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updated 3/11/2015

Motorcycle Terminology
American Motorcyclist Association

Back Door
The last (and most experienced) rider in a group ride

Back Marker
A slow rider marking the back of the pack

Back Warmer
A girl on the back of your motorcycle

Explosion of the fuel in the intake manifold or carburetor, but often used to describe the explosion of unburned fuel in the exhaust system.

Where you ride often

Sound deadening material that sits inside a muffler and quiets the exhaust note

A motorcycle equipped with saddlebags and other touring amenities.

Motorcycle brakes

Salvage yard for used bikes & parts

Brain Bucket
A motorcycle helmet

Bubble Gum Machine
Patting the top of the helmet as a signal to other rides that police are ahead.

Spinning out the rear wheel usually with the front brake locked. Done briefly before a race to warm up the rear tire or done for show that burns a lot of rubber and is a fast way to shorten the tire's life.

Automobile, Truck, Van....... not a motorcycle.

Automobile Driver

Can-Am Motorcycle
Canadian-American Motorcycle. Please mouse over here.

Caning it
To ride a motorcycle very aggressively.

Riding a motorcycle hard and fast through curves and corners with the bike leaning near horizontal. Sometimes known as "canyon carving."

Cubic centimeters. A 1000cc engine = 1000 cubic centimeters in volume.

This is a traffic ticket.

Bike with the front end raked out or extended out. Please mouse over here.

Club meeting

Crack It
Turning up the throttle

Crash Bar
Engine Guard

Deaf Bikers of America *Please mouse over here.

Department of Transportation

Duck Walking
When you sitting on the bike and pushing it with your legs and feet. Paddling the bike along to make it move.

The art of stopping a motorcycle and having the rear wheel lift off the ground, a reverse of the catwalk. Also called a stoppie. Please mouse over here. Going back over front.

Fast Riding Award
Speeding ticket

Flogging it
Getting on the throttle hard and shifting through the gears.

Flying Low

Foot pegs
The resting place for the rider's feet on a motorcycle during riding; the resting place for the passengers feet on a motorcycle.

The sprung metal tubs holding the front wheel to the rest of the motorcycle using the triple-tree.

Front Door
Leader of a group ride

a full roll-on in high gear from about 50-60mph (emphasizes low rpm torque).

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.

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.

Police officers

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. Please mouse over here.

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 shifter and rear brake. Please mouse over here.

Hit the road
Get on the bike and start riding.

Harley Owner's Group

Term for a rider that is riding hard and spiritedly.



Tattoo Artist

Jack up
When a club member sets a non-club member straight.

An arm attached to a motorcycle that swings out from the left side to support the bike at rest. Also called a Sidestand. Please mouse over here.

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.

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.

Lazy Foot
Shifting gears too lightly/timidly and rather than shifting up a gear you get a false neutral.

Male biker

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.

Motorcycle Jockeys
Anyone who rides any motorcycle.

A person who is new to the sport of motorcycling

Old Lady
Wife or steady girlfriend of a club member.


Pillion Pad
The passenger seat

Spark Plugs

Parked Motorcycle Syndrome. A condition suffered by both male or female riders when they can not ride their motorcycle due to bad weather, repairs, or other reasons.

Poker Run
A poker run is, for the most part, like any old motorcycle run. Instead of just riding from Point A to Point B, however, there are also several stops in between (usually 5 total). At these stops you go in to the checkpoint and draw a playing card from a deck of cards. Depending on the rules, you either keep the card or the person at the checkpoint will mark down what card you drew. You do this at each checkpoint, and by the end of the run you will have 5 cards … this makes up your poker hand. At the last stop you turn in your poker hand, and whoever has the best hand wins.

Popping the clutch
Letting the clutch out quickly to achieve a fast start.

Ride Captain
The leader of a group Ride

Road Captain
The leader of a group Ride



Sissy Bar
Passenger Backrest. Please mouse over here.


Treadless tire. Can refer to a race tire or a completely worn out tire with little or no tread left on it. Slick's offer the greatest dry traction to a road surface as friction is greatest since there is little/no air gap (tread) between the rubber and the road. A tire specifically designed for use in road racing only that is made of a soft compound with no tread.

Speed Tax
Speeding fine

Stand up
When you raise your body or 'stand' while riding your bike.

The last (and most experienced) rider in a group ride.

Tail Gunner
The last rider in a group. This rider is typically responsible for acquiring a new lane when the group changes lanes, rendering assistance to any rider who must leave the group, assessing the skill level of new riders to the group, and communications with the lead bike rider about traffic conditions behind the group. This rider is often the 'safety officer' for that group.

Tank bag
A bag or luggage that mounts on to the top of the fuel tank. Please mouse over here.

Tar Snake
An uneven, slippery patch in a road crack. Please mouse over here.


The throttle controls the engine's power by restricting the substance that enters the engine.

Throttle lock
Manual device fitted to the throttle of a motorcycle that applies friction to keep the throttle from moving. Used to temporarily give your hand a rest on long rides. For example, please mouse over here.

Throttle Rocker
A Throttle Rocker is a device that wraps around the throttle grip of your motorcycle. The end protrudes out from the grip to form a contoured portion that comfortably fits the heel and palm of your hand. Using the heel of your hand, you apply downward pressure on the Throttle Rocker and the throttle grip rotates. Please mouse over here.

100 mph.

A piece of hard luggage mounted behind the seat that sits up high. Please mouse over here.

Touring Bike
1. A Luxurious motorcycle with many comforts and amenities for long range travel.
2. A bike equipped for longer riders with fairings and saddle bags.

A three-wheeled motorcycle with no sidecar. Can either be 1 wheel in front, 2 in back (trike), or 2 wheels in front and 1 in back (reverse trike). For example, please mouse over here.

Two tons
200 mph

Two Up
A term for carrying a passenger on your motorcycle

Wind Shield
Wind Screen. For example, please mouse over here.

Wind Walker
Anybody who rides, helps, and is friendly to all other Motorcycle Jockeys.

X Trap
A place in the road where railroad or street car tracks cross, creating a slit in which the narrow tire of a motorcycle can get caught or wedged. Please mouse over here.


Updated on May 6, 2013