Motorcycle Glossary

If you’re a beginner then you might find it difficult to understand some terms and acronyms about motorcycles. 

So, that’s why I came up with this guide in which I have explained the common and difficult motorcycle terms. 

You can use this to understand the terms of motorcycles. Moreover, I will continue to update this every month. 

Motorcycle Terms and Acronyms

1. ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)

This is a safety system that prevents the motorcycle wheels from locking up during the braking. Its function is to ensure the motorcycle maintains traction with the road. 

2. Aftermarket Parts

These are the parts that are not made by the original manufacturer. Mostly they are used for customization or to increase performance. 

3. Bore and Stroke

This is the measurement of the cylinder bore diameter and the distance that the piston travels. It is used to determine the displacement of the engine.

4. Café Racer

This is the minimalist style of the motorcycle that originated in the 1960s. Typically it was used for short and fast riders.

5. CC (Cubic Centimeters)

CC is the measurement of the engine displacement that shows the volume of the cylinders. 

6. Chain Drive

This is the method of transferring the power to the rear wheel of the motorcycle in which a chain is used to drive the rear wheel. 

7. Chopper

Chopper is the custom type of motorcycle that has a longer frame and stretched-out fork, which creates a chopped appearance. 

8. Cruiser

This is the type of motorcycle that has a lower seat, a relaxed riding position, and a large engine. These are used for long rides. 

9. Drag Racing

Drag racing is a type of motor racing in which a motorcycle races in a straight line for a short distance. 

10. Dual-Sport

A motorcycle that is designed for both offroad and onroad use, that has features of motorcycle and dirt bike is a dual sport. 

11. Enduro

A motorcycle that is designed for longer offroad racing in challenging terrains on the endurance of the rider is enduro.

12. Fairing

This is the shell that is over the frame of some motorcycles to reduce the air drag.

13. Fork

This is the front suspension of the motorcycle that holds up the front wheel and allows you to steer the bike.

14. Gearing

The system of gears that used to transmit power from the engine to the wheels of the motorcycle for acceleration.

15. Headlight Modulator

This is the device that is used to change the brightness of the headlight of the motorcycle so that other riders can notice it.

16. Horsepower (HP)

This is the measurement of the engine power to indicate how much it can work over time.

17. Kickstand

This is the stand that is attached to the lower part of the motorcycle to help it keep straight up.

18. Kickstarter

This is the lever or button which is used to start the motorcycle manually.

19. Lane Splitting

The act of riding a motorcycle between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic.

20. LED (Light Emitting Diode)

This is the light that is used in the headlights of the motorcycle.

21. Lean Angle

This is the angle at which a motorcycle tilts when turning a corner.

22. Motocross

Motocross is offroad motorcycle racing which is held in enclosed places that have high jumps and obstacles.

23. Naked Bike

A type of motorcycle that is without fairings.

24. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)

Parts or accessories made by the original manufacturer of the motorcycle.

25. Pannier

This is the storage container that is attached to the sides of your motorcycle. Typically we use this to carry things for long rides.

26. Radiator

The radiator is part of a liquid-cooled motorcycle cooling system that is used to dissipate heat from the engine.

27. RPM (Revolutions Per Minute)

The RPM is the measure of how fast your motorcycle engine is running.

28. Saddlebags

A storage bag is attached to the sides of the motorcycles to carry things.

29. Slipper Clutch

A clutch clutch that allows the rear wheel to maintain traction by reducing the effects of engine braking during aggressive downshifting

30. Streetfighter

A type of naked motorcycle that is typically a sport bike that has been stripped of its fairing.

31. Superbike

This is a high-performance bike that is optimized for high speeds and handling. Superbikes are used for professional racing.

32. Tachometer

The instrument which is used to measure the speed of the engine in RPM.

33. Torque

A measure of the rotational force produced by the engine, which is important to understand a motorcycle’s acceleration and pulling power.

34. Touring Bike

A motorcycle built for long-distance travel, usually larger and with more luggage space and comfort features.

35. Upside Down Forks (USD Forks)

This is the type of fork where the larger diameter part is attached to the motorcycle making handling better.

36. V-twin Engine

An engine configuration where the cylinders form a V shape. These are commonly used in cruisers and touring motorcycles.

37. Wet Clutch

A type of clutch that is bathed in engine oil for cooling.

38. Wheelie

A stunt where the front wheel comes off the ground while riding.

39. Windscreen

A screen on the front of a motorcycle to protect the rider from the wind and debris.

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