The Motorcycle Bikers Dictionary – B

Bobbed Fender
Bobbed Fender

B. F. H. – Big F@#$ing Hammer used to remove rusted axles, bearing cups from the frame neck etc.

B.R.A.G.® – Buell Riders Adventure Group

BAB (Born Again Biker) – Someone who has recently returned to riding after a period of absence and really ought to get some advanced training.

Babyblade – A Honda CBR250/CBR400.

Back Door – The last (and most experienced) rider in a group ride.

Backfire – Explosion of the fuel in the intake manifold or carburetor, but often used to describe the explosion of unburned fuel in the exhaust system.

Back Marker – A slow rider marking the back of the pack.

Back Warmer – A girl on the back of your motorcycle.

Backing it in – A move brought from dirt track racing where a rider approaching a corner brakes hard and causes the rear of the motorcycle to slide while counter-steering. This enables the rider to quickly go through the corner and straighten up for a fast exit.

Badger – A savage-looking bike based upon bits of old Ariels, built by a man with a beard in his kitchen for the purpose of Hillclimbing. The end result is a bike that looks like it would bite your arm off, and then proposition your Mum/sister. Now mistakenly considered a ‘real’ model of Ariel, thanks to said beardie’s addition to Wikipedia.

Baffle – Sound deadening material that sits inside a muffler and quiets the exhaust note

Bagger – A motorcycle equipped with saddlebags and other touring amenities.

Balaclava – A head and neck “sock” with mouth and eye slits.

Ballistic Nylon – A specific nylon developed by Dupont for the U.S. Department of Defense for use in flak jackets. Later it was replaced by Kevlar. The basket-weave construction helps add abrasion resistance as opposed to a plain weave. The name is used as a marketing tools with ballistic sounding like something “bulletproof” therefore really tough. May motorcycle apparel companies us the word “Ballistic” when describing material. In many cases the materials tear and abrasion strength does not meet a minimum standard for motorcycle apparel and the word is used only as a sales gimmick.

Bar Hopper Bike – The cool customs and pristine bikes that only come out of the garage Friday and Saturday nights during the summer (and only if it’s real nice out -never in rain) to prowl from bar to bar. A motorcycle that is not very comfortable on longer rides, yet lavishly styled. Rigid frames and hardtails fall into this category.

Bark-o-lounger – Honda Gold Wing

Barn Disease – When a bike has been idle a few years and the battery is dead, calipers seized and of course the carbs are filled with varnish sludge.

Barn Queen – 1. Really pristine bike everyone claims a buddy found in some farmer’s barn and bought for $50. 2. A motorcycle that has been stored in a barn or other outbuilding for many years.

Barrels – Another term for Engine Cylinders or Jugs.

Battery electric vehicle (BEV) – Vehicle powered by an energy storage device such as a lead acid battery, a lithium polymer battery, a nickel metal hydride battery, a nickel-cadmium battery or a lithium-ion battery.

bash plate – A protective plate fitted under the engines of off-road machines to prevent damage caused by grounding.

Basket Case – 1. A Bike being built from scratch with parts from other Bikes. 2. Typically (at least in the ‘old days’) a bike that someone had taken apart and hadn’t the skill to reassemble. You’d find an ad in the paper and go over….”my brother took it apart and never could figure out how to put it back together, what will you give me for it?” Also – someone who is unhinged as in, “she/he is a real basket case.” So, a bike that is in pieces, usually has been for a while. A bike that is built from pieces of other bikes would be (or would have been) known as an ‘assembler’ (out west), or a person that is way ‘out there’.

BDC – Bottom dead canter of a piston. Opposite of TDC (Top dead center)

Bead – Edge of lip of a tire.

Beaker points – Points face with silver, platinum or tungsten which interrupt the primary circuit in the distributor to induce a high tension current in the ignition.

Bearing – Load supporting part designed to accept the wear and punishment of moving parts while protecting more valuable parts. Three type of bearings are roller ball, tapered and metal collar cap type.

Beemer – BMW motorcycle.

Beer Cans – The can shaped covers on Harley FL front forks.

Belly-Shover – Racer

Belt drive – 1. Final drive (sometimes also the cam drive) using a fabric belt to provide power to the rear wheel. Harley-Davidson motorcycles are famous for their use of belt drives.

Berm – Built-up dirt on the outside of a turn, either created with a bulldozer or as riders continually go through the turn. A berm helps a rider take the turn much faster because it acts as banking.

Bench seat – A long, non-split seat that is more comfortable for two riders.

BHP – Brake horse power. A unit of measurement for engine power output.

Bias Ply – A type of tire construction utilizing plies that run diagonally from one bead to the other. One ply is set on a bias in one direction, and succeeding plies are set alternately in opposing directions crossing each other. Sometimes called a cross-ply tire.

Bible – Repair manual

Bi-fuel vehicle – Vehicle with two separate fuel systems, designed to run on either fuel but using only one fuel at a time.

Big Dog Rider – An experienced and aggressive motorcyclist known for feats of daring and skill, such as riding at high speeds on public roads, without apparent fear of accident or arrest.

Big End – End of connecting rod that fits on the crankshaft

Big FiveRefers to the five major motorcycle manufacturers – Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha.

Big Slab – Interstate Highway

Big Twin – 1. Any large sized V-Twin motorcycle engine. V-Twin motorcycle engines have really grown in size over the past 10 years so this definition today fits V-Twins over 1200cc. Examples include the Roadstar by Yamaha 1700cc (102 ci), Harley-Davidson motorcycles over 1200cc, Honda VTX 1300/1800, Kawasaki Vulcan 1500/1600/2000, Suzuki Boulevard. 2. Slang for the engine in the larger Harley-Davidson bikes.

Big Dog – Annual dual sport ride with BMW’s in the Rockie Mountains

Biker – Simply put, a motorcycle operator. True bikers have a passion for the art of motorcycling, and easily get all wrapped up in this passion during even a simple 1/2 mile commute, but they rarely allow their motorcycle to sit for more than a week without taking it somewhere. Anywhere. Just for the simple excuse of a joy ride will do.

Biker Friendly – A business establishment that doesn’t treat you like you have the plague when you walk in wearin’ leather

Biker’s Poem – A sickening, over posted poem about the ‘soft and caring, unseen side’ of bikers.

Binders – Brakes.

Binned it – 1. A rider crashes out of a race either completely, or almost, wrecking the bike. 2. To crash a motorbike. (Note this applies to all bikes, not just those being raced.)

Bitch Bar – A sissy bar.

Bitch Pad – Passenger Seat.

Black Ice – Ice that cannot be seen on the road surface as it takes upon the colour of the road. Usually found in cold spots on the road like under a bridge. Very dangerous hazard to a motorcyclists.

Blackie– A dark streak left on the asphalt by the rear tyre when a motorcycle drills away from a stop. White smoke often accompanies the formation of a blackie.


Blacklist – Insurance companies list of motorcycle models that they do not want to insure because of performance, likelihood of them being stolen or are too expensive to replace.

Blade – A Honda Fireblade.

Blended mode – Type of charge-depleting mode used by plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) during medium to heavy loads, in which a portion of the energy is supplied by the electric system whose batteries are recharged from an external source. Blended mode uses both gas and electricity as fuels, reducing the amount of gasoline used by replacing it with electricity.

Blind Corner – Blind Turn – A turn in the road that is partially hidden by visual obstructions such as trees or an embankment, making it so that a rider cannot see the roads path around the rest of the turn.

Blinkers – Turn Signals

Blip – 1. Snapping the throttle quickly, as in “blip the throttle”. 2. Quick throttle burst.

Block – Basic engine lump containing one or more cylinders.

Blockhead – The Evolution® engine (V-Twin, produced from 1984 – 2000)

Block pass – Going into a turn, a rider attempting a block pass will accelerate before the apex and slip his motorcycle on the inside of the leader, then quickly pivot and make the turn directly in front of the other rider. The rider being passed must brake because his line is now blocked.

Blow-by – Exploded fuel and gases forced past the piston rings into the crankcase.

Blower – Supercharger. Mechanical pump driven by the engine to push more air past the carburetors.

Blown or Blower Bike – A bike that is supercharged.

Blue Hairs – Elderly Cage Drivers

BMW (pronounced Bee em vee in English or Bay emm vay in German) – BMW AG (an abbreviation of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or in English, Bavarian Motor Works), is a German company and manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. The old 60’s and 70’s BMW motorcycles do have a nick name used very often: “Gummikuh” (Rubber Cow) because they used to become instable in curves when you close the throttle surprisingly.

Bob, Bobbers, Bobbed or Bobbing – The art of shortening a bike’s appearance by cutting down the size of its fenders. These bikes were also known as “bobbers”. Appeared before choppers. They got the name from the rear fender being cut down to a minimum. And the rest of the bikes were stripped also. This was all part of the early customizing done by the returning WWll flyers.

Body English – A method used by motorcycle riders to help control lean angle or direction independent of the handlebars by moving body position on the motorcycle.

Body Steering – (See Body English).

Bologna (Baloney) Skin – Tire tube

Boost – The amount of pressure applied by the supercharger or turbocharger.

Boots – Tires

Boneyard – Salvage yard for used bikes & parts, most indie shops also have their own boneyards next to the shop

Bore – The interior diameter of a cylinder.

Bottom dead centre (BDC) – Refers to the piston at the lowest point possible in the cylinder of an engine.

Bottom End – The bottom part of the engine, where the crankshaft and (usually) the transmission reside.

Bottom out – The Suspension runs out of room to travel and hits the internal stops.

Bow Wave – A wave of water pushed ahead of a tire.

Boxer – A two cylinder engine with the pistons opposing each other, resembling fists flying away from each other. BMW Boxer engine, Honda Goldwing engine are examples.

Braided hoses – Hose made of braided metal and frequently refers to brake hoses. Typically used to replace standard rubber hoses which flex or bulge under pressure; braided hoses don’t and therefore give increased braking performance.

Brain bucket – Slang term for a helmet.

B.R.A.G. – Buell Riders Adventure Group.

Brakes – Disc – Disc brakes are located on the front tire (and can also be found on the rear as well) and use stationary calipers that squeeze pads agaist the discs that rotate with the wheel.

Brakes – Drum – Drum brakes are located on the front tire (and can be found on the rear as well) and use horseshoe shaped brake shoes that expand agaist the inner surface of the wheel hub.

Brake check – Rider brakes hard while entering a corner causing the rider directly behind to brake hard, thus the rider in front gains distance.

Brake cylinder – Cylinder with movable piston which forces brake shoes or pads against the braking surface, usually a drum or disk.

Brake horsepower – Although theoretically equal to standard horsepower, “brake” horsepower specifies that a specific engineering process was used to arrive at that horsepower number.

Brake marker – A marker at the side of the track indicating where a rider may want to start braking prior to entering a corner.

BRC – Basic/Beginner’s Rider Course – Entry level motorcycle safety riding class hosted by the MSF. No experience necessary.

Brembo(s) – A manufacturer of high-quality brake parts.

Brain bucket – Helmet

Brick – Slang for a very hard stock seat.

Brights – The high beam of the headlight.

Bronson rock – Anything that is NOT a bonified tool that you use to fix a bike — I.E., in one show of Then Came Bronson he used a rock to straighten out his crumpled fender after going over the highside so as he could rideon.

Brushes – Conducting material which contact commutator of a electric motor or generator.

BSA – Birmingham Small Arms. English motorcycle maker until the 1970’s.

BUB – Broke Urban Biker

Bubble Gum Machine – Law ahead, usually patting the top of your helmet warns those behind you that a cop is ahead.

BUBF – Butt Ugly But Fast ( A Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 ‘A’ Model)

Buckhorns – A style of handlebar that comes up higher and sweeps towards the rider, the stance is more like holding a steering wheel in a car than a handlebar on a motorcycle. A popular style from the 1960’s and 1970’s and still in service today.

Buddy Pegs – Motorcycle passenger footpegs.

Buffeted / buffeting – Refers to the wind turbulence pressure experienced while riding a motorcycle. It is a result of the wind coming around a fairing or windshield.

BUG – Big Ugly Guy- a big, hostile person, as in “So me and my bros had to fight off these Bugs..” or “You shoulda seen this Bug’s ride”

Bullneck – When Harley Davidson 1200 Duo Glide came in 1957 it came with a new feature, the “Bullneck” is a headlight cover that stretches from the headlight to the steering handle. The “Bullneck” followed the Duo Glide until the end in 1964, when the Electra Glide continued with it for some years. “Bullneck” is self-explanatory.

Bump start – A way to start a motorcycle by turning on the ignition, placing it in gear, disengaging the clutch, then running along side the motorcycle, jumping on and engaging the clutch suddenly. Hard on the drive train and clutch but will start a bike with a dead battery when no one is around to provide a “jump”.

Bun burner – A long and grueling ride which makes the bum sore.

Bungee Cord – A stretch cord for attaching things to a motorcycle cheaply and quickly.

Burnout – 1. Spinning the rear wheel while holding the front brake causing the bike to stay in one place. 2. Rider applies the front brake and quickly accelerates causing the rear wheel to loose traction and spin so that the tyre rubber overheats and begins to smoke and disintegrate.

Burning rubber – Accelerating quickly from a stop whilst spinning the rear wheel. Named due to the remnants of the tire on the road after taking such an action.

Burning up miles – Riding long distances on the highway in order to accumulate mileage.

Bus or Busa – GSX1300R Hayabusa

Bus stop – A slow first gear corner.

Bush Pad – Passenger Seat

Bushing – A removable liner for a bearing.

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