Here is a large list of terms, acronyms, slang and defintions for all types of motorcycle's and motorcyclist's. Check it out and learn something. Have a term or phrase you think will make the list. E-mail it to us at email@example.com .
ABS: Antilock Brake System. 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.
Alternator: Electronic generator that makes alternating current by spinning a magnetic rotor inside a coil-wound stator.
Anchor(s): Brakes (see also Binders)
Anti-Dive System: A front-end suspension component that reduces how much the forks compress under braking, popular in the late 1980s, but seldom used now.
Ape Hangers: Handlebars that are very high, and which often raise the rider's hands above the shoulders. Refers to a handlebar style where the handgrips are located at a higher position, so as to enable the rider's arms to hang from above.
Apex: The middle or center point of a turn.
Armor: Protective padding you can attach to your clothing that absorbs energy on impact.
BFH: Big Flipping (Censored for younger visitors) Hammer used to remove rusted, seized or crashed parts from your ride.
BHP: Brake Horsepower -Although theoretically equal to standard horsepower, "brake" horsepower specifies that a specific engineering process was used to arrive at that horsepower number.
B.R.A.G.: Buell Riders Adventure Group
Back Door: The last (and most experienced) rider in a group ride.
Back Warmer: A girl on the back of your motorcycle. (see also Seat Cover)
Baffle: Sound deadening material that sits inside a muffler and quiets the exhaust note
Bar Bike: The cool customs and "1 Mile" bikes that are only ridden on Friday or Saturday evenings during the summer (and only if it's not going to rain) to cruise from bar to bar.
Barn Disease: When a bike has been idle a few years and the battery is dead, calipers seized and the carbs are filled with carmelized gas.
Barn Queen: That really pristine bike everyone claims a buddy found in some farmer's barn and bought for $50.
Barrels: Another term for Cylinders, Buckets or Jugs.
Bash plate: A protective plate fitted under the engines of off-road machines to prevent damage caused by grounding.
Bell mouth: Bell-shaped air intake fitted to some carburetors.
Bevel gears: A pair of gears with faces cut at an angle of 45 degrees, allowing drive to be turned through 90 degrees.
B.D.C.: Bottom dead centre. The point during crankshaft rotation at which the piston is in its lowest possible position.
Basket Case: A Bike being built from scratch with parts from other Bikes.
Belly-Shover: Racer Replica, Crotch Rocket, Zipper Head, Etc.
Bible: Repair manual.
Big End: End of connecting rod that fits on the crankshaft
Big Slab: Interstate Highway
Big Twin: Any large sized V-Twin motorcycle engine. Typically American made.
Blockhead: The Evolution® engine (V-Twin, produced from 1984 - 2000)
Biker: A Motorcycle Lover. True bikers have a passion for the art of motorcycling, and easily get all wrapped up in this passion during even a simple ride. True bikers do not care about brand, style culture, other than to be on two wheels. Just for the joy of a ride will do.
Biker Friendly: A business establishment that doesn't treat you like you have the plague when you walk in wearing leather.
Bitch Bar: A sissy bar.
Bitch Pad: Passenger Seat (see also Seat Cover or Back Warmer)
Blackie: A dark streak left on the asphalt when a motorcycle drills away from a stop. White smoke often accompanies the formation of a blackie.
Blinkers: Turn Signals, optionally ones hands. Some signals not needed.
Blip: Snapping the throttle quickly, as in "blip the throttle".
Blown: A bike that is supercharged.
Blue Hairs: Elderly Cage Drivers. (Censored for younger readers)
Bobbers: 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.
Bone yard: Salvage yard for used bikes & parts.
Bore: The measurement of a cylinders diameter (see also stroke).
Brain Bucket: Slang term for a helmet. (Get it on!)
BUB: Broke Urban Biker
Bubble Gum: Law ahead, usually patting the top of your helmet warns those behind you that a cop is ahead.
BUBF: Butt Ugly But Fast (Many Metric Cruisers)
Burnout: Spinning the rear wheel while holding the front brake and where bike stays in one place.
Busa: GSX1300R Hayabusa. Scary fast off the dealer floor. No mods needed.
Bush Pad: Passenger Seat
Cafe Racer: Sport bike. In Europe Bikers would ride from coffee house to coffee house.
Cage: A car, truck, van or vehicle with more than two wheels (Trikes excluded). The sworn enemy of motorcyclists, more commonly known as cars. The name stems from being all cooped up inside a closed shell, with no contact with the outside world.
Cager: A person driving a car, truck, or van. Cage operator, or driver.
Cam: An eccentrically shaped rotor that converts rotational movement into linear movement. Cams are used in the operation of valves, contact breaker points, and drum brakes.
Camshaft: A shaft with two or more cams used in the four stroke engine to operate inlet and/or exhaust valves.
Can: Muffler, Silencer, Exhaust
Canning it: Self-explanatory terms for taking the bike for 'a blast'.
Canyon Carving: Riding the twisties (road curves/corners) to an extreme. This is Living!!
Carb: Carburetor, Fuel Management System (see next listing)
Carburetor: The part of the bike that mixes air and fuel in correct proportions before it is entered into the engine cylinder(s).
Carma: Like traditional Karma but occurs when cager's do stupid things to bikers. The energy is much more fierce and vengeful and will infect a cager's vehicle with massive vehicle failure. Also works in positive ways if a cager allows a biker plenty of room and are aware of their presence and respect their right to the road.
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. This is especially on hot days and the tires are sticky.
Chase Vehicle: Van or truck that follows a pack of riders on a run to assist or haul any bikes that might break down assistance. Frequently seen with groups of Harley riders (older models).
Checkbook Biker: (See also InstaBiker, Weekend Warrior) Someone who goes down to the dealership and writes a check for a new bike and new gear.
Cherry Tops: Cop cars
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. Rolling the edge over is the goal!
Chopper: 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 gains and there was no aftermarket back then. Owners began to remove unnecessary parts and eventually began to cut away (or "chop") sections of the bike and frame.
Chrome Slut: Those addicted to putting on more and more chrome, regardless of the functionality.
Citizen: Anyone who is not a member of a Biker Organization.
Clip-ons: Low racing handlebars that clamp directly onto the fork legs.
Club: A motorcycle organization made up of members who have banded together in a common interest.
Clubber: One who has club affiliation.
Clutch: The clutch is operated by a handle in order to engage or disengage power to the rear wheel.
Colors: Signifies a motorcycle club or organization patch.
Combustion chamber: The part of the cylinder in which the fuel is compressed and explodes.
Commuter: Anyone who normally rides his Bike to and from work.
Compression: A condition in which the volume of fuel and air in an engine cylinder is reduced as a result of increased pressure by a piston. The compression ratio of an engine is the ratio of the volume above the piston at the bottom of its compression stroke to the volume above the piston at the top of its stroke.
Compression ratio: The compression ratio specifies how much the fuel is compressed when the engine's piston is at its highest point.
Corn Snakes: Dried cornstalks that blow across the road especially at harvest time.
Counter balancer: A weight in the engine that spins with the rpm to smooth out engine vibrations.
Counter steering: Turning the bikes handlebars in one direction(at higher speeds) and having it go in the opposite direction at slower speeds. Counter Steering allows for higher performance riding and techniques.
Cordura: A highly durable, nylon fiber, made exclusively by Dupont. Superior abrasion resistance over any other fabric in a head to head comparison. Hundreds of nylon materials exist but 500 Denier Cordura is the industry minimum standard for apparel material abrasion and tear strength.
Crack It: Turning up the throttle
Cradle Frame: Frame with two tubes passing under the engine.
Crankshaft: The cranked shaft in an engine that changes the pistons linear motion into rotational motion.
Crash Bars: An alternative term for engine guards.
Crossover: Small piece of pipe that connects a front & rear cylinder exhaust pipe together.
Crotch Rocket: A term for Sport Bikes. A small bike with a big HP engine.
Cruiser: A newer term that refers to the laid back styled street bikes with chrome and boulevard styling.
Cush Drive: A transmission shock absorber, usually a rubber cushion in the rear hub.
Cylinder: 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.
Cylinder head: The engine piece that closes off the top end of a cylinder.
Damper: Means of controlling speed of movement of the steering or suspension.
Death Grip: Usually how a first time rider grabs the handle bars.
Denier: A unit of measurement used to describe the strength of a material like nylon.
Desmodromic: Valve gear operation in which the camshaft actively closes as well as opens the valves.
Detonation: When the air/fuel mixture explodes out of sequence either due to poor tuning, timing, or poor fuel quality.
Distributor: Device used in the ignition system of some multi-cylinder machines to send the high tension part of the correct cylinder.
Donor: Firefighter term for Sport bike riders because their drivers tend to kill themselves.
D.O.H.C.: Double overhead camshaft. Two camshafts fitted into the cylinder head.
D.O.T.: Department of Transportation
Drag Bars: A straight styled handlebar that does not sweep up from the risers. Low, flat, straight handlebars.
Drag Pipes: These were short exhaust pipes that ran low along the frame.
Druid Forks: Side-sprung girder forks. Druid were the original makers
Dual Sport: A dual purpose motorcycle, made for both on and off the road travel.
Duals: 2 separate Exhaust pipes, one each for cylinder. 2 cylinder applications typically.
Dynamo: Electric generator that produces alternating current.
Eat it!: Crash
ECM: Electronic Control Module - The computer that controls various aspects of your motorcycle's performance including ignition, timing, and fuel to air ratio.
EFI: Electronic Fuel Injection
Eighty Six (86): If someone is 86 they are cut off. If you are 86 from alcohol in public places they are not allowed to drink in public. Some are 86 from club functions.
Endo: The art of stopping a motorcycle and having the rear wheel lift off the ground, a reverse of the catwalk/wheelie. Also called a stoppie.
Enduro: Typically this category includes bikes which are tuned and equipped for driving on the roads as well as off road.
Engine Guards: Metal tubes bolted to the motorcycle's frame that should protect the engine from damage in the event of an accident.
Engine Cut-off 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. Also known as the "kill switch."
Epicyclic Gear: A gear that operates around the circumference of another.
Ergonomics: The study of body posture, and the positioning of instruments, to create a good human-to-machine interface. "Good ergonomics" refers to how well a motorcycle fits a rider for its intended use.
Evo: Evolution® - The Evolution engine (V-Twin, produced from 1984 - 2000)
Exhaust System: Pipes designed to remove spent gases from your engine. A proper exhaust system will improve perform while keeping sound levels low.
Face Cam: A cam system in which the eccentrics are situated on the face of a rotating disc.
Fairing: The plastic shrouds that deflect wind and rain from the rider, the motorcycling equivalent of automotive bodywork.
Fathead: The Twin-Cam engine (V-Twin, produced from 1999 - Current Day)
Flathead: The Flathead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1929 - 1972)
Fat: Too Rich Fuel Mixture.
Fender Bunny: Nice babe on the back of a bike.
Fiddly-bits: Those chrome do-dads all over saddle bags, seats, and the riders apparel.
Final Drive: Means of transmitting power to the driven wheel, usually by chain, shaft, or belt.
Fishtails: The exhaust tip or the end of a muffler looks like a Fishtail from the side.
Float Bowl: The fuel reservoir on a carburetor into which fuel flow is controlled by a valve operated by a float.
Flogging it: Getting on the throttle hard and shifting thru the gears. Making the motor work for it.
Flower Pot: A cheap helmet, typically not DOT or Snell-approved head protection device. We will visit you in the dirt garden.
Fluid Swap: Stopping for gas and to take a leak.
Flying Colors: Riding while wearing the club/organization's colors
Fore-and-aft Flat Twin: A flat-twin engine mounted with cylinders positioned in line with the frame.
Forks: The sprung metal tubes that connect the front wheel to the motorcycle triple-tree.
Front Door: Leader of a group ride
FUBAR: Which is a very old slang acronym meaning "F_ _ked Up Beyond All recognition." Pertaining to the sad, inoperable and unfixable state of someone's bike, engine or their self.
Fuel-injection: A device that 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.
GAG IT: A full roll-on in high gear from about 50-60mph (emphasizes low rpm torque).
Garbage Wagon: A stock motorcycle with standard parts intact, very heavily loaded with saddle bags, chrome and accessories. Frequently the Gold Wing or Harley Full Dresser.
Gas lottery: 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.
Gauges: Displays information to the rider on speed, RPM, Odometer, Fuel, Trip Distance and more.
Gear: The set of toothed parts, such as wheels, disks and chains, that mesh with the teeth in similar, but different-sized parts in order to transmit force and motion between rotating shafts. Gears control the number of revolutions per minute and hence the force.
Gear ratio: A gearbox contains several toothed wheels that are connected and disconnected to each other in order to switch into the intended gear. The gear ratio is the ratio between the number of teeth of the two wheels that are connected at a given time. If one wheel has 25 teeth and the attached one has 50, there is a 2:1 ratio.
Gear Head: Any true mechanic, not just the weekenders or shade tree guys. Someone capable of making a living doing it.
Get-Off: Crash. Sore for a while. Expensive to correct.
Girder Forks: Type of forks common on early machines, comprising rigid beams attached to the steering head by parallel links that allowed movement.
Gixxer: GSXR Series Bikes, Typically guys with more show than go.
Gore-Tex: Thin, lightweight membrane mounted between the face fabric and the lining. It is Waterproof, Windproof and Breathable.
Grabbing a Handful: Applying Brakes or twisting the throttle in excess.
Ground clearance: The distance between the ground and the lowest part of the motorcycle apart.
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.
H.O.G.: Harley Owners Group
Hammer Down: Open the throttle fully or accelerate rapidly.
Hard Tail: A rigid motorcycle frame with no shock absorbing device on the rear. (See Kidney Replacement)
Helical Gear: A gear with a spiral or semi-spiral meshing face.
Helmet: (See also Skid Lid, Brain Bucket) Just plain smart to wear one. Get it On!
Helmet Hair: Name given to the condition of your hair when you take your helmet off - usually sticking out all over the place. Bandannas or other such scarves can be used to hold your hair down, thus preventing helmet hair.
High Siding: Wrecking a bike by flipping it over. Usually caused by sliding the rear tire, then the tire instantly grips the road. Hold on - it is gonna hurt!
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."
Horizontally Opposed: Type of engine layout in which the cylinders are placed at 180 degrees to one another. It is also described as a flat twin/four etc. or a boxer engine.
Horsepower: The power of the engine. 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.
Hosed: Another way of saying you are screwed.
Hub-Center Steering: Steering system in which the wheel pivots about its centre point; the axle is normally fixed.
Hugger: A mud guard which 'hugs' the wheel closely. Frequently seen on Sport bikes.
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.
Indicators: Turn signals, blinkers, or your hands.
In-line: Engine layout in which the cylinders are arranged in a row, and in-line with the wheels of the machine.
Iron Butt: An entire association was created called the Iron Butt Association. It is reserved for those that can pack a lot of mileage on few days. The IBA holds annual events.
Jap-Crap: Insult - Japanese motorcycles.
Jesus Clip: A small part that you will drop, followed by "Oh Jesus", 'cause you know you will never find it.
Jockey Shift: 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.
Jukebox: Any over-dressed bike Keep the rubber side down: Ride safe, don't lay the bike down.
Kevlar: Kevlar is the strongest fiber known to man. Kevlar is made by Dupont and for apparel use comes in a thread form.
Knuckle buster: Open end wrench
Knucklehead: 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. The Knucklehead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1936 - 1947)
Lane-splitting: Driving between involuntarily parked cages on an overcrowded highway. Legal in some states.
Law Maker: Stupid riders that kill themselves on their bikes causing stupid laws to be made "for our protection".
Laid it Down: This when there's imminent danger of an accident ahead, or you hit some oil, gravel or other media and you have to lay the bike down on its side. to save yourself.
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.
Leading Shoe: A brake shoe whose operating mechanism is adjacent to its leading edge. Twin leading shoe brakes have two operating cams.
Leaf Spring: A spring that comprises strips of spring steel clamped together One end is fixed and the other is attached to the spring component.
Leathers: The jacket/gloves/etc (safety gear) used by riders that is made out of leather.
Line: In relation to a turn. The predicted or preferred path a motorcycle will make through a turn.
Low Side: A crash that results from a wheel losing traction, allowing the bike to fall sideways.
Mag Alloy: Magnesium alloy, a strong lightweight metal used for many components, particularly wheels.
Magneto: A high-tension spark generator for the ignition system that does not require an external power source.
Manifold: A branched collection of pipes for inlet or exhaust gases.
Mechanic: Wrench. Someone truly capable of building, repairing and maintaining a motorcycle.
Megaphone: An outwardly tapered high-performance exhaust.
Monkey Butt: What you get after riding your bike all day.
MSF: Motorcycle Safety Foundation (Training). The highly recommended way to learn how to properly and safely ride a motorcycle. Offered in most states for a very reasonable price.
Multi-Plate Clutch: A clutch with several friction and drive plates. Its compact size makes it ideal for motorcycles.
OEM: An acronym, "Original Equipment from Manufacturer," refers to parts or components. Odometer - Device that stores the mileage (distance driven). Usually located on the speedometer.
O.H.C.: Overhead camshaft
O.H.V.: Overhead valve. Valves situated in the cylinder head above the combustion chamber. They are operated by pushrods controlled by a camshaft situated below the cylinder head
Oiler: Slang term, refers to the earlier American and British bikes and often still used towards the modern ones.
Oil Pressure Warning Light: You should have checked before you left for your 500 mile trip.
On Rails: Expression when a motorcycle holds a corner extremely well at speed.
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
Organ Donor: A biker who doesn't wear a helmet
Overbrake: The process of "slamming on the brake", which locks the wheel and sends the motorcycle into a skid. If you overbrake the front wheel, your bike may flip - and you with it!
Over Square: An engine with a greater cylinder bore than piston stroke.
Pan Head: The Pan head Engine (V-Twin, produced from 1948 - 1965)
Parallel Twin: A two-cylinder engine layout in which both cylinders are side by side and mounted across the frame.
Passenger Backrest: Sissy Bar
Pasta Rocket: Italian Sport bike (Ducati, Aprilia, MV Agusta, Benelli)
Pavement Surfing: Being thrown from your bike and skidding along the highway.
Petcock: The fuel valve, usually found on the side of the gas tank.
Pinion: A small gear.
Pipes: Exhaust System
Planetary Gear: A gear driven by a central sun gear or crown wheel.
Plugs: Spark Plugs
Plunger Suspension: A suspension system in which the vertical movement of the axle is controlled by springs mounted above and below the axle.
PMS: Parked Motorcycle Syndrome
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.
Ports: Intake & exhaust valve openings
Port Timing: In two-stroke engines the critical moment when ports are covered or uncovered by the piston.
Poser: A wannabe Biker
Power Shower: Riding in the rain without rain gear.
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* mix. 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 build-up in the combustion chamber decreasing its volume and raising the compression excessively.
Primary Drive: The system of transferring power from the engine to the gearbox. Usually achieved by chain or gear.
Protein Facial: What you get on the highway without a windshield
Pucker Factor: Refers to a very close call and to how close it really was.
Pull: Ability to accelerate
Pushrod: Metal rod used to transmit linear motion, most often from camshaft to rocker arm on o.h.v. engines.
Rainbows: Diesel fuel or oil on the road or in the corners. Typically very dangerous.
Rake: Rake, measured in degrees, describes the angle of the front fork or the steering axis from the horizontal or vertical plane.
Rear Sets: Racing-style footrests fitted towards the rear of the machine to allow the rider to adopt a racing crouch.
Rebound: Defines the return stroke of the suspension.
Rectifier: A component that converts alternating current into direct current.
Redline: The maximum number of revolutions per minute an engine can run before damage occurs. The name is derived from the actual red line manufacturers typically put on the tachometer.
RPM: Revolutions Per Minute. The number of revolutions the engine makes in a minute.
Rice Burner: Term for a Japanese made motorcycle.
Rice Rocket: Japanese Sport Bike.
Rigid: A type of frame that has no swing arm or suspension. It is a one piece neck to rear axle frame.
Rippin' it Up:
Rising Rate: A suspension system that becomes harder to compress the further it is compressed. This is usually achieved by a mechanical lineage with variable leverage ratio.
Road Rash: A Wipeout that scrapes off some of your skin. Marks left behind on a biker's body after falling down while moving.
Rocker Arm: Centrally pivoted arm acting as a lever to open valves.
Rolling Chassis: Incomplete project bike, has everything but mill & transmission.
Roost: The spray of dirt off the rear wheel of a motocross motorcycle.
RUB: Rich Urban Biker. A term usually used by real Harley Bikers to describe the weekend wannabe accountant types who buy a Harley ''cause they can and the status of it, but couldn't tell a camshaft from a brake pad. Bikers that ride with more money than knowlegde, experience, and "street savvy".
Rubber: Tires or Skins.
Rubber side: Towards the bottom of the bike, or bottom area of a part or component. "Keep the rubber side down".
Scoot/Scooter: Slang term for a motorcycle.
Servo: Any system used to assist a mechanism to operate with greater force than that initially applied to it.
Shaft drive: As an alternative to chain or belt drive to transfer power to the rear wheel, shaft drive is the solution that requires least maintenance, but is also possibly the heaviest solution. On some bikes there is a notable elevation effect when accelerating.
Shiny Side Up: (Keep the Shiny Side Up) - Drive Safe, Don't Lay the Bike Down.
Shovelhead: The Shovelhead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1966 - 1984)
Show a Wheel: Riding behind someone so close that he saw your wheel beside him. Typically occurs on the race track.
Side Valve: Valves positioned at the side of a cylinder.
SIPDE: An MSF term used to help you remember what to do when making judgments in traffic - Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute.
Sissy Bar: Passenger Backrest
Skid Lid: Term for a helmet. Get it On!
Skirt: The part of a component that hangs down, particularly the area of a piston.
Slide: Throttle throat opening mechanism on a CV carb controlled by a diaphram & Vacuum.
S.O.H.C.: Single overhead camshaft.
Soft Tail: Refers to a mono-shock swing arm bike, has the rigid or hard tail styling yet full rear suspension capability. One major company utilizes a play-on version of the word to describe their line-up of this style.
Software: What your back warmer presses into your back.
Spark Plugs: A device that lights an electric spark within the combustion chamber to burn the fuel in the cylinder.
Spoke: A rod that connects the hub and rim on a wheel.
Sport bike: Replica Racers, light weight, mega fast bikes with full fairing. These bikes are made for hard acceleration, quick and responsive maneuvering, and rapid stopping power.
Sport Standard: An attempt to declassify sport bikes, essentially they are fairing-less sport bikes. They fall between a Sport Bike and a Standard, with some racy styling and a little more upright riding stance. Also called “Naked” sometimes.
Sport-touring: Motorcycles that go under this category are a compromise between powerful sports bikes and touring bikes. These bikes often have good aerodynamics and lots of power, making the top models of this category the fastest bikes around.
Squid: Acronym, Squirrely kid.
Stand up: When you raise your body or 'stand' while riding your bike.
Standard: A more upright styled bike, with little attention to styling. Generally more powerful than cruisers but not anything like a sport bike.
Stay Vertical: Stay upright, don't crash
Steering Aids: Ruts in the road formed by heavy trucks that try to steer your bike for you.
Steering damper: A steering damper is mounted to a motorcycle's frame and fork to prevent situations like a wobble or head shake. Typically resulting from hard acceleration, reducing weight from the front.
Steering lock: A lock that enables one to lock the fork at an extreme right or left to prevent or hinder theft.
Stock: A motorcycle set up to OEM specifications with no alterations
Stoppie: The art of stopping a motorcycle and having the rear wheel lift off the ground, the reverse of a wheelie. Also known as Endo.
Straight Pipes: An exhaust system with no baffles inside thus the exhaust travels straight through unrestricted. (very loud)
Straight-shooter: Tells it like it is, no b.s., talks the truth, speaks their mind.
Stressed Member: A component that is an integral part of the whole structure.
Stretch: A chopper term for increasing the neck rake of a motorcycle by extending the length of the frame's front down tubes, which is that part of the frame between the neck and the front motor mounts.
Stroke: The distance traveled in either direction of by an piston or rod in an engine. Do not mix up with stroke as in 4-stroke.
Subframe: Any auxiliary framework attached to the main body of a vehicle. On a motorcycle this often refers to the rear section of the frame, which supports the seat etc.
Suicide Shift: An early-style gear shift mechanism. Unlike modern motorcycles, early motorcycles used a foot-actuated clutch and the gear shifting was done with the rider's hand via a long gear shift knob that was connected directly to the transmission. Because the rider had to remove one of his hands from the handlebars in order to shift - a dangerous prospect given that most of the thoroughfares of the day were rutted, unpaved dirt roads or brick and cobblestone streets - many people felt that motorcycle riders were literally "taking their lives into their own hands" ... hence the term, "suicide shift".
Supercharger: Mechanically powered device that compresses the combustible charge into the cylinder, artificially increasing the compression ratio. When the "blower" is driven by exhaust gas, the device is called a turbocharger.
Super-motard: A motorcycle category which defines urban designed cross or enduro bikes. Ideal for aggressive city riding.
Suspension: The system of springs, shock absorbers, or similar devices connection the axels to the frame of a motor cycle. Designed to reduce unwanted motion transmitted from the riding surface.
Sweep: The last and most experienced rider in a group ride.
Swing arm: The rear portion of a bike that the rear wheel mounts to, a pivoting structure that moves up and down with the rear suspension.
Tachometer: An instrument that displays revolutions per minute.
Tall: High Final Drive Gear Ratio
Tank Slapper: When you get off the side of the road and the handlebars start slamming back and forth. You are almost thrown, but stay on some how.
Tar Snake: An uneven, slippery patch in a road crack.
T.D.C.: Top dead centre. The point at which the crankshaft and piston are in their highest possible position.
Telescopic Forks: Front suspension system with two fork legs, each with sliding and fixed tubular members that telescope together to allow suspension movement.
Textiles: The jacket/gloves/etc (safety gear) used by riders that is made out of textile.
Throttle: The throttle controls the engine's power by restricting the substance that enters the engine.
Thumper: A single cylinder bike.
Thrashing it: Self-explanatory terms for taking the bike for 'a blast'.
Timing: Measurement of the moment at which valves open or close, or when the spark occurs. It is normally expressed in degrees or millimeters before T.D.C.
Tire: Rubber, Skins
Touring Bike: A type of motorcycle designed for long distance riding, typically a heavier bike with hard luggage and comfortable seating arrangements.
Torque: The tendency of a force to cause an object to rotate. In an engine, the torque is expressed as the force applied multiplied by the distance from the center of rotation. It is the basic measure of the propulsive effect of a powered wheel. The measure of the force applied to produce rotational motion usually measured in foot-pounds or Nm. Torque is determined by multiplying the applied force by the distance from the pivot point to the point where the force is applied.
Total Loss: Ignition or lubrication system in which electricity or oil is used without being generated or recirculated. The ignition system uses power from a battery, eventually running it flat. The lubrication system uses oil without returning it to a tank. Both systems were common on early motorcycles. Two-stroke engines use a total-loss lubrication system.
Trailer Boy: Someone who trailers there bike long distances.
Trailing Link: Front suspension design similar to leading link except the layout is reversed: the links pivot forward of the axle.
Transmission: The system of gears and chains by which power is transmitted from the engine to the driving wheel.
Trial Riding: Trial is the sport of riding specifically designed bikes to overcome obstacles that often require difficult stunts like jumping from a stand-still without touching feet to the ground. A trial bike is very light-weight and is easily distinguished from other off-road bikes by the appearance that the rider will have a hard time finding a seat on it.
Trike: A three-wheeled motorcycle.
Triple: A three cylinder inline motorcycle engine.
Triple Clamps: The two pieces that attach the bike's front end to the frame, named after the three positions on each piece; one for each fork tube and a center for the steering stem.
Tubeless tire: A tire without an inner tube. It's not recommended for a motorcycle because it tends to deflate rapidly when it's punctured, which would cause sudden loss of control for the rider.
Tuck: Crouched aerodynamically best riding position used to decrease drag and increase speed
Turn Signals: Blinkers
Twisties: Section of road with a lot of turns.
Two Into One: 2 exhaust header pipes mating into one pipe
Two-Stroke Engine: A once-common type of engine now found almost exclusively in off-road motorcycles. A two-stroke motor fires once with every two strokes of the piston. 1) Once fired, the downward stroke of the piston delivers power and then draws in a mixture of fuel, air and oil which displaces the exhaust gases in the combustion chamber; 2) the upward stroke compresses the mixture for ignition.
Unsprung Weight: The weight of that part of the machine that is not sprung, ie wheels, brakes, tires, and half of the suspension.
Upside-Down Forks: Telescopic forks in which the lower section, on which the steel is mounted, telescopes into the fixed upper tube. They are sometimes called inverted telescopic forks on earlier bikes.
V-Four: A four cylinder motorcycle engine with the cylinders arranged in two rows in an angled V.
V-Twin: A 2 cylinder motorcycle engine with the cylinders arranged in an angled V This configuration can allow for optimum torque for a given displacement.
Valve: A device that regulates the passage of fuel through into an engine cylinder. A valve is a mechanical device that controls the entry of fuel/air mixture into a combustion chamber, as well as the exit of spent combustion gases from the same.
VIN: Vehicle Identification Number
Weekend Warrior: Insta-biker types
WFO: Wide F_ _ king Open (throttle).
Wheelbase: The distance between the center of the wheel hubs on the motorcycle.
Wheelie: Raising the front wheel in an effort to go quickly.
Wind Shield: Wind Screen
Worm and Pinion Gear: System for turning rotational movement through 90 degrees, in which a pinion is turned by a spirally cut gear.
Wrenching: Actually doing the maintenance and repair of a motorcycle.