Last time we looked at biker specific terms, the lingo used by bikers allowing you not to stand out in a crowd of bikers. But it’s not only this general terms that you’d need to know, but there’s also a bunch of terms related to motorcycles.
Here are several motorcycle-specific terms:
ABS – Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is a safety system that allows the wheels on a motorcycle to continue interacting with the road surface as directed by biker steering inputs while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up (that is, ceasing rotation) and therefore avoiding skidding.
Ape Hangers - Ape hanger handlebars rise far above the mounting location so that the rider must reach up to use them, hence the name. They are popular on chopper motorcycles. They are available in heights up to 20 inches. Some jurisdictions have regulations on how high the handgrips may be above the seat.
Bagger – A motorcycle equipped with saddlebags and other touring amenities.
Beemer – BMW
Rice Burner – Japanese sportsbike
BHP – Brake horse power. A unit of measurement for engine power output.
Blinkers - Turn Signals
Bob, Bobbers, Bobbed or Bobbing – A bobber is a custom motorcycle that usually has had the front fender removed, the rear fender “bobbed” or made smaller, and all superfluous parts removed to make it lighter This was all part of the early customizing done by the returning WWII fighter pilots.
Brake horsepower - Brake horsepower (bhp) is the measure of an engine’s horsepower before the loss in power caused by the gearbox, alternator, differential, water pump, and other auxiliary components such as power steering pump, muffled exhaust system, etc
Cafe Racer – A cafe racer, originally pronounced “kaff racer” is a term used for a type of motorcycle, as well as the motorcyclists who ride them. Both meanings have their roots in the 1960s British Rocker or Ton-up boy subculture, although the type of motorcycles were also common in Italy, France and other European countries. The term refers to a style of motorcycles that were and are used for fast rides from one coffee bar to another.
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.
Chicken Strips – The tread remaining on the sidewalls of a motorcycle. How much of this there is (or isn’t) is how some bikers size each other up. The less chicken strips, the more angle you will have used when taking curves.
Chopper – A chopper is a type of motorcycle that was either modified from an original motorcycle design (“chopped”) or built from scratch to have a hand-crafted appearance. The main features of a chopper that make it stand out are its longer frame design accompanied by a stretch front end, or increased rake angle.
Crotch Rocket – Sports motorcycle
Cruiser – Cruiser is the term for motorcycles that mimic the design style of American machines from the 1930s to the early 1960s, including those made by Harley-Davidson, Indian, Excelsior and Henderson.
Dirt Bike – Off-road motorcycles that are not legal on the street.
Dresser – A motorcycle set up for long distance touring.
Dual Sport - A motorcycle made for both on and off the road travel.
Duc or Duck- A Ducati motorcycle.
Enduro – Enduro is a form of motorcycle sportrun on courses that are predominantly off-road. Enduro consists of many different obstacles and challenges
Fairing - The plastic body panels that protect the rider from the wind and rain and from other debris.
Gixer – Suzuki GSXR Series motorcycles
Goose - A Moto Guzzi motorcycle
H.O.G. – Harley Owners Group – but it also relates to the larger Harley models.
Hack – A term for a motorcycle sidecar.
Husky - Husqvarna motorcycle.
Kwak – Kawasaki
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 not be capable of propelling the moped over 30 MPH (50km/h) on level ground.
Motocross – Motocross is a form of motorcycle racing held on enclosed off road circuits.
Naked Bike - Motorcycles with no or a very small fairing; allowing you to fully see the engine.
OEM – “Original Equipment from Manufacturer,” refering to parts or components.
Pasta Rocket - Italian Sportbike (Ducati, Aprilia, MV Agusta, Benelli).
Pipes – Exhaust System.
Rev(s) - See Revolutions Per Minute (RPM). A term used to describe how fast an engine is spinning.
RPM – “Revolutions Per Minute “. The number of revolutions the engine makes in a minute.
Rice Rocket - Japanese Sport Motorcycle
Sissy Bar – The backrest put behind the pillion part of the saddle.
Sled - A motorcycle.
Street Fighter - A bare bones sportbike (or any bike that originally had fairings) stripped of all extraneous bodywork. Also called a hooligan bike.
Stock – A motorcycle set up to OEM specifications with no alterations.
Super-motard – Supermoto or Supermotard is motorcycle racing on a circuit that alternates between three types of track: flat track, motocross and road racing, using motorcycles designed for that purpose.
Trials Bike – For competition over radical, rough terrain. Trials motorcycles are designed to be extremely light, minimalist off-road specialties with low gear ratios, high ground clearance and a control layout suited for a standing rider .
Trike – A three-wheeled motorcycle with no sidecar.
Trumpet – Triumph motorcycle.