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Scoot/Scooter - This term does not just refer to true scooters or moped but to any motorcycle or two wheeled vehicle.

Shaft drive - A shaft driven motorcycle gets power to the rear wheel via a rigid shaft as opposed to a chain or belt. Belts and chains wear out easier and require more maintenance but if shaft driven bike sustains damage to the shaft, repairs will be expensive. A shaft drive is also notably heavier than either a belt or chain.

Short - A motorcycle with short gearing has a low final gear ratio. This results in a higher top speed but less torque and acceleration.

Shotgun Pipes - A dual exhaust that resembles a double-barreled shotgun.

Showed Him My Wheel - An expression meaning that you road behind another rider so closely that he could see your front wheel beside him. Most commonly used in a racing situation (on the track or elsewhere).

SIPDE - Acronym for Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide & Execute. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recognizes these as five critical behaviors for safe motorcycle operation. The concept applies just as effectively with all vehicles.

Sissy Bar - A sissy bar is a passenger backrest found mainly on choppers and some Harleys but can technically be added to just about any motorcycle. Some are more functional with some padding while others are mainly for looks.

Skid Lid - Another term for a motorcycle helmet (usually an open faced half helmet)

Skin - Skin refers to a vehicle's paint job.

Slam - A slammed motorcycle (or car) has a lowered suspension. This lowers the center of gravity and can sometimes help handling but usually is just done for appearance.

Sled - Slang term for motorcycles.

Snail - The spiral shape of a turbocharger leads to its nickname hair dryer or snail.

Soft Tail - A soft tail motorcycle has the styling of a rigid bike but maintains the functionality of the suspension.

Sparking the Pavement - When a motorcycle is leaned enough to drag the pegs, floor boards, exhaust or other metal parts on the road resulting in a shower of sparks.

Sport bike - A sport bike is a term applied to light weight, high horsepower motorcycles with designed with emphasis on acceleration, cornering and stopping power.

Sport Standard - Not all motorcycles fit neatly in the traditional categories but lie somewhere along the two-wheel spectrum. Sport standard motorcycles have many speed-oriented features of sport bikes but lack the fairing of sport bikes and maintain an upright riding posture of a standard motorcycle.

Sport-touring - The motorcycles in the sport-touring category are a mix between a sport bike and a touring motorcycle. They usually have sports power while adding comfort features necessary for long touring rides.

SQUID - Acronym for Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Imminantly Dead. Reckless and inexperienced motorcycle riders who ride without proper gear and beyond their abilities, endangering themselves and others.

Standard - A classic styled upright motorcycle with focus on no frills function. Styling is not a main objective on these bikes. They tend to be less powerful than sport bikes but more powerful than cruisers.

Static - Static is a slang term meaning trouble. Usually it is in reference to problems with the law or being "hassled by the man" but static can arise between bar patrons, rival bike clubs or even husbands and wives.

Stitching a line - This term refers to the art of slipping through traffic in a quick manner on a motorcycle. The term does not imply reckless weaving but controlled and deliberate maneuvers that allow a motorcycle rider to get through traffic as efficiently as possible.

Stay Vertical - A parting expression between bikers meaning ride safely. Similar to "keep the shiny side up."

Steering Aids - Gouges in the road that "guide" a motorcycles front wheel against the rider's wishes.

Steering damper - A part mounted on a motorcycle's frame and fork to even out control and avoid wobbles.

Steering Head - A tubular section of the motorcycle frame where the fork mounts to.

Steering lock - To prevent a thief from taking your motorcycle and rolling it away locks are often built in that freeze the fork to the far right or left. It is usually a setting on the motorcycle ignition switch.

Stock - A motorcycle that is unmodified the original factory specifications (no aftermarket parts).

Stoppie - Stopping with the rear wheel off the ground (the opposite of a wheelie). Also called an endo.

Straight Pipes - If the exhaust system on a motorcycle has no baffles in the muffler the exhaust is unrestricted and flows straight through. The lack of restriction boosts performance but is very loud. Many areas have laws against straight pipes and police officers will slid their nightstick in the muffler to test if there are baffles or not.

Stretch - A stretched motorcycle is usually a chopper with extended front fork.

Suicide Shift - Older motorcycles had a rocker clutch (foot operated) and the gears were shifted with a lever mounted directly on the transmission. The term "suicide shift" was coined because the rider has to take a hand off the handlebars in order to change gears, which meant less control of the motorcycle and danger - especially over rough roads.

Suspension - Springs and shock absorbers, usually front and rear, the soften the ride and make the motorcycle more comfortable. A good suspension also aids handling by ensuring that the wheels stay in contact with the road when going over rough or uneven pavement.

Super Slab - Large expanses of open road - highways, interstates & expressways.

Sweep - The last rider in a group motorcycle ride. This is conventionally the most experienced rider aka the back door or tail gunner.

Swingarm - Non-rigid frames have an articulated rear portion that is connected to the rear suspension and facilitates the mounting of the rear wheel.

Chrome Tachometer
Tachometer - A tachometer is a gauge that displays the engine's level of exertion displayed in revolutions per minute (rpm).

Tail Gunner - The last rider in a group motorcycle ride. This is conventionally the most experienced rider aka the back door or sweep.

Tall - A motorcycle with tall gearing has a high final gear ratio. This results in less top end speed but more torque and stronger acceleration.

Tankslapper - A dangerous situation where the motorcycle's handlebars jerk back and forth causing the riders knees to slap against the gas tank. A motorcycle under power will naturally seek to roll upright and in a straight line so if mishandled, the handlebars can jerk back and forth trying to find the straight line. A tankslapper normally ends up with the rider laying the bike down.

Tar Snake - The material used to patch cracks in the asphalt have less traction than the original pavement and can be slippery. This material also has a lower melting point and will get soft or melt on hot days - this can be potentially hazardous.

T-CLOCK - An acronym used by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to remember the key points of the pre-ride inspection (Tires, Controls, Lights & Electronics, Oils, Chassis & Chain, Kickstand).

Textiles - Motorcycle riding gear made of fabric (Cordura, ballistic nylon, Kevlar, etc). Generally cooler than leather gear and usually water resistant.

The Ton - The 100 mile per hour mark.

The Double - The 200 mile per hour mark - sometimes referred to as the "Double T" or "Double Ton."

Throttle - The control that adjusts speed and acceleration by regulating the amount of air and gas that enters the carburetor.

Thumper - A high displacement single cylinder bike (Honda XLR650, Kawasaki KLR650)

Thrashing it - To ride a motorcycle very aggressively.

Touring Motorcycle - Touring motorcycles are larger bikes designed for comfort on long rides. Generally preferred by older riders and not gear toward fast acceleration or aggressive handling.

Torque - This is a physics 101 term referring to rotational force (Torque = Force x Distance from the center of rotation) and is most commonly measured in foot pounds. This is the force that propels the wheel of a vehicle. People often compare vehicle power by horsepower but a vehicles ability to accelerate is more accurately measured in torque. High horsepower results in a high top speed while high torque translates to strong pickup.

Transmission - A vehicle's transmission is a system of gears that adjust the ratio of engine speed to wheel speed. The ability to vary gears allows an engine to be useful across a wide range of speeds.

Tri-Armor - The result of a four-year German study, Tri-armor is CE approved motorcycle armor made up of a plastic membrane sandwiched between layers of dual density memory foam. This is an advanced armor that balances impact resistance, abrasion resistance and comfort.

Trial - Trial riding is a motorbike sport that highlights uncanny vehicle control. The off-road bikes are used to traverse boulders and obstacles. It often requires the ability to effectively jump a bike from a standstill and land with precision and balance. Trial bikes are built specifically for these competitions and are exceptionally lightweight and lack seats.

Triple - A motorcycle engine with three cylinders with an inline layout.

Triple Trees - aka Triple Clamps, This component connects the front forks to the steering stem. The name is derived from the three tubes that are joined at this part - 1 steering stem + 2 fork tubes.

Tuck - The tuck is the most aerodynamic riding position. A motorcycle's fairing and windscreen and designed to direct oncoming wind and reduce drag. In an upright riding position this wind will collide with the rider, usually in the chest. By lowering the head and torso close to the bike the wind can pass unobstructed over the bike and rider.

Twisties - Slang for a road with many turns. The twisties are usually the preferred setting for aggressive riders.

Twisting The Wick - Slang for accelerating derived from the motion associated with rolling on the throttle.

V-Twin - A V-twin is a motorcycle with 2 cylinders positioned in a V (the angle can vary. This layout facilitates a maximum torque and smooth power. The V-twin also allows for more options in positioning the power plant.

Valve - An engine component that regulates the flow of air and fuel into the combustion chamber as well as the release of exhaust for that chamber. The rate at which the valves open and close is controlled by the camshaft.

Vanson Street Armor - Soft foam motorcycle armor that is fixed in the jacket by velcro instead of slipping into mesh pockets. This armor is designed to allow greater freedom of movement.

Waxer - A motorcycle owner who is more likely to spend time washing and waxing his bike than actually riding it.

Wheelbase - The wheelbase is the distance from front wheel hub to rear wheel hub. A longer wheelbase results in a more stable, but less agile, motorcycle.

Wheelie - Riding a motorcycle on the rear wheel only with the front wheel suspended in the air.

Yard Shark - A dog. Dogs tend to dislike motorcycles and will try to attack. Dogs plot an intercepting path so varying throttle is an effective evasive maneuver. A common tactic is to slow and downshift on approach then accelerate away to avoid the dog.

Z Bar - A '70s style motorcycle handlebar that curves out toward the front of the bike then curves back toward the rider.

Zook - Short for Suzuki

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