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Biker Terms and their Meaning

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# Over/Under This refers to the length of front forks as compared to the stock length. Ex ten over means 10 inches longer than in stock configuration, “two under” means two inches shorter.
1 Kicker Starts on the first kick. A well-tuned motorcycle.
1 piece (One-Piece) 1-piece outfit of protective clothing, covering the rider from neck to ankles.
1%er A biker belonging to an outlaw motorcycle club, like the Hells Angels. The term was coined by the AMA, when they mentioned that these biker gangs represented 1% of the biker population. You will find a “1%” patch often on their vests.
2 into1 Two exhaust pipes mated into one pipe, i.e. two header pipes into one muffler pipe.
2 Piece 2-piece outfit of protective clothing, consisting of a jacket and pants, often constructed to allow the two pieces to be zipped together at the waist.
2 Second Rule Same as with a car. A tool used to estimate the minimum safe following distance between moving vehicles. Cars following a motorcycle should allow four seconds as motorcycles can stop much more quickly than cars can.
2 Stroke An engine in which the piston assembly/assemblies run two strokes per cycle.
3 Piece Patch/3 Patch A configuration of back patches used by some motorcycle clubs with a top patch (club’s name), a center patch (club’s logo), and a bottom patch (geographical territory). Top and bottom patches are referred to as “Rockers.”
4 Stroke An engine in which the piston assembly/assemblies run four strokes per cycle.
6 Bends/6-Bend Handlebars Handlebars that have six bends. Popular in ’70s Chopper culture.
6-bend Handlebars13 the 13th letter of the alphabet (M). Can stand for motorcycle, marijuana, methamphetamines, Mongols, and mother chapter.
81 The eighth letter of the alphabet (H) and the first letter (A). Stands for Hell’s Angels
99%er The opposite of a 1%er. Patch often worn by an off-duty biker, first responders, police, firefighters, EMTs/paramedics, and military personnel. Sometimes worn by citizens as a social statement, but this isn’t a great idea as 1%ers could consider it antagonistic or as a challenge.
ABATE The ABATE acronym is understood to have several meanings. ABATE is a social club and lobbying organization that seeks to preserve and regain legal rights on behalf of the motorcycling community.
ABS (Anti-Lock Breaking System) 1. 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. 4. ‘Anti-lock braking system’ Active safety device that stops the wheels locking-up under heavy braking, thus allowing the driver to maintain steering control. 5. An anti-lock braking system is a safety system that prevents a vehicle’s wheels from locking during heavy braking. Essentially, the ABS regulates the braking pressure on the wheel, allowing it to continuously have traction on the driving surface.
Accelerator pump Extra pump in the carburetor to temporarily increase the amount of fuel delivered to the air stream.
Aerodynamics 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.
AFFA Angels Forever, Forever Angels. A sign of loyalty referring to the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club.
Aftermarket The sector of the market that sells parts and accessories other than OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer… ie, Honda, BMW, Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, etc.)
Air 80% nitrogen, 19% oxygen, some carbonic gas and minor trace elements.
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 fuel ratio Proportions in which air and fuel are mixed to form a combustible gas.
Air Intake Valves Reed Valves
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-Cooled Engines cooled by airflow rather than through liquid cooling that is typical of cars; a bit of a misnomer as all engines are also oil-cooled, including air cooled engines
Airheads A term used to refer to older, air-cooled BMW motorcycles.
AirTex Mesh-like, highly tear-resistant Dynafil polyamide weave.
Akra Akrapovic. Manufacturers of exhaust cans and full exhaust systems.
Alloy 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.
Alternative fuel Generally refers to energy sources other than the traditional petroleum ones such as gasoline and diesel fuel.
Alternator Modern replacement for the dynamo generator, producing large quantities of alternating current to run the electrical systems of a motorcycle.
AMA American Motorcyclist Association.
Ammeter 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 Brakes
Anodizing 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.
Aperture 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.
Apex The line a motorcycle must take in order to minimize the time taken to complete a curve. The highest point. The apex of a curve is the tightest portion of said curve.
API American Petroleum Institute.
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.
Armor The reinforced parts of your riding gear, often found in motorcycle jackets and trousers. Armor can be made out of different materials, like Kevlar, Foam or plastic, and can often be removed.
A’s & 8s/Aces & 8s Deadman’s Hand. Legendary poker hand drawn by Wild Bill Hickok just before he was murdered.
ASE National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
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%.
Aspiration The method for getting air into the engine (ie, normal, turbo charged, super charged etc).
Associate A person associated with a motorcycle club. Used more by people outside of the biker community than by the motorcycle clubs themselves.
ATF Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Strange combination, no?
ATGANI All The Gear And No Idea. Derogatory term for a biker who has an expensive new bike with new expensive gear, yet cannot ride for toffee.
ATGATT 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.
ATGATT All The Gear All The Time. Refers to the wearing of all safety gear (helmets, jacket, etc.) at all times while riding.
ATGATT All The Gear, All The Time, meaning you should always wear all your protective clothing, no matter when you ride. ATGATT Gear means helmet, gloves, vest, trousers and boots.
ATM All Things Motorcycle
B. F. H. Big F@#$ing Hammer used to remove rusted axles, bearing cups from the frame neck etc.
B.R.A.G. 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.
Babyblade A Honda CBR250/CBR400.
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.
Backbone The top tube of a motorcycle frame where the tank is typically mounted.
Backfire 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.
Backyard An area that you ride frequently.
Badger A savage-looking bike based upon bits of old Ariels, built by a man with a beard in his kitchen for the purpose of Hillclimbing. The end result is a bike that looks like it would bite your arm off, and then proposition your Mum/sister. Now mistakenly considered a ‘real’ model of Ariel, thanks to said beardie’s addition to Wikipedia.
Baffle Sound deadening material that sits inside a muffler and quiets the exhaust note
Bagger A motorcycle equipped with saddlebags, usually referring to a large motorcycle with hard-side bags and full touring gear.
Balaclava 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.
Baloney Skin Tire tube
BAMBI Born Again Motorbiker, a biker who having reached middle age, starts riding again after years of not riding.
Bandana A square of cloth used for just about everything.
Bar Hopper 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.
Bark-o-lounger A large, comfortable motorcycle. 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.
Barrels 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’.
BATF Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Battery electric vehicle (BEV) Vehicle powered by an energy storage device such as a lead acid battery, a lithium polymer battery, a nickel metal hydride battery, a nickel-cadmium battery or a lithium-ion battery.
BDC Bottom dead canter of a piston. Opposite of TDC (Top dead center)
Bead The edge of a tire that touches 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.
Bearing 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.
Beehive A beehive style tail light.
Beemer A nickname for a BMW.
Beer Cans The can shaped covers on Harley FL front forks.
Belly-Shover A motorcycle racer who, because of the forward position on a sports bike, has the belly on the fuel tank.
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.
Bench seat A long, non-split seat that is more comfortable for two riders.
Berm 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.
BHP Brake horse power. A unit of measurement for engine power output.
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.
Bible Repair manual
Bi-fuel vehicle Vehicle with two separate fuel systems, designed to run on either fuel but using only one fuel at a time.
Big Dog An American motorcycle manufacturer; closed down in April 2011.
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 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 Four Hell’s Angels, Pagans, Outlaws and Bandidos. The four motorcycle clubs that have been identified as Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs by the FBI. These clubs are prosecutable under the Federal RICO statute.
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 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.
Biker Friendly A business establishment that doesn’t treat you like you have the plague when you walk in wearin’ leather
Biker’s Poem A sickening, over posted poem about the ‘soft and caring, unseen side’ of bikers.
Billet Refers to a piece of metal that’s been machined into shape rather than cast.
Binders Brakes.
Binned it 1. A rider crashes out of a race either completely, or almost, wrecking the bike. 2. To crash a motorbike. (Note this applies to all bikes, not just those being raced.)
Bitch Bar A sissy bar.
Bitch Pad Passenger Seat.
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.
Blackie 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.
Blacklist 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.
Blade A Honda Fireblade.
Blended mode Type of charge-depleting mode used by plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) during medium to heavy loads, in which a portion of the energy is supplied by the electric system whose batteries are recharged from an external source. Blended mode uses both gas and electricity as fuels, reducing the amount of gasoline used by replacing it with electricity.
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.
Blinkers Turn Signals
Blip 1. Snapping the throttle quickly, as in “blip the throttle”. 2. Quick throttle burst.
Blip the Throttle A quick twist of the throttle.
Block The largest part of the engine in which the cylinder/cylinders are bored.
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.
Blockhead A Harley Davidson engine produced between 1984 and 2000.
Blow-by Exploded fuel and gases forced past the piston rings into the crankcase.
Blower Supercharger. Mechanical pump driven by the engine to push more air past the carburetors.
Blower Bike A bike that is supercharged.
Blue Hairs Elderly Cage Drivers
BMW Bavarian Motor Works (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG), a manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. The BMWs of the ’60s and ’70s have a cult following that continues to this day.
Bobber (AKA 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).
Boneyard Salvage yard for used bikes & parts, most indie shops also have their own boneyards next to the shop
Boost The amount of pressure applied by the supercharger or turbocharger.
Boots Tires
Bore The internal diameter of a cylinder.
Bottom dead centre (BDC) Refers to the piston at the lowest point possible in the cylinder of an engine.
Bottom End The bottom part of the engine, where the crankshaft and (usually) the transmission reside.
Bottom Out When a suspension system has no more room to travel.
Bow Wave A wave of water pushed ahead of a tire.
Boxer 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.
Braided hoses Hose made of braided metal and frequently refers to brake hoses. Typically used to replace standard rubber hoses which flex or bulge under pressure; braided hoses don’t and therefore give increased braking performance.
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 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.
Brakes 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.
Brakes 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.
BRC Basic/Beginner’s Rider Course Entry level motorcycle safety riding class hosted by the MSF. No experience necessary.
Brembo(s) A manufacturer of high-quality brake parts.
Brick Slang for a very hard stock seat.
Brights The high beam of the headlight.
Brother A male Club Member that you respect, and trust with your life.
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.
Broomsticks Straight handlebars.
Brushes Conducting material which contact commutator of a electric motor or generator.
BSA Birmingham Small Arms. English motorcycle maker until the 1970’s.
BUB Broke Urban Biker
Bubble Gum Machine The signal that there is police up ahead. The signal is accomplished by patting the top of your helmet several times so that opposing bikers can see they are riding towards a police trap.
BUBF Butt Ugly But Fast ( A Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 ‘A’ Model)
Buckhorns 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 Footpegs for a passenger.
Buffeting Refers to the wind turbulence pressure experienced while riding a motorcycle. It is a result of the wind coming around a fairing or windshield.
BUG 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”
Bullneck 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”.
Bun burner A long and grueling ride which makes the bum sore.
Bungee Cord A stretch cord for attaching things to a motorcycle cheaply and quickly.
Burning Rubber Applying enough throttle from a stop that the rear tire loses traction and spins freely, leaving melted/burned rubber on the road surface.
Burning up miles Riding long distances on the highway in order to accumulate mileage.
Burnout 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 stop A slow first gear corner.
Busa A nickname for a Hayabusa (Suzuki GSX1300R).
Bush Pad Passenger Seat
Bushing A removable liner for a bearing.
C (Motorcycle designation suffix) Custom (Honda Shadow VT600C)
C.C.I.S. 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.
Cafe Chop Converting a motorcycle into a cafe racer.
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) designed for style or going fast on twisty roads.
Cage 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.
Cager A person driving a car, truck, or van. Cage operator, or driver.
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.
Caliper Non-rotating components of a disc brake that straddles the disc and contains the hydraulic components.
Cam A circle or oblong with an off-center point of axis found on a camshaft.
Camber 1. Inward or outward tilt of a wheel. 2. Convex curvature of the road surface. 3. Sideways angle of slant of the pavement.
Camshaft The shaft in the engine with cam lobes, used mainly for operating the intake and exhaust valves. It is driven by gears or by sprockets and a toothed belt or chain from the crankshaft.
Can 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.
Can Of Tuna Suzuki Kantana
Caning it or Thrashing it Self-explanatory terms for taking the bike for ‘a blast’.
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.
Capacitor A device for storing or collecting a surge of electrical current. Also called a condenser.
Carb See also Carburetor, Fuel Management System
Carbon (see also Carbon Fiber) Heat-resistant chemical fibre, lighter than glass fibre. Characterised by high strength and rigidity.
Carbon Fiber A high-tech material favoured in many motorcycle applications because it is extremely strong, light and expensive. The distinctive look of carbon fiber has become trendy.
Carburetor 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.
Carma 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.
Carving 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.
Cases 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.
Caster Forward tilt of steering axis that tends to stabilize the steering.
Catalytic Converter Exhaust device to reduce pollution emissions recently used on motorcycles.
Cateye A style of tail light.
Catwalk A British term for wheelie.
Caveat Emptor Caveat emptor is Latin for ‘buyer beware’, meaning the onus is on you (the buyer) to ensure that you know what you are purchasing.
CB750 Honda motorcycle. The first Sport Bike.
CBT ‘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.)
CC Cubic centimeters. A 1000cc engine = 1000 cubic centimeters in volume.
CE Armor/CE Certified A European system designed to rate the effectiveness of motorcycle riding armor. There is no American equivalent.
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 The mechanical stand attached to the frame that holds the motorcycle vertically upright (as opposed to leaned over on the side stand) when parked.
Centerstand Tang A small lever attached to the centerstand.
Century Traveling at 100 mph
Chain 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.
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.
Chair A common term for a side car.
Chaps 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.
Chapter The local entity of a larger club. Example XYZ Motorcycle Club, Detroit Chapter.
Charge depleting A mode of operation used by plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), during which electrical energy from the battery powers the vehicle, so that the overall energy stored in the battery is being consumed. At any given moment, the battery may be increasing or decreasing its charge. The battery in hybrid electric vehicles may be charged from regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine (ICE).
Charge sustaining A mode of operation used by plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) to sustain overall battery state of charge. At a given moment, the battery may be increasing or decreasing its charge. The battery in hybrid vehicles may be charged from regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine (ICE). However, in charge sustaining mode, the ICE supplies all the propulsion power of the vehicle. With the aid of the electric drive train, it can operate more efficiently than a conventional vehicle in this mode.
Chase Vehicle Van or truck that follows a pack of riders on a run to assist or haul any bikes that might break down
Chassis 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.
Cherry Juice Transmition Fluid.
Cherry Tops Police Vehicles
Chicane 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.
Chickenwing Honda Gold Wing
Choke A user-controlled device to assist starting a cold engine by making the fuel/air mixture “richer” in fuel.
Chopper Term for a customized motorcycle that has taken various forms through the years. Originally, anything unnecessary was “chopped” off and then custom features were added. The most notable feature of a Chopper is its extended fork system.
Chopping the Throttle This refers to rapidly closing or backing off the throttle to reduce speed.
Christian-Motorcycle.com Great online resource for the Christian Biker community (yes, there really are hardcore Christian Bikers).
Chrome 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 µm layer over an underlying nickel plate. It imparts a mirror-like finish to items such as metal furniture frames and automotive trim.  Also a nickname for Kip.
Chrome-Slut Those addicted to putting on more and more chrome, regardless of the functionality.
Chromosexual That one biker who keeps adding more and more chrome, a chrome-overkill.
Church Club meetings
Circlip A type of mechanical fastener made of thin metal that looks like the letter “C”. It snaps into a groove on a shaft to restrict movement in a particular direction while fastening mechanical parts together securely. Sometimes called a C clip.
Citizen Anyone who is not a member of a Biker Organization.
Class A Violent Act
Clincher rims Type of wheel rim used with early beaded-edge tyres.
Clip-ons 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.
Clone 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.
Club 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 <Motorcycle Club> will often accompany the club name. Treat these people with utmost respect.
Clubber One who has club affiliation
Clutch The clutch is operated by a handle in order to, ultimately, engage or disengage power to the rear wheel.
Clutching it up Using the clutch to cause the bike to wheelie.
Clyde cage driver (usually the bastard that cuts you off)
CMA Christian Motorcycle Association
Coasters Plates used to block the holes when removing Reed Valves
COG Kawasaki Concours Owner’s Group ( http://www.concours.org/ )
Coil Transformer in ignition circuit to step up voltage to the spark plugs.
Colors Patches, logo, uniform associated with a Motorcycle Club
Colors/Colours Signifies a motorcycle club or organization patch.
Combat Filtering An agressive form of filtering which is more likely to result in the collection of wing/side mirrors from vehicles.
Combined MPG The average of the Urban and Extra-Urban figures, as defined by the manufacturer.
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.
Combustion chamber design The combustion chamber is the area inside an engine where air and fuel are compressed and ignited. Modifying the chamber design can increase the overall efficiency of the engine.
Combustion cycle The combustion cycle generally refers to the intake, compression, power and exhaust strokes. It is the process in which heat is added through combustion of fuel and converted into mechanical energy. The most common type of combustion cycle for a gasoline engine is the Otto cycle; however, some modifications have been made to the Otto cycle to improve its efficiency
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.
Commuter Anyone who normally rides his Bike to and from work.
Compression 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.
Compression ratio The ratio of the volume of an engine cylinder before compression (when the piston is at bottom dead centre) as compared to the volume of the same cylinder after compression (when the piston is at top dead centre).
Compression Release Used in two-stroke engines, the compression release opens an extra valve to prevent compression and increase engine drag.
Compression stroke The piston movement from bottom dead centre (BDC) to top dead centre (TDC) immediately following the intake stroke, during which both the intake valve and the exhaust valve are closed while the fuel-air mixture in the cylinder is compressed.
Condenser 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.
Cordura 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 °C. Cordura® 700 is even more tear-resistant.
Corn Snakes Dried cornstalks that blow across the road especially at harvest time.
Corrosion Oxidation or rust on a metal part.
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 Counter-intuitive steering system in which a push to the left-side handlebar results in a right-side turn and vice versa. To see just how counter-intuitive, check out the reader comments below.
Countersteering 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.
Counterweight Rotating shaft used to offset vibration. Sometimes called counterbalance or countershaft.
Coupon This is a traffic ticket.
Cowl Bodywork pieces that cover the engine and transmission of a bike to improve aerodynamics and visual smoothness. These are the parts removed from a naked bike.
Cowling(s) 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.
Crankcase External housing for the crankshaft.
Crankshaft The main rotating member or shaft of the engine, with cranks to which the connecting rods are attached; converts up-and-down or reciprocating motion into circular or rotary motion.
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.
CreditGlide RUB’s Ride, a Big Dollar Motorcycle owned by a Rich Urban Biker.
Cross Extreme motorcycles designed for driving in rough terrain or on cross tracks.
Cross Wind Wind blowing across the direction of travel.
Crosser A motocross bike. Often referred to as a Scrambler.
Crossover what connects a front & rear cylinder exhaust pipe together.
Crotch Rocket 1. A slang term for Sport Bikes. 2. A small sport bike with big HP engine. 3. Small, fast motorcycle.
Crowns The tops of the pistons.
Cruiser 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 strong exhaust note and lots of chrome and accessories.
Cruiser A bike built for cruising the boulevards as opposed to sports riding or long-distance riding. Typically of classic style with a low seat, pull-back handle bars, fancy paint and lots of chrome.
Crushers 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.
Curb weight The total weight of the vehicle at nominal capacity, with all standard equipment and including batteries, fluids and lubricants.
Cut-Off Switch A handle bar-mounted switch that turns off the engine. Also called a kill switch.
Cuts A denim jacket which has had the sleeves cut off. All club patches are sown onto cuts, which are worn as the outer-most layer of clothing, even over leather jackets. Most, if not all, outlaw clubs have cuts as their basic uniform.
Cycle 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.
Cylinder(s) 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.
Dammits Those devices on the back of your pins that you will almost always drop. Can be used synonymously with Jesus-clips
Dampen The act of eliminating, or device used to eliminate (damp), unwanted oscillations (vibrations) and unwanted energy.
Damper Device for controlling unwanted movement or absorbing unwanted energy. Weighted bar ends, bar snake, buckshot, gel handgrips are items used to dampen handlebars.
Day-Long A custom motorcycle seat made by Bill Russell.
Daytona Daytona Beach, Florida, home of the annual Daytona Beach Bike Week rally and the Biketoberfest motorcycle rally.
DBM Double-breasted Mattress Thrasher when you’re out ‘bird’ watching.
DC Direct Current.
Death Grip Usually how a first time rider grabs the handle bars.
Decreasing Radius Corner A turn where the arc gets sharper as you progress through the curve.
Decreasing Radius Curve A curve that gets tighter as you progress through. Sometimes found on cloverleaf-style exit ramps, these turns are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists.
Deflector Piston Piston designed for two stroke engines to channel fresh fuel up to the head forcing burnt fuel out the exhaust posts.
Delta-V A change in velocity, acceleration or direction.
Denier a unit of measurement used to describe the strength of a material like nylon. Simply the bigger the number the bigger the thread.
Desmodronic 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.
Detailing In-depth cleaning, polishing, waxing and other maintenance to make a motorcycle look great.
Detonation 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.
Dicing 1. Taking the risk of racing one or more riders, usually on public roads. 2. Riding a motorcycle in dense traffic.
Dieseling Ignition in a gasoline engine of the fuel vapor by means other than spark plug. Also called per-ignition or run-on.
Digger A motorcycle with a stretched (lengthened) frame and stock-length front forks.
Ding A nick or scratch in the paint.
Dip stick (1) The long slender piece of plastic or metal that goes into the oil reservoir of an engine or sump and is used to manually check the oil level. (2) An alternate derrogatory name for a person who is acting or has acted like an idiot.
Dirt Bike An off-road bike; not street legal.
Displacement 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).
Distributor 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.
Dive The tendency for the front suspension to compress under hard breaking due to the effects of inertia.
DOHC 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.
DOHV Dual Overhead Valves
Dome Helmet
Donor A bike from which parts are taken to make or repair another bike
Donor Cycle Firefighter Term for Sportbikes because their drivers tend to kill themselves.
Dope Highly combustible alcohol/methanol-based fuel mixture.
Do-Rag 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.
Dos Equis Honda CBR1100XX Blackbird
DOT 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.
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.
Doughnut A burnout done while the front wheel stays in place, and the motorcycle turns 360% on the front wheel, making a complete circle.
DQ’ed Disqualified (as in a race).
Drag The resistance of the air to forward motion. A flat disc moving broadside along its axis has a nominal rating of 1.00
Drag Bars A straight styled handlebar that does not sweep up from the risers. Low, flat, straight handlebars.
Drag Pipes Short, straight exhaust pipes typically seen on Cruisers
Dragging Pegs Leaning so far into a curve that the foot pegs drag on the road surface. Not a good idea and definitely not done on purpose.
Dresser A large motorcycle complete with a full touring package (fairing, windshield, saddle bags, and a comfortable seat).
Drop Seat A frame style in which the seat-rest has a lowering notch within the frame.
Dry race A race in which climatic conditions affecting the track surface are considered to be dry, opposed to wet.
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.”
DSA Driving Standards Agency. The UK government body which, among other things, controls the content of the British bike test.
DTGO Dyin’ To Get Off Refers to either the rookie female passenger or the seasoned one, depending on how you look at it.
Dual plugging Adding a second spark plug to the head of a motorcycle engine. Increases fuel efficiency and horsepower.
Dual Purpose Motorcycle A motorcycle designed for use on and off road, with a bias toward for off=road.
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.
Duals 2 separate Exhaust pipes, ie one each for front and rear cylinder.
Duck Slang for a Ducati motorcycle.
Duck Walking Sitting on your motorcycle, and pushing it with your feet, usually done when parking your bike, or moving forwards a few feet (like at a gas station).
Duke A Ducati motorcycle or a KTM Super-Duke.
Dump the cltuch (Drop the clutch) A rider quickly releases the clutch while the revs are high.
Dumping the Bike When a bike falls over. Not a crash, as the bike is not under power at the time of the dump.
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.
Dynafil A highly tear-resistant polyamide yarn that is even more robust than Cordura® 500/700 and is even more resistant to high temperatures.
Dynamite Slang for instantly applying a system to full force. (eg. I dynamited by brakes.)
Dynamo Electric generator that produces alternating current.
Dynamometer Often called a “dyno”, it is a device for measuring force, torque or power.
Dynatec Fabric made of Dynafil. Highly tear-resistant and extremely robust. Its melting point is 290 °C.
E85 A blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.
Earned Refers to patches. Some clubs’ patches are earned (the wearer had to complete a specific task in order to earn the patch) and some patches are bought (the wearer does not have to earn the right to wear the patch). If asked by an outlaw if your patches are earned or bought, “bought” is the safe answer. “Earned” could cause you to be viewed as a rival.
Ear’s Air boxes (i.e. on a Kawasaki VN750 or VN1500A or any Virago)
Easy Rider A Magazine about motorcycles and the culture, also 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 Crash
Eating Asphalt Crashing your bike
Eccentric Journals These are used to attach the connecting rods to the crankshaft. Also called metal shafts.
ECM Electronic Control Module The computer brain that controls various aspects of your motorcycle’s performance including ignition, timing, and fuel to air ratio.
ECU ‘Electronic Control Unit’ e.g. engine management system.
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.
EFI Electronic Fuel Injection.
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.
Electric governor A device that electronically regulates the amount of fuel injected by a fuel injection pump.
Electrolyte Battery Acid.
Electronic Ignition Computer controlled method to convey high tension current to the spark plug(s).
Emissions Substances introduced into the environment from, among other sources, vehicles. Vehicle emissions include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides, ozone, chlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons.
End-can See Can.
Endo Abruptly stopping a motorcycle so that inertia lifts the back end off the surface. Sometimes this is done on purpose as a stunt, also known as a Stoppie. If an endo is not intentional, it’s called an end-over-end.
Enduro Used to describe an off-road/trail ride competition and the bikes that are used to compete in these competitions.
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.
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 output The ratio of the effective work of the engine in relation to the energy expended in producing it.
ERC Experienced Rider Course.
Ergonomics 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.
ESAD Eat Shit And Die
Esses Phonetic spelling of back to back turns or ‘S’ curves.
Ethanol A colourless, volatile, flammable liquid formed by fermentation. This renewable fuel can be produced from waste products such as wheat straw, cornhusks, wood chips and switch grass.
Evo 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 to 2000)
Evolution Harley Davidson engine produced from 1984 to 2000.
Excessive 11 (Xcess 11) SX1100, a 1100 cc 4 cylinder street bike.
Exhaust System Pipes
Exhaust Wrap Insulated cloth wrapped around exhaust pipes to retain heat and give an old-school look. Also known as heat wrap, pipe wrap, and exhaust tape. On cars it’s called header wrap.
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.
Expansion ratio The ratio of the volume inside the cylinder after the power (expansion) stroke to the volume of the cylinder at top dead center (TDC)
Expansion stroke or Power stroke The movement of the piston after the fuel-air mixture has been ignited. It is the stroke where work is done on the piston from the heat of combustion, converting the heat energy into mechanical energy.
Extra Urban MPG The miles per gallon achieved on non-urban routes, as tested by the manufacturer using a warmed engine.
F (Motorcycle designation suffix)  Four-stroke engine (eg. Honda CRF230F, Yamaha WR450F)
Fairing Bodywork at the front of a motorcycle designed to deflect wind, rain, and road debris.
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.”
FAR Factory Authorized Repair
Farkle Doo-dads, kitch, and add-ons that serve no useful purpose. One or two farkles are ok (flags, stuffed pigs, etc.) but don’t overdo it. Most serious bikers don’t use this term but you’ll find it used in forums and occasionally in magazines.
Farklectomy The purchasing of a brand new motorcycle with the opportunity to add many more accessories.
Fast Riding Award Speeding ticket
Fat Too Rich Fuel Mixture
Fathead The Twin-Cam engine (V-Twin, produced from 1999 to Current Day)
Fatigue Tendency of material to fail under repeated use. (i.e.. Bending a piece of metal over and over again will eventually break it)
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
Fiddly-bits Those chrome do-dads all over saddle bags and seats.
Fighter See Streetfighter.
Filtering Avoid traffic jams by riding between the lines of bumper-to-bumper vehicles (queues). Also known as lane splitting. See also Combat Filtering.
FIM Federation Internationale Motorcyclist. International governing body of motorcycle sport.
Final Drive Mechanism that delivers power to the rear wheel, usually chain drive, shaft drive or belt drive.
Fins Heat sumps on air cooled engines.
Fishtail 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).
Fishtailing Side-to-side sliding of the rear wheel
Fishtails Flared exhaust tip that resembles a fish’s tail.
Flame and Crook Fire and Theft insurance.
Flashover 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 Head Horizontally opposed four- or six -cylinder engines.
Flat Spot The point at which no additional power is gained from increased RPMs
Flathead 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 to 1972)
Flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) Vehicle designed to operate using either conventional gasoline or any blend of gasoline/ethanol such as E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline).
FlexiFlyer 1970s 2-stroke Kawasaki 500/750, lots of go, really bad frames.
Flickable 1. Used to describe the agility of a motorcycle, or how quickly a rider can “flick” the bike from side to side in turns. 2. Unstable; taking very little effort to move between an upright position and a lean. 3. The more flickable a motorcycle is, the faster it can turn.
Flogging it Getting on the throttle hard and shifting through the gears.
Flower Pot A cheap helmet non snell-approved head protection device.
Fluff Young Girl (AUSTRALIAN Terminology)
Fluid Exchange Stopping for gas and to take a leak.
Fly Wheel / Flywheel 1. Rotating weight used to damp engine vibration or to improve smooth operation of the engine between power strokes. 2. A heavy metal wheel that is attached to the crankshaft and rotates with it to help smooth out the power surges from the engine power stroke.
Flycatcher 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 pegs The resting place for the rider’s feet on a motorcycle during riding.
Foot Skids A riders boots that are extended to the ground while the bike is in motion.
Footprint Contact patch of the tire with the road surface.
Fork Bag A small pouch attached to forks (sometimes handlebars or frame) and used to carry tools and supplies.
Forks 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.
Fossil fuel Organic (carbon-based) fuel formed from the remains of plants or animals within or beneath the earth’s crust.
Four An engine configuration comprising of 4 cylinders.
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.
Frankenbike 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.
Freightliner A big truck.
French 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
FreshMeat 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 Style When a fuel tank is mounted on top of the frame rather than having the frame sunk into the underside of the tank.
Front Door Leader of a group ride
Front end The whole front part of a motorcycle, comprised of all the parts of the motorcycle forward of the yoke of the frame. Typically refers to the front tire and/or forks.
FTF Fuck The Factory
FTHRWYFL Forget the Hype, Ride What You Fucking Like!
FTW FUCK The World, also Forever Two Wheels
FUBAR Which is a very old slang acronym meaning “Fucked Up Beyond All Repair.” Pertaining to the sad, inoperable and unfixable state of someone’s bike or engine or whatever.
Fuel cell/fuel-cell battery Like an ordinary battery, the fuel cell produces electricity by a chemical reaction. Unlike a storage battery, however, the fuel cell continues to produce electricity as long as fuel is added. Fuel cells generally use hydrogen as the fuel and oxygen as the oxidant.
Fuel consumption The amount of fuel needed to cover a specific distance (e.g. litres/100 km).
Fuel economy The average amount of fuel used by a vehicle to travel a specific distance (e.g. miles/gallon). The term “fuel efficiency” is also used.
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 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 Management System Carburetor
Fuel-air mixture The mixture of fuel and air found in the combustion chamber, for compression and ignition. When the piston reaches top dead centre, the fuel-air mixture has been compressed to the smallest volume, is the most unstable, and is ready to be ignited.
Full Chat Riding at top speed for the riders skill level and road conditions.
Full system A complete set of after-market exhaust comprising of headers, mufflers and pipes.
GAG IT a full roll-on in high gear from about 50-60mph (emphasizes low rpm torque).
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 cap The cover for the fuel inlet on a tank.
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.
Gasodometer Resetting your trip odometer when you fill up to act as a gas gauge replacement.
Gauges Displays information to the rider on speed [Speedometer], RPM (revolutions per minute) [Tachometer], Total Distance Traveled [Odometer], Fuel, Trip Distance and more.
GBIS Gorgeous But it’s Slow ( A Kawasaki 1500 Classic )
GBNF Gone but Not Forgotten
Gear 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.
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.
Gearbox Transmission casing.
Gearhead Someone who is very interested and passionate about mechanical objects, like cars and motorcycles.
Gearset T set of gears within a bike’s transmission.
Get Off Crash, “Eat Asphalt”
Getting Patched Graduating from prospect to club member (getting your center patch).
GFxD God Forgives, (Club Name) Don’t (ie. GFPD = God Forgives, Pagan’s Don’t)
Giblets Chrome Accessories
Giggle Gas Nitrous oxide
Ginmill Bar
Gixer GSXR Series Bikes
Goatsbelly 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.
Goose Slang for a Moto Guzzi motorcycle
Gooseneck The stretched portion of the frame just behind the neck, originally used by home-builders to stretch the length of the frame without altering its geometry.
Goosing it Canadian. Expression for riding a motorcycle hard and/or fast.
Gore-Tex 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.
GPS 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.
Grabbing a Handful Applying Brakes or twisting the throttle in excess.
Green Light Triggers Demand-actuated traffic lights sometimes don’t recognize motorcycles because motorcycles aren’t big enough to trigger the sensor. Green Light Triggers are magnets that attach to the underside of a motorcycle designed to trigger the light to change. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.
Green track A new track with little or no rubber laid down which can be slippery.
Greenpeace The cage in front of you covered with environmentalist stickers and spewing black smoke into your face.
Gremlin Blamed for all sorts of mechanical problems. Typically referred to in the context of Gremlin Bells, which are said to protect against Gremlins.
Gremlins got it Unexplained tanglement of wires/rope/bungee cords.
Grid A pattern marking the starting points on the track.
Grocery Getter A biker’s car, usually a middle-class, family-style car.
Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) The maximum allowable total weight of the vehicle that may not be exceeded, as designated by the manufacturer. It is a combination of curb weight plus payload (including driver and fuel).
Ground The earth pole of a battery, usually negative on most motorcycles.
Ground clearance The distance between the ground and the lowest part of the motorcycle apart from the wheels.
GS (Motorcycle designation suffix) Dual Sport/Enduro (eg. BMW F650GS)
Gumball 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.
GVW Gross Vehicle Weight
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.
Hack A sidecar. Also a “side hack.”
Hacker A sidecar driver or enthusiast.
HairDryer Turbocharger
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 Accelerate very quickly.
Hamsters A high-profile group of custom motorcycle enthusiasts, easily recognized at events by their distinctive uniform A yellow t-shirt with the Hamsters’ logo. Membership includes Arlen Ness, Dave Perowitz, and Donnie Smith.
Hand Signals Beyond the left-turn, right-turn that you were taught when riding a bicycle; can be used to communicate formation, hazards, travel routes, etc.
Handgrip The rubber grip on the handlebars to make a more comfortable hand control.
Handle Street name, club member’s name
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.
Hang Around a person that “hangs around” a motorcycle club and may be interested in joining.
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.
Hardbelly 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.
Hardly-Ableson For Harley Motorcycles during the AMF era
Hardly-Davidson Derogatory term for a Harley looking motorcycle that is not a Harley-Davidson brand motorcycle.
Hardly-Ridable Derogatory term for a Harley
Harley Davidson largest American motorcycle manufacturer.
Harley Wrench Hammer
Haya-Bubba Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa
HBUBF Hairy-Butt-Ugly-But-Fast (term for the Kawasaki Vulcan 750)
HD Hardley Drivable
H-D Buckboard Motor 1905 to 1908, Harley-Davidson sold the “buckboard motor.”
H-D Evolution EVO Engine 1984 to 1999 In 1984, Harley-Davidson unveils the 1340cc V2 Evolution engine on five models, including the all new FXST Softail. The result of seven years of development, the Evolution engine produced more power at every speed. It also ran cooler, cleaner and oil tight. To date, over 1,000,000 Evolution engines have been built.
H-D Evolution EVO Sporster Engine 1986 to Present
H-D F-head engine The “F-head” engine becomes a workhorse of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle until 1929.
H-D Flathead engine 1952 to 1956 The 45 cubic inch V-twin engine (later to be known as the “flathead”) is introduced on the D model. The engine proves to be so reliable that variations of it are available on Harley-Davidson motorcycles as late as 1972. Sportster engine.
H-D Ironhead 1957 to 1985 Sportster engine
H-D Knucklehead 1936 to 1947 The “Knucklehead” engine was introduced in 1936 on the EL model motorcycle. Because of the shape of its rocker boxes, the engine earned the nickname “Knucklehead.” The new engine included overhead valves, a circulating oil system and was the basis for all Harley-Davidson V-Twin engines that would follow.The 45 cubic inch, side-valve “Flathead” engine debuted in 1929 on the D model. The Flathead proves to be so reliable that variations of it are available on Harley-Davidson motorcycles until 1972.
H-D Panhead 1948 to 1965 In 1948, the “Panhead” engine replaced the Knucklehead as the powerplant of Harley-Davidson big twins. The Panhead boasted aluminum heads and hydraulic valve lifters. Also new were the one-piece, chrome plated rocker covers shaped like cake pans–the nickname “Panhead” only seemed logical.
H-D Revolution Engine 2001 to Present The injection of contemporary technology such as liquid-cooling, dual overhead cams and downdraft intake are bold new steps for Harley-Davidson. However, the Revolution™ powertrain remains true to Harley-Davidson’s heritage by retaining the values of style and durability, while delivering a dramatic increase in horsepower. The 1130cc, 60 degree V-Twin has adhered to its racing heritage while setting new benchmarks in terms of durability through Harley-Davidson’s extensive testing regimen.
H-D Shovelhead 1966 to 1985 In 1966, the “Shovelhead” engine was introduced on the Electra-Glide models, replacing the Panhead. The new engine had redesigned “power pac” aluminum heads, which generated 10 percent more horsepower. Because of the shape of the combustion chambers, these new heads earned the engine the nickname “Shovelhead.” The Shovelhead was the big twin engine of Harley-Davidson motorcycles through 1983
H-D Twin Cam 88 2000 to 2006 After six years of development, the new Twin Cam 88 engine was introduced on 1999 Dyna and Touring models. The new engine boasted a displacement of 88 cubic inches, or 1450cc, making it the largest displacement engine Harley-Davidson had ever offered.
H-D Twin Cam 88B 2000 to 2006 Powering 2000 to 2006 Softail motorcycles, the Twin Cam 88B engine was designed in a parallel program alongside the acclaimed Twin Cam 88 in 1999. The Twin Cam 88B carries over many key components and is built on the same assembly line. In fact, above the cylinder-base gasket, the two 88s are nearly identical. Below the base basket, however, the Twin Cam 88B features twin counter rotating balancers to fully cancel primary engine vibartion. The balancers, tightly packaged within the engine, dramatically improve the ride-ability of the rigid-mount Sotail models. The counter-balanced Twin Cam 88B allows for long disance riding comfot for Softail owners.
H-D Twin Cam 96 2007 to Present An all-new Big Twin powertrain, the Twin Cam 96/B engine and 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission debuted together on all Touring, Softail and Dyna models in 2007. The new engine, available only with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), offers increased displacement and torque over the Twin Cam 88/B engines it replaces, and features a number of design enhancements making it more powerful, reliable and smoother. The Twin Cam 96 displaces 1584cc (96 cid) and remains the styling centerpiece of each Harley-Davidson Big Twin model. It retains the look, sound and feel that has always been part of the Big Twin character. Improvements such as New Crankcase Design, Reduced Reciprocating Mass, Improved Camshaft Design, Improved Oil Pump, Improved EFI, New Primary Chain Tensioner, New Exhaust Tuning.
H-D Twin Cam 96B 2007 to Present All 2007 and later Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycles offer the 1584cc Twin Cam 96B counter-balanced engine, 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission and Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI). The Twin Cam 96B engine is rigid-mounted in the frame as an integral element of the motorcycles’ low-slung stance and the engine delivers increased overall performance. The Twin Cam 96B is designed to be rigid-mounted in Harley-Davidson Softail models, and is equipped with internal counter-balance shafts to provide a smooth and powerful ride.
Head Also called cylinder head. This piece covers the top of the cylinder and often houses valves, rockers and overhead cams.
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.
Headers The section of an exhaust system which attaches to the engine head.
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.
Heat The police, Law enforcement officer, also known as The Man.
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.
Heel-Toe Shifter gear-selector lever that allows the rider to push down on the rear portion of the lever rather than pulling up on the front.
Helical gear A gear with a spiral or semi-spiral meshing face.
Helmet Skid Lid, Brain Bucket
Helmet Head The condition of your hair after you remove your helmet. It will be partially matted and partially sticking out at odd angles.
Helmet Stickers biker equivalent to bumper stickers except 1. bikes don’t have bumpers and 2. like tattoos, one’s not enough.
Helmet-Jinx 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.
High Side accident in which the motorcyclist goes over the motorcycle (and then sometimes the motorcycle goes over the motorcyclist you get the picture). Opposite of a low side.
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).
Highsider Being ejected from your motorcycle while riding, above the motorcycle.
Highway Bars bars that connect to and extend away from the frame in a semi-circular arch. Highway bars allow for leg stretching room on longer rides, offer convenient mounting points for auxiliary lighting and they can offer some protection during a dump.
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 Soft core biker not 1%er. Predates RUB
Hit the pavement The act of falling off a bike in a crash on the roadway.
Hit the road Get on the bike and start riding.
HOG Harley Owners Group, also a nickname for a Harley-Davidson mororcycle
Hogwagen A custom-built trike in which a Harley-Davidson front end and frame is grafted to a Volkswagen drivetrain (subframe, engine and transaxle).
Holeshot In racing, the drive from a standing start up to racing speed. Generally, the rider who makes the strongest start is said to have gotten the “holeshot.”
Homologation 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
Hondabago Fully decked out Goldwing.
Hooligan 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.
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.
Hoon Term for a rider that is riding hard and spiritedly.
Hoops Tires.
Horizontally Opposed engine configuration in which cylinders are set 180 degrees apart.
Horizontally opposed Type of engine layout in which the cylinders are placed at 180° to one another. It is also described as a flat twin/four etc. or a boxer engine.
Horsepower 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.
Hosed Worn or broken beyond repair
Hugger® A type of Sportster®, so named because its lowered suspension and lowered seat make it appear to “hug” the road.
Huggermucker 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)
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 http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/BBS/viewtopic.php?p=208468 for a summary of findings.
Husky Husqvarna motorcycle.
Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) A hybrid electric vehicle integrates an internal combustion engine, an electric motor, a generator and a battery pack. The arrangement and integration of these components can be varied to maximize performance and efficiency and reduce emission levels.
Hydrocarbons An organic compound comprising only hydrogen and carbon. For example, petroleum is a mixture of many different hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons and in particular methane, contribute to global warming.
Hydrometer 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.
Hydroplane 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.
Hype-sucker 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.
I (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.”
I Rode Mine T-shirt slogan worn to shame those that trailer their bikes to rallies.
I.A.M. the Institute of Advanced Motorcyclists.
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 The way the fuel is ignited inside the engine. This is normally achieved by a spark from a sparkplug.
Ignition timing Point at which, relative to crankshaft rotation or piston position, the ignition spark occurs.
Impeller Device that assists the movement of fluid.
Increasing Radius Corner A turn where the arc becomes less sharp as you go through the curve.
Independent A biker with no club affiliation.
Indian An old American motorcycle manufacturer.
Indicators Turn signals/blinkers in the UK
Indie Shop Independent, not franchised
Injector Mechanism to squirt fuel or lubrication where required.
Ink A tattoo.
Ink Slinger A tattoo artist.
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 Four An engine configuration in which all four cylinders are aligned in a row.
Inline Six An engine configuration in which all six cylinders are aligned in a row.
Inline Six An engine with six cylinders in a row.
Inline Triple An engine configuration in which all three cylinders are aligned in a row.
Inline Triple An engine with three cylinders in a row.
Insta-Biker 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.
Internal combustion engine (ICE) A heat engine in which the pressure necessary to produce motion of the vehicle results from the ignition or burning of a fuel-air mixture within the engine cylinder.
Inverted Front End/Inverted Forks A front-end suspension system in which larger tubes are at the top and smaller tubes are at the bottom.
Iron Butt An association that promotes and holds rallies aimed at travelling very long distances. The shortest distance, the Saddle Sore, is 1,000 miles in 24 hours, the longest, the Bun Burner Gold is 1,500 miles in one day. The Iron Butt Rally is 10 days riding 1,000 miles each day.
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
Ironhead 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.
Ironside Towards the top of the bike, or top area of a part or component
Jack up When a club member sets a non club member straight.
Jap-Scrap Insult to Japanese motorcycles or foreign made bikes.
Jellymold (1) Honda PC800 (Great Britain) (2) Mid-ninties Honda CBR’s.
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 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.
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.
Jiffy 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.
Jugs Cylinders. Well, sometimes “jugs” refers to part of a woman’s anatomy. I’m sure that you’ll be able to figure out which meaning is appropriate when you read it in context.
Jukebox Any overdressed bike
Jump start 1. When the battery is too low to start the engine, one can jump start it from a good battery. 2. To temporarily boost the energy of a battery by connecting it to another working battery with (jumper) cables to assist in the starting of the engine.
Just Given’r Canadian. Expression for riding a motorcycle hard and/or fast.
K&N 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.
Kat Katana Models
Kawayamahondaharleyzuki Any bike built with parts found along the way
Keep the dirty side down Ride safe don’t lay the bike down.
Keprotec 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 Kevlar® is the strongest fiber known to man. Kevlar® is made by Dupont and for apparel use comes in a thread form. In a pure weave Kevla®r 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 stronger than steel at the same weight. The melting point is 450 °C.
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.
Kicker A motorcycle with no electric starter that must be manually kick-started.
Kicking Tires Slang term for standing around motorcycles and talking about them.
Kickstand An arm attached to a motorcycle that swings out from the left side to support the bike at rest. Also called a Sidestand.
Kilowatt A unit of power equal to 1000 watt. 0,746 kW equals one horsepower. A kW is equal to one kilojoule per second.
King and Queen Seat A one-piece seat with a saddle for the driver, a passenger saddle behind, and a high, padded backrest raised about six inches above the driver and attached to a high Sissy Bar. In the ’70s, no chopper was complete without a king and queen seat.
Kinnipullin Pin Clevis pin
Knuck 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 to 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.
Knucklebuster Open-end wrench
Knucklehead Harley Davidson engine produced from 1936 to 1947.
Kuryakyn A well respected manufacturer of custom motorcycle bolt-on parts, especially among Harley Davidson enthusiasts.
Kwak (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° angle, which creates a smoother running engine. These engines can either be placed transversely (crosswise), or longitudinally (lenghtwise) in a motorcycle frame.
Lace To lace a wheel is to install the spokes.
Lane Splitting Driving between lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction either at speed or when traffic is stopped
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.
Lash A term for play or looseness, often related to the valve adjustment.
Lateral acceleration The side-to-side acceleration of a vehicle. During cornering, a vehicle experiences lateral acceleration towards the inside of a turn. Essentially, the lateral acceleration is equal to the centrifugal acceleration (outward force) needed to maintain a steady turn.
Laughing Gas Nitrous oxide
Laughlin or Laughlin River Run An annual motorcycle rally in Laughlin NV.
Law Maker Stupid riders that kill themselves on their bikes causing stupid laws to be made supposedly 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.
Lay It Down A crash in which a biker slides with one leg under the bike, typically done purposely to avoid a worse collision. When done accidentally it’s called a ” low side.”
Lazy Foot Shifting gears too lightly/timidly and rather than shifting up a gear you get a false neutral.
Lead-acid battery The assembly of one or more cells with an electrode based on dilute sulphuric acid and water, a positive electrode of lead dioxide and negative electrodes of lead.
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.
Lean 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
Lean mixture / Lean burn A fuel-air mixture in which an excess of air is supplied in proportion to the amount of fuel.
Leather another definition of a Poser or Wannabe
Leathers 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.
LED lighting A semiconductor diode generally made from gallium arsenide that can serve as a light source when voltage is applied continuously or in pulses. LED Light Emitting Diode.
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.”
Leviathan Used to describe big, multicylinder dual sports.
Lid Helmet
Light the fire Slang term for “starting the engine”.
Lightweight materials Lightweight materials include high-strength steel, aluminum, magnesium, titanium and various composite materials. By using lightweight materials, manufacturers can reduce a vehicle’s mass without sacrificing safety, durability and comfort.
Limb Male biker
Line Path selected by the motorcycle rider to take through a turn.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery The lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable source of energy generated when a lithium ion moves during discharge from the anode to the cathode.
Loctite The brand name of a very common super glue. First used on motorcycles to keep nuts and bolts together.
Lone Wolf A biker with no club affiliation.
Loner 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 rolling resistance The amount of energy a tire absorbs as it revolves and deflects. The lower the rolling resistance, the less energy is required to propel the vehicle forward.
Low Side A crash in which a rider slides with one leg under the motorcycle, opposite of a “High Side.”
LPR (Lugeless Pavement Racer) Refers to that high speed slide that accompanies a get off.
LT (Motorcycle designation suffix) Touring (eg. BMW K1200LT)
Lug See Lugging the engine.
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.
Lump 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”.
LxDx Live Club Name, Die Club Name (ie. LPDP = Live Pagan, Die Pagan)
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.
Magneto Self-contained device that can be easily driven by an engine (does not require an external power source) to produce an ignition spark.
Mama A woman who is available to all Biker Gang members.
MANF Multi Adjustable Nut FUCker, aka adjustable spanner! (UK). A wrench that messes up any bolt or nut it is applied to.
Manifold 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
Marque Make or brand of motorcycle.
Marquis deSaddle A highly uncomfortable motorcycle seat.
Masey Fergason/JCB/Tracker Harley-Davidson
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
Maximum load The maximum weight that a tire is designed to carry. Maximum load is expressed in units of mass, such as kilograms (kg) or pounds (lb). For use in recommended practice, these units must be converted to units of force, either to the Newton (N) or the pound-force (lbf). The maximum load is specified on the tire sidewall.
Maxi-Scooter Larger sized engined scooters.
MC M/C Motorcycle Club, referring to the tightly knit brotherhoods of biker gangs.
Mechanic Wrench
Meet A scheduled social event or “meeting.” Social… this is not “Church.”
Megaphone A flared exhaust tip
Megaton Speeds higher 150mph
Memory effect Affecting specifically nickel-cadmium and nickel metal hydride batteries, the life of a battery may be gradually shortened if it is repeatedly recharged before it is completely discharged.
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
MFFM Mongols Forever, Forever Mongols
MIC Motorcycle Industry Council
Mill Engine
Milwaukee Vibrator A Harley-Davidson
Minger Wheelie
Minibike A miniature version of a motorcycle. Typically not street legal.
MMI Motorcycle Mechanics Institute.
Money Burner Anyone who rides a Harley-Davidson
Monkey Butt The unpleasant “end” result of a long ride, When riding for hours on end, your rear end becomes uncomfortable and becomes sore, often the result of chafing.
Mono Wheelie
Monocoque A structure that is made as one unit from a sheet material.
Monocoque Chassis Steel pressings welded together, providing the structural equivalent of a frame and body work. Unitized frame structure with stressed sheet metal panels.
Moped 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.
MOT (UK Term) The MOT tells you is that a vehicle was in a fit condition to pass a test when presented for inspection on a particular day. It is no substitute for an independent inspection.
Mother/Mother Chapter An original chapter of a Motorcycle Club
Motocross Bike Motorcycles designed for closed course or cross-country competition. These bikes are generally more technologically advanced than their off-road counterparts.
Motorcycle The origin dates back to non motorised bikes/cycles where enginges were added to bikes. Now defined as a two-wheeled vehicle that is powered by a motor and has no pedals.
Motorcycle Hand Signals see Hand Signals
Motorcycle Jockeys Anyone who rides any motorcycle.
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.
Motorpsycho Totally dedicated 2wheeling individual
MPG Miles per gallon.
MSF 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.
Mud Puppies ATV and ATC folks
Muffler 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.
Nad Nomad 1500G
NAH Not A Harley refers to a bike other than a Harley
Naked Crossover bike with no fairings or covers. Also see Naked Bike.
Naked Bike Bikes with little to no cowl or fairing. Often achieved after a bike is laid down. The damaged body pieces are removed and then not replaced either due to their cost or just because the owner decides that he likes the new look.
Nappa leather The upper surface of the hide. Smooth and slightly shiny, worked to a soft leather with a fine surface structure.
NARMA North American Russian Motorcycle Association
NBD Never Been Dropped found in used motorcycle advertisements, usually for bikes that HAVE been dropped.
Neck 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.
Newbie A person who is new to the sport of motorcycling
Nickel metal hydride battery (NiMH) Currently the most common battery electrochemistry found in hybrid electric vehicles. The hydrogen stored in a NiMH battery reacts with hydroxide in the electrolyte to form water and electrons. These electrons are manipulated to flow through a circuit, forming an electric current.
Nipple Surfing Refers to sliding across the ground face down after falling off a motorcycle. Also see “Superman”
Nitrous Oxide/N2O Oxygen-rich gas fed into the fuel/oxygen stream to increase horsepower.
Nod Tipping of the head to acknowledge oncoming bikers.
Nomad 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.
Nomex Heat resistant material made of fire-retarding aramide fibres.
Non-methane organic gases (NMOG) The sum of all organic air pollutants, excluding methane. NMOGs include aldehydes, ketones, alcohols and other pollutants that are not hydrocarbons.
NOS (1) New old stock; OEM bike parts that are no longer in production but are still in stock. (2) Nitrous Oxide.
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.
Nyloc 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.
O.F.F.O. (OFFO) Outlaws Forever Forever Outlaws
Octane Rating 1. A rating that indicates the tendency to knock when a fuel is used in a standard internal combustion engine under standard conditions. The higher the octane number or rating, the greater the antiknock qualities of the gasoline. 2. Indicates the ability of a fuel to resist early detonation called knock.
Odometer Device that stores the mileage (distance driven). Usually located on the speedometer.
OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer.
Off-camber Turn Turn that is banked higher on the inside than the outside.
OFFO Outlaws Forever, Forever Outlaws. a term usualy used by members of the Outlaws motorcycle club.
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.
OHC OverHead Cam.
Ohlins A manufacturer of high-quality suspension components.
OHV OverHead Valve.
Oil Bag An 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
Oilheads Newer, air and oil cooled BMW Boxer engines.
Old Lady Wife or steady girlfriend of a club member.
OMG Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. You won’t see this advertised on patches or tattoos, but you’ll see it in books and magazine articles. Always used to refer to someone else; 1%s may mention their Club, but will never say they’re part of a gang.
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-Off 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.
One-Oh-One 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.
OPG Oil Pump Drive Gear (used normally to refer to the infamous plastic oil gears in Kawasaki Vulcans)
Organ Donor A biker who rides without a helmet, or rides likes a squid.
Original owner The first owner of the motorcycle who purchases a brand new bike from a dealer.
Originals The original colors presented to a new Motorcycle Club member.
Orphan Bikes Rare bikes that are no longer in production.
Oscar Blue haired Buick driver. “Oscar almost turned left in front of me”
OTB Over The Bars as in a crash
Otto Cycle 1. Uses four strokes, of which two can be considered “high power” the compression stroke and the power stroke. Much of the internal power loss of an engine is due to the energy needed to compress the charge during the compression stroke. 2. The four stroke engine is sometimes called the Otto cycle, in honor of its inventor, Otto Benz.
Outlaw Often associated with motorcycle “gangs” the term actually denotes a motorcycle club that has refused to become a member of the AMA. Hells Angels, Outlaws, Banditos, and similar motorcycle clubs are “outlaw” clubs in this regard.
Overbore 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.
Overdrive 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.
Oversquare Cylinder diameter (bore) greater than the stroke. Also called short stroke. An oversquare (or Oversquaring an) engine will increase/improve torque.
Oversteer The situation that occurs in cornering when the rear of a vehicle tends to skid before the front.
Oxidizing catalytic converter The oxidizing (or oxidation) catalytic converter transforms the hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) contained in diesel exhaust gases into water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). In addition, it oxidizes the nitrogen monoxide (NO) into nitrogen dioxide (NO2). In diesel vehicles, the NO2 released in the catalytic converter oxidizes the residual soot in the particulate filter, turning it into carbon dioxide (CO2) and into nitrogen (N2), which is a non-pollutant component of air.
P.O. Acronym for Previous Owner.
P.O.B.O.B. Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington the original gang that later developed into the Hell’s Angels.
Paddock Area where maintenance on race entered motorcycles takes place, which also includes support vehicles and transport.
Paddock stand A detachable stand used to raise either the front or rear wheel off the ground.
Pads Tires
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 to 1965). 3. Harley-Davidson’s second generation overhead valve Big Twin.
Pancake Engine Horizontally opposed engine. (i.e.. BMW Boxer or Honda Goldwing engine)
Pannier One of a pair of saddlebags, packs or baskets hung over the rear wheel of 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.
Participate To aid a member in a fight by ganging up on the opponent.
Parts per million (ppm) A measure of concentration usually indicating the number of volume parts of a substance per 106 parts of air.
Passenger Backrest Sissy Bar
Passenger Pad Pillion Pad
Pasta Rocket any Italian Sportbike (Ducati, Aprilia, MV Agusta, Benelli)
Patch holder a club biker
Patches 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.
PCV Positive Crank Ventilation. Vents crankcase vapors into the intake manifold to control pollution.
Ped boi (British term) A chav on 2-wheels/a hoodie riding a moped. Typically with a noisy spannie and using the pillion pegs instead of the footboard, ped bois are often to be found in packs in McDonalds carparks.
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.
Personal electric vehicle (PEV) PEVs are fully electric vehicles usually a motorcycle or scooter designed to transport a single passenger over short distances. They offer several potential benefits, including lower transportation and fuel costs and reduced environmental impact. The eTV fleet includes several PEVs the Vectrix electric motorcycle, the Segway i2 and the Zero S electric motorcycle.
Petcock Fuel Valve. Petcock’s can have multiple fuel options such as OFF, ON, RESERVE and PRIME.
PhD A self-paced learning system designed by Harley-Davidson to keep professional dealership technicians current.
Pillion A passenger on the motorcycle.
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.
Pinched Picked up by the police
Pipes Exhaust System.
Pisspot An old-fashioned open faced helmet usually favoured by owners of vintage British motorbikes.
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.
Pistons The slugs moving up and down within the engine cylinders.
Pit 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.
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.
Pivateers Racers who do not have the backing of a manufacturer.
Planetary gear A gear driven by a central sun gear or crownwheel.
Plastic Bikers (similar to R.U.B.’s) Refers to new riders who have gone to their local motorcycle shop, pulled out their plastic credit cards and bought everything brand new a mega bike and all the gear.
Plastic Fantastic Sports bike, ’cause they are plastic and the riders think they are fantastic.
Plastic Maggot (1) Honda CX500 (Great Britain) (2) Honda PC800 (North America) .
Play the Clutch Use of partially engaged clutch.
PLP Acronym Parking Lot Practice
Plugs Spark Plugs
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.
PMS 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.
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 … 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 go of the clutch rapidly, making it possible for the motorcycle to accelerate very quickly.
Port Opening into a cylinder.
Ports intake & exhaust valve openings
Poser A wannabe biker, or a biker with all the gear, shiny and new, but rarely rides. Usually found at motorcycle shows with very low mileage full-chrome motorcycles.
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.
Pot A single Carburetor. (So 4 pots would be a 4 barrel carburetor)
Pots Pistons found in a brake calliper which push the brake pads against the disk. Many different variationssingle pot, 2-pot, 4-pot, 6-pot etc. Generally, the greater the number of pistons, the greater the stopping force.
Pour on the coals To accelerate hard.
Power A measurement of how much work the engine can do over a given period. So while the engine generates a certain torque, power is a measure of how frequently that torque can be generated. Measured as a unit of speed combined with a unit of force and typically expressed in units of hp, bhp, PS or kW.
Power Plant The motorcycle engine.
Power Ranger A derogatory term typically applied to owners of sportsbikes who have 1-piece leathers colour-matched to their bikes.
Power RPM The number of revolutions per minute at which the maximum power occurs.
Power Shower Riding in the rain with anything other then a full face helmet. Also riding in the rain without rain gear.
Power Train 1. Components that deliver rotary motion from the engine to the drive wheels (transmission, clutch, primary and secondary drives.). 2. Refers to all of the components that generate power and deliver it to the wheels, including the engine, transmission, drive shaft and drive wheel.
Power wheelie Using the engine’s power to bring up the front wheel into a wheelie during acceleration.
Powerband The RPM range of an engine where the most power is produced.
Power-weight ratio The power generated by the engine divided by the weight of the engine. For example, a turbocharged V-8 with an engine power of 190 kW (250 hp) and a weight of 450 kg (1,000 lb) would have a power-weight ratio of 0,56 kW/kg (0.25 hp/lb).
P-Pad Pillion Pad The passenger seat
Precious metals A general term for gold, silver or any minerals of the platinum group.
Pre-Ignition 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.
Primary Drive The drive method of connecting the engines crankshaft to its transmission.
Probate 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.
Prospect A prospective member.
Protein Facial What you get on the highway without a windshield
PSI Pounds per Square Inch. An example would be used in tire/tyre inflation.
PUB Poor Urban Biker. Generally used as a comeback by Bikers who are accused of being RUB’s.
Pucker factor Refers to a very close call. “I had a pucker factor of 10 around that corner.”
Pucks 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.
Pull Ability to accelerate.
Puppies Female Breasts.
Purple hooters Topless female rider in cold weather.
Purring 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.
Q-Tip 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.
Qualify To advance to the final race event by timed qualifying or position in a heat race.
Qualifying Heat Race A preliminary race used to determine elimination or position in the final race event.
R (Motorcycle designation suffix) Replica, Racer or Racing (eg. Yamaha YZF600R, BMW K1200R)
Race can A lightweight, free breathing muffler.
Racer 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.
Racing Flags Black Flag Rider disqualified or problem with motorcycle
Racing Flags Checkered Flag First across wins race over
Racing Flags Green Flag Race start signal
Racing Flags Red Flag Race stopped
Racing Flags White Flag One lap left to race
Racing Flags Yellow and Red Striped Flag Caution, indicates debris, fluid or hazard
Racing Flags Yellow Flag Caution, do not pass if flag is waving
Radial 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.
Radiator 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 Oil on the street
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.
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.
Rake 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 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 end The rear wheel and swingarm of a motorcycle.
Rear sets Foot controls that have been relocated at the rear of the motorcycle.
Rebound Rebound defines the return stroke of the suspension.
Reciprocating Weight Total weight of all moving parts.
Rectifier A component that converts alternating current into direct current.
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.
Relay A light current electrical switch that triggers a heavier switch capable of caring heavier current.
Renthal A manufacturer of after-market parts, most notable for handlebars and sprockets. ‘Renthals’ typically refers to the type of high, flat bars that are frequently fitted to Streetfighters.
Repair Link A link in some motorcycle chains that can be disassembled for chain repair.
Repli-racers 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 Repossess. To take away from an owner who cannot financially afford to pay for an item they own.
Repo Artist Business thug experienced at repossessing motorcycles for finance companies.
Retard To set back the ignition timing before the piston reaches TDC (Top Dead Center.)
Rev(s) 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 or 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.
Revving The action of using the throttle in quick short burts to speed up the engine.
Rice Burner Slang for Japanese-made motorcycle.
Rice Grinder Slang for Japanese-made motorcycles.
Rice Rocket Japanese Sport Bike
Rich 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
Rich mixture / Rich burn A fuel-air mixture that has a relatively high proportion of fuel and a relatively low proportion of air.
Ride Captain The leader of a motorcycle rider-out. The ride captain opens the ride, and is up front.
Ride Lieutenant An experienced riders who rides as last in a ride-out, making sure that every thing goes according to plan with all the other bikers.
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.
Risers 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 Captain The leader of a motorcycle rider-out. The ride captain opens the ride, and is up front.
Road Crown Arc of road, high at the middle line, to allow for water drainage.
Road Gator 18-wheel Tire Pieces
Road Rash Marks from the asphalt left on your body after you have been thrown off your motorcycle, highside or lowside, a skidded alongside the road.
Roadie Yamaha Road Star
Rocker 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.
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.
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.
Rollover The condition that occurs during hard cornering when a tire sidewall rubs the road surface.
Roost 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.
Rossi Valentino Rossi. Vale. The Doctor. Valentinik. Rossifumi. Possibly the greatest motorcycle racer of all time. See also Rossi Wannabe.
Rossi Wannabe An obsessive male rider with the mistaken belief that looking like a clone of Rossi will somehow mysteriously gift them the same level of riding skill. Traditionally found clad head-to-toe in black and yellow Dainese clothing and riding a Babyblade in Nastro Azzuro colours.
Roun To-It Instrument used to delay a job. ie… one of these days i’ll get around to it.
RPM 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)
RUB Rich Urban Biker, a biker who rides an expensive motorcycle only on the weekend, and never very far. Often RUBs are Posers.
RUB 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””.
Rubber Tires, tyres.
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’.
Rubber Mounted Rubber mounted engines use a system of rubber cusions and/or joined engine mounts to isolate engine vibrations from the rider.
Rubberside Towards the bottom of the bike, or bottom area of a part or component
Run Riding for a particular function or purpose
Runout The measure of the out of roundness of the tire causing a vibration that cannot be balanced.
Ruts 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)
SAE Society of Automotive Engineers.
Safety Nazi A person who rides in absolutely full safety gear, often to an extreme, obeys every law, and wants all others to do the same.
Safety wire A springy wire used by racers to help keep a part from falling off.
Scavenge Clearing of exhaust fumes from a two stroke engine.
Scoot Slang term for a motorcycle.
Scooter 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.
Scooter Trash Any Biker
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).
Seizure The locking in place of moving parts due to overheating, lack of lubrication or opposing pressure. Also called freeze-up.
Semiconductor A non-metallic conductor of electrons. A particular feature is the ability to control the resistance and conductivity in specific areas of a semiconductor by applying electrical fields.
Sending Unit Electrical or mechanical device for sensing some physical property of the motorcycle’s operating conditions. Also called a sensor unit.
SFFS Multiple meanings 1. Sons Forever, Forever Sons 2. Set Free From Sin 3. Saved Forever, Forever Saved
Shadow Any Honda Shadow
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.
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).
Sharing When a cage driver passes you in your lane or otherwise tries to share the lane.
Shim Small piece of metal used to set clearances between valves or other parts.
Shimmy Another term for high speed wobble.
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.
Shooters on Scooters motorcycle cop
Short Low Final Drive Gear Ratio
Short-Legging 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.
Shotgun Pipes This style of exhaust had the two pipes ending straight and together, giving the appearance of a double barreled shot gun.
Shovel 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 to 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.
Sidecar 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.).
Sidestand he factory-installed stand that props up a motorcycle at an angle when it is parked 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.
Single An engine configuration comprising of one cylinder.
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
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.
Skiing 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.
Skin 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.
Sled Slang term for a motorcycle.
Slick 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.
Slick Plastic Arrows Directional traffic control arrows made of smooth white plastic that are glued to the road surface.
Slider A Brit term for the leg or lower casting on the forks.
Slinger A bike with a centrifugal oil filter which spins the oil at crankshaft speed.
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.
Slip-on A type of muffler that installs onto the exhaust pipe or header.
Slop 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).
Slug 1. Piston in an engine. 2. A slow motorcycle and rider.
SM (Motorcycle designation suffix) Supermoto (eg. Suzuki DR-Z400SM)
Smell Me Bars Ape Hangers
SNAFU 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 FUCked Up
Snakes The serpentine tar strips sometimes used to fill cracks on a racetrack or on a highway/road.
Sneakers Tires as in “I got a new rear sneaker, or a new pair of sneakers”
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.
Snicking 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.
SO Significant Other (usually refers to someone’s wife or husband)
Softail A motorcycle frame whose suspension is hidden, making it resemble a hard tail
Software What your back warmer presses into your back.
SOHC Single Over Head Cam. A single cam shaft found in the head or top of the engine that activates the valves.
SOHV Single OverHead Valve.
Solenoid A cylinder of wire magnetically controlling a free sliding metal core.
Solenoid valve A solenoid is a cylindrical coil of wire acting as a magnet when carrying electric current. A solenoid valve is an automatic safety shut-off valve that is opened or closed by the action of a solenoid attached to the valve disc, resulting in fast opening and closing times.
Solid Standup, good people, trustworthy
Solid Mounted A bike with a solid mounted engine has the engine bolted directly to the frame tubes.
Solvent A liquid used to dissolve a solute.
Spanny/Spannie 2-stroke expansion chamber. A type of exhaust system found on a ‘Stroker.
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 Tax Speeding fine
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.
Splicing 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.
Spoke 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.
Sportbike 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 A motorcycle that is designed with large springs on the front forks to dampen and absorb road shock.
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.
Springs (shock springs) Help the shocks absorb road surface vibration through compression of the spring around the shock.
Square 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.
Square Four (4) An engine configuration comprising of 4 cylinders in a square formation (i.e. 2 sets of parallel twins).
Squat The rear suspension of the motorcycle seems to bottom out due to hard acceleration.
Squid A biker who rides with no protection, and rides very dangerously.
Squirrelly handling A slang term for a feeling of less than full control on a motorcycle. Loose handling of the motorcycle.
ST (Motorcycle designation suffix) Sport Tourer (eg. BMW F800ST)
Stanchion A Brit term for the fork tube.
Standard 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 Strongly applying the brakes, usually in a panic stop. Using both front and rear brakes very agressively to stop quickly.
Stand-Up dependable, can be counted on.
State of charge Like a fuel gauge on a gasoline-powered vehicle, the state of charge indicates the amount of fuel remaining for use in a battery electric vehicle, hybrid-electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. In this case, however, the fuel is electricity. The fuel (or electrical charge) is measured in percentages, with 0% being empty and 100% being full.
State Patrol Formation Staggered group riding formation L-R-L-R-L-R…
Statey State cop
Static Harassment by law enforcement
Stay Vertical Stay upright, don’t crash
Steering Aids Ruts in the road formed by heavy trucks that try to steer your bike for you.
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 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 lock A lock that enables one to lock the fork at an extreme right or left to prevent or hinder theft.
Step-thru A frame layout with a low structure between the seat and the steering head.
Stewartized 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).
Sticky hoops or boots Tires made of a soft compound which maximise grip usually at the expense of tire’s longevity.
Stinkwheel A motorcycle with a 2-stroke engine.
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.
Stock A motorcycle set up to OEM specifications with no alterations.
Stoppers Brakes
Stoppie Stopping a motorcycle by pulling only the front brake, resulting in the rear wheel lifting off the ground. Often used in stunts.
Straight Pipes An exhaust system with no baffles inside thus the exhaust travels straight through unrestricted. (Very loud and technically illegal in most areas.)
Straight-shooter Tells it like it is, no b.s., Talks the truth, speaks their mind
Streetfighter A sportsbike that has been crashed and the owner cannot afford to repair the cosmetic damage so all the fairings are removed and the clip-ons are replaced with flat bars (these are the typical areas of damage on a sportsbike).
Stressed member A component that is an integral part of the whole structure.
Stretch 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
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.
Stroke 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. 3.A single movement of a piston, stem or crank arm from one end of its range to the other.
Stroker Two stroke engine.
Stubby A muffler which has been deliberately cut down to a shorter length, typically to increase the noise of the exhaust system.
Stuck 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”.
Sulphur oxides (SOx) Taken collectively, pollutants of the oxidation of sulphur, including both sulphur dioxide (SO2) and sulphur trioxide (SO3) and the acids formed by their combination with water. Of these, sulphuric acid (H2SO4) is of principal interest.
Sump 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.
Superman Refers to flying through the air (chest down) after coming off a motorcycle. Also see “Nipple Surfing”
Super-motard A motorcycle category which defines urbanly designed cross or enduro bikes.
Supermoto 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.
Suspension 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.
Sweep The last (and most experienced) rider in a group ride.
Sweeper A broad high-speed turn.
Swingarm The rear portion of a bike that the rear wheel mounts to, a pivoting structure that moves up and down with the rear suspension.
Swirl Swirl is the spiralling movement of the gas in the cylinder of a motor. In a typical gas turbine engine, the air from the compressor is set in a swirling motion by vanes in the premixer located upstream from the combustor. Fuel is then injected into the swirling airflow in the premixer such that a swirling, premixed fuel-air mixture enters the combustor.
Swoop 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)
T.W.O Two Wheels Only, anyone who ONLY rides a bike (no car)
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.
Tachometer An instrument gauge that displays how fast the engine is spinning in revolutions per minute.
Taged 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.
Tall High Final Drive Gear Ratio.
Tang 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.
Tank Slapper A high speed wobble resulting in the handlebars banging against the sides of the fuel tank. Usually an extreme Pucker factor.
Tankslapper 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.
Tappet 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.
Tarmac British term for what North American’s call asphalt.
Tats Tattoos
T-Bone 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 of Tires, Controls, Lights (and electronics), Oils, Chassis (and chain) and Kickstand (make sure it’s up)
TDC Top Dead Center The point at which a piston is at its highest position (and therefore point of greatest compression) within the cylinder. 2. The piston position when it has reached the upper limit of its movement in the cylinder and the centre line of the connecting rod is parallel to the cylinder walls.
Team 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.
Tetraethyl lead A heavy, oily, poisonous liquid compound [Pb(C2H5)4] that is insoluble in water but soluble in gasoline. It is used as an antiknock agent.
Textiles 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 Man Police or Law Enforcement Officer
The Motor Company Harley-Davidson
the Queen’s own (AKA the Queen’s Carrige) Any British bike
Thermostat 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 The throttle controls the engine’s power by restricting the substance that enters the engine.
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.
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.
Thumper 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 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 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, Tyre Rubber, Sneaker. The round thing made of rubber your motorcycle moves on.
TMW 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. http -//www.totalmotorcycle.com
Too Late Light Oil Pressure Warning Light
Toos Tattoos
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.
Top-box A piece of hard luggage mounted behind the seat that sits up high.
Torque 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. 4. Turning force, so a measurement of force multiplied by distance.
Torque Lb-ft Torque is the rotational equivalent to force measured in pound-feet and is essentially the Engine ‘pulling’ power. High torque is of benefit for vehicles needed for towing, or for performance driving.
Total Motorcycle (TMW) Total Motorcycle Website. A huge motorcycle resource (largest in North America) since 1999 on the Internet containing dozens of free guides, motorcycle model guides, handbooks, biker’s dictionary, forums, and much more. Supports motorcycling and motorcyclists worldwide. http -//www.totalmotorcycle.com
Totaled Any vehicle that is in an accident. A vehicle that has been demolished in a crash to the point that the insurance company determines that the vehicle is not worth the cost of repairing. Worth as defined by the insurance company.
Tourer 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.
Traction 1. Adhesive friction traction is the element of vehicle dynamics that gives speed and directional control to the driver. 2. A tires ability to grip the road.
Trail 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.
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.
Transfer Port Two stroke fresh fuel post between the crankcase and the cylinder.
Transient response The vehicle’s ability to recover from one corner and set up for the next corner.
Transmission The system of gears and chains by which power is transmitted from the engine to the driving wheel.
Travel The distance that suspension components, the forks and shocks, move up and down when the bike rides over bumps.
Tread depth The distance measured in the major tread groove nearest to the centre line of the tire, from the base of the groove to the top of the tread.
Trial 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.
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.
Tri-Armor 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.
Trick That dude’s bike is trick
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.
Trike 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 A three cylinder inline motorcycle engine.
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.
Troubleshoot/Troubleshooting Looking for the problem on the bike.
True Blue A Biker who travels long distances or takes long bike trips.
Trumpet Slang for a Triumph motorcycle. Can also mean a trumpet-shaped exhaust pipe.
T-Shirt Biker Someone who has the leather jacket, chain drive wallet, T-shirts and all, but no scooter (motorcycle).
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.
Tuck Crouched aerodynamically best riding position used to decrease drag and increase speed
Tucking A front wheel suddenly turning itself too sharply toward a turn with the bike leaned over.
Tune up When a senior club member sets a junior club member straight.
Tuppermobile 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.
Turbocharger 1. 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. 2. A forced air induction system that increases the amount of air available for combustion in the cylinders by 50% or more.
Turn Out When all members come together in the case of an initiation for a new member.
Turn Signals Blinkers
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 An engine configuration comprising of 2 cylinders.
Twin Spar Frame A bike frame with two steel or aluminum spars (flat beams) sandwiched around the sides of the engine.
Twingle A vertical twin engine where both pistons move up and down together. Combination of the words twin and single.
Twisties A part of a road that has many curves, turns and bends. Twisties are very much sought after when riding a motorcycle.
Twisting the wick Speeding up, Roll on the throttle.
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.
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-way Street Playing it even with both parties entitled to & receiving the same treatment
UJM 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.
Ultracapacitor A very high capacity energy storage system consisting of two parallel conductive plates separated by an insulating material.
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.
Undersquare 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.
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.
Up-Sweeps 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.
Urban MPG The miles per gallon achieved on urban routes, as tested by the manufacturer from a cold start.
Urban Tumbleweed Plastic grocery bags/sacks that either fly up onto a hot exhaust or into your face.
V 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.
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.
V2 Evolution Name for the Harley-Davidson Engine introduced in 1984.
V8 Vulcan 800 (any Model any year)
Valanced Refers to the larger sweeping fenders.
Valve 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.
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 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.
Vanes Blade or blades fitted across an air duct to divide it into a number of parallel flows.
Vapor Lock Condition where fluid expansion into a vapor state prevents a system from working, traditionally the fuel delivery system.
Vapour pressure Pressure exerted by the vapours emitted by a petroleum product in a suitable apparatus, under standardized conditions.
Variable compression ratio In a variable geometry turbocharger, each of the angles of the movable vanes is able to change throughout the engine’s revolutions per minute (rpm) range. This in turn varies the ratio of the volume of an engine cylinder before compression, as compared to after compression.
Variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) A type of turbocharger, the variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) has rows of movable vanes (or fan blades) just inside the turbine inlet. However, unlike conventional turbochargers, VGTs have actuators that can reposition the vanes to maximize their ability to capture hot exhaust gases. This results in a better management of the exhaust airflow over the turbine blades at all engine speeds (rpm).
Variable valve timing Gas distribution process that allows for a variation in the timing for opening and closing the different valves.
Vermatherm Valve Temperature adjusted oil pressure control valve used to control hydraulic fan speed.
Vespa Italian scooter manufacturer.
V-Four 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)
VIN Vehicle Identification Number Sometimes referred to as ‘Chassis Number’ this is a unique code that every motorcycle is fitted with to protect the identity of the vehicle. (found stamped onto a plate on the motorcycle.)
Vintage/Classic A motorcycle 20 years of ago or older.
Viscosity Measurement of the thickness or denseness of a fluid.
Volatile organic compounds (VOC) VOCs are carbon-containing gases and vapours such as gasoline fumes, but excluding carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane and chlorofluorocarbons. Many individual VOCs are known to have direct toxic effects on humans.
Voltage Regulator Controls the output from the generator.
VROC Vulcan Riders and Owners Club
VTEC ‘Variable Valve Timing and Lift with Electronic Control’ e.g. adjusts engine valves to create more power when you need it while delivering lower emissions and superior fuel economy over regular petrol engines.
V-Twin 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.
W.H.O.R.E 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.
Wankle 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.
Wannabe 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 strong 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)
Wannabe A person who wants to be a real biker, who dresses like one, who tries to behave like one, but probably only drives a SUV or a moped.
War Wagon A vehicle used to transport the club’s arsenal during an outing when trouble is expected from other clubs.
War-Horse 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.
Wash out Where the front wheel looses grip and slides out to one side.
Water Jacket Passages between cylinder walls through which coolant circulates.
Wattleshedo Term that asks the top speed of a machine (i.e What will she do?)”
Wave A greeting between bikers on the road, involving raising a hand, usually below the handlebars. The Wave is done to bikers on the opposite direction.
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.
Waxer Someone who would rather wax his bike than ride it
Waybackmachine Any streetdriven “overmotored” road rocket that makes most fast vehicles seem to movebackwards…wayback…..ie. 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.
WFO Wide FUCking Open (throttle)
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° angle straight on.
Wheelbase 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.
Wheelie Sudden acceleration and slight pulling of the handlebar (unless your bike has enough torque to do it by itself), resulting in the front wheel of the motorcycle moving up in the air, and riding on the rear wheel alone.
Whisper-Glide Goldwing or other large quiet Touring bike.
White Lining Driving on the broken white line that separates traffic lanes.
White Plate Antique Flat track races
Whoops An obstacle section on a dirt track that has rows of mounds, requiring expertise to ride within a race.
Win it or bin it A racer’s attitude when he/she is so committed to victory that they will either win the race or crash whilst trying.
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 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.
Wind Walker Anybody who rides, helps and is friendly to all other Motorcycle Jockeys.
Wing Comander Police term for sports bike rider as in missed the runway Wing Comander
Wingabago Gold Wing motorcycle, with all the extras.
Wings Emblem worn by 1%ers, as a pin or patch (cloth) attached to the colors. All wing earning must be witnessed.
Winkers 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.
Wishbone A one piece handlebar and riser combo, styled like a drag bar but much cleaner in appearance.
Wishbone One-piece handlebar and riser, styled like a drag bar but has a clean appearance.
Wobble 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 90°, in which a pinion is turned by a spirally cut gear.
WOT Wide Open Throttle 1. Holding the throttle full open for full acceleration. 2. Check performed when main Carb jetting.
Wrench A mechanic.
Wrenching Actually doing the maintenance and repair of a motorcycle.
WSB (World Superbike Racing) Production-based, four-stroke motorcycle racing with extensive modifications determined by regulations to control costs and limit alterations. (See Homologation).
WTF expression What the fUCk!
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.
xFFx Club Name Forever, Forever Club Name (ie. PFFP = Pagan’s Forever, Forever Pagan’s).
X’s Honda VTX owners refer to their rides as X’s. (thanks to Eric Inger)
X-static® Textile featuring integrated silver. Smell-reducing function, anti-static and temperature-balancing.
Xylophone A musical instrument (please do not play the xylophone while riding, not only is it dangerous, but highly annoying)
Yamahadog Name for a Yamahahog rider, but the bike is more of a “rat” bike.
Yamahaharley Japanese bikes that look like Harleys (eg. Kawasaki Vulcan Classic )
Yamahahog A Yamaha that some one made to look like a harley chopper (raked, big front wheel ect.)
Yamahammer Yamaha
Yamahauler 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.
Yoke Hollow tube that makes up the very front of the motorcycle frame and sits between the steering shaft and the triple-tree. It is the pivot point of the steering column.
Yoshi Yoshimura. A Japanese manufacturer of after-market parts most noteably known for their exhaust systems.
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.
Z-Liner This is the membrane between the upper material and the actual lining, which is suspended in the garment without any seams.
Zook Suzuki
Zorst Exhaust (motorcycle pipes)

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