15 MOTORCYCLE TERMS EVERY RIDER SHOULD KNOW
1. AT THE WHEEL VS AT THE CRANK:
Horsepower is measured in two ways, at the rear wheel or the crank. When measured at the rear wheel, horsepower will read lower. At the wheel or at the crank refers to where the horsepower is measured. Manufacturers usually evaluate the crank to ensure horsepower is as impressive as possible.
An acronym for “all the gear, all the time.” As you may already know, proper motorcycle gear is critical for a comfortable and safe riding experience.
3. BACKING IT IN:
A term for something often performed by superbike stars—backing it in is when a rider enters a corner while intentionally locking up and drifting. This action can help a rider corner faster by getting their bike pointed in the right direction more quickly—although we do not recommend backing in it unless you're riding on a track.
4. BIG FIVE:
Harley-Davidson, Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki are the big five motorcycle manufacturers.
A technique often called blipping the throttle is when a rider revs the throttle, downshifts, and then quickly lets the throttle out to match revs between gears. This technique is used to smooth the transition into a lower gear.
A cage refers to a car, truck, or van. Cager is a term coined by motorcyclists for someone who drives a vehicle with four wheels.
Chicken strips usually occur with novice riders when the person riding isn't using much lean angle while cornering, resulting in unworn patches of rubber on the outer parts of the tire.
Fancy Accessory, Really Kool, Likely Expensive. When sparkle follows function—farkle refers to a modification that contains useful accessories and/or aftermarket parts.
Just like the 1984 film would suggest, a gremlin is an annoying and persistent mechanical issue that’s often hard to find and fix.
When riders talk about a hack, they mean a motorcycle with a sidecar. You may also hear the term side-hack.
11. LANE SPLITTING:
Also known as lane filtering is when someone is riding a motorcycle between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. Lane splitting is illegal in Canada and most of the United States.
Parlez-vous français? Panniers is a French name for saddlebags that hang over either side of the rear wheel. Saddlebags are motorcycle luggage that come in a variety of sizes and materials.
Also called the caster angle is the angle of the steering head frame. Picture a classic chopper; the forks stick out in front resulting in a greater angle of the front fork in relation to the ground. Now think of a sport bike, where the forks are nearly vertical. A sport bike might have a rake as steep as 25 degrees, while a chopper may be closer to 45 degrees.
Long, winding roads are considered twisties, and many people find them fun to ride. Twisties are usually roads that hug canyons, coastlines, and mountain ranges.
Think Merc for Mercedes or Beamer for BMW. Duc, pronounced ‘duck’, is a shortened slang term for Ducati.