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Biker's Dictionary


  • Biker's Dictionary

    ATGATT: All The Gear, All The Time
    Apes or Ape Hangers: 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.
    Bar Hopper: A motorcycle that is not very comfortable on longer rides, yet lavishly styled. Rigid frames and hardtails fall into this category.
    Big Five: Refers to the five major motorcycle manufacturers: Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha.
    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.
    Blackie: A dark streak left on the asphalt when a motorcycle drills away from a stop. White smoke often accompanies the formation of a blackie.
    Bling: A shiny farkle that has no purpose other than to look "cool." Also used to describe said farkle.
    Brain Bucket: Slang term for a helmet.
    Bob, Bobbed, Bobbing: The art of shortening a bike's appearance by cutting down the size of its fenders. These bikes were also known as "bobbers".
    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.
    Cage: 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: Cage operator, or driver of an automobile.
    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 roadlike a knife.
    Catwalk: Riding a motorcycle on the rear wheel only, more commonly known as a "wheelie".
    Chicken Strips: The unused portions on the sides of a motorcycle's tires.
    Chopper: A style of motorcycle that appears deceptionally light, has a greater angle on the front end than usually seen, and radical styling. The word originates from the post WW2 era when former GIs were looking for performance mods, there was no aftermarket back then and once all engine mods were out of the way the bike's weight needed to be reduced...owners began to remove unnecessary components and eventually began to cut away (or "chop") sections of the bike and frame. Used to be called "bobbing" but the word "chop" became the more popular phrase.
    Counter Steering: Pushing on the left handlebar or clip-on to go left and the right one to go right. The physics of this are complicated and oft debated, and it doesn't seem intuitive to bicycle riders, but it's how you steer a motorcycle at higher than parking-lot speeds.
    Crotch Rocket: A slang term for Sport Bikes.
    Cruiser: A newer term that surfaced in the late 1980's that refers to the laid back styled street bikes with chrome and boulevard styling.
    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 will often accompany the club name. Treat these people with utmost respect.
    Colors: Signifies a club or organization patch.
    Displacement: The size of an engine, in cubic centimeters (cc) or cubic inches (ci).
    Doing a Ton: Going 100mph or faster
    Drag Bar: A straight styled handlebar that does not sweep up from the risers.
    Dual Sport A dual purpose motorcycle, made for both on and off the road travel.
    Endo: The art of stopping a motorcycle and having the rear wheel lift off the ground, a reverse of the catwalk. Also called a stoppie.
    Fairing: The plastic shrouds that deflect wind and rain from the rider, the motorcycling equivalent of automotive bodywork.
    Farkle: New aftermarket gadget or doo-hicky added to your bike. E.g., cigarette lighter, cup holder, cruise control, heated grips, power supplies, extra lights, radar detector, GPS, XM radio, video camera, coffee maker, DVD player and so on..
    Four Banger: An inline four-cylinder motorcycle (or automotive) engine, these are among the most powerful motors on a motorcycle. Also referred to as an inline four.
    Get Off: Unintentional separation of rider and motorcycle while the motorcycle is moving and the kickstand is up. Also known as crashing.
    Hardtail: A motorcycle with no rear suspension.
    High Side: A crash resulting from loss of, then re-establishment of traction while leaned over in a turn. The rear end traction slips while leaned over at speed, then bites again, with the abrupt cessation of a potential low side in turn flicking the rider over the top of the bike. Ouch.
    Hog: Several meanings, as an acronym it stands for "Harley Owners Group," it also relates to the larger Harley models (also called "Big Twins").
    IB: Iron Butt. Also used to describe an insane amount of mileage ridden for no reason other than to ride an insane amount of mileage.
    Inline Four: See "Four Banger".
    LEO: Law enforcement officer.
    Leathers: Protective clothing, often a jacket and pair of pants made from leather.
    Lid: Helmet
    Low Side: A crash resulting from losing traction while leaned over. The bike falls down on the "low" (or inside of the turn) side. Can happen if there's too much lean, or if one or both wheels hit sand/gravel/diesel or anything that cuts on traction between rubber and pavement.
    MC: Motorcycle Club, referring to the tightly knit brotherhoods of biker gangs.
    Neck: The front of a motorcycle frame, where the steering head is located.
    Nipple Surfing: Refers to sliding across the ground face down after falling off a motorcycle.
    OEM: An acronym, "Original Equipment from Manufacturer," refers to parts or components.
    Oil Dripper: lang term, refers to the earlier American and British bikes and often still used towards the modern ones.
    Panniers: Hard saddle bags or luggage.
    Parallel Twin: An inline 2 cylinder engine.
    Pavement Surfing: The acts of sliding down the pavement after a get off. Usually caused by a low side. Can result in loss of (a) dignity, (b) skin, (c) bike, (d) all the above.
    Pillion: A passenger. Also used as "Riding Pillion." E.g., My wife is riding pillion.
    PMS: No, not that kind, although the symptoms can be surprisingly similar. Parked Motorcycle Syndrome. Common to those of us stupid enough to live where the evil white crap falls. Can also be caused by wrecks, breakdowns, loss of license, or an avalanche of obligations that get in the way of one's riding time. Symptoms include depression, irritability, serious post-ho'ing, and, every so often, a multi-state killing spree.
    Poser: Similar to a SQUID except they tend to spend as much change for matching gear as they do for the bike. Can be seen on a Cruiser or Sport bike, and most likely in a coffee shop parking lot with others of the same breed. Unlike the Squid, they don’t have a pillion wearing shorts, halter and sandals hanging on for dear life, but they’re always on the lookout for one. One back tire lasts four years and by the time it’s replaced, the profile is so flat the bike will stay upright without the stand. They are normally harmless until they try and keep up to a semi-skilled rider.
    Post Ho: An member who posts...and posts...and posts. Post Ho's can be identified by an insanely high Posts Per Day average, a post count > around 2000.
    Pucker Factor: The feeling experienced from the moment you consciously realize that you have put yourself in imminent danger (i.e., riding way too fast into a tight corner, narrowly missing an animal in the road, or nearly avoiding an accident of any sort). Named for the action of the rider's buttocks and related muscles tensing uncontrollably at the moment of complete terror.
    RC: Riding Club, not to be confused with MC.
    Rice Burner: Slang term for a Japanese made motorcycle.
    Rigid or Rigid Frame: A type of frame that has no swingarm, it is a one-piece neck to rear axle frame.
    Risers: An addition to your handlebars that bring them up and closer to you and help alleviate shoulder/back pain, especially on longer rides.
    Road Rash: Marks left behind on a biker's body after falling down while moving. <<< DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRY THIS >>>
    Road Snake: A crack in a concrete road that has been filled with tar. Resembles a snake slithering across the road. Slippery when wet, gooy when hot. Makes traction a questionable event on a bike.
    Rockers: The two curved patches of a club's patch, typically denotes the club name or chapter on one and resident town or city on the other.
    Rub: "Rich Urban Biker" the MC owners with pricy garage ornaments that rarely get ridden, yet they still attempt to passs themselves off as true bikers.
    Scoot: Slang term for a motorcycle.
    Screamin' Night Hog: A biker when traveling long distances prefers to ride at night (avoiding the heavy traffic and usually at high speeds).
    Skid Lid: Slang term for a helmet.
    Slam: 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 laffs from those who hear/read it.
    Sled: Slang term for a motorcycle.
    Soft Tail: Refers to a mono-shock swingarm bike, has the rigid or hardtail styling yet full rear suspension capability. One major company utilizes a play-on version of the word to describe their line-up of this style; the Softail.
    Slabbing Riding on an Interstate Highway, or otherwise similar slab of concrete or asphalt that may drone the rider into a semi-conscious state of mind and often leads to enlarged abdomens.
    Sport Bike: 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.
    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.
    Squid: Riders with little respect to posted speed limit laws, self safety or safety of others. Another name for a non-gear wearing rider. In some circles "Squid" is reported to mean "Stupid, Quick, and, Inevitably, Dead".
    Standard: A more upright styled bike, with little attention to styling. Generally more powerful than cruisers but not anything like a sport bike.
    Steering Head: The tubular section at the front of a frame where the triple trees mount to.
    Stoppie: The art of stopping a motorcycle and having the rear wheel lift off the ground, the reverse of a wheelie. Also called an endo.
    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.
    Three Piece Outfit: Refers to a club, stems from the 3 piece patches.
    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.
    Triple: A three-cylinder inline motorcycle engine.
    Twisties: A road with many tight curves.
    Two-up: Riding with a passenger.
    UJM: Universal Japanese Motorcycle Term given to Japanese motorcycles of the 80's, because visually they all looked alike; an air cooled 750 inline 4 with straight tank and seat, until you were close enough to read the tank emblems they looked identical.
    V-Four: A four cylinder motorcycle engine with the cylinders arranged in two rows in an angled V.
    V-Twin: A 2-cylinder motorcycle engine with the cylinders arranged in an angled V This configuration can allow for optimum torque for a given displacement.
    Valanced: Refers to the larger sweeping fenders.
    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, wavers understand this.
    Wishbone: A one piece handlebar and riser combo, styled like a drag bar but much cleaner in appearance.
    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.

    • ChrissyBiker
      ChrissyBiker commented
      Editing a comment
      Love this...especially the 'pucker factor'. I've been riding for a decade and don't know most of these terms. Thanks to the person who posted this
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