Language helps express our feelings, desires, and queries to the world around us. The motorcycle culture is no different.
Improve your understanding of motorcycles and the culture by browsing through this glossary.
0 to 60mph – Time taken to reach 60 mph from a standing start.
0 to 100kph – Time taken to reach 60 mph from a standing start.
1/4 mile – Time taken to reach 1 mile from a standing start.
1% er (One Percenter) Outlaw Biker – A biker who’s beliefs and/or actions are outside (or not accepted by) the common public.
One piece / 1 piece – An ‘all in one’ outfit of protective clothing. Usually refers to leathers.
13 – 13th letter stands for Motorcycles.
Two piece / 2 piece – An outfit consisting of a jacket and trousers. May refer to leathers or textiles.
2 Second Rule – The minimum gap or distance between two vehicles travelling in the same direction. As the vehicle in front of you passes a particular mark on the road or sign along the road, count two seconds and your vehicle should pass the same mark or sign. If road conditions are poor, the gap should be extended to three seconds or more. If you are following less than two seconds, there is not sufficient time to react to emergency evasive manoeuvres to avoid the possibility of hitting the vehicle in front. When riding in staggered formation this means that you would maintain a minimum of 1-second spacing between your motorcycle and the next bike in the group ahead of you. 2-seconds becomes a distance when you measure how far your motorcycle moves in that amount of time. Thus, no matter what speed you are riding at, the minimum following distance automatically ‘adjusts’ by using this concept.
2-Stroke: An engine in which the piston assembly/assemblies run two strokes per cycle.
4-Stroke: An engine in which the piston assembly/assemblies run four strokes per cycle.
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.
Aftermarket – The sector of the market that sells parts and accessories other than OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer… ie, Honda, BMW, Suzuki, Yamaha, 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.
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.
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.
Apex – The vertex of tightest (middle or center) point of a curve.
API – American Petroleum Institute.
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).
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.
ATM – All Things Motorcycle
Babyblade – A Honda CBR250/CBR400.
Back Door – The last (and most experienced) rider in a group ride.
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.
Back Marker – A slow rider marking the back of the pack.
Back Warmer – A girl on the back of your motorcycle.
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.
Baffle – Sound deadening material that sits inside a muffler and quiets the exhaust note
Bagger – A motorcycle equipped with saddlebags and other touring amenities.
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.
Bar Hopper Bike – The cool customs and pristine bikes that only come out of the garage Friday and Saturday nights during the summer (and only if it’s real nice out -never in rain) to prowl from bar to bar. A motorcycle that is not very comfortable on longer rides, yet lavishly styled. Rigid frames and hardtails fall into this category.
Bark-o-lounger – 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.
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.
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’.
BDC – Bottom dead canter of a piston. Opposite of TDC (Top dead center)
Bead – Edge of lip of a tire.
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.
Beemer – BMW motorcycle.
Beer Cans – The can shaped covers on Harley FL front forks.
Belly-Shover – Racer
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.
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.
Bench seat – A long, non-split seat that is more comfortable for two riders.
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 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 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.
Big Dog – Annual dual sport ride with BMW’s in the Rockie Mountains
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.
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.
Block – Basic engine lump containing one or more cylinders.
Blockhead – The Evolution® engine (V-Twin, produced from 1984 – 2000)
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.
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.
Blown or Blower Bike – A bike that is supercharged.
Blue Hairs – Elderly Cage Drivers
BMW (pronounced Bee em vee in English or Bay emm vay in German) – BMW AG (an abbreviation of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or in English, Bavarian Motor Works), is a German company and manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. The old 60’s and 70’s BMW motorcycles do have a nick name used very often: “Gummikuh” (Rubber Cow) because they used to become instable in curves when you close the throttle surprisingly.
Bob, Bobbers, Bobbed or Bobbing – The art of shortening a bike’s appearance by cutting down the size of its fenders. These bikes were also known as “bobbers”. Appeared before choppers. They got the name from the rear fender being cut down to a minimum. And the rest of the bikes were stripped also. This was all part of the early customizing done by the returning WWll flyers.
Body English – A method used by motorcycle riders to help control lean angle or direction independent of the handlebars by moving body position on the motorcycle.
Body Steering – (See Body English).
Bologna (Baloney) Skin – Tire tube
Boost – The amount of pressure applied by the supercharger or turbocharger.
Boots – Tires
Boneyard – Salvage yard for used bikes & parts, most indie shops also have their own boneyards next to the shop
Bore – The interior 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 – The Suspension runs out of room to travel and hits the internal stops.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brushes – Conducting material which contact commutator of a electric motor or generator.
BUB – Broke Urban Biker
Bubble Gum Machine – Law ahead, usually patting the top of your helmet warns those behind you that a cop is ahead.
BUBF – Butt Ugly But Fast ( A Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 ‘A’ Model)
Buddy Pegs – Motorcycle passenger footpegs.
Buffeted / 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”
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.
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 tire rubber overheats and begins to smoke and disintegrate.
Burning rubber – Accelerating quickly from a stop whilst spinning the rear wheel. Named due to the remnants of the tire on the road after taking such an action.
Burning up miles – Riding long distances on the highway in order to accumulate mileage.
Bus or Busa – GSX1300R Hayabusa
Bus stop – A slow first gear corner.
Bush Pad – Passenger Seat
Bushing – A removable liner for a bearing.
CB750: Honda motorcycle. The first Sport Bike.
Countersteering – Turning the bikes handlebars in one direction(at higher speeds) and having it go in the opposite direction
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 stock motorcycle into a cafe racer is known as doing a cafe chop on a bike.
Cafe Racer – 1. Motorcycles modified to resemble racing motorcycles from the 1950’s and 1960’s. They are called cafe racers because their owner supposedly raced from cafe to cafe in London, where the bikes first appeard in the 1960’s. 2. Sportbike (in Europe Bikers would ride from coffee house to coffee house) 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.
Calipers – Devices for measuring inside of outside distances and thinknesses.
Cam – A rod with lobes on it that opens the valves.
Camber – 1. Inward or outward tilt of a wheel. 2. Convex curvature of the road surface. 3. Sideways angle of slant of the pavement.
Cam Shaft / 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.
Canyon Bites – Serious accidents that occur while riding fast on twisty roads that are often found in canyons of mountainous areas.
Capacitor – A device for storing or collecting a surge of electrical current. Also called a condenser.
Can – The muffler of the exhaust system (just the muffler and not the headers). Often called an “end can”. Refers mostly to after-market mufflers for non-cruiser road bikes.
Can Of Tuna – Suzuki Kantana
Caning it or Thrashing it – Self-explanatory terms for taking the bike for ‘a blast’.
Cans – Performance enhancing exhaust muffler or back box, fitted to the exhaust system, made of stainless steel or titanium to improve acceleration and mid-range power torque.
Canyon Carving – Riding the twisties (road curves/corners) to an extreme.
Carb – Carburetor, Fuel Management System
Carbon – (see also Carbon Fiber) – Heat-resistant chemical fiber, lighter than glass fiber. Characterized by high strength and rigidity.
Carbon Fiber – A high-tech material favored 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.
Catwalk – Riding a motorcycle on the rear wheel only, more commonly known as a “wheelie”.
CC – Cubic centimeters. A 1000cc engine = 1000 cubic centimeters in volume.
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 – 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 flexibility and adjustability. Runs on two sprockets, 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.
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 – Tranny Fluid.
Cherry Tops – Cop cars.
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 – 1. A style of motorcycle that appears deceptively light, has a greater angle on the front end than usually seen, and radical styling. The word originates from the post WW2 era when former GIs were looking for performance mods, there was no aftermarket back then and once all engine mods were out of the way the bike’s weight needed to be reduced… Owners began to remove unnecessary components and eventually began to cut away (or “chop”) sections of the bike and frame. Used to be called “bobbing” but the word “chop” became the more popular phrase. 2. A radical customized bike with extended and raked front end, from which all unnecessary parts have been stripped. The early choppers weren’t raked, so the front end was high making it necessary to reduce the size of the front wheel. They are very stable in a straight line, but not to agile in turns. 3. Term originated from owners removing, or “chopping,” features from the motorcycle and adding their own customized detailing. Now refers to a motorcycle with heavily raked front forks, “high-rise handlebars and an increased angle of frame to fork head”. 4. Once described as a custom motorcycle that had all superfluous parts “chopped” off in order to make the bike faster, a chopper today is a type of custom bike that usually has an extended fork, no rear suspension and high handlebars.
Chopping the Throttle – This refers to rapidly closing or backing off the throttle to reduce speed.
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.
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 tires.
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 will often accompany the club name. Treat these people with utmost respect.
Clubber – One who has club affiliation
Clutch – 1. The clutch is operated by a handle in order to, ultimately, engage or disengage power to the rear wheel. 2. Device to engage and disengage engine power to drive train. 3. A device that disengages power from the crankshaft to the transmission, allowing a rider to change gears. 4. A device that allows a machine to be linked to a motor in order to set it in motion.
Clutching it up – Using the clutch to cause the bike to wheelie.
Clyde – cage driver (usually the bastard that cuts you off)
Coasters – Plates used to block the holes when removing Reed Valves
Coil – Transformer in ignition circuit to step up voltage to the spark plugs.
Colors – Signifies a motorcycle club or organization patch.
Combat Filtering – An aggressive 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 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
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.
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 stroke – The piston movement from bottom dead center (BDC) to top dead center (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.
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 – 1. The compression ratio specifies how much the fuel is compressed when the engine’s piston is at its highest point. 2. Amount of compression of the fuel:air mixture in a piston.
Compression Release – Used in two-stroke engines, the compression release opens an extra valve to prevent compression and increase engine drag.
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, non-changing 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.
Corrosion – Oxidation or rust on a metal part.
Counter Steer – (see also Countersteering) 1. Action of moving the wheel to the opposite direction desired in a turn. 2. To turn the handlebars so the contact patch shifts in the opposite direction from that which the rider wishes the motorcycle to lean.
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.
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.
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
Crank it over – To turn an engine over in the process of starting it up.
Cradle Frame – Frame design where the bottom tubes “cradle” or embrace the engine.
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 Padding – A motorcyclists protective clothing, especially abrasion resistant and impact absorbing riding gear and helmet.
CreditGlide – RUB’s Ride
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.
Cross – Extreme motorcycles designed for driving in rough terrain or on cross tracks.
‘Crosser – A motocross bike. Often referred to as a Scrambler.
Crossover – what connects a front & rear cylinder exhaust pipe together.
Cross winds – Winds blowing perpendicular to the direction of travel of the motorcycle.
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.
Cubic Inch Wars – Refers to the ongoing battle between the “Big 5” companies for the largest displacement OEM MC engine.
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.
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.
Crushers – Cool Shades like the original Ray-Ban Wayfarers
Curb weight – The total weight of the vehicle at nominal capacity, with all standard equipment and including batteries, fluids and lubricants.
Cycle – The up and down motion of the piston. The terms cycle and stroke are used interchangeably when referring to engine types.
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.
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.
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 hand grips are items used to dampen handlebars.
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.
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.
DILLIGAF – Do I Look Like I Give A F_ _ K
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 – Bikes intended for off-road use that are not legal to ride on public roads. Sometiemes the term “pure dirt” is used to distinguish a dirtbike from a dual sport motorcycle.
Discs – These are the metal rotors the caliper presses the pads against to brake.
Disc Brake – Brake that utilizes friction pads held in a caliper on either side of a rotation disc.
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 – 1. Tendency of the front suspension to compress during hard braking. 2. To quickly change direction such as suddenly leaning the bike into a tight turn.
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 – Double OverHead Valves.
Dope – Highly combustible alcohol/methanol-based fuel mixture.
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 – Rider who performs a burn out and carefully moves the motorcycle to encompass a 360-degree circle thus leaving a circular mark of rubber on the road surface.
Donor Cycle – Firefighter Term for Sportbikes because their drivers tend to kill themselves.
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.
Dual plugging – Adding a second spark plug to the head of a motorcycle engine. Increases fuel efficiency and horsepower.
Double Cradle Frame – A bike frame with two steel tubes circling the engine from the front and “cradling” it.
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 – 1. These were short exhaust pipes that ran low along the frame. 2. Straight exhaust pipes with no baffles.
Dresser – A motorcycle set up for long distance touring.
Drum Brake – Brake design with brake shoes forced out against a rotation drum.
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.”
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.
Dual Purpose Motorcycle/Bike – Designed for most types of terrain, the name describes a bike that has off-road capabilities with street legal accessories. BMW F650, Honda XR650L, Suzuki V-strom, Kawasaki KLR650, Yamaha XT225, Buell Ulysses are examples of a dual purpose bike.
Dual Sport – 1. A dual purpose motorcycle, made for both on and off the road travel. See Dual Purpose Bike. 2. Street legal motorcycles with varying degrees of off-road capabilities. Also called Dual Purpose Motorcycle/Bike.
Duals – 2 separate Exhaust pipes, ie one each for front and rear cylinder.
Duc(s) – A Ducati motorcycle.
Duck – Slang for a Ducati motorcycle.
Duck Walking – When you sitting on the bike and pushing it with your legs and feet. Paddling the bike along to make it move.
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/Dumped the Bike – A zero speed spill. A bike is dumped when the rider applies brakes while in a very slow turn, or is trying to get his bike up onto (or off of) its center-stand, or is walking the bike and it gets away from him, or forgets to put the side-stand down and tries to get off the bike, or any of dozens of other ‘dumb’ things that lead to losing control of the bike and its laying over onto the ground.
Dynamometer – Often called a “dyno”, it is a device for measuring force, torque or power.
E85 – A blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.
Easy Rider – A famous motorcycle movie, released in 1969, starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson about two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America. This movie defined the road film genre, even though it was not the first of its kind. Points out a very real truth about America and its often twisted approach to “freedom.” The original title of the film was “The Loners”.
Eat Asphalt – Crash
Eccentric Journals – These are used to attach the connecting rods to the crankshaft. Also called metal shafts.
Econo-box, cage, dresser – Car
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 – 1. The art of stopping a motorcycle and having the rear wheel lift off the ground, a reverse of the catwalk. Also called a stoppie. (see photo above) . 2. Going back over front. 3. Pitching the rear of the motorcycle over its front, end over end.
Enduro – 1. Typically this category includes cross bikes which are tuned and equipped for driving on the roads. These bikes are often heavier than, and not as extreme as cross motorcycles, though not as heavy and well-equipped as the larger off-roaders. 2. Strictly interpreting FIM regulations, an enduro bike is a trials bike. Common use of the term describes bikes used in enduro racing, which is off-road trail riding competition.
Engine control unit (ECU) – A set of microprocessors that helps to monitor dozens of sensors throughout the vehicle and control the actuators accordingly.
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 colorless, volatile, flammable liquid formed by fermentation. This renewable fuel can be produced from waste products such as wheat straw, corn husks, wood chips and switch grass.
Excessive 11 (Xcess 11) – SX1100, a 1100 cc 4 cylinder street bike.
Exhaust System – Pipes
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 – 1. The plastic shrouds that deflect wind and rain from the rider, the motorcycling equivalent of automotive bodywork. 2. The devices mounted at the front of a motorcycle to protect the rider from the elements. These range from simple Plexiglas shields to complex encompassing body panels.
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
Farkles/Farkle – 1. Things that can be added to your bike that make it more useful, versatile, or attractive. The price of which often exceeds the original purchase price of the bike. 2. Any accessory item that enhances the functionality of a motorcycle and also contributes to the pride in ownership of the bike.
Farklectomy – The purchasing of a brand new motorcycle with the opportunity to add many more accessories.
Farklitis – The strong desire to continuing purchasing new accessories for your motorcycle even though the accessories are not adding functionality.
Fathead – The Twin-Cam engine (V-Twin, produced from 1999 – 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)
Fast Riding Award – Speeding ticket
Fat – Too Rich Fuel Mixture
Feathering the brake – Gently applying the brake.
Feathering the clutch – See also Slip the Clutch and Friction Zone – Gently allowing the clutch to engage. This makes for a slow smooth start.
Fender Bunny – Nice babe on the back of a bike
Fender Fluff – Nice lookin’ babe on the back
Fiddly-bits – Those chrome do-dads all over saddle bags and seats.
Fighter – See Streetfighter.
Filter(ing) – 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 sinks on an air cooled engine.
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).
Fishtails or Fishtail Muffler – The exhaust tip or the end of a muffler looks like a Fishtail from the side and usually straight pipe’s with Fishtail tips had a narrow exit for the exhaust where no night stick could fit to check for baffles in the exhaust pipe.
Flame and Crook – Fire and Theft insurance.
Flashover – Generally an unwanted electrical discharge through the air to the ground.
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.
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.
Flathead – The Flathead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1929 – 1972)
Flat Spot – 1. A band of RPM’s on the acceleration power curve (specific to each motorcycle model) where the engine does not have additional acceleration power so acceleration is restricted. 2. Term refers to the condition where opening the throttle results in a reduction in speed or power output caused by incorrect fuel mixture.
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.
Foot pegs – The resting place for the rider’s feet on a motorcycle during riding.
Flower Pot – A cheap helmet non snell-approved head protection device.
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.
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 riders or passengers feet on a motorcycle.
Footprint – Contact patch of the tire with the road surface.
Foot Skids – A riders boots that are extended to the ground while the bike is in motion.
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’ed/Frisco style – Style when a gas tank is mounted right along the top of the backbone.
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 – F_ _k The Factory
FTHRWYFL – Forget the Hype, Ride What You F@$#%&n Like!
FTW – F_ _ K The World, also Forever Two Wheels
FUBAR – Which is a very old slang acronym meaning “F_ _ked Up Beyond All Repair.” Pertaining to the sad, inoperable and unfixable state of someone’s bike or engine or whatever.
Fuel-air mixture – The mixture of fuel and air found in the combustion chamber, for compression and ignition. When the piston reaches top dead center, the fuel-air mixture has been compressed to the smallest volume, is the most unstable, and is ready to be ignited.
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-cell vehicle (FCV) – A vehicle in which electricity is generated through an irreversible electrochemical reaction of hydrogen with oxygen. Hydrogen gas enters the fuel cell, where it reacts with precious metals. A proton exchange membrane, or PEM, then separates the hydrogen protons and electrons. The PEM only allows positively charged ions to pass through its membrane. This forces the electrons to travel through an external circuit, which generates the electricity to run the car’s electric motor and power the accessories. The only by-products of this process are heat and water. Also known as fuel-cell electric vehicle.
Fuel consumption – The amount of fuel needed to cover a specific distance.
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
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.
Fully electric vehicle – A vehicle that uses only an electric motor for propulsion. Fully electric vehicles are different from conventional gasoline or diesel vehicles in that their energy typically comes from being charged for several hours from a standard 110 V or 220 V outlet.
GS (Motorcycle designation suffix) – Dual Sport/Enduro (eg. BMW F650GS)
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 Surprise – Running out of gas and moving to switch to reserve and finding to your horror that you forgot to switch back to fuel last time you filled up and just blew your reserve.
Gas cap – The cover for the fuel inlet on a tank.
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.
Gearbox – Transmission housing.
Gearset – T set of gears within a bike’s transmission.
GearHead (Gearhead) – 1. A person with a strong interest to all things mechanical. 2. A Motorcyclist. 3. Any true mechanic, not just the weekend mechanics.
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.
Get Off – Crash, “Eat Asphalt”
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
Goose – Slang for a Moto Guzzi motorcycle
Goosing it – Canadian. Expression for riding a motorcycle hard and/or fast.
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 head up.
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 communicating 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 color 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.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – Gases in the environment that absorb and emit radiation. Common GHG emissions include water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (NH4), nitrous oxide (NOx), ozone (O3) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC).
Gross axle weight rating (GAWR) – Gross axle weight certified by a vehicle manufacturer for one of the axles, either front or back, measured between the tire and the ground.
Greenpeace – The cage in front of you covered with environmentalist stickers and spewing black smoke into your face.
Green track – A new track with little or no rubber laid down which can be slippery.
Gremlin – A gremlin is blamed when one can’t find the defect or cause of some malady. A mythical creature that is blamed for a problem where the defect or cause cannot be immediately determined or is uknown.
Gremlins got it – Unexplained tanglement of wires/rope/bungee cords.
Grid – A pattern marking the starting points on the track.
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.
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 / Sidehack – A common slang term for a sidecar.
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 – Open the throttle fully or accelerate rapidly
Handgrip – The rubber grip on the handlebars to make a more comfortable hand control.
Hand Signals – Verbal communitcation is not always possible when riding a motorcycle so riders have come up with a method of communicating to other riders by use of universal hand signals. Motorcycle hand signals are important for all riders to know and understand but especially when riding in a group. (When riding in a group the signals should be relayed back through the group.)
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.
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.
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-Ridable – Derogatory term for a Harley
Hardly-Davidson – Derogatory term for a Harley looking motorcycle that is not a Harley-Davidson brand motorcycle.
Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Engines – See Below
- Buckboard Motor – 1905 to 1908, Harley-Davidson sold the “buckboard motor.”
- 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.
- Evolution EVO Sporster Engine – 1986 to Present
- F-head engine – The “F-head” engine becomes a workhorse of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle until 1929.
- 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.
- Ironhead – 1957 to 1985 – Sportster engine
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Harley Wrench – Hammer
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.
Haya-Bubba – Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa
HBUBF – Hairy-Butt-Ugly-But-Fast (term for the Kawasaki Vulcan 750)
HD – Hardley Drivable
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 – 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.
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-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 Siding – 1. Wrecking a bike by flipping it over. Usually caused by releasing the rear break during a skid. 2. Pitching a bike over and away from the direction you are turning. The dangerious kind of crash. 3. When a sliding rear tire suddenly regains traction while the motorcycle is leaned over, causing the motorcycle to violently snap from leaning side tot he other side (the high side).
Highway Bars – Thick, often chrome, tubes that connect to a motorcycle’s frame. Designed to protect the engine in case of a collision, but popular for their appearance. Popular with cruiser-style motorcycles.
Highway Pegs – Foot pegs mounted to highway bars that allow the rider to stretch his or her legs further forward for a more relaxed riding position. using such pegs prevent the rider from having immediate access to the gear shfter and rear brake
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 – A nickname for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
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.”
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.
Homologation – The approval process of the governing body that certifies that all manufacturers motorcycles meet all standards prior to race preparation.
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 mudguard which ‘hugs’ the wheel closely.
Hugger® – A type of Sportster®, so named because its lowered suspension and lowered seat make it appear to “hug” the road.
Hurt Report – 1981 study by University of Southern California of 3,600 motorcycle traffic accidents. Also known as the “Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures”, and consists of 55 conclusions pertaining to crashes, including the effect of motorcycle riders wearing helmets. Click here 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.
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.
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.
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.
Hyperbike: General term for the highest-performing sport bikes, usually of the 1000cc variety and capable of astronomical speeds.
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.”
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.
Increasing Radius Corner – A turn where the arc becomes less sharp as you go through the curve.
Indie Shop – Independent, not franchised
Indicators – Turn signals/blinkers in the UK
Ink Slinger – Tattoo Artist
Inline Four – 1. An inline four cylinder motorcycle (or automotive) engine, these are among the most powerful motors on a motorcycle. 2. An engine with four cylinders in a row.
Inline Six – An engine with six cylinders in a row.
Inline Triple – An engine with three cylinders in a row.
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.
Impeller – Device that assists the movement of fluid.
Injector – Mechanism to squirt fuel or lubrication where required.
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
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
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.
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 – Suzuki 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.
Keystone frame – An American term to describe a diamond-type frame in which the engine serves as part of the structure.
Kickstand – An arm attached to a motorcycle that swings out from the left side to support the bike at rest. Also called a Sidestand.
Kicking Tires – Slang term for standing around motorcycles and talking about them.
Kick start – Before motorcycles had electric starters, they all used kick starters. A lever that one would kick to turn the engine.
Kilowatt – A unit of power equal to 1000 watt. 0,746 kW equals one horsepower. A kW is equal to one kilojoule per second.
Kinnipullin Pin – Clevis pin
Knucklebuster – Open-end wrench
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 – 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.
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)
LT (Motorcycle designation suffix) – Touring (eg. BMW K1200LT)
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.
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.
Lane-splitting – 1. Riding between lanes of traffic on a freeway. 2. Driving between involuntarily parked cages on an overcrowded highway. Legal in some states. 3. Consists of driving between two lanes of traffic at a greater speed than the other vehicles. Although there are times when this could be dangerous, it’s actually legal in many countries. It’s illegal in most U.S. states, but California allows it if it’s done in a safe manner.
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.
Law Maker – Stupid riders that kill themselves on their bikes causing stupid laws to be made ‘For our protection.’
Lay it Down – Laid it Down – Laying the Bike Down – 1. A crash where you slide down on one side of the bike. 2. This when there’s imminent danger of an accident ahead, or ya hit some oil or gravel and ya have to lay the bike down on its side.
Lazy Foot – Shifting gears too lightly/timidly and rather than shifting up a gear you get a false neutral.
Leading link – Front suspension design in which the axle is mounted at the front end of two short links that pivot at the bottom of solid forks. The links are sprung to control movement A long leading-link system has a complete fork that pivots behind the wheel.
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
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.
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.
Lean mixture / Lean burn – A fuel-air mixture in which an excess of air is supplied in proportion to the amount of fuel.
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 Biker – Someone who lives the Bike Lifestyle but chooses not to ride with a club.
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 (Low-side) – 1. A type of motorcycle crash that involves laying the “low side” of the bike too low in a turn, resulting in a loss of traction and grounding the bike. 2. When the rider loses balance of the motorcycle and both fall onto the ground on their low side. 3. A bike falling over onto it’s side that’s lower to the ground. 4. The act of crashing a motorcycle where the rider falls off to the side of the bike which is closest to the ground. Typically caused by the front wheel washing out.
LPR (Lugeless Pavement Racer) – Refers to that high speed slide that accompanies a get off.
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”.
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
Manifold – Pipes that supply fuel to and channel exhaust from the head.
MANF – Multi Adjustable Nut F_ _ ker, aka adjustable spanner! (UK). A wrench that messes up any bolt or nut it is applied to.
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
Maxi-Scooter – Larger sized engined scooters.
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.
MC – M/C – Motorcycle Club, referring to the tightly knit brotherhoods of biker gangs.
Mechanic – Wrench
Meet (Bike Meet(up)) – A meeting of events where one or more events take place.
Megaphone – 1. Megaphone An outwardly tapered high-performance exhaust. 2. Additional chrome tip that goes onto the end of the exhaust to help tune it.
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
Mill – Engine
Milwaukee Vibrator – A Harley-Davidson
Minger – Wheelie
Minibike – A miniature version of a motorcycle. Typically not street legal.
Money Burner – Anyone who rides a Harley-Davidson
Monkey Butt – What you get after riding your dirt bike all day. Soreness from an uncomfortable riding position. Can be caused by riding too long in the same position, chafing or rubbing.
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.
Motocross Bike – Motorcycles designed for closed course or cross-country competition. These bikes are generally more technologically advanced than their off-road counterparts.
Motorcycle(s), Motorbike(s) –Different words used to describe the same thing. But, they are used in different places in the world just like tyre and tire. In North America/Australia we use Motorcycles, in the UK, Europe and Africa, it’s Motorbikes. The origin dates back to non motorized bikes/cycles and if the country your in called them bicycles or bikes.
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 2 wheeling 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.
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 – 1. Bikes with no to a very small fairing. 2. A motorcycle where you can fully see the engine.
Nappa leather – The upper surface of the hide. Smooth and slightly shiny, worked to a soft leather with a fine surface structure.
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”
Nitrogen oxide (NOx) – A collective term that refers to the nitrogen compounds: nitrogen monoxide (NO); nitrogen dioxide (NO2); dinitrogen oxide (N2O); dinitrogen trioxide (N2O3); dinitrogen tetraoxide (N2O4); and dinitrogen pentaoxide (N2O5). Also sometimes referred to as nitrous oxide.
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.
Nad: Nomad 1500G
Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) – The sum of all hydrocarbon air pollutants, except methane, NMHCs include, among many others, ethane, propane, butane and benzene. Vehicles rank among the most important producers of NMHCs, which contribute to the production of smog.
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.
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) – 1. An acronym, “Original Equipment from Manufacturer,” refers to parts or components. 2. The companies that build the bikes. 3. – In the automobile industry, the term refers to the industry’s brand names such as Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, Honda, etc., who are federally licensed and who can warrant or guarantee their product. Licensed component manufacturers such as Bridgestone, Brembo and K&N, are usually referred to as OEM suppliers.
O Ring – A rubber sealing part. Does not need to be in the shape of an O.
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.
Off-camber Turn – Turn that is banked higher on the inside than the outside.
Off-road Bike – Term for a motorcycle designed specifically for off-road use.
Off-road helmet – Motorcycle helmet with a chin guard and sun shield but no visor.
OHC – OverHead Cam.
OHV – Overhead Valve.
Ohlins – A manufacturer of high-quality suspension components.
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 Bag – Oil tank
Oil Dripper – Slang term, refers to the earlier American and British bikes and often still used towards the modern ones.
Oilheads – Newer, air and oil cooled BMW Boxer engines.
Oil Pressure Warning Light – Too Late Light
Old Lady – Wife or steady girlfriend of a club member.
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.
On Rails – Expression when a motorcycle holds a corner extremely well at speed. (The bike felt like it was on rails through that corner).
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 doesn’t wear a helmet
Original owner – The first owner of the motorcycle who purchases a brand new bike from a dealer.
Originals – A member’s first set of colors which are never to be cleaned.
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-Pad – Pillion Pad – The passenger seat
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
Pancake Engine – Horizontally opposed engine. (i.e.. BMW Boxer or Honda Goldwing engine)
Pan Panhead – 1. Slang for the Harley-Davidson engine produced between 1948 and 1965. Named after the valve covers that look like small turkey roasting pans. 2. The Panhead Engine (V-Twin, produced from 1948 – 1965). 3. Harley-Davidson’s second generation overhead valve Big Twin.
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
Patch holder – a club biker
Patches – Patches are sewed onto a jacket or shirt to signify a club, brand or something of note.
PCV – Positive Crank Ventilation. Vents crankcase vapors into the intake manifold to control pollution.
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 (or ballast). 1. Motorcycle passenger (on the back seat). 2. chiefly British : a motorcycle or bicycle saddle for a passenger.
Pillion Pad– A small seat attached to the rear fender of a motorcycle to provide seating for a passenger.
Pinched – Picked up by the police
Pin It – To open the throttle wide open.
Pipes – Exhaust System.
Pisspot – An old-fashioned open faced helmet usually favored 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 of hydraulic 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 Crew – Mechanics and or assistants.
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 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.
Planetary gear – A gear driven by a central sun gear or crown wheel.
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.
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.
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 the clutch out quickly to achieve a fast start.
Port – Opening into a cylinder.
Ports – intake & exhaust valve openings
Poser – A wannabe Biker (i.e. Shiny new leather). A pretend biker.
Positive Camber Turn – Turn that is banked such that the outside of the turn is higher than the inside of the turn. Properly banked speedways and freeways have positive camber turns.
Postie bike – A single 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 variations: single 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 RPM – The number of revolutions per minute at which the maximum power occurs.
Powerband – The RPM range of an engine where the most power is produced.
Power Plant – The motorcycle engine.
Power Ranger – A derogatory term typically applied to owners of sportbikes who have 1-piece leathers color-matched to their bikes.
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-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).
Power wheelie – Using the engine’s power to bring up the front wheel into a wheelie during acceleration.
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. A rich mixture can lead to detonation due to excessive carbon buildup in the combustion chamber decreasing its volume and raising the compression excessively.
Primary Drive – The drive method of connecting the engines crankshaft to its transmission.
Pivateers – Racers who do not have the backing of a manufacturer.
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 armor 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.
Pavement Surfing (PS) – Being thrown from your bike and skidding along the highway.