Glossary

ABS – Anti Lock Brake System – available on some motorcycles, this braking system automatically detects if your wheels have locked up and reacts to help prevent any skidding, increasing the safety of the motorcycle rider

Air Cooling – is one way of keeping your motorcycle engine cool, it’s cooled by the air rushing around as the motorcycle moves and has small fins around the engine to facilitate the heat transfer into the air as it passes by

AMA – American Motorcycle Association – is the largest motorsports organization in the world, founded in 1924

Anti-Dive System – front end suspension part from the 1980′s reduced the amount of compression on the forks under braking, preventing you from diving over the handle bars – used very seldom these days

Anti-Theft Device – a device fitted to deter would-be thieves from stealing your motorcycle – if you have an anti-theft device fitted you might find that you are entitled to a reduction in your insurance premiums

Ape Hangers – high handle bars which make the rider lift his hands very high, as though he’s swinging from a branch

Apex – of the turn is the center or middle point of the turn. Motorcycle riders need to know about these, as it’s how they determine their riding line

Backing it In – this is a real motorcycle term, which means that you enter a corner sliding the rear of the motorcycle whilst counter-steering – this enables you to scrub off speed and set up for a fast exit, a skill used in racing

Bcom – refers to an intercom headset in motorcycle helmets

Belt Drive – some motorcycles are belt driven – a belt is used to transmit the power from the transmission to the rear wheel. Almost maintenance free and used on many Harleys

Big Twin – a brand new Harley Davidson which isn’t a Sportster

Binders – breaks

Bodily Injury Liability Cover – is a type of insurance cover with pays for any damages for injuries or death from an accident which is your fault. It can also provide the funds to cover your legal defense if necessary

Bore – refers to the cylinder’s diameter measurement

Camshaft – is a metal shaft which has two or more cams (oval shaped “lobes”) which are found on a four stroke engine

CC – Cubic Centimeters – how the engine size of your motorcycle is measured

Center Stand – a mechanism in the center of the motorcycle which pivots down from the frame to support the motorcycle vertically, keeping the rear wheel away from the ground

Chain Drive – opposite of belt drive – uses a chain and sprocket

Chair – is another term for a sidecar

Chopper – gets its name from the 1960′s when it was popular to chop bits off your motorcycle in the name of customization, ultimately to make it go a bit faster

Collision Coverage – pays for any damage to your motorcycle if it hits, or is hit by another vehicle

Crotch Rocket – another word for a high performance sportbike like a Yamaha R1

Daytona Bike Week – an annual event held in Daytona, Florida, for 10 days. About half a million people gather there for motorcycle racing, rallies and generally having a good time. Generally held at the beginning of March

Deductible – is the portion of costs which you pay out of your own pocket, before the insurance kicks in. Having a higher deductible is one way to get your premiums down, but you will have to pay more out of your own pocket if you make a claim

DOT Helmet Sticker – should be in your helmet, to prove that it has passed the minimum safety requirements as specified by the Department Of Transportation

Engine Cut Off Switch – also known as “kill switch” enables the motorcycle rider to cut off the power to the engine without removing his hands from the handle bars

Gypsy Tour – Gypsy tours usually last for a few days, traveling around the countryside and stopping in a new location every night. A great way to enjoy the freedom of the open road.

Liveries – special uniform, design, color scheme, insignia, or symbol worn on a person, object, vehicle, or product of a particular company (decals and race suits for example)

Mag Alloy – (magnesium alloy) is a strong, lightweight material which is often used for motorcycle wheels

Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) – not for profit organization which sponsors low cost motorcycle training for new riders and those with experience. Promoting safety for the motorcycle rider

Pillion – refers to a passenger on the back of the motorcycle, or can also mean a small cushion seat which is designed for use by the pillion passenger

Reservoir Sock – a cover that protects break and clutch fluids from the sun (a wrist band can also be used)

Rolling Chassis – refers to the assembled frame of the motorcycle, including the wheels and suspension

RPM – Revolutions Per Minute – the speed at which your engine is spinning

Shaft Drive – another method used to drive a motorcycle, apart from belt or chain

VIN – Vehicle Identification Number – is unique to every vehicle and used to identify all motor vehicles, including motorcycles.

Water-Cooled – as opposed to air cooled, this cooling system has a radiator containing fluid to dissipate the heat. Water cooled motorcycles are much less likely to overheat than the air cooled variety