotation drum.

Drum brakes

Brakes operated by the pressure of brake linings against the inside of a drum fixed to the centre of the wheel hub.

Dry Sump

Lubrication system in four-stoke engines in which the oil is carried in a separate container. Oil drains into the sump and is pumped into the separate container, keeping the sump "dry."

Dry race

A race in which climatic conditions affecting the track surface are considered to be dry, opposed to wet.

DuPont Coolmax

DuPont Coolmax consist of hollow fibres which transport humidity to the outside very quickly by means of capillary action making the material dry 50% faster than cotton.

Dual Purpose Motorcycle/Bike

Designed for most types of terrain, the name describes a bike that has off-road capabilities with street legal accessories. BMW F650, Honda XR650L, Suzuki V-strom, Kawasaki KLR650, Yamaha XT225, Buell Ulysses are examples of a dual purpose bike.

Dual Sport

1. A dual purpose motorcycle, made for both on and off the road travel. See Dual Purpose Bike. 2. Street legal motorcycles with varying degrees of off-road capabilities. Also called Dual Purpose Motorcycle/Bike.

Dual plugging

Adding a second spark plug to the head of a motorcycle engine. Increases fuel efficiency and horsepower.


2 separate Exhaust pipes, ie one each for front and rear cylinder.

Duck Walking

When you sitting on the bike and pushing it with your legs and feet. Paddling the bike along to make it move.


Slang for a Ducati motorcycle.

Dump the cltuch (Drop the clutch)

A rider quickly releases the clutch while the revs are high.

Dumping the Bike/Dumped the Bike

A zero speed spill. A bike is dumped when the rider applies brakes while in a very slow turn, or is trying to get his bike up onto (or off of) its center-stand, or is walking the bike and it gets away from him, or forgets to put the side-stand down and tries to get off the bike, or any of dozens of other 'dumb' things that lead to losing control of the bike and its laying over onto the ground.


A highly tear-resistant polyamide yarn that is even more robust than Cordura 500/700 and is even more resistant to high temperatures.


Slang for instantly applying a system to full force. (eg. I dynamited by brakes.)


Electric generator that produces alternating current.


Fabric made of Dynafil. Highly tear-resistant and extremely robust. Its melting point is 290 degreeC.




Electronic Control Module - The computer brain that controls various aspects of your motorcycle's performance including ignition, timing, and fuel to air ratio.


Electronic Fuel Injection.


Experienced Rider Course.


Eat Shit And Die


Air boxes (i.e. - on a Kawasaki VN750 or VN1500A or any Virago)

Easy Rider

A famous motorcycle movie, released in 1969, starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson about two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America. This movie defined the road film genre, even though it was not the first of its kind. Points out a very real truth about America and its often twisted approach to "freedom." The original title of the film was "The Loners".

Eat Asphalt


Eccentric Journals

These are used to attach the connecting rods to the crankshaft. Also called metal shafts.

Econo-box, cage, dresser


Edge Traps

The raised edges of bumps or cracks in a paved surface that can catch a motorcycle's tire and cause the bike to lose balance. Eg. Streetcar/Train tracks, raised pavement construction edges, road stipping edges. If possible always try to approch these hazards as stright on (non-parallel) as possible.

Eighty Six (86)

If someone is 86 they are cut off. For example If you are 86 from alcohol in public places they are not allowed to drink in public. Some are 86 from club functions. Ol'ladies sometimes get 86ed from club functions.


Battery Acid.


The fluid inside a battery, usually acid. Its level should be checked weekly and topped up with distilled water if necessary.

Electronic Ignition

Computer controlled method to convey high tension current to the spark plug(s).


1. The art of stopping a motorcycle and having the rear wheel lift off the ground, a reverse of the catwalk. Also called a stoppie. (see photo above) . 2. Going back over front. 3. Pitching the rear of the motorcycle over its front, end over end.


The art of stopping a motorcycle and having the rear wheel lift off the ground, a reverse of the catwalk. Also called a stoppie. (see photo above) . Going back over front.


1. Typically this category includes cross bikes which are tuned and equipped for driving on the roads. These bikes are often heavier than, and not as extreme as cross motorcycles, though not as heavy and well-equipped as the larger off-roaders. 2. Strictly interpreting FIM regulations, an enduro bike is a trials bike. Common use of the term describes bikes used in enduro racing, which is off-road trail riding competition.

Engine Guards

Metal tubes bolted to the motorcycle's frame that should protect the engine from damage in the event of an accident. They are not designed to offer the rider or passenger any protection in the event of an accident.

Engine cut off switch (Kill Switch)

Usually located on the right handlebar switch housing, this switch allows the motorcyclist to turn off the engine without removing his or her hand from the handlebar.


The science used to design devices, systems and physical conditions that conform to the human body. A prime consideration when designing a motorcycle. Sportbikes have agressive forward leaning ergonomics, standards/dual sports are chair like ergonomics and cruisers offer laid back ergonomics.


Phonetic spelling of back to back turns or 'S' curves.


Evolution - 1. When Harley-Davidson began using aluminum to build its cylinder jugs, it called this new engine the Evolution. 2. The Evolution engine (V-Twin, produced from 1984 - 2000)

Excessive 11 (Xcess 11)

SX1100, a 1100 cc 4 cylinder street bike.

Exhaust System


Expanding brake

Device operated by a handle or pedal to slow down or stop the bike. A cylinder is attached to the relevant wheel. Inside there are two so-called brake shoes, which are pushed outwards against the inner walls of the cylinder, thus slowing the bike down.



F (Motorcycle designation suffix)

Four-stroke engine (eg. Honda CRF230F, Yamaha WR450F)


Factory Authorized Repair


Federation Internationale Motorcyclist. International governing body of motorcycle sport.


F_ _k The Factory


Forget the Hype, Ride What You F@$#%&n Like!


F_ _ K The World, also Forever Two Wheels


Which is a very old slang acronym meaning "F_ _ked Up Beyond All Repair." Pertaining to the sad, inoperable and unfixable state of someone's bike or engine or whatever.


1. The plastic shrouds that deflect wind and rain from the rider, the motorcycling equivalent of automotive bodywork. 2. The devices mounted at the front of a motorcycle to protect the rider from the elements. These range from simple Plexiglas shields to complex encompassing body panels.


Moulded bodywork which can be added to a motorbike to improve its streamlining.

False Neutral

When you fail to engage gears and the transmission behaves as though it was in neutral even though it is not. Example "I hit a false neutral once when shifting from 4th to 5th gear."


accessories). Things that can be added to your bike that make it more useful, versatile, or attractive. The price of which often exceeds the original purchase price of the bike.

Fast Riding Award

Speeding ticket


The Twin-Cam engine (V-Twin, produced from 1999 - Current Day)


Tendency of material to fail under repeated use. (i.e.. Bending a piece of metal over and over again will eventually break it)


Too Rich Fuel Mixture

Feathering the brake

Gently applying the brake.

Feathering the clutch

See also Slip the Clutch and Friction Zone - Gently allowing the clutch to engage. This makes for a slow smooth start.

Fender Bunny

Nice babe on the back of a bike

Fender Fluff

Nice lookin' babe on the back


Those chrome do-dads all over saddle bags and seats.

Final Drive

Mechanism that delivers power to the rear wheel, usually chain drive, shaft drive or belt drive.


Heat sinks on an air cooled engine.

Fishtails or Fishtail Muffler

The exhaust tip or the end of a muffler looks like a Fishtail from the side and usually straight pipe's with Fishtail tips had a narrow exit for the exhaust where no night stick could fit to check for baffles in the exhaust pipe.


Rear wheel swinging from side to side caused by increased rolling resistance of the rear tire (often caused by over braking, flat tire, frozen drive train or a road hazard like mud, gravel, sand, snow or ice).

Flame and Crook

Fire and Theft insurance.


Generally an unwanted electrical discharge through the air to the ground.

Flat Cylinders

Found in the flat four and flat six cylinder engines used in Honda's Goldwings, the cylinders are arranged in a flat, opposing configurations.

Flat Spot

Term refers to the condition where opening the throttle results in a reduction in speed or power output caused by incorrect fuel mixture.


Early head design where the valves resided in the block so the head only covered the block and held the spark plug. Also called L-Head or side-valve.


The Flathead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1929 - 1972)


1970s 2-stroke Kawasaki 500/750, lots of go, really bad frames.


1. Unstable; taking very little effort to move between an upright position and a lean. 2. The more flickable a motorcycle is, the faster it can turn.


Used to describe the agility of a motorcycle, or how quickly a rider can 'flick' the bike from side to side in turns.

Flogging it

Getting on the throttle hard and shifting through the gears.

Flower Pot

A cheap helmet non snell-approved head protection device.


Young Girl (AUSTRALIAN Terminology)

Fluid Exchange

Stopping for gas and to take a leak.

Fly Wheel

Rotating weight used to damp engine vibration or to improve smooth operation of the engine between power strokes.


Kuryakyn Hypercharger

Flying Colors

Riding while wearing the club/organization's colors

Fog Line

The edge of the pavement.

Fools Paradise

A Harley-Davidson

Foot Paddling

1. The way an unskilled rider "walks" his or her motorcycle around at low speeds. 2. Sitting on and "walking" a motorcycle without power assistance from the engine.

Foot Skids

A riders boots that are extended to the ground while the bike is in motion.

Foot pegs

The resting place for the riders or passengers feet on a motorcycle.


Contact patch of the tire with the road surface.


The part of a tyre which is in contact with the ground.


The sprung metal tubs holding the front wheel to the rest of the motorcycle using the triple-tree.

Formation Ride

A motorcycle road event in which participants maintain their relative position in a group while riding down the road.

Four Banger

An in-line four cylinder motorcycle (or automotive) engine, these are among the most powerful motors on a motorcycle. Also referred to as an in-line four.

Four Stroke

Engine with the common induction, compression, power, exhaust stroke sequence. Designed by Dr. Nicolas Otto in 1876.


Engine requiring four strokes of the piston to complete a combustion cycle: one down for induction, one up for compression, one down for power and one up for ejection of the exhaust gases.


A motorcycle made up of or built from many different makes/models/years.

Free Rider

Someone who shares the same ideas as a gang but doesn't belong to one.


A big truck.


An old custom car and bike term that refers to mounting a device, a light, usually, deeply recessed into the bodywork, "frenched-in," and peeking out from within a sort of tunnel, completely recessed below the surface of the surrounding bodywork, presenting only a sudden, clean circle through smooth the surface from which the light appears


New young girlfriend.

Friction Zone

The part of the clutch lever travel from where the clutch just starts to engage until it is fully engaged. Riders use the friction zone to get the bike in motion. See also Slip the Clutch.

Frisco Pegs

Railroad spike highway pegs

Frisco'ed/Frisco style

Style when a gas tank is mounted right along the top of the backbone.

Front Door

Leader of a group ride

Fuel Injection System

This mixes the fuel air charges and forcibly injects them into the combustion chambers, unlinke carburetors, which rely on the vacuum created by the engine to draw the charges into the combustion chambers.

Fuel Injection

Replaces carburetors. Uses small nozzles, called injectors, supplied fuel by an injector pump, to inject fuel into the intake manifold. Serves the same function as a carburetor, but uses computer-controlled jets to inject atomized fuel and air into the air stream going into the engine.

Fuel Management System


Fuel injection

System of metering fuel to an engine without using a carburettor. Fitted on some racing bikes.

Full Chat

Riding at top speed for the riders skill level and road conditions.




a full roll-on in high gear from about 50-60mph (emphasizes low rpm torque).


Gorgeous But it's Slow ( A Kawasaki 1500 Classic )


Gone But Not Forgotten


God Forgives, (Club Name) Don't (ie. GFPD = God Forgives, Pagan's Don't)


Global Positioning System - A satellite oriented system, including computers and receivers, which allows the determination of a very precise location (latitude, longitude and height) of an object. The GPS unit allows the calculation of speed and direction of travel by communitcating with satellites to track movement. An increased number of touring motorcycles (such as the Honda Goldwing) are being manufactured with a GPS navigation system built-in, and add-on GPS units are available for any other motorcycle. The units provide colour graphic screen presentations of street maps as well as both planned and actual travel itineraries. Some will announce turns that are to be made in order to follow a planned itinerary.

GS (Motorcycle designation suffix)

Dual Sport/Enduro (eg. BMW F650GS)

Garbage Wagon

1. A stock motorcycle with standard parts intact, very heavily loaded with saddle bags, chrome and accessories. 2. A scornful term used by some outlaw bikers to describe touring bikes.

Gas Surprise

Running out of gas and moving to switch to reserve and finding to your horror that you forgot to switch back to fuel last time you filled up and just blew your reserve.

Gas cap

The cover for the fuel inlet on a tank.


A seal between two components.


Resetting your trip odometer when you fill up to act as a gas gauge replacement.


Displays information to the rider on speed [Speedometer], RPM (revolutions per minute) [Tachometer], Total Distance Traveled [Odometer], Fuel, Trip Distance and more.

Gear ratio

A gearbox contains several toothed wheels that are connected and disconnected to each other in order to switch into the intended gear. The gear ratio is the ratio between the number of teeth of the two wheels that are connected at a given time. If one wheel has 25 teeth and the attached one has 50, there is a 2:1 ratio.

Gear whine

The noise made by gears that aren't spaced correctly or are worn.

GearHead (Gearhead)

1. A person with a h3 interest to all things mechanical. 2. A Motorcyclist. 3. Any true mechanic, not just the weekend mechanics.


Transmission housing.


T set of gears within a bike's transmission.


The set of toothed parts, such as wheels, disks and chains, that mesh with the teeth in similar, but different-sized parts in order to transmit force and motion between rotating shafts. Gears control the number of revolutions per minute and hence the force.

Get Off

Crash, "Eat Asphalt"


Chrome Accessories

Giggle Gas

Nitrous oxide




GSXR Series Bikes


The ugly silencing chamber in the exhaust system of later model Vulcans

Goggle The Horizon

Is an old biker term that means several things. Keep an eye out or be careful is a common translation. Believe it or not it did not originate with bikers but with free fall jump school during Navy Seal Training. Another meaning, in the same vane is 'Keep your head up, don't let anything get you down. As in 'See ya later, Goggle the horizon.' Meaning, be careful, keep your chin up. You see in free fall you MUST arch your back and keep your headup.


Slang for a Moto Guzzi motorcycle

Goosing it

Canadian. Expression for riding a motorcycle hard and/or fast.


1. Thin, lightweight membrane mounted between the face fabric and the lining. It is Waterproof, Windproof and Breathable. This membrane has nine billion microscopic pores per square inch. These pores are much smaller than a droplet of liquid water, but much larger than a molecule of water vapor. Water in a liquid form cannot penetrate the membrane, but both moisture vapor from perspiration and heat can easily escape. The membrane works when the outside temperature is colder than your body temperature. The membrane actually sucks the heat out of the apparel as long as the outside temperature is lower than 98F. 2. A membrane made of teflon (PTFE/Polytetrafluorethylene). Innumerable microscopic pores prevent the penetration of large water droplets while allowing the much smaller water vapour molecules to pass through. The branch-like structure of the membrane means that it is also completely wind proof.

Grabbing a Handful

Applying Brakes or twisting the throttle in excess.

Green Flag

Race start signal

Green track

A new track with little or no rubber laid down which can be slippery.


The cage in front of you covered with environmentalist stickers and spewing black smoke into your face.

Gremlins got it

Unexplained tanglement of wires/rope/bungee cords.


A gremlin is blamed when one can't find the defect or cause of some malady.


A pattern marking the starting points on the track.

Ground clearance

The distance between the ground and the lowest part of the motorcycle apart from the wheels.


The earth pole of a battery, usually negative on most motorcycles.

Gudgeon pin

The pin which attaches the piston to the connecting rod, which is attached to the crankshaft.


What's left of your rear tire after a prolonged burn out, or can refer to the bits of rubber piled up behind that same tire.

Gypsy Tour

A motorcycle road event, usually several days in duration, in which the participants travel through the countryside and stop at a different destination each night. The implication is that you are traveling without time or distance constraints.

Gyroscopic Inertia

Gyroscopic inertia, also known as centrifugal inertia. The spinning top is stable when it spins fast, and becomes less stable (starts to wobble) as it slows down, as the centrifugal or gyroscopic inertia becomes less. The same physics applies to motorcycles, inceasing stability at higher speeds at their wheels spin.




Harley Owners Group - Several meanings, as an acronym it stands for "Harley Owners Group," it also relates to the larger Harley models (also called "Big Twins").


Hairy-Butt-Ugly-But-Fast (term for the Kawasaki Vulcan 750)


Hardley Drivable


Harley Owner's Group ( started in 1983


A common slang term for a sidecar.


A sidecar driver or enthusiast.



Hairpin Turn

A decreasing radius turn. Turn that gets progressively tighter as it bends (often U-shaped corner). A "road hazard" that many motorcyclists fall prey to and end up going off the road on if not carefully watching for it. Usually decreasing radius turns are found on on/off highway ramps.

Hammer Down

Open the throttle fully or accelerate rapidly

Hand Signals

Verbal communitcation is not always possible when riding a motorcycle so riders have come up with a method of communicating to other riders by use of universal hand signals. Motorcycle hand signals are important for all riders to know and understand but especially when riding in a group. (When riding in a group the signals should be relayed back through the group.) Images reprinted with permission of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.


The rubber grip on the handlebars to make a more comfortable hand control.

Handlebar fairing

A type of wind screen that is mounted directly to the forks.

Handlebar risers

See also Risers - Designed to correct the ergonomic short comings of your motorcycle, handlebar risers will raise your handlebars vertically to allow you to attain the posture needed for maximum control. Risers can simply extend the bar mounts toward you, or extend up and forward. Risers are designed to be mounted between your stock bar mount and triple clamp.


Street name, club member's name

Hanging it Out

1. Riding aggressively, increasing the possibility of injury 2. Continuing to ride when weather and traffic conditions are not safe. 3. Riding faster than kill level and/or without proper safety gear with the potential for losing control of the bike and crashing.

Hard Core

Dedicated biker usually clubber but sometimes refers to a racer

Hard Tail

A rigid motorcycle frame with no shock absorbing device on the rear.


Young girl with a tight flat belly

Hardley (also see Hardly Ableson)

as in a slang name for a Harley in the sense that the speaker thinks of them as nothing more than an over-glorified chromey showoff piece rather than a real bike.


For Harley Motorcycles during the AMF era


Derogatory term for a Harley looking motorcycle that is not a Harley-Davidson brand motorcycle.


Derogatory term for a Harley

Harley Wrench



Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa

Head Gasket

Gasket between the cylinder head and the block or piston cylinder.

Head shake

When the handlebars shake back and forth due to improper set-up or bumps.

Headlight Modulator

This device attaches to the headlight bulb inside the case and pulses the high beam quickly. The visual effect is the headlight is flashing. Improves visability of the motorcycle to other drivers/riders.


Also called cylinder head. This piece covers the top of the cylinder and often houses valves, rockers and overhead cams.

Heat Race

A qualifying race that determines which riders will advance to the final race.

Heat Sink

A device to channel heat away from a heat source.


Law enforcement officer, also known as The Man.

Helical gear

A gear with a spiral or semi-spiral meshing face.

Helmet Head

The condition of your hair after you remove your helmet. It will be partially matted and partially sticking out at odd angles.


The bad luck a biker (who chooses not to wear a helmet) gets when someone mentions that he should wear a helmet. If someone chooses not to wear a helmet don't jinx 'em.


Skid Lid, Brain Bucket

High Siding

1. Wrecking a bike by flipping it over. Usually caused by releasing the rear break during a skid. 2. Pitching a bike over and away from the direction you are turning. The dangerious kind of crash. 3. When a sliding rear tire suddenly regains traction while the motorcycle is leaned over, causing the motorcycle to violently snap from leaning side tot he other side (the high side).

Highway Bars

Thick, often chrome, tubes that connect to a motorcycle's frame. Designed to protect the engine in case of a collision, but popular for their appearance. Popular with cruiser-style motorcycles.

Highway Pegs

Foot pegs mounted to highway bars that allow the rider to stretch his or her legs further forward for a more relaxed riding position. using such pegs prevent the rider from having immediate access to the gear shfter and rear brake

Hippie Biker (AKA Citizen Bikers)

Soft core biker not 1%er. Predates RUB

Hit the pavement

An idiom for crashing a motorcycle.

Hit the road

Get on the bike and start riding.


A custom-built trike in which a Harley-Davidson front end and frame is grafted to a Volkswagen drivetrain (subframe, engine and transaxle).


A nickname for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.


In racing, the drive from a standing start up to racing speed. Generally, the rider who makes the h3est start is said to have gotten the "holeshot."


The approval process of the governing body that certifies that all manufacturers motorcycles meet all standards prior to race preparation.

Honda 750 Killer

Kawasaki 900 Z

Hooligan Bike

Type of motorcycle has been stripped of all unnecessary parts and accessories so that they can have a higher power-to-weight ratio. This gives them the appearance of being "naked". They have minimal bodywork, a racing-styled seat that typically only seats one person, no passenger pegs, an exposed frame, etc.


A motorcyclist known for his/her reckless disregard of public and personal safety in the name of going the fastest, cornering the hardest, and generally living life on the edge. They ride to have fun, regardless of the consequences.

Horizontally opposed

Type of engine layout in which the cylinders are placed at 180 degree to one another. It is also described as a flat twin/four etc. or a boxer engine.


1. The power of the motorcycle engine. The higher, the better. Although with an engine tuned for power, it might be at the expense of power at low RPM. Horsepower is a unit of engine power equal to 0,746 kilowatt (kW). Originally developed by James Watt to compare the power of steam engines to the work done by a horse. 2. One horse power is the force necessary to lift 550 pounds one foot in one second. 3. A measure of an engines strength.


Worn or broken beyond repair


General term referring to either an inanimate object with an unidentifiable purpose, or a human being fitting the same description(Credit - Big John at Humboldt County Choppers M/C in Eureka, California)


A mudguard which 'hugs' the wheel closely.


A type of Sportster so named because its lowered suspension and lowered seat make it appear to "hug" the road.

Hurt Report

1981 study by University of Southern California of 3,600 motorcycle traffic accidents. Also known as the 'Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures', and consists of 55 conclusions pertaining to crashes, including the effect of motorcycle riders wearing helmets. See: for a summary of findings.


Husqvarna motorcycle.


Device to measure the charge in a lead acid battery.

Hydrophobic treatment

A treatment which renders leather water-repellent. BMW uses the vat immersion technique under application of topquality 3M Scotchguard as the active agent. The best results are obtained when the leather fibres are encapsulated without affecting the natural state of the pore structure, so as to maintain the active breathing action.


1. When your tires start to float on top of water, causing them to lose contact with the road surface. 2. A highly dangerous situation in which the tires lose contact with the road surface and actually life on top of a shallow film of water. 1" of standing road water will generally hydroplane a motorcycle tire at speeds of 80 km/h or greater.


Anyone who buys into the Harley Hype

Hypoid Gears

Paired beveled gears with spirally or nonradially cut teeth mated to that the pinion does not intersect the axis of the gear used in transmission and final drives.



Identification Numbers

Factory stamped frame and engine numbers used to identify the motorcycle. Also called VIN or Vehicle Identification Number.

Idiot Light(s)

Control panel indicator light(s) that warns of a problem situation. Commonly called an idiot light because it neither warns you before the problem develops, nor tells you want the problem is after the bike is disabled.

Idle mixture

The fuel/air mixture at a low rpm called idle

Ignition timing

Point at which, relative to crankshaft rotation or piston position, the ignition spark occurs.


The way the fuel is ignited inside the engine. This is normally achieved by a spark from a sparkplug.


Device that assists the movement of fluid.

Increasing Radius Corner

A turn where the arc becomes less sharp as you go through the curve.


Turn signals/blinkers in the UK

Indie Shop

Independent, not franchised


Mechanism to squirt fuel or lubrication where required.

Ink Slinger

Tattoo Artist

Inline Four

1. An inline four cylinder motorcycle (or automotive) engine, these are among the most powerful motors on a motorcycle. 2. An engine with four cylinders in a row.

Inline Six

An engine with six cylinders in a row.

Inline Triple

An engine with three cylinders in a row.


Anybody who goes down to the local bike shop and buys the Bike, Gear and fake tattoos so they can hang out with their new ""Bros"" (also Poser or Poseur)

Integral helmet

A motorcycle helmet that encloses the head completely.

Iron Butt (Rally)- An entire association was created called the Iron Butt Association -- 1000 miles in 24 hours yields a Saddle Sore 1000

Bun Burner is 1500 in 36 hours, Bun Burner Gold is 1500 in 24 hours. The Iron Butt Gold Is 10 days x 1000 miles each day - consecutive. The challenge for this award is run every other year.

Iron Butt 50CC

A coast to coast endurance ride, for example, Jacksonville Florida to San Diego California in under 50 hours


The first generation of Sportster models (produced from 1957 until 1985). Unlike other models with nicknames that describe the look of the cylinder heads on particular engine ("Knucklehead", "Shovelhead", "Flathead", etc.), the Ironhead name comes from the fact that the cylinder heads on these models were cast iron whereas the heads on other models at that time were made of aluminum.


Towards the top of the bike, or top area of a part or component


Interstate) - When on a long ride one will say, I had to ride the "I" from such a place. Or like me I hate the "I's". I'm a backroad rider."



Jack up

When a club member sets a non club member straight.


Insult - Japanese motorcycles or foreign made bikes.

Jesus Clip

A small "E" clip that holds the handlebar switches together that when you drop it, you might say "Oh Jesus", 'cause you know you will never find it.

Jet helmet

A motorcycle helmet with no chin guard or visor.

Jet needle

This is a carb part that meters the fuel going through a jet, or hole.


Precisely drilled opening in the carburetor through which fuel passes into the air stream. More generally, any hold used to control the passage of gas or fluid.


Side Stand

Jockey Shift(er)

The partner to the 'suicide clutch', this was another chopper convention, dispensing with the long shift rod and the lever and gate on the left side of the fuel tank. Instead, a short, about four to six inch, lever was fitted directly to the top of the transmission and shifted by the rider directly, by reaching under his left thigh. This made neutral rather easy to find and, in the hands of an expert, faster to shift than the stock foot clutch, hand shift mechanism.

Jockey wheel

A wheel used to maintain tension in a chain or belt.




Any overdressed bike

Jump start

When the battery is too low to start the engine, one can jump start it from a good battery.

Just Given'r

Canadian. Expression for riding a motorcycle hard and/or fast.




Very popular aftermarket company that manufactures air and oil filters. They are washable and reusable but require special K&N filter oil. K&N claims greater engine efficiency with use.

Kangaroo leather

Finer, more closely interwoven fibres and a tighter structure make this leather even more durable than cowhide.


Katana Models


Any bike built with parts found along the way

Keep the dirty side down

Ride safe don't lay the bike down.


A blend of Kevlar and PA fibres which adds to the already excellent Kevlar characteristics of stretchability and resistance to abrasion. Used to reinforce those areas which are most at risk in the event of a fall (elbows, shoulders, knees, thumbs, etc.).


Kevlar is the h3est fiber known to man. Kevlar is made by Dupont and for apparel use comes in a thread form. In a pure weave Kevlar does not stretch and is not suitable for use in motorcycle apparel where abrasion is important. Cycleport makes suits from a Kevlar/Cordura/Lycra weave. This specially blended Kevlar material meets and surpasses all requirements for motorcycle apparel. Cycleport's Kevlar suits are the only synthetic apparel approved by the F.I.M., the A.M.A., the W.E.R.A. and many other racing organizations. A para-aramide fibre, which is five times h3er than steel at the same weight. The melting point is 450 degreeC.

Keystone frame

An American term to describe a diamond-type frame in which the engine serves as part of the structure.

Kick start

Before motorcycles had electric starters, they all used kick starters. A lever that one would kick to turn the engine.

Kicking Tires

Slang term for standing around motorcycles and talking about them.


An arm attached to a motorcycle that swings out from the left side to support the bike at rest. Also called a Sidestand.


A unit of power equal to 1000 watt. 0,746 kW equals one horsepower. A kW is equal to one kilojoule per second.

Kinnipullin Pin

Clevis pin


Slang for the tyres used in motocross and trials, which have deeply-grooved treads.


Open-end wrench


Knucklehead - 1. A type of Harley-Davidson engine manufactured prior to 1948, which was characterized by large nuts on the right side of engine above the cylinders. Appearance is somewhat similar to knuckles. 2. 2. Slang of Harley-Davidson Knucklehead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1936 - 1947). Name comes from the valve covers that look like the knuckles of a clinched fist. 3. Harley-Davidson's first overhead valve Big Twin.


pronounced Quack), Kwaker , Kaw (pronounced cow) Kawasaki



L (Motorcycle designation suffix)

Dual sport bike (eg. Honda XR650L). Can also be used for Touring (eg. Suzuki GS850L)

L Twin

A V-twin engine with its cylinders splayed apart at a 90 degree angle, which creates a smoother running engine. These engines can either be placed transversely (crosswise), or longitudinally (lenghtwise) in a motorcycle frame.

LPR (Lugeless Pavement Racer)

Refers to that high speed slide that accompanies a get off.

LT (Motorcycle designation suffix)

Touring (eg. BMW K1200LT)

Lane Stealer

A cage driver that passes motorcycles in no passing zones, knowing he can just knock the bike out of the way if a cage comes the other way. Also a cage driver that tries to squeeze by you in your lane.


1. Riding between lanes of traffic on a freeway. 2. Driving between involuntarily parked cages on an overcrowded highway. Legal in some states. 3. Consists of driving between two lanes of traffic at a greater speed than the other vehicles. Although there are times when this could be dangerous, it's actually legal in many countries. It's illegal in most U.S. states, but California allows it if it's done in a safe manner.


A term for play or looseness, often related to the valve adjustment.

Law Maker

Stupid riders that kill themselves on their bikes causing stupid laws to be made 'For our protection.'

Lay it Down

Laid it Down - Laying the Bike Down - 1. A crash where you slide down on one side of the bike. 2. This when there's imminent danger of an accident ahead, or ya hit some oil or gravel and ya have to lay the bike down on its side.


The shaft in a gearbox carrying some of the gear pinions, parallel to the mainshaft. Also known as the countershaft.

Lazy Foot

Shifting gears too lightly/timidly and rather than shifting up a gear you get a false neutral.

Leading link

Front suspension design in which the axle is mounted at the front end of two short links that pivot at the bottom of solid forks. The links are sprung to control movement A long leading-link system has a complete fork that pivots behind the wheel.


condition where the optimum mixture of fuel and air is not being fed into the engine, too much air, not enough fuel; opposite of rich


1. The jacket/gloves/etc (safety gear) used by riders that is made out of leather. 2. A safety garment consisting of a skin-tight leather suit, body armour, foam, sturdy stitching and zippers.


another definition of a Poser or Wannabe

Legal Name

Most outlaw motorcycle club members have nicknames or club names which are called "Legal Names" by club members. They are also called "Street Names."


Used to describe big, multicylinder dual sports.



Light the fire

Slang term for "starting the engine".


Male biker


Path selected by the motorcycle rider to take through a turn.

Lone Wolf Biker

Someone who lives the Bike Lifestyle but chooses not to ride with a club.


An individual who shares the same values and enjoys the same lifestyle as outlaw gang members but who prefers to keep a degree of freedom of choice by not formally belonging to one specific club.

Love Nudges

Also known as swapping paint. Two riders bump in to each other while racing.

Low Side (Low-side)

1. A type of motorcycle crash that involves laying the "low side" of the bike too low in a turn, resulting in a loss of traction and grounding the bike. 2. When the rider loses balance of the motorcycle and both fall onto the ground on their low side. 3. A bike falling over onto it's side that's lower to the ground.

Lubrication system

The means whereby oil is used to reduce friction between the moving parts of an engine. In a two-stroke engine the oil and petrol are mixed, and an oil mist enters the engine with the air/fuel mixture. In a four-stroke engine, oil is pumped or splashed round the engine from either a wet sump or a dry sump.

Lugging the engine

1. Letting the RPMs fall a lot lower the engine's powerband (so it has very little acceleration). 2. Operating the engine at lower than normal RPM. 3. Being in a gear too high for your speed. The engine 'lugs', rattles or bogs suggesting you to downshift to a gear better suited to your current road speed.


See Lugging the engine.

Lung or Lunger

The number of cylinders that a motorcycle engine has. A 4 cylinder motorcycle engine can be referred to as a "four lunger".


Live Club Name, Die Club Name (ie. LPDP = Live Pagan, Die Pagan)




Multi Adjustable Nut F_ _ ker, aka adjustable spanner! (UK). A wrench that messes up any bolt or nut it is applied to.


M/C - Motorcycle Club, referring to the tightly knit brotherhoods of biker gangs.


Motorcycle Industry Council


Motorcycle Mechanics Institute.


Miles per gallon.


Motorcycle Safety Foundation (Training). The highly recommended way to learn how to properly and safely ride a motorcycle. Offered in many countries around the world for a very reasonable price.

Mad Max

A circular burnout made by spinning the rear tire and then rotating the bike 360 degrees with the locked front wheel as the axis. Bonus for crossing the circle with a straight rubber mark when finished. Also called a doughnut or burnout.


Self-contained device that can be easily driven by an engine (does not require an external power source) to produce an ignition spark.


Slang for magnesium or light alloy wheels, also known as artillery wheels.


The shaft in a gearbox which is connected to the engine and which carries some of the gears. Also known as the driveshaft.


A woman who is available to all Biker Gang members


Pipes that supply fuel to and channel exhaust from the head.

Manual Transmission

A device consisting of a set of gears (the gearset), that alter the final drive ratio of a vehicle to enable an operator to get up to speed. Automatic transmissions do not have gearsets but rather use a complex system of fluid and metal bands to vary the final drive ratio of a vehicle.

Market Street Commandos

An early Motorcycle Gang


Make or brand of motorcycle.

Marquis deSaddle

A highly uncomfortable motorcycle seat

Masey Fergason/JCB/Tracker


Master Cylinder

Forces hydraulic fluid to the brake cylinder, activating the brakes. Can also be found on a hydraulic clutch system as well.

Master Link

A link in the chain that can be disassembled to repair the chain.

Mattress Cover or Ground Cover

Young Woman


Larger sized engined scooters.



Meet (Bike Meet(up))

A meeting of events where one or more events take place.


1. Megaphone An outwardly tapered high-performance exhaust. 2. Additional chrome tip that goes onto the end of the exhaust to help tune it.


Speeds higher 150mph

Metric Cruiser

A cruiser that using metric nuts and bolts (ie. 8mm, 14mm, 17mm). (rather than imperial sizes 1/4", 3/8", 1 1/8")

Mexican Socket Set

Crescent wrench



Milwaukee Vibrator

A Harley-Davidson




A miniature version of a motorcycle. Typically not street legal.

Money Burner

Anyone who rides a Harley-Davidson

Monkey Butt

What you get after riding your dirt bike all day. Soreness from an uncomfortable riding position. Can be caused by riding too long in the same position, chafing or rubbing.

Monocoque Chassis

Steel pressings welded together, providing the structural equivalent of a frame and body work. Unitized frame structure with stressed sheet metal panels.


A structure that is made as one unit from a sheet material.


Rear suspension using one large damper instead of two. Fitted on Yamaha off-road bikes, and also known as cantilever.




A motorized bicycle, often with pedals still attached for human power assistance, usually legally defined in states and provinces as having fewer than 50cc and cannot be capable of propelling the moped over 30 MPH (50km/h) on level ground.

Motocross Bike

Motorcycles designed for closed course or cross-country competition. These bikes are generally more technologically advanced than their off-road counterparts.

Motorcycle Hand Signals

see Hand Signals

Motorcycle Jockeys

Anyone who rides any motorcycle.

Motorcycle(s), Motorbike(s)

Different words used to describe the same thing. But, they are used in different places in the world just like tyre and tire. In North America/Australia we use Motorcycles, in the UK, Europe and Africa, it's Motorbikes. The origin dates back to non motorised bikes/cycles and if the country your in called them bicycles or bikes.

Motorcycle-specific cut

This pattern takes into consideration the contours of the body when adopting the riding position atop a motorcycle. The sleeve holes are positioned more towards the front, the sleeves and legs incorporate important bends and there are numerous other special design details.

Mud Puppies

ATV and ATC folks


Exhaust device that cools exhaust gases, quiets exhaust noise and provides back pressure to improve engine performance.

Mushrooms or Crash Bungs

are terms for the plastic 'bungs' you attach to the frame to protect the fairing etc in case of a 'spill' or crash.

Mystery Tour

A motorcycle social and travel event in which participants stop at checkpoints to unravel a clue and solve the mystery of where the tour goes.


Not A Harley refers to a bike other than a Harley


North American Russian Motorcycle Association


Never Been Dropped - found in used motorcycle advertisements, usually for bikes that HAVE been dropped.




Nomad 1500G

Naked Bike

1. Bikes with no to a very small fairing. 2. A motorcycle where you can fully see the engine.


Crossover bike with no fairings or covers. Also see Naked Bike.

Nappa leather

The upper surface of the hide. Smooth and slightly shiny, worked to a soft leather with a fine surface structure.


The front of a motorcycle frame, where the steering head is located.

Needle bearing

A type of frictionless bearing that is actually a very small roller.


A person who is new to the sport of motorcycling

Nipple Surfing

Refers to sliding across the ground face down after falling off a motorcycle. Also see "Superman"


They are members of a motorcycle gang and will wear the club's colors. The bottom rocker will read "Nomad." In some clubs they are the enforcers. They do not belong to any one chapter. He will attend club meetings and pay required dues to different chapters, depending on his travels.


Heat resistant material made of fire-retarding aramide fibres.

Nose Wheelie

Rider hits the front brake so hard causing the suspension to bottom out, thus causing the rear of the motorcycle to rise up and stand on the front wheel. Also called a stoppie.

Nubuk leather

Leather which possesses a high level of breathing activity and which has a slightly roughened surface, resulting in a soft, velvety grip.

Nut Cracker

Slang for a motorcycle fuel tank cap hinged closest tot he front of the bike, so named for the tendency of the cap to flip open in a collision while the rider slides up the tank.


A type of nut for a bolt that has a plastic insert to keep it from backing off from vibration. It replaces the lock washer.



O Ring

A rubber sealing part. Does not need to be in the shape of an O.


Outlaws Forever Forever Outlaws


1. An acronym, "Original Equipment from Manufacturer," refers to parts or components. 2. The companies that build the bikes.


OverHead Cam.


Overhead Valve.


Oil Pump Drive Gear (used normally to refer to the infamous plastic oil gears in Kawasaki Vulcans)


Over The Bars as in a crash

Octane Rating

Indicates the ability of a fuel to resist early detonation called knock.


Device that stores the mileage (distance driven). Usually located on the speedometer.

Off-camber Turn

Turn that is banked higher on the inside than the outside.

Off-road Bike

Term for a motorcycle designed specifically for off-road use.

Off-road helmet

Motorcycle helmet with a chin guard and sun shield but no visor.

Oil Bag

Oil tank

Oil Bath

Lubrication by complete submergence into oil.

Oil Cooler

Engine cooling system where the engine's oil is sent through an external radiator to help remove heat from the engine.

Oil Dripper

Slang term, refers to the earlier American and British bikes and often still used towards the modern ones.

Oil Pressure Warning Light

Too Late Light

Oil filter

Filter which removes dirt from the oil used to lubricate the engine.


Newer, air and oil cooled BMW Boxer engines.

Old Lady

Wife or steady girlfriend of a club member.

On Rails

Expression when a motorcycle holds a corner extremely well at speed. (The bike felt like it was on rails through that corner).

On the box

A top-three finish that puts a rider on the victory podium.

On the gas

When a rider is going very fast.

On the pipe

When a rider or bike is going very fast. This expression refers to when a competition bike's two-stroke engine is operating at optimum rpm. Exhaust pipes for these motorcycles are designed to work best at certain engine speeds. When a motorcycle is on the pipe, it is running at the rpm that gives maximum horse-power.

One Percenter (1%er)

Worn by outlaw clubs. Made famous by the media that said 99% of bikers and clubs are law bidding citizens the other 1% is not.


One-of-a-kind fabricated part. A product or part that is not designed to be mass produced. It can refer to a one-of-a-kind bolt-on or a fully customized motorcycle.


Indian Scout

One-way SOB

Selfish, takes but does not give in return

Open Class

When referring to street legal sportbikes, open class designates motorcycles with engines that displace more than 800cc in volume.

Open cradle frame

Frame without tubes running under the engine. The engine unit bolts into place between the front downtube and the swingarm pivot area as a semi-stressed or stressed member.

Organ Donor

A biker who doesn't wear a helmet

Original owner

This would be the first owner of the motorcycle purchased from the dealer.


A member's first set of colors which are never to be cleaned.

Orphan Bikes

Rare bikes that are no longer in production.


Blue haired Buick driver. "Oscar almost turned left in front of me"

Otto Cycle

The four stroke engine is sometimes called the Otto cycle, in honor of its inventor, Otto Benz.


Motorbike with sidecar. Also known as a chair or a combo.


1. To increase the diameter of the cylinder. 2. When you overbore your engine, you drill out the cylinders and then put oversized pistons in the holes, effectively increasing your engine capacity.


Transmission gear such that one revolution of the engine produces more than one revolution of the driveshaft. A gear ration of less than 1:1.

Overhead Cam System

A system where the cam rides directly on top of the valve steams.

Overhead cam (ohc)

Engine in which the camshaft is mounted in or on the cylinder head. The camshaft and crankshaft are usually connected by chain drive.

Overhead valve (ohv)

Engine in which the valves are in the cylinder head and in which the camshaft is housed within the timing cover. A pushrod moves the rocker arm which opens each valve.


Cylinder diameter (bore) greater than the stroke. Also called short stroke. An oversquare (or Oversquaring an) engine will increase/improve torque.


The situation that occurs in cornering when the rear of a vehicle tends to skid before the front.




Pillion Pad - The passenger seat


Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington - the original gang that later developed into the Hell's Angels.


Positive Crank Ventilation. Vents crankcase vapors into the intake manifold to control pollution.


Acronym - Parking Lot Practice


Parked Motorcycle Syndrome. A condition suffered by both male or female riders when they can not ride their motorcycle due to bad weather, repairs, or other reasons.


Pounds per Square Inch. An example would be used in tire/tyre inflation.


Poor Urban Biker. Generally used as a comeback by Bikers who are accused of being RUB's.


Area where maintenance on race entered motorcycles takes place, which also includes support vehicles and transport.



Pan Panhead

1. Slang for the Harley-Davidson engine produced between 1948 and 1965. Named after the valve covers that look like small turkey roasting pans. 2. The Panhead Engine (V-Twin, produced from 1948 - 1965). 3. Harley-Davidson's second generation overhead valve Big Twin.

Pancake Engine

Horizontally opposed engine. (i.e.. BMW Boxer or Honda Goldwing engine)


One of a pair of packs or baskets hung over the rear wheel of a vehicle (as a motorcycle)

Parallel Twin

1. An inline 2 cylinder engine. 2. A two cylinder engine with its cylinders placed side by side in an upright position.

Parked It

Going slower in a race than conditions allow.


To aid a member in a fight by ganging up on the opponent.

Passenger Backrest

Sissy Bar

Passenger Pad

Pillion Pad

Pasta Rocket

any Italian Sportbike (Ducati, Aprilia, MV Agusta, Benelli)

Patch holder

a club biker


Patches are sewed onto a jacket or shirt to signify a club, brand or something of note.

Pavement Surfing (PS)

Being thrown from your bike and skidding along the highway.

Pegging or To Peg Someone

This is when one rider pushes a disabled M/C and rider with their M/C using their leg with their foot on the disabled M/C's rear foot peg or axle - hence the term Pegging or to Peg Someone.


Fuel Valve. Petcock's can have multiple fuel options such as: OFF, ON, RESERVE and PRIME.


A self-paced learning system designed by Harley-Davidson to keep professional dealership technicians current.

Pillion (or ballast)

1. Motorcycle passenger (on the back seat). 2. chiefly British : a motorcycle or bicycle saddle for a passenger.

Pillion Pad

A small seat attached to the rear fender of a motorcycle to provide seating for a passenger.

Pin It

To open the throttle wide open.


Picked up by the police


Exhaust System

Piston Caliper (single/double/four/six)

For disk brakes, the caliper holds the abrasive brake pads so that they are on either side of the brake disc. The number o fhydraulic pistons in the caliper that squeeze the pads against the disc causing braking of the disc's rotation.


The slugs moving up and down within the engine cylinders.

Pit Board

A large sign a mechanic writes on and shows to his rider as he goes past. Pit board signs can be used to show a rider's position, how far he's ahead or behind, to encourage him or even to remind him to breathe.

Pit Crew

Mechanics and or assistants.

Pit Lane

A lane adjacent to the track used to enter and exit the race track circuit and where maintenance takes place prior to and during practice sessions and the race event.


A designated area where makeshift garages are set up to perform maintenance on race-entered motorcycles takes place. Where the racing teams park their trucks and set up makeshift garages to work on the bikes and house the riders.


Racers who do not have the backing of a manufacturer.

Planetary gear

A gear driven by a central sun gear or crownwheel

Plastic Fantastic

Sports bike, 'cause they are plastic and the riders think they are fantastic.

Play the Clutch

Use of partially engaged clutch.

Plugs too cold

A plug that doesn't have a hot enough spark to burn off carbon deposits and will foul.

Plugs too hot

A hot plug produces a spark so hot that it will fire the air/fuel mixture before the valves are shut and the piston is in the proper position for the down stroke. The result is pre-detonation or pinging which can hole the piston.


Spark Plugs

Poker Run

A poker run is, for the most part, like any old motorcycle run. Instead of just riding from Point A to Point B, however, there are also several stops in between (usually 5 total). At these stops you go in to the checkpoint and draw a playing card from a deck of cards. Depending on the rules, you either keep the card or the person at the checkpoint will mark down what card you drew. You do this at each checkpoint, and by the end of the run you will have 5 cards â??€¦?? this makes up your poker hand. At the last stop you turn in your poker hand, and whoever has the best hand wins.

Popping the clutch

Letting the clutch out quickly to make a fast start.


intake & exhaust valve openings


Opening into a cylinder.


A wannabe Biker (i.e. Shiny new leather). A pretend biker.

Positive Camber Turn

Turn that is banked such that the outside of the turn is higher than the inside of the turn. Properly banked speedways and freeways have positive camber turns.

Postie bike

Asingle cylinder 90cc or 110cc step through Honda as used by the Aussie and Kiwi postal service.


A single Carburetor. (So 4 pots would be a 4 barrel carburetor)

Pour on the coals

To accelerate hard.

Power Band (Powerband)

Range of RPM where an engine produces the most power.

Power Plant

The motorcycle engine.

Power Shower

Riding in the rain with anything other then a full face helmet. Also riding in the rain without rain gear.

Power Train

Components that deliver rotary motion from the engine to the drive wheels (transmission, clutch, primary and secondary drives.)


Pre-ignition is when the intake charge is ignited too early. The combustion pressure exerts large forces on the upward traveling piston and can destroy the engine. On the other hand, detonation can occur at any point during the combustion process. It is basically a violent and uncontrolled explosion in the combustion chamber. Although folks commonly refer to combustion as an "explosion" it is actually more appropriately termed a "controlled burn". Explosions in the combustion chamber are undesirable, and the violent release of energy can also destroy an engine. Pre-ignition can sometimes lead to detonation because the premature burn is simultaneously compressed. Pre-ignition and detonation are both bad news. Detonation is usually caused by a *lean* A/F mix. (Vacuum leaks) or improper jetting. Also by low octane fuel,over advanced timing, lugging of engine, and of course excessive carbon in the combustion chamber. A rich mixture can lead to detonation due to excessive carbon buildup in the combustion chamber decreasing its volume and raising the compression excessively.

Primary Drive

The drive method of connecting the engines crankshaft to its transmission.

Primary drive

The transmission from the engine to the clutch, either by chain or by gears.


Club membership hopefuls, who ride with the gang during their probationary period. After this time a unanimous vote must be cast by the membership for acceptance, initiation, and awarding of colors.

Production Motorcycles

The bikes manufacturers produce to sell to the general public, rather than bikes built specifically for racers.


A prospective member.

Protein Facial

What you get on the highway without a windshield

Pucker factor

Refers to a very close call. "I had a pucker factor of 10 around that corner."


Part of the required safety garment. Pucks or knee pucks are part of the body armour worn by the rider that attaches to the side of the knee and is used while cornering.


Ability to accelerate.


Female Breasts.

Purple hooters

Topless female rider in cold weather.


Referring to a smooth running engine.

Pushrod (Pushrode System)

1. In overhead valve engines, rods from the camshaft to the rockers, activating the valves. 2. In a pushrod system, the cams are located below the cylinder heads and push on the rockers arms by moving long rods, called the Pushrods.




Elderly cage driver (also see Blue Hair). Considered dangerous (by bikers) as they are unpredictable driving on the road as their eye sight, hand-eye cordination and decision making abilities are hindered by age. The term Q-Tip comes from the usual white hair color.

Qualifying Heat Race

A preliminary race used to determine elimination or position in the final race event.


To advance to the final race event by timed qualifying or position in a heat race.



R (Motorcycle designation suffix)

Replica, Racer or Racing (eg. Yamaha YZF600R, BMW K1200R)


Revolutions Per Minute. Example is in reference to how fast the pistons in an engine are moving.

RR (Motorcycle designation suffix)

Race Replica or Race Ready (eg. Honda CBR600RR, Kawasaki ZX-10RR)


Rich Urban Biker. A term usually used by real Harley Bikers to describe the weekend wannabe accountant types who buy a Harley ''cause they can and the status of it, but couldn't tell a camshaft from a brake pad. Bikers that ride with more money than knowledge, experience, and ""street saavy"".


A person licensed to race.

Racing Flags

Racing flags are traditionally used in auto racing and similar motorsports to communicate important messages to drivers by a flagman. While there is no universal system of racing flags across all of motorsports, most series have standardized them, with some flags carrying over between series.


1. Tire design where the cords of the tire run from the left side of the tire to the right side. 2. Refers to the way the cords of a tire on constructed. 3. The tire construction utilizing plies that run radially from bead to bead under the tread. This construction requires a belt to stabilize the tread and define the tire diameter.


In liquid-cooled engines, the heat sink where excess heat is purged into the environment. An external heat sink that dissipates the heat in the liquid that ran through the engine and to return it back into the engine cooler than it was before it exited then engine and entered the radiator.

Rain Grooves

Channels cut into a roads surface to help water run off the road during a rainstorm.

Rainbows in the Mountains

When angry locals in the mountains put diesel fuel in the corners in an effort to stop sports bikes street fighting.


Oil on the street

Raised Tranny

Harley bikers would use a spacer to raise the transmission on their bikes so when riding in dirt and mud to try to keep the primary cover away from anything that might knock into it.


1. Rake, measured in degrees, describes the angle of the front fork or the steering axis from the horizontal or vertical plane. 2. Slope of the front forks.

Rat Bike (#2)

A cosmetically challenged bike. It can be anything from a 'no maintenance' bike to a fine running 'sleeper'.

Rat Bike (#3)

The bike you use in foul weather or when you are going into a questionable neighborhood. A cheap reliable bike, but if lost or stolen is no big deal. This bike never gets washed.

Rat Bike

Bike made from several machines and kept on the road using as cheap as possible and painted matt black. Now has a class of its own and defined as any thing Mad Max would shoot at.

Reading the plugs

A close examination of the spark plugs to determine the mixture of fuel/air (too lean, to rich, etc)

Rear sets

Foot controls that have been relocated at the rear of the motorcycle.


Rebound defines the return stroke of the suspension.

Reciprocating Weight

Total weight of all moving parts.


A component that converts alternating current into direct current.

Red Flag

Race stopped

Red Line (Redline)

Indicates the maximum RPM's an engine may run. The name is derived from the actual red line manufacturers typically put on the tachometer.

Reduced effect

In some countries certain motorcycle models are sold with less horse power to comply with legal or insurance regulations in that country. For instance, a country might allow 16-year-olds to drive 125 ccm bikes with no more than 15 hp. The bike would then have to be modified to output no more than 15 hp. In another example insurance companies may not want to insure bikes with more than 100 hp, or may increase insurance rates for these bikes to the extent that most people would want to buy a reduced-effect version of their bike instead.


A light current electrical switch that triggers a heavier switch capable of caring heavier current.

Repair Link

A link in some motorcycle chains that can be disassembled for chain repair.


Hard edged sportbikes. These motorcycles are characterized by riding positions that tuck the rider into an extreme crouch, forcing him or her to practically lay down on the fuel tank.

Repo Artist

Business thug experienced at repossessing motorcycles for finance companies.


Repossess. To take away from an owner who cannot financially afford to pay for an item they own.


To set back the ignition timing before the piston reaches TDC (Top Dead Center.)


See Revolutions Per Minute (RPM). A term used to describe how fast a motor is spinning.

Revolutions per mile

The measured number of revolutions made by a tire traveling one mile.

Revolutions per minute

RPM - REV - 1. The number of times the crankshaft spins around each minute. 2. The number of revolutions the engine makes in a minute. Abbreviated RPM and often referred to as "rev" in conversation.


The Revolution engine, Harley-Davidson's first water-cooled engine (V-Twin, produced from 2002 - Current Day)


The action of using the throttle in quick short burts to speed up the engine.

Rice Burner

Slang term for a Japanese made motorcycle.

Rice Rocket

Japanese Sport Bike


condition where the optimum mixture of fuel and air is not being fed to the engine, too much fuel, not enough air; opposite of lean

Ride Captain

The leader of a group Ride.

Ride Lieutenant

The last (and most experienced) rider in a group ride.

Riding Two Up

Carrying a passenger on your bike.

Rigid or Rigid Frame

A type of frame that has no swingarm, it is a one piece neck to rear axle frame.

Rippin' it Up

1):When a biker pulls away hard and fast from a standstill and leaves behind a patch/line of rubber (2): A term used to describe generally fast, skillful and/or aggressive riding.


See also Handlebar Risers - Designed to correct the ergonomic short comings of your motorcycle, handlebar risers will raise your handlebars vertically to allow you to attain the posture needed for maximum control. Risers can simply extend the bar mounts toward you, or extend up and forward. Risers are designed to be mounted between your stock bar mount and triple clamp.

Road Agent

Another term for Highway Patrol Officer or State Trooper.

Road Crown

Arc of road, high at the middle line, to allow for water drainage.

Road Gator

18-wheel Tire Pieces

Road Rash

1. A Wipeout that scrapes off some of your skin. Marks left behind on a biker's body after falling down while moving. 2. A term used to define injuries to the skin when a rider falls or is thrown from the motorcycle and lands or slides on the pavement. Wearing a full-face helmet, gloves, a motorcycle approved jacket, chaps, and boots is a good way to minimize Road Rash.


Yamaha Road Star

Rocker Arms

Devices that work like upside down teeter totters and push on the valve stems.

Rocker-Clutch or Rocker Clutch Pedal

This term was used to describe the foot clutch pedal's that rocked back and forth on a central pivot point hence the term Rocker-Clutch) and the rider would step on the front toe section to disengage the clutch and the rear section with the heal of your boot to engage the clutch.


Part of M/C Colors usually designating geographic location. The curved patches of a club's patch, typically denotes the club name or chapter on one and resident town or city on the other.

Rodger Flannel

Boring. Dull.

Rolling Basket

Basket case bike, fairly intact but does not run, needs work

Rolling Chassis

1. Incomplete project, has everything but mill & tranny (engine and transmission.). 2. The assembled frame, wheels and suspension of the bike.

Rolling on the Throttle

Giving the bike more power by giving it more gas to accelerate.


The condition that occurs during hard cornering when a tire sidewall rubs the road surface.


1. The spray of dirt off the rear wheel of a motocross motorcycle. 2. The expression used when the spray off the rear tire lands on to another rider and embarassing them.

Roun To-It

Instrument used to delay a job. ie... one of these days i'll get around to it.

Rubber Mounted

Rubber mounted engines use a system of rubber cusions and/or joined engine mounts to isolate engine vibrations from the rider.

Rubber band effect

Whenever a group of two or more motorcycles ride together on the road there is a time lag between when the first bike in the group changes speed and when the following bikes do the same. This is known as the 'rubber-band effect'.


Towards the bottom of the bike, or bottom area of a part or component


Tires, tyres.


The measure of the out of roundness of the tire causing a vibration that cannot be balanced.


Riding for a particular function or purpose


When the terrain is soft or damp, deep channels or ruts can be formed when the rear tires dig through the dirt. Ruts can force riders to take certain lines through a corner, or limit them to only one line, making passing difficult. Ruts can get deep enough to completely stop a motorcycle.



S (Motorcycle designation suffix)

Sport (eg. BMW F800S or Suzuki SV650S)


Society of Automotive Engineers.

SEE (see also SIPDE)- Updated MSF term used to help you remember what to do when making judgments in traffic

Stands for Search, Evaluate, and Execute


Multiple meanings: 1. Sons Forever, Forever Sons 2. Set Free From Sin 3. Saved Forever, Forever Saved

SIPDE (see also SEE)-

An older MSF term used to help you remember what to do when making judgments in traffic - Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute

SM (Motorcycle designation suffix)

Supermoto (eg. Suzuki DR-Z400SM)


After attempting to fix something that wasn't broken in the first place and ya can't put it back together correctly, you have a Situation Normal All F_ _ ked Up

SNELL Rating

A foundation formed in 1957 and is an independent motorcycle helmet testing organization. A Snell rating on a helmet, indicated by a sticker inside the helmet, states that the helmet has passed performance tests. Helmet manufacturers are not required to apply, qualify or receive a SNELL rating unlike the required by law DOT rating. Having both SNELL and DOT on a helmet is a very good thing.


Single Over Head Cam. A single cam shaft found in the head or top of the engine that activates the valves.


Single OverHead Valve.


Significant Other (usually refers to someone's wife or husband)

ST (Motorcycle designation suffix)

Sport Tourer (eg. BMW F800ST)

Safety wire

A springy wire used by racers to help keep a part from falling off.


Clearing of exhaust fumes from a two stroke engine.

Scooter Trash

Any Biker


Motorcycle design where the tires are small and fat, the engine resides over the rear wheel permitting a sheltered driving platform for the riders feat. Slang term for a motorcycle.


Slang term for a motorcycle.

Scotchlite Reflective Material

A thin, light weight membrane, mounted between the face fabric and the lining. It is Waterproof, Windproof, and Breathable.

Screamin' Night Hog

A biker when traveling long distances, prefers to ride at night (avoiding the heavy traffic and usually at high speeds).

Secondary drive

The transmission from the gearbox to the rear wheel, either by chain or by shaft.


The locking in place of moving parts due to overheating, lack of lubrication or opposing pressure. Also called freeze-up.

Selector fork

The part of the gearbox which selects the gear, operated by the gear lever. Shaft drive System using a shaft to transmit power to the rear wheel.

Sending Unit

Electrical or mechanical device for sensing some physical property of the motorcycle's operating conditions. Also called a sensor unit.


Any Honda Shadow

Shaft Jacking

Shaky, bumpy or raising/lowering motion of the bikes rear end created by the impact of acceleration and then fed back into the bike's frame caused by a shaft drive. It's quite normal as that's what Shaft drives do as the gears inside the drive want to "ride up" as they are under stress (acceleration).

Shaft drive

Shaft Drive System - 1. As an alternative to chain or belt drive to transfer power to the rear wheel, shaft drive is the solution that requires least maintenance, but is also possibly the heaviest solution. On some bikes there is a notable elevation effect when accelerating. 2. Direct connection method between transmission and rear wheel, as opposed to chain or belt final drive.


When a cage driver passes you in your lane or otherwise tries to share the lane.


Another term for high speed wobble.


Small piece of metal used to set clearances between valves or other parts.

Shiny Side Up (Keep The Shiny Side Up)

Drive Safe, Don't Lay the Bike Down. Friendly parting expression.

Shock Absorber

Also known as damper, shocks absorb road surface vibration through hydraulic friction.


Slang for shock absorbers, i.e. the suspension damper units.

Shooters on Scooters

motorcycle cop


A situation where a rider attempts to put down a foot on pavement or solid ground when stopping a motorcycle but finds that no pavement exists where it was expected.


Low Final Drive Gear Ratio

Shotgun Pipes

This style of exhaust had the two pipes ending straight and together, giving the appearance of a double barreled shot gun.


Shovelhead - 1. Slang for Harley-Davidson engines produced between 1966 and 1984, so named because of the shape of the head resembles a coal shovel. The Shovelhead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1966 - 1984.) 3. Harley-Davidson's third generation overhead valve Big Twin engine.

Showed Him My Wheel

Riding behind someone so close that he saw your wheel beside him.


Small carriages attached to the side of a motorcycle to provide extra carrying capacity or additional passenger(s). Also allows the motorcycle to become more stable and rideable in slippery condition (snow, ice, mud roads, etc.).


An arm attached to a motorcycle that swings out from the left side to support the bike at rest. Also called a Kickstand.

Silverhair Hiway Patrol (SHip)

Bluehairs that attempt to enforce a maximum speed limit of 35mph no matter what the posted limit is. Generally followed by a small parade of vehicles, they often speed up upon encountering a passing zone.

Sintered metal

Porous metal formed from metal powder which has been compressed and heated. When used in disc brakes, it gives greatly improved grip in the wet.

Sissy Bar

1. Passenger Backrest. 2. The backrest put behind the passengers portion of the saddle.

Sit on the gas

When you sit on the gas tank (located at the upper front section of the bike) with your hands on the throttle and brakes either at a stop or while moving.

Skid Lid

Slang term for a helmet.


A type of stunt where a rider carefully jumps off the rear of the moving motorcycle, grabs the pillion grab rail and skis on the road surface. The world record stands in excess of 225 kph (140 mph). Also called skating.


New paint job

Slabbing it

Taking the Interstate Highway

Slam or Slammer

1. Jockey Shift. 2. To lower a bike's suspension (or in extreme cases remove it entirely), also a remark made to someone with intent to make comments, sometimes of a rude nature, to elicit laughs from those who hear/read it.

Slave Cylinder

Hydraulic cylinder activated by the master cylinder, usually referring to clutch or brake cylinders.


Slang term for a motorcycle.

Slick Plastic Arrows

Directional traffic control arrows made of smooth white plastic that are glued to the road surface.


Treadless tire. Can refer to a race tire or a completely worn out tire with little or no tread left on it. Slick's offer the greatest dry traction to a road surface as friction is greatest since there is little/no air gap (tread) between the rubber and the road. A tyre specifically designed for use in road racing only that is made of a soft compound with no tread.


Tyre without a tread pattern, used particularly in drag racing and road racing.


the throttle throat opening mechanism on a CV carb controlled by a diaphragm& Vacuum.

Slinky Riders

Riders in a group ride who consistently fail to maintain interval with the bike to their front are "slinky riders" and are a severe hazard to others.

Slip The Clutch

To play with or fan the clutch in order to prevent the engine stalling or spinning the rear tyre from the start line.


A term for "play" or "looseness" in a motorcycle assembly.

Slow Ride

A common on-bike competition, often seen at rallies or safety events (ie. riding as slow as possible, last to cross the finish line wins).


1. Piston in an engine. 2. A slow motorcycle and rider.

Smell Me Bars

Ape Hangers

Snakes (road snakes)

The serpentine tar strips sometimes used to fill cracks on a racetrack or on a highway/road.


Tires as in "I got a new rear sneaker, or a new pair of sneakers"


The act of shifting a well functioning transmission is often called snicking, because that's the sound the action makes. A transmission that doesn't snick into gear is described as sloppy-shifting.

Soft Tail

Refers to a mono-shock swingarm bike, has the rigid or hardtail styling yet full rear suspension capability. One major company utilizes a play-on version of the word to describe their lineup of this style; the Softail.


A motorcycle frame whose suspension is hidden, making it resemble a hard tail


What your back warmer presses into your back.


A cylinder of wire magnetically controlling a free sliding metal core.

Solid Mounted

A bike with a solid mounted engine has the engine bolted directly to the frame tubes.


Standup, good people, trustworthy


2-stroke expansion chamber

Spark Plugs (or Plugs)

A device that lights an electric spark within the combustion chamber to burn the fuel in the cylinder.

Sparkin' or Sparking the Pavement

This is a term used when a rider would lean their bike over far enough to drag the bottoms, usually of their bikes floor boards or maybe an exhaust pipe and cause sparks to fly at night from rubbing the pavement. I.e."He had that bike so low to the ground in the turn it was Sparkin or Sparking the Pavement."

Speed Wobble

See Wobble - A sudden instability of a motorcycle at speed in which the front end of the bike darts from side to side uncontrollably. Best recources I've heard to fix it: DO NOT slam on the brakes. DO NOT death grip the handlebars. Accelerate out of it or slowly close the throttle to reduce speed.

Spine Frame

Main frame structure made up of two sheet steel pressings welded together along the center line. Also can be tubular construction. Often called a "T" or "7" frame as this describes the shape of the frame.


Driving in the narrow passage between oncoming cages and parked cages when normally cars take turns going through. Very common on rural and residential roads in Germany.

Split Tail

a female passenger or your squeeze.

Splitting the Cases

The metal shell surrounding the bottom end is composed of two clam shell like halves, called cases. Taking these apart to repair the motorcycle is called splitting the cases.


A rod that connects the hub and rim on a wheel.

Sport Standard

An attempt to declassify sport bikes, essentially they are fairing-less sport bikes. They fall between a Sport Bike and a Standard, with some racy styling and a little more upright riding stance.

Sport Tourer

Sport Touring - 1. Motorcycles that go under this category are a compromise between powerful sports bikes and touring bikes. These bikes often have good aerodynamics and lots of power, making the top models of this category the fastest bikes around. 2. Sport touring bikes offer more comfort than a sport bike and more speed than a touring bike. 3. A motorcycle that combines the comfort and carrying capacity of a touring bike with the handling and power of a sportbike with larger fairing and hard, lockable luggage.


1. The racy light weight mega-fast bikes with full fairing, comfort is not taken into consideration on these bikes rather they are made for hard acceleration, quick and responsive maneuvering, and rapid stopping power. 2. Motorcycle offering high performance characterized by leading edge engine design, heavily applied racing technology, radical aerodynamic styling, low handlebars, high performance tires and suspension, low weight, high RPM engine and big disc brakes. 3. A motorcycle designed for optimal speed and handling characteristics, often with expensive bodywork.

Springer Fork

Springer type forks use large, exposed springs to dampen the impact of road irregularities. Very old technology that works is still used today by Harley-Davidson for a heritage look.


A motorcycle that is designed with large springs on the front forks to dampen and absorb road shock.

Springs (shock springs)

Help the shocks absorb road surface vibration through compression of the spring around the shock.


In the counterculture movements that started in the 1940s and took momentum in the 1960s a "square" referred to someone who clung to repressive, traditional, stereotypical, one-sided, or "in the box" ways of thinking. The term was used by hipsters in the 40s, beatniks in the 50s, hippies in the 60s, yippies in the 70s, and other individuals who took part in the movements which emerged to contest the more conservative national, political, religious, philosophical, musical and social trends.


The rear suspension of the motorcycle seems to bottom out due to hard acceleration.

Squid (Squiddy)

Acronym, SQUirrely kID. 1. In reference to younger MC riders with little respect to posted speed limit laws, self safety or safety of others. 2. Inexperienced newcomer, someone trying to ride beyond his skill level with arms flailing (like a squid) to try not to fall. This may be just a Southern term. 3. Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Imminently Dead. 4 Any Sportbike Rider - seems this term got twisted along the way and has many meanings. 5 Sportbike riders who wear tennis shoes or flip flops, shorts, T-shirts, etc. on their nice shiny new sport bikes. 6 Anyone that rides without all proper gear , rides recklessly, or rides beyond their limits. 7. Someone who rides a sportbike on the street as if he or she were on a racetrack.

Squirrelly handling

A slang term for a feeling of less than full control on a motorcycle.

Stand up

When you raise your body or 'stand' while riding your bike.


dependable, can be counted on.


1. A more upright styled bike, with little attention to styling. Generally more powerful than cruisers and their engines are tuned to "real world" riding (ie. more torque in the low-mid RPM range with a few less horsepower in the top end.) 2. Term for a basic, universal, multipurpose motorcycle design. 3. UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle).

Standing on brakes

Application of a lot of braking power, usually in a panic stop. Using both front and rear brakes very agressively to stop quickly.

State Patrol Formation

Staggered group riding formation - L-R-L-R-L-R...


State cop


Harassment by law enforcement

Stay Vertical

Stay upright, don't crash


The local motorcycle dealership


See Steelership

Steering Aids

Ruts in the road formed by heavy trucks that try to steer your bike for you.

Steering Geometry

The geometrical relationship between the motorcycle frame, the angle of the fork, and the position of the front tire.

Steering Head

1. The tubular section at the front of a frame where the triple trees mount to. 2. The place where the fork is connected to the frame and which specifies the steering angle.

Steering damper

1. A steering damper is mounted to a motorcycle's frame and fork to prevent situations like a wobble. 2. A system for adding resistance to the motorcycle steering.

Steering lock

A lock that enables one to lock the fork at an extreme right or left to prevent or hinder theft.

Steering-head bearing

The pivot between the front forks and the main frame.


A frame layout with a low structure between the seat and the steering head.


Low-power machine usually of between 50 and 70 ccs. The frame is low-slung, without a top tube, so that the rider can 'step through' on to the bike.


When some Bikers take great pains and expense to color coordinate their bike colors, leathers, helmet, boots, gloves. Named after Martha Stewart.

Stick it

What a cop would do to check for Straight Pipes is stick his nightstick in the end of the exhaust pipe and if it didn't stop and went all the way in, ya got a coupon for straight pipes (a fix it ticket).

Stinky Finger

priming the AMAL carb on early Triumphs from fuel seeping out the button.

Stitching a line

Meaning to get by traffic quick and safe.


A motorcycle set up to OEM specifications with no alterations.




The art of stopping a motorcycle and having the rear wheel lift off the ground, the reverse of a wheelie. Also called an endo. 2. Aviation of the rear wheel in an effort to stop quickly

Straight Pipes

An exhaust system with no baffles inside thus the exhaust travels straight through unrestricted. (Very loud and technically illegal in most areas.)


Tells it like it is, no b.s., Talks the truth, speaks their mind

Street Fighter

Streetfighter - A bare bones sportbike (or any bike that originally had fairings) stripped of all extraneous bodywork. Also called a hooligan bike.

Stressed member

A component that is an integral part of the whole structure.

Stretching out

When the swing arm that holds the back tire is pulled or 'stretched out.' It makes your bike look longer and it makes it hard to pop wheelies.


A chopper term for increasing the neck rake of a motorcycle by extending the length of the frame's front downtubes, which is that part of the frame between the neck and the front motor mounts. Stretching is a chopper modification dating from the 1960's. Its effect was to raise the fork neck, increasing the degree of rake, and allow for the use of a long, extended fork without significantly raising the engine and drivetrain (and bike's center-of-gravity) high into the air. The bike retained a low, long look, high in the center, front to back, and handled relatively well


Two stroke engine.


1. (as in bore/stroke) The distance traveled in either direction of by an piston or rod in an engine. Do not mix up with stroke as in 4-stroke. 2. The up and down motion of the piston.


Sudden Engine Seizure - This also refers to a Stuck Piston which will cause a Gradual Engine Seizure, where the bike will loose power and need to be pulled over to cool-off. I.e. The engine was overheated and/or wasn't broke in properly or the clearances were set wrong and the engine Stuck a Piston. This can happen if the piston to wall clearance is set to close on a forged piston which expands more and faster than a cast piston and can seize the engine when there is no more room/clearance for a forged piston's expansion.

Suck to the Bulls

Talking friendly with law enforcement. (Best way to talk to them).

Suckin' leather

About the same as Pucker Factor.

Suicide Shift

Suicide Clutch - An early-style gear shift mechanism. Unlike modern motorcycles, early motorcycles used a foot-actuated clutch and the gear shifting was done with the rider's hand via a long gear shift knob that was connected directly to the transmission (much like a manual transmission on a car). Because the rider had to remove one of his hands from the handlebars in order to shift - a dangerous prospect given that most of the thoroughfares of the day were rutted, unpaved dirt roads or brick and cobblestone streets - many people felt that motorcycle riders were literally "taking their lives into their own hands" hence the term, "suicide shift".


Oil reservoir that either scavenges free draining engine oil or separately holds oil.

Super Slab

1. Interstate. 2. A generic term for any multilane, high speed, limited access highway, including a freeway, toolway, motorway, parkway, or superhighway.


A motorcycle category which defines urbanly designed cross or enduro bikes.


Refers to flying through the air (chest down) after coming off a motorcycle. Also see "Nipple Surfing"


A new style of motorcycle usually built around, and looking like, off-road machines with street tires. They tend to be light, flickable machines, and are used in a new genre of racing that usually encompasses riding on a mixture of pavement and dirt surfaces. Many manufacturers have a Supermoto in their model lineups.


The system of springs, shock absorbers, or similar devices connection the axels to the frame of a motor cycle. Designed to reduced unwanted motion transmitted from the riding surface.

Swapping Paint

Two riders bump in to each other while racing. Also known as love nudges.


A broad high-speed turn.


The last (and most experienced) rider in a group ride.


The rear portion of a bike that the rear wheel mounts to, a pivoting structure that moves up and down with the rear suspension.

Swinging arm

Rear suspension system in which the rear wheel is held by a fork, which pivots on the rear sub-frame.


To take a road trip. E.g. I took a swoop over to any town or lets go a swoop to any town.



T or GT (Motorcycle designation suffix)

Touring (eg. Boulevard C90T, Honda VTX1800T, BMW K1200GT)


1. Crashing into the side of a cage. Can happen when a vehicle makes a left turn in front of a biker or pulls a U-turn in the middle of the street. 2. Common crash condition where a car turns in front of a motorcycle and the connecting vehicles are perpendicular - hence "T-bone".

T-CLOCK (see also T-CLOCS)

Older term used to help remember your Pre-Ride inspection: Tires, Controls, Lights (and electronics), Oils, Chassis (and chain) and Kickstand (make sure it's up)

T-CLOCS (see also T-CLOCK)

Updated term used to help remember your Pre-Ride inspection: Tires, Controls, Lights (and electronics), Oils, Chassis (and chain) and Stands* (make sure it's up). *Both the side and center stands

T-Shirt Biker

Someone who has the leather jacket, chain drive wallet, T-shirts and all, but no scooter (motorcycle).


Two Wheels Only, anyone who ONLY rides a bike (no car)


Top Dead Center. The point at which a piston is at its highest position (and therefore point of greatest compression) within the cylinder.


Total Motorcycle Website. A huge motorcyclists resource (largest in North America) since 1999 on the Internet containing dozens of free guides, handbooks, biker's dictionary, forums, and much more.

TT (Tourist Trophy)

Road race held on closed public roads on the Isle of Man, off the coast of Great Britain. The TT is the oldest motorcycle-racing event in the world. The first race was held in 1907. Racers routinely reach speeds in excess of 260 kph (100 mph) that take them through villages, along rocky mountain sides and along single lane country roads. The TT is also the most dangerous racing event in the world.

Table-top jump

A jump similar to a double jump, except the void between the jumps is filled in with dirt, creating the table-top.


An instrument gauge that displays how fast the engine is spinning in revolutions per minute.


As in tag you're it. Old term for finding out there is a cop or narc undercover in your bar or club. (South)

Tail Gunner

The last rider in a group. This rider is typically responsible for acquiring a new lane when the group changes lanes, rendering assistance to any rider who must leave the group, assessing the skill level of new riders to the group, and communications with the lead bike rider about traffic conditions behind the group. This rider is often the 'safety officer' for that group.

Tail pack/bag

A bag or luggage that mounts on to the (tail) rear seat or rear luggage rack of the bike.


High Final Drive Gear Ratio.


The part of the sidestand that sticks out, intended for you to put your toe on to lower the side stand while seated on the bike.

Tank bag

A bag or luggage that mounts on to the top of the fuel tank.


1. A severe speed wobble that the handlebars bang alternately agaist the sides of the fuel tank. 2. When you get off the side of the road and the handlebars start slamin back and forth.


Tappets - 1. Device to self-adjust valve clearances. 2. Small metal slugs between the cam and the pushrod or rocker arm.

Tar Snake

An uneven, slippery patch in a road crack

Target Fixation

When a riders eyes focus on a point in the distance, line or debris on the road, causing them to inadvertently steer the bike toward that area rather than in the intended path. The majority of riders fall prey to this as it's easy to target fixate on a bump/hole in the road or something you didn't want to run over.


British term for what North American's call asphalt.




A subgroup of four motorcycles within a larger group ride.

Telelever System

The most successful alternate front suspension, made by BMW, which takes the shock absorption function of a hydraulic fork and transfers it to a shock absorber located behind the steering head.

Telescopic forks

Front suspension system with two fork legs, each with sliding and fixed tubular members that telescope together to allow suspension movement.


The jacket/gloves/etc (safety gear) used by riders that is made out of textile.

The Bicycle Lane

The space in-between those double yellow lines usually in the center of a two lane black top roadway,riding in the bicycle lane predates lane splitting and is sometimes the only alternative when cage traffic is slow or stopped.

The Big Road

The Interstate

The Double

also known as the 'Double T', or 'Double Ton') - meaning 200 mph.

The Main Jet

No not the one in your Carburetor , The Main Jet is another word for the Interstate Highway.

The Mann

Artist David Mann

The Man

Police or Law Enforcement Officer

The Motor Company


the Queen's own (AKA the Queen's Carrige)

Any British bike

The Ton



Controls engine temperatures by preventing coolant flow when the engine is cold and permitting flow when the engine warms.

Thirteen (13)

It is for Mother Club e.g. The original chapter of the club and the ruling body of the club. If a member is wearing a 13 he is a member of the Mother club and is a boss of the club.

Thrashing it or Caning it

Self-explanatory terms for taking the bike for 'a blast'.

Three Piece Outfit

Refers to a club, stems from the 3 piece patches.

Throttle Rocker

A Throttle Rocker is a device that wraps around the throttle grip of your motorcycle. The end protrudes out from the grip to form a contoured portion that comfortably fits the heel and palm of your hand. Using the heel of your hand, you apply downward pressure on the Throttle Rocker and the throttle grip rotates.

Throttle lock

Manual device fitted to the throttle of a motorcycle that applies friction to keep the throttle from moving. Used to temporarily give your hand a rest on long rides.


The throttle controls the engine's power by restricting the substance that enters the engine.


1. Bikes with large displacement, single cylinder, for stroke engines. Any single cylinder bike (like the BMW F650, Kawasaki KLR650) street or off road.

Time Hack

An informal measurement of time such as counting distances such as following a car.

Tire Cross Section

1. The shape (profile) of the cross section of an inflated tire on a rim. 2. What a tire would look like if you sliced through it.

Tire Profile

The lateral curvature of the tread of an inflated tire, usally expressed as a comparison of height to width.

Tire Warmers

Real racing tires work best once they've attained their high operating temperatures. Electric 'blankets' wrapped around the wheels help speed this process, allowing the rider to start going fast sooner.

Tire direction

Unlike car tires, motorcycle tires have an arrow on the sidewall showing the direction of travel. It is important to mount motorcycle tires correctly and the tire direction arrow is correctly oriented in the direction the tire will spin the majority of the time.

Tire, Tyre

Rubber, Sneaker. The round thing made of rubber your motorcycle moves on.

Too Late Light

Oil Pressure Warning Light



Top End

1. The maximum speed of a motorcycle. 2. The upper part of the engine, which contains the pistons, cylinders, and valve gear, and the induction system consits of the apparati that mix an air and fuel charge and inject it into the combustion chamber, located in the top end.


1. The tendency of a force to cause an object to rotate. In an engine, the torque is expressed as the force applied multiplied by the distance from the center of rotation. It is the basic measure of the propulsive effect of a powered wheel. Or, said in other words: The measure of the force applied to produce rotational motion usually measured in foot-pounds or Nm. Torque is determined by multiplying the applied force by the distance from the pivot point to the point where the force is applied. 2. Measure of force producing torsion and rotation around an axis. A measurement of engine power described as the ability to turn or twist. Maximum torque is produced wen an engine is operating at maximum combustion efficiency. 3. A twisting force, and in a motorcycle it is a measure of the leverage the engines exerts on the rear wheel.

Total Motorcycle

Total Motorcycle Website. A huge motorcyclists resource (largest in North America) since 1999 on the Internet containing dozens of free guides, handbooks, biker's dictionary, forums, and much more.


Any vehicle that is in an accident. Insurance company term that means the cost of repairing a vehicle is greater than the cost it is worth*. *Worth as defined by the insurance company.


A type of motorcycle designed for long distance riding, typically a heavier bike with hard luggage and comfortable seating arrangements. Also referred to as "Geezer Glides" and an "old man's bike" as older folks tend to have these.

Touring Bike

1. A Luxurious motorcycle with many comforts and amenities for long range travel. 2. A bike equipped for longer riders with fairings and saddle bags.


A tires ability to grip the road.

Trail Braking

Keeping the brakes applied late in to the corner.

Trailer Boy

Someone who trailers there bike long distances and then wants everyone to believe they rode many miles to get there.

Trailer Queen

Pristine antique bike brought to competitive old bike meets, and rolled off its trailer or out of the back of a van for judging, and rolled back in immediately after. Rarely, or never, seen to actually run. Back home, it lives under a cover in the owners barn/garage.

Trailer Twinkie

Any person whom is physically able but would rather trailer or haul their bike than ride it. . These people usually come up with some poor excuse to justify trailering and have been the culprits that have caused Bike Week to be referred to as Trailer Week by some. Most likely they are posers and waxers.

Trailing Brake

Applying the rear brake as a motorcycle leans over in a corner.

Trailing Throttle

Closing the throttle as the bike decelerates to apply engine braking.


The distance along the ground from the steering axis to the center of the contact patch. Street bikes commonly have a trail or 4-6 inches.

Transfer Port

Two stroke fresh fuel post between the crankcase and the cylinder.


The system of gears and chains by which power is transmitted from the engine to the driving wheel.


The distance that suspension components, the forks and shocks, move up and down when the bike rides over bumps.

Tread pattern

The grooves moulded into the surface of a tyre. They improve grip and help to disperse water.


Is armor comprised of a plastic membrane sandwiched between dual density closed cell memory armor. Tri-Armor was developed from the results of a four year crash study in Germany. The goal of this study was to develop the most protective motorcycle suit. Construction and placement of the Tri-Armor was designed to provide the best impact and abrasion resistance. Tri-Armor exceeds the current 'CE' approved standards.

Trials Bike

For competition over radical, rough terrain. Trials motorcycles are designed to be extremely light, minimalist off-road specialties with low gear ratios, high ground clearance and a control layout suited for a standing rider.


Trial is the sport of riding specifically designed bikes to overcome obstacles that often require difficult stunts like jumping from a standstill without touching feet to the ground. A trial bike is very lightweight and is easily distinguished from other off-road bikes by the appearance that the rider will have a hard time finding a seat on it.

Trickle charging

A method of slowly and gently charge the battery. Motorcycle batteries should be trickle charged at a rate of around 1-2 amps and a charging rate not to exceed 6-12 amps.


Cool - "That dude's bike is trick"


A three-wheeled motorcycle with no sidecar. Can either be 1 wheel in front, 2 in back (trike), or 2 wheels in front and 1 in back (reverse trike).

Trip Meter

Displays the distance traveled since the trip meter was last re-set. Used to estimate fuel consumption, or when to stop for gas on bikes without a fuel gauge.

Triple Trees or Triple Clamps

The two pieces that attach the bike's front end to the frame, named after the three positions on each piece; one for each fork tube and a center for the steering stem.


A three cylinder inline motorcycle engine.


Looking for the problem on the bike.

True Blue

A Biker who travels long distances or takes long bike trips.


Slang for a Triumph motorcycle. Can also mean a trumpet-shaped exhaust pipe.


A front wheel suddenly turning itself too sharply toward a turn with the bike leaned over.


Crouched aerodynamically best riding position used to decrease drag and increase speed

Tune up

When a senior club member sets a junior club member straight.


Any Bike that has plastic arm rests for passengers (like Honda Goldwing)

Turbin Top or Cow Pie

1979 to 1984 4 speed shifter lids because of there shape.


Arguably a more efficient variation of the supercharger. Impellers in the exhaust are turned by the exhaust gases, which power impellers in the air intake forcing more air past the carburetors.

Turn Out

When all members come together in the case of an initiation for a new member.

Turn Signals


Twenty Twenty (20/20)

A Harley Rider ( $20,000 for the Harley, $20,000 for a pickup to tow it with)

Twenty-two (22)

Someone who has done time

Twin Spar Frame

A bike frame with two steel or aluminum spars (flat beams) sandwiched around the sides of the engine.


A vertical twin engine where both pistons move up and down together. Combination of the words twin and single.


Section of road with a lot of turns. 2. A road or race track with many curves.

Twisting the wick

Speeding up, Roll on the throttle.

Two Stroke

Two Stroke Engine - 1. Mechanically simple, light and powerful, two stroke engines combine the exhaust and intake strokes, making every other stroke a power stroke. 2. An engine (also called a stroker) who's power cycle consists of just two movements, or strokes: The piston moves down, drawing in the fuel air charge, and then up, cumbusting the charge. Unfortunately two stroke engines typically produce much more pollution than a four stroke design.

Two Up

A term for carrying a passenger on your motorcycle.

Two into one (2-1)

2 exhaust header pipes mating into one pipe

Two second rule

This is the minimum spacing in seconds between moving motorcycles. While in formation, maintain a 2-second interval from the rider in front of you. It is measured by counting "one-thousand one, one-thousand two" as you see the rider in front of you pass a sign or landmark. Stop counting when you pass the same marker. Under poor weather conditions, maintain longer intervals consistent with safety.


Engine in which the combustion cycle is completed by two strokes of the piston. The first stroke compresses the mixture already in the cylinder while fresh mixture is entering below the piston. On the second stroke the piston descends, after the spark plug has ignited the mixture. The incoming mixture is compressed below the piston, ready to pass into the cylinder, while the exhaust gases rush out.

Two-way Street

Playing it even with both parties entitled to & receiving the same treatment




Universal Japanese Motorcycle - 1. Term given to Japanese motorcycles of the 80's, because visually they all looked alike; an air cooled 550-750 inline-4 with straight tank and seat, until you were close enough to read the tank emblems they looked identical. 2. During the 1970 and early 1980's, the Japanese became so indentified with the four cylinder, standard style motorcycle that this term was coined to describe those bikes.

Under Brake

Failure to apply the brakes to their full capability, resulting in a longer than needed stopping distance. This is usually caused by fear of the results of over braking.


Stroke greater than "bore". Usually produces more horsepower but less torque than an oversquare engine design.

Unitized Transmission

A transmission (often referred to as a "unit transmission") that is an integral part of the engines bottom end.

Universal joint

A method of transferring power from the transmission to the rear wheel (ie. Chain drive, Drive shaft, Belt).

Unsprung Weight

Parts of the motorcycle below or not supported by the suspension such as the rims and tires.


This referred to the style of exhaust that would run up along the side of the bike at an angle often up to the sissy bar or as far as the owner wanted.

Upside-down forks

Telescopic forks in which the lower section telescopes into the fixed upper tube. They are sometimes referred to as inverted telescopic forks on older bikes.

Urban Tumbleweed

Plastic grocery bags/sacks that either fly up onto a hot exhaust or into your face.



V Rod

Yamaha V Max (Any Model, any year). Also called "Mr Max". Not to be confused with the Harley-Davidson model V-Rod. This term is being used more commonly today to refer to the Harley-Davidson V-Rod even though the V-Max has been in production for over 20 years more.


A four cylinder motorcycle engine with the cylinders arranged in two rows in an angled V. (e.g. Yamaha V Max has a 1200cc V-4 engine)


1. A 2 cylinder motorcycle engine with the cylinders arranged in an angled V This configuration can allow for optimum torque for a given displacement. 2. An engine designed in a "V" configuration. Such as a Harley-Davidson V-Twin.

V2 Evolution

Name for the Harley-Davidson Engine introduced in 1984.


Vulcan 800 (any Model any year)


Vehicle Identification Number


Vulcan Riders and Owners Club


Refers to the larger sweeping fenders.

Valve Guides

Metal tubes that house the valves.

Valve Train

The system of valves that let the fuel charges in and let the exhaust gases out.

Valve clearance

valve adjustment, valve slap or valve lash). This is the space between the valve stem and the rocker arm. An experienced rider or mechanic can "hear" when the valves are loose (value slap) from the slopply slaping sound they make.

Valve clearance

The space left for expansion between the valve stem and the rocker arm on a four-stroke engine.


In a four-stroke engine, the air/fuel mixture and the exhaust gases enter and leave the cylinder through valves, which are opened and closed by cams.


1. A device that regulates the passage of fuel through into an engine cylinder. More specifically, a valve is a mechanical device that controls the entry of fuel/air mixture into a combustion chamber, as well as the exit of spent combustion gases from the same. 2. Control gate that allows or prevents passage of fluid or gas. 3. Devices consisiting of metal stems with flat disks on one end that open and close to let fuel charges in and exhaust gases out.

Vapor Lock

Condition where fluid expansion into a vapor state prevents a system from working, traditionally the fuel delivery system.

Vermatherm Valve

Temperature adjusted oil pressure control valve used to control hydraulic fan speed.


Italian scooter manufacturer.


A motorcycle 20 years of ago or older.


Measurement of the thickness or denseness of a fluid.


The runniness of oil.

Voltage Regulator

Controls the output from the generator.


1. An engine designed in a "V" configuration. Such as a Harley-Davidson V-Twin. 2. A 2 cylinder motorcycle engine with the cylinders arranged in an angled V This configuration can allow for optimum torque for a given displacement.




We Haul Our Rides Everywhere. Those people that trailer their bikes to about 2 miles from an event, and then unload them and gently ride them in, only if there isn't going to be any rain, dust or dirt roads.


Wide F_ _ king Open (throttle)


Wide Open Throttle 1. Holding the throttle full open for full acceleration. 2. Check performed when main Carb jetting.

WSB (World Superbike Racing)

Production-based, four-stroke motorcycle racing with extensive modifications determined by regulations to control costs and limit alterations. (See Homologation).


expression - What the f_ _ k!

Wankel engine

An engine in which a triangular-shaped rotor rotates within a specially shaped chamber. This engine, also known as a rotary engine, is used in the Suzuki RE5. Its high petrol consumption makes it expensive to run.


A rotary engine using a triangular rotor creates three chambers, each performing the same cycles as a four-stroke engine. Unique engine design that never caught on except for a few motorcycle models in the 1970's, such as the Suzuki RE5. Apparently one of the main reasons it didn't catch on was a Wankle engine doesn't look like a traditional engine, but more like a lump of metal.


A person who "wants to be" a biker. Refers to a person who does not ride at all, but who behaves as though he or she does. This person will often be seen "dressing like a biker" by wearing black clothes, motorcycle-themed shirts, and leather jackets. "Wannabes" are also noted for their unusually h3 opinions about motorcycle related issues (which motorcycle brand is the best, helmet laws, etc.) though they may have no first-hand knowledge of the issue in question. (thanks to RMH-D and Silvio Campello)

War Wagon

A vehicle used to transport the club's arsenal during an outing when trouble is expected from other clubs.


Well-ridden, road-worn bike (usually a chop)

Warp Speed

Any speed that is obviously in excess of the posted speed limit. "Warp 12" would hint at 120 mph, without admitting the actual speed.

Water Jacket

Passages between cylinder walls through which coolant circulates.


Indirect method of losing heat from the engine via a radiator.


Term that asks the top speed of a machine (i.e What will she do?)"

Wave (The Wave)

Slowly becoming a lost art, but the true biker clings to this practice. It involves raising a hand to greet a motorcyclist traveling in the opposite direction. Not to be performed under braking or turning maneuvers. The wave can be above below or above the handlebars. Please do wave to every fellow biker regardless of the type of motor they are riding.


Someone who would rather wax his bike than ride it


Any streetdriven "overmotored" road rocket that makes most fast vehicles seem to V Max, Blackbird, Huyabusa, GSXR, Ninja......

Wear Bar

Raised ridge in the tire tread to indicate when the tire needs replacement. All tires should be replaced when tread depth is 1/32nd of an inch or less.

Wear Indicator (see also Wear Bar)

On drum brakes the wear indicator is a scale on the outside housing of the drum. The brake rod (moving part) has an arrow that matches up with the scale on the drum. To check wear the rider is off the bike and presses down on the rear brake petal, the arrow will move within the range on the wear indicatior on the drum to note if replacement of the drum brakes are necessary.

Weekend Warrior

1. Insta-biker types. 2. Someone who only rides their motorcycle on the weekends.

Weight Transfer

Weight is shifted as you accelerate or decelerate from one wheel to the other. Acceleration causes the weight to transfer from the front to the rear wheel. Braking causes the weight to shift from the rear to the front wheel.

Went down

Crashed. Can be any type of accident at any speed.

Wet Race

A race in which climatic conditions affecting the track surface are considered to be wet, opposed to dry.

Wheel Traps

Any vertical rise in the road that runs in the same direction your tire is pointing to, or that is along side the road (such as a curb) is a potential wheel trap. This, because if you place the tire alongside that rise it becomes virtually impossible to turn away from it without losing control of your motorcycle. Wheel traps are passable IF you ideally hit them a 90 degree angle straight on.


1. Measurement from the center of the front wheel to the center of the rear wheel. 2. The distance between the center of the wheel hubs on the motorcycle.


1. Aviation of the front wheel in an effort to go quickly. 2. Running the motorcycle on the rear wheel only.


Goldwing or other large quiet Touring bike.

White Flag

One lap left to race

White Lining

Driving on the broken white line that separates traffic lanes.

White Plate

Antique Flat track races


Also known as whoop-de-doos. A section of track with a row of dirt mounds or moguls. Whoops are one of the most difficult obstacles on a Supercross track, as timing, throttle control and body positioning are crucial. Whoops are usually good places for fast riders to pass.

Wind Shield

Wind Screen

Wind Triangle

A wind triangle is a simple triangular-shaped piece of cloth or leather worn around the neck for protection.

Wind Walker

Anybody who rides, helps and is friendly to all other Motorcycle Jockeys.

Wind tunnel

Equipment used by motorcycle manufacturers to achieve as good aerodynamics as possible. During development of a new motorcycle, the bike is placed inside a wind tunnel to determine air currents, thus enabling manufacturers to optimize the aerodynamics.

Wing Comander

Police term for sports bike rider as in missed the runway Wing Comander


Gold Wing motorcycle, with all the extras.


Emblem worn by 1%ers, as a pin or patch (cloth) attached to the colors. All wing earning must be witnessed.


Turn Signal in Honda manuals in the '70s. Can be used to describe turn signals on any make/manufacturer of motorcycle or scooter.

Wiring harness

The main collection of wires that are usually bundled up in some protective tubing.


A one piece handlebar and riser combo, styled like a drag bar but much cleaner in appearance.


One-piece handlebar and riser, styled like a drag bar but has a clean appearance.


Potentially dangerous unexpected side-to-side movement of the front or rear wheel at speed. Wobbles need to be troubleshooted and fixed asap.

Works racers

Racing machines built and operated by the factory.

Worm and pinion gear

System for turning rotational movement through 90degrees, in which a pinion is turned by a spirally cut gear.


Actually doing the maintenance and repair of a motorcycle.






Club Name Forever, Forever Club Name (ie. PFFP = Pagan's Forever, Forever Pagan's).

X Trap

A place in the road where railroad or street car tracks cross, creating a slit in which the narrow tire of a motorcycle can get caught or wedged.


Honda VTX owners refer to their rides as X's. (thanks to Eric Inger)


Textile featuring integrated silver. Smell-reducing function, anti-static and temperature-balancing.




Name for a Yamahahog rider, but the bike is more of a "rat" bike.


Japanese bikes that look like Harleys (eg. Kawasaki Vulcan Classic )


A Yamaha that some one made to look like a harley chopper (raked, big front wheel ect.)




A truck or trailer that is hauling a yamaha

Yard Shark

Dogs that come out of nowhere and try to bite your tires. Caution: Can cause motorcycle crashes, handle this type of situation with care.

Yellow Flag

Caution, do not pass if flag is waving

Yellow and Red Striped Flag

Caution, indicates debris, fluid or hazard



Z Bar

A handlebar that sweeps out of the risers toward the front of the bike and then sweeps back again towards the rider. A popular handlebar from the 1970's.


This is the membrane between the upper material and the actual lining, which is suspended in the garment without any seams.




Exhaust (motorcycle pipes)


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