Motorcycle Slang: H – O

A motor officer patrolling in Arizona on a BMW...

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Motorcycle Slang: H – O

Hammer Down – is to accelerate rapidly. That’s the best bit don’t you think? Acceleration is much more exciting than speed . . .

Hard Tail – is a motorcycle which doesn’t have any rear suspension or shock absorber.  Hold on tight, you could be in for a bit of a bone rattling ride.

Heat – yet another term for police officers. If you see the heat in the cherry top, then you’d better slow down or you could get a Fast Riding Award – and you don’t want one of those do you? If you can’t stand the heat keep out of the kitchen, not that you should be in the kitchen on your motorcycle in the first place.

Horsepower – is how the power of your motorcycle is measured. 1 horsepower equals 0.746 kw, but sounds much more exciting don’t you think.

Horizontally parked – yep, you’ve guess it, you’ve crashed again! There are a worrying number of different ways to describe crashing or falling off a motorcycle, let that be a warning for you.

Hosed – is possibly how your motorcycle will end up after it’s been horizontally parked. Broken!

Ironside – used to mean a wheelchair bound detective, but in motorcycling circles it means the top bit of the motorbike, opposite the rubber side (the bottom).

Jiffy – is a side stand. So if someone kicks down their jiffy you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about.

Keep the dirty side down – something which bikers say to each other (allegedly) as they part company, loosely translated it means stay safe.

Keep the shiny side up – means exactly the same thing as keeping the dirty side down. Well, if the dirty side is down, the shiny side will be up, and vice versa – I think . . .

Knock – if you remember in the “D’s” we spoke about detonation being the same as knock. Well, go back and have a look if you can’t remember – Gawd,  I don’t have to keep repeating myself do I?

Lane Stealer – lane stealing is very dangerous but happens often. It’s when a car driver tries to pass you or squeeze you out of the lane – either because they think that they’re bigger than you (which they are), or that you don’t need all that space (which you do), or that they actually didn’t even notice you (which is often the case).  All motorbike riders need to be on the look-out for lane stealers, they are everywhere . . .

Law Makers – are often law breakers (explain that one!) You see, what happens is that some idiots continuously ride in a risky manner and cause accidents to themselves or others, so in the end the law has to be changed which spoils things for everybody. If you’re a law maker it’s not a good thing to be (unless you’re an actual Politician or something like that anyway).

Lay it down – horizontally park, eat asphalt, get off – you get my drift . . .

Leathers – are the original biker gear. The term refers to everything including jacket, boots, pants, gloves – many people still prefer to wear leather whilst they are riding their motorcycle (and at other times but we won’t go into that), it does offer great protection but you can get a bit hotter and stickier than some of the modern textiles they use these days. Whatever floats your boat I suppose . . . or drives your bike.

Mad Max – okay, we’ll resist any Mel Gibson jokes, a Mad Max in biker circles is when the front wheel is held in a stationery position and acts as the axis for the rear of the bike to spin around screeching and burning rubber. Also known as a donut due to the shape of the rubber you leave behind.

MSF – is the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. They take motorcycle safety seriously and are committed to making sure that others do the same, offering training courses and loads of other stuff.  Right, now, all together, “Thank you MSF”.

Mud Puppies – are those who prefer more wheels on their motorcycles – quads and ATV’s, stuff like that.

NBD – if you’re looking to buy a motorcycle and it says NBD in the advertisement that’s a good thing – it means Never Been Dropped.

On Rails – if your motorcycle corners like it’s on rails – didn’t Julia Roberts say something like that about a Lotus Esprit in Pretty Woman – anyway, that’s a car (duh) but motorcycles can be on rails too. It means – oh, I’m not going to tell you what it means, work it out for yourself . . .

OTB – we’re back in acronym land again, but this time it’s not so good. It means Over The Bars, which isn’t a good place to go from a motorcycle.

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