Glossary of motorcycling terms

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This is a list of Motorcycle Club terms. Motorcycle subculture which has its roots in the immediate post-World War II era of American society. It is generally centered on the use of cruiser motorcycles, particularly Harley-Davidsons and choppers, and a set of ideals which celebrate freedom, nonconformity to mainstream culture and loyalty to the biker group. They have developed their own unique terms.

ape hangers
Aftermarket handlebars installed on motorcycles that are taller than stock handlebars. Generally, they are shoulder-height or higher for the rider. Some U.S. states and international laws restrict the height of a motorcycles handlebars.[1][2]
back warmer
Female passenger on the back of a motorcycle[1]
bar bike (aka 1-mile bike)
A motorcycle driven a short distance to and from a bar[1]
colors (aka cut)
Uniform of the club where club patches are proudly displayed, typically a leather or denim vest[3][better source needed][4]
Regularly scheduled meeting(s) of club members[citation needed]
crotch rocket (aka organ donor)
Another term for sportbike and is generally not made in the USA[2]
one percenter
A member of an outlaw club or gang[3][better source needed][4]
road captain
Experienced rider who leads at the front of a group ride[citation needed]
road name
A member's nickname[3][better source needed]
Rich Urban Bikers (RUBS)
A cruiser bike buying demographic, typically middle aged male in a white-collar work with a disposable income and usually, grown-up children.[5]
sweep (aka back door, tail gunner)
Experienced rider whose job, as last in line, is to ensure everyone in the group ride arrives safely at the destination[1][6]
weekend warrior
A rider who rides during the weekend as an escape from weekly middle-class life[3][better source needed][7]
Someone who does not ride much, but mainly washes and waxes his motorcycle[3][better source needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Racer Cafe - Biker Terms[dead link]
  2. ^ a b Holmstrom, Darwin (2001), "Appendix D: cycle babble glossary", The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motorcycles (2nd ed.), Alpha Books, p. 403, ISBN 0028642589 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Biker Gang Slang". YourDictionary. 
  4. ^ a b Smedman, Lisa (2007), From boneshakers to choppers: the rip-roaring history of motorcycles, Annick Press, pp. 57–60, ISBN 978-1-55451-016-0 
  5. ^
  6. ^ ""Group Leaders" and "Back Doors"", Rider Education: Group Riding Guide (Gold Wing Touring Association), retrieved 2014-07-30 
  7. ^ Thompson, William E. (2012), Hogs, Blogs, Leathers and Lattes: The Sociology of Modern American Motorcycling, McFarland, p. 33