Motorcycle Slang: A – C

Ape Hangers

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Motorcycle Slang: A – C

Ape Hangers – (aka monkey bars) yep, you’ve got it, those incredibly high handlebars with hand-grips at shoulder height or even higher – you look like an ape hanging from a tree branch, not the most comfortable way to ride but it looks cools and keeps your armpits cool at the same time, nice breeze! Take a look at the photo – how crazy is that?

Armor – think of riding your motorcycle as going into battle, well, if you fall off anyway. Armor is the protection which is included in lots of motorcycle gear in strategic places, some jackets and pants have armor built in, some motorcycle gear has removable armor. Anyway, it’s for protection in the most vulnerable places – shoulders, elbows, knees, you know how it goes.

Back Door – whoever is out the back door is riding last in the group – often one of the most experienced riders. This position can also be referred to as the sweep or the tail gunner (sounds a bit more “biker” doesn’t it)?

Baffle – is the stuff which is in the muffler of your exhaust which means that you don’t need to wear ear-plugs, and they can’t hear you coming from the other side of town, even a big town! Baffles can sometimes be removed so that the back pressure can be adjusted for increased performance. Don’t forget to put them back in again you noisy devils.

Belly-Shover – this one conjures up all sorts of images in the mind, and you’re probably right. A belly-shover is a motorcycle racer, and the term refers to how they ride their sports bikes, with their bellies over the tank – cuts down on the wind resistance and makes them faster.

Big Slab – is nothing to do with a belly though, or the portion of pie you might feed your belly, this refers to the interstate highway – mmmm, interesting.

Binders – are motorcycle brakes, very important for slowing down and stopping!

Blip – this can mean lots of things to lots of people, but when you’re in motorcycle company it means quickly revving, then releasing the throttle.

Blown Bike – is a motorcycle which has been supercharged (maybe had the baffles removed, temporarily).

Brain Bucket – this is a good one, it means the motorcycle helmet, but then again some (a small minority) of  motorcyclists seem to have their brains in their pants . . .  SQUIDs mainly!

Bubble Gum Machine – the majority of motorcycle riders look out for each other, and this means patting the top of your helmet to warn other riders that the police are ahead.

Burnout – hmmm, do you smell burning rubber? This is spinning the rear wheel while the front brake is firmly locked. It warms up the rear tire and is often used before a race, but also leaves lots of rubber on the road. Not advisable for those who want to make their tires last as long as possible.

Caning It – if you’re caning it you’re riding your motorcycle to the max and very aggressively.

Carving – or canyon carving – means riding at speed through corners and curves, leaning until the bike is close to horizontal.

Catwalk – means wheelie. Riding along on the back wheel, with the front wheel raised off the ground.

Cherry Tops – are often close to the bubble gum machine – law enforcement police cars.

Chicken Strips – is how much tread is left on a sports bike tire. If there’s still plenty of tread left on the side of the tire, then the rider is a “chicken”, the aggressive riders who aren’t chicken lean their bikes harder and further, and wear down the tread on the tire sidewalls.

Chopper – I think we’ve mentioned this already! It is often used to describe any old customized motorcycle, but really it means a motorcycle which has had all of the extra, superfluous bits “chopped off” or reduced, to make it a quicker, lighter,  leaner machine.

Core-Comp Armor – is an advanced style of CE approved armor.

Countersteering – if you’re going quickly on your motorcycle, in order to turn left, you have to turn your handlebars right – that’s countersteering. If you think I’ve gone mad just watch any Speedway riders, that should give you some idea. All of their front wheels are pointing in the wrong direction – oh yeah!

Coupon – does not give you money off at the gas station, it means that you didn’t notice the bubble gum machine and the cherry top caught you going too fast. Yep, it’s a speeding ticket.

Crack It – means to roll back the throttle.

Crotch Rocket – is a small motorcycle which is big on power.

Cruisers – are low, long, big and heavy. These are the motorcycles built for cruising long distances in comfort, with a pretty powerful engine. Lots of Harley Davidsons are cruisers.

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