The Motorcycle Bikers Dictionary – C

Countersteering - Turning the bikes handlebars in one direction(at higher speeds) and having it go in the opposite direction
Countersteering – Turning the bikes handlebars in one direction(at higher speeds) and having it go in the opposite direction

C (Motorcycle designation suffix) = Custom (Honda Shadow VT600C)

C.C.I.S. – Cranial Colon Impact Syndrome is a self explanatory term coined by a friend of mine a few years ago for those afflicted and deserving of such praise or attention.

Cafe Chop – Converting a stock motorcycle into a cafe racer is known as doing a cafe chop on a bike.

Cafe Racer – 1. Motorcycles modified to resemble racing motorcycles from the 1950’s and 1960’s. They are called cafe racers because their owner supposedly raced from cafe to cafe in London, where the bikes first appeard in the 1960’s. 2. Sportbike (in Europe Bikers would ride from coffee house to coffee house) designed for style or going fast on twisty roads.

Cage – A car, truck, or van. The sworn enemy of motorcyclists, more commonly known as automobiles. The name stems from being all cooped up inside a closed shell, with no contact with the outside air.

Cager – A person driving a car, truck, or van. Cage operator, or driver.

California Roll – See California Stop. Coming stop without stopping but proceeding through at a slow rate of speed.

California Stop – Phrase often used by motorcyclists meaning to stop, typically at an intersection, without putting a foot down.

Caliper – Non-rotating components of a disc brake that straddles the disc and contains the hydraulic components.

Calipers – Devices for measuring inside of outside distances and thinknesses.

Cam – A rod with lobes on it that opens the valves.

Camber – 1. Inward or outward tilt of a wheel. 2. Convex curvature of the road surface. 3. Sideways angle of slant of the pavement.

Cam Shaft / Camshaft – The shaft in the engine with cam lobes, used mainly for operating the intake and exhaust valves. It is driven by gears or by sprockets and a toothed belt or chain from the crankshaft.

Canyon Bites – Serious accidents that occur while riding fast on twisty roads that are often found in canyons of mountainous areas.

Capacitor – A device for storing or collecting a surge of electrical current. Also called a condenser.

Can – The muffler of the exhaust system (just the muffler and not the headers). Often called an “end can”. Refers mostly to after-market mufflers for non-cruiser road bikes.

Can Of Tuna – Suzuki Kantana

Caning it or Thrashing it – Self-explanatory terms for taking the bike for ‘a blast’.

Cans – Performance enhancing exhaust muffler or back box, fitted to the exhaust system, made of stainless steel or titanium to improve acceleration and mid-range power torque.

Canyon Carving – Riding the twisties (road curves/corners) to an extreme.

Carb – Carburetor, Fuel Management System

Carbon – (see also Carbon Fiber) – Heat-resistant chemical fibre, lighter than glass fibre. Characterised by high strength and rigidity.

Carbon Fiber – A high-tech material favoured in many motorcycle applications because it is extremely strong, light and expensive. The distinctive look of carbon fiber has become trendy.

Carburetor – 1. The part of the bike that mixes air and fuel in correct proportions before it is entered into the engine cylinder(s). 2. Mechanism for mixing fuel and air and controlling the amount entering the combustion chamber. 3. A mechanical device found on the intake side of the engine which mixes fuel and air to create the volatile mixture that gets ignited in the engine.

Carma – Like traditional Karma but occurs when cagers do stupid things to bikers. The energy is much more fierce and vengeful and will infect a cager’s ride with radiator leaks, blowouts, bad gas, thrown rods, and overall bad radio reception. These phenomena will only occur when the cager is more than a mile in distance from the biker as to avoid any motorcycle catastrophes. Also works in positive ways when cagers allow a biker plenty of room and are aware of their presence and respect their right to the road. AM reception is unusually clear and the cage experiences a 35% increase in gas mileage.

Carving – Refers to hard fast cornering on roads with many curves, stems from laying the bike down to a nearly horizontal position and “carving” a line through the road like a knife.

Case Guards – See Highway Bars: Thick, often chrome, tubes that connect to a motorcycle’s frame. Designed to protect the engine in case of a collision, but popular for their appearance. Popular with cruiser-style motorcycles.

Cases – The two clam-shell-like halves in the bottom end of the engine surrounded hy a metal shell.

Casing it – Coming up short on a double or triple jump and landing on the top of the last jump instead of clearing it. Casing refers to landing on the frame rails and engine cases.

Caster – Forward tilt of steering axis that tends to stabilize the steering.

Catalytic Converter – Exhaust device to reduce pollution emissions recently used on motorcycles.

Catwalk – Riding a motorcycle on the rear wheel only, more commonly known as a “wheelie”.

CBT -‘compulsory basic training’ a one day training course which all newbies must complete before being allowed to ride on the road in the UK. (It also stands for ‘Cognitive Behavior Therapy’ which many car drivers could do with to improve the way they relate to bikers.)

CC – Cubic centimeters. A 1000cc engine = 1000 cubic centimeters in volume.

Center of Gravity – The point in or near a body where the force of gravity appears to act. If a body is balanced at any point on the vertical line through it’s center of gravity, it will remain balanced. The center of an object’s mass.

Centerstand – The mechanical stand attached to the frame that holds the motorcycle vertically upright (as opposed to leaned over on the side stand) when parked.

Centerstand Tang – A small lever attached to the centerstand.

Century -100 MPH

Chain – Transfers power to the rear wheel from the engine on a chain drive system. Made up of over a hundred links that provide flexability and adjustability. Runs on two sprokets, one located on the engine drive shaft, the other on the hub of the rear tire.

Chain Drive – The word chain drive usually refers to primary drive, in which sense it means the chain transferring power to the rear wheel. As opposed to the two alternatives, shaft or belt drive, the chain is a lightweight solution and does not cause lag in throttle response or elevation effects. On the other hand it is a solution that needs a lot of maintenance.

Chair – A common term for a side car.

Chaps – Chaps are a clothing accessory designed for protection and fashion. Usually made of leather and are fastened around the waist, with an open butt area/back. They snap at the ankles and zip down the legs.

Charge depleting – A mode of operation used by plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), during which electrical energy from the battery powers the vehicle, so that the overall energy stored in the battery is being consumed. At any given moment, the battery may be increasing or decreasing its charge. The battery in hybrid electric vehicles may be charged from regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine (ICE).

Charge sustaining – A mode of operation used by plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) to sustain overall battery state of charge. At a given moment, the battery may be increasing or decreasing its charge. The battery in hybrid vehicles may be charged from regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine (ICE). However, in charge sustaining mode, the ICE supplies all the propulsion power of the vehicle. With the aid of the electric drive train, it can operate more efficiently than a conventional vehicle in this mode.

Chase Vehicle – Van or truck that follows a pack of riders on a run to assist or haul any bikes that might break down

Chassis – The combined frame and suspension on a motorcycle.

Checkbook Biker – Same as “InstaBiker” Someone who goes down to the dealership and writes a check for a new bike and new gear.

Cherry Juice – Tranny Fluid.

Cherry Tops – Cop cars.

Chicane – A series of “esses” (S) or turns on a race track.

Chicken Strips – The tread left on the sidewalls of a sport bike. How much of this there is (or isn’t) is how some Bikers size each other up.

Chickenwing – Honda Gold Wing

Choke – A user-controlled device to assist starting a cold engine by making the fuel/air mixture “richer” in fuel.

Chopper – 1. A style of motorcycle that appears deceptively light, has a greater angle on the front end than usually seen, and radical styling. The word originates from the post WW2 era when former GIs were looking for performance mods, there was no aftermarket back then and once all engine mods were out of the way the bike’s weight needed to be reduced… Owners began to remove unnecessary components and eventually began to cut away (or “chop”) sections of the bike and frame. Used to be called “bobbing” but the word “chop” became the more popular phrase. 2. A radical customized bike with extended and raked front end, from which all unnecessary parts have been stripped. The early choppers weren’t raked, so the front end was high making it necessary to reduce the size of the front wheel. They are very stable in a straight line, but not to agile in turns. 3. Term originated from owners removing, or “chopping,” features from the motorcycle and adding their own customized detailing. Now refers to a motorcycle with heavily raked front forks, “high-rise handlebars and an increased angle of frame to fork head”. 4. Once described as a custom motorcycle that had all superfluous parts “chopped” off in order to make the bike faster, a chopper today is a type of custom bike that usually has an extended fork, no rear suspension and high handlebars.

Chopping the Throttle – This refers to rapidly closing or backing off the throttle to reduce speed.

Chrome – Chrome plating is a finishing treatment utilizing the electrolytic deposition of chromium. The most common form of chrome plating is the thin, decorative bright chrome, which is typically a 10 µm layer over an underlying nickel plate. It imparts a mirror-like finish to items such as metal furniture frames and automotive trim.

Chrome-Slut – Those addicted to putting on more and more chrome, regardless of the functionality.

Chromosexual – That one biker who keeps adding more and more chrome, a chrome-overkill.

Church – Club meetings

Circlip – A type of mechanical fastener made of thin metal that looks like the letter “C”. It snaps into a groove on a shaft to restrict movement in a particular direction while fastening mechanical parts together securely. Sometimes called a C clip.

Citizen – Anyone who is not a member of a Biker Organization.

Class – A Violent Act

Clincher rims – Type of wheel rim used with early beaded-edge tyres.

Clip-ons – Handlebars that attach directly to the top of the fork tubes, rather than on the top yoke, that hold the fork tubes together. Clip-ons can provide faster steering response by lowering the riding position for countersteering. They lower a rider’s upper body on the front of the motorcycle for a racier position.

Clone – A motorcycle built to resemble and function like a Harley-Davidson motorcycle without actually being a Harley-Davidson motorcycle (the vehicle title will identify it as something other than a Harley-Davidson)

Closing the Door – An expression that describes what a drag/sweep/tail gunner in a group ride does when he recognizes that a lane is about to be lost. Specifically, that rider will move into the lane that is about to be lost in order to prevent a vehicle from trying to pass the group so that it will not run out of lane and, thus, then have to cut into the group of motorcycles.

Club – Also referred to as MC Club A motorcycle organization made up of members who have banded together in a common interest, members have pledged their loyalty (also called prospecting or a prospect) for some time before becoming active. Not to be confused with riding clubs or riding organizations, the distinguishing feature here is a three piece patch consisting of a logo and upper & lower rockers worn on the back of their riding jacket or vest. A patch with or simply the letters MC <Motorcycle Club> will often accompany the club name. Treat these people with utmost respect.

Clubber – One who has club affiliation

Clutch – 1. The clutch is operated by a handle in order to, ultimately, engage or disengage power to the rear wheel. 2. Device to engage and disengage engine power to drive train. 3. A device that disengages power from the crankshaft to the transmission, allowing a rider to change gears. 4. A device that allows a machine to be linked to a motor in order to set it in motion.

Clutching it up – Using the clutch to cause the bike to wheelie.

Clyde – cage driver (usually the bastard that cuts you off)

Coasters – Plates used to block the holes when removing Reed Valves

COG – Kawasaki Concours Owner’s Group ( http – // )

Coil – Transformer in ignition circuit to step up voltage to the spark plugs.

Colors/Colours – Signifies a motorcycle club or organization patch.

Combat Filtering – An agressive form of filtering which is more likely to result in the collection of wing/side mirrors from vehicles.

Combined MPG – The average of the Urban and Extra-Urban figures, as defined by the manufacturer.

Combustion chamber design – The combustion chamber is the area inside an engine where air and fuel are compressed and ignited. Modifying the chamber design can increase the overall efficiency of the engine.

Combustion cycle – The combustion cycle generally refers to the intake, compression, power and exhaust strokes. It is the process in which heat is added through combustion of fuel and converted into mechanical energy. The most common type of combustion cycle for a gasoline engine is the Otto cycle; however, some modifications have been made to the Otto cycle to improve its efficiency

Combustion chamber – 1. The area at the top of the cylinder where the fuel charge burns and pushes the piston down. 2. The part of the cylinder in which the fuel is compressed and explodes.

Compression ratio – The ratio of the volume of an engine cylinder before compression (when the piston is at bottom dead centre) as compared to the volume of the same cylinder after compression (when the piston is at top dead centre).

Compression stroke – The piston movement from bottom dead centre (BDC) to top dead centre (TDC) immediately following the intake stroke, during which both the intake valve and the exhaust valve are closed while the fuel-air mixture in the cylinder is compressed.

Coming on the Cam – The term used when a four stroke reaches its powerband.

Coming on the Pipe – The term used when a two stroke reaches its powerband.

Commuter – Anyone who normally rides his Bike to and from work.

Compression – A condition in which the volume of fuel and air in an engine cylinder is reduced as a result of increased pressure by a piston. The compression ratio of an engine is the ratio of the volume above the piston at the bottom of its compression stroke to the volume above the piston at the top of its stroke.

Compression Ratio – 1. The compression ratio specifies how much the fuel is compressed when the engine’s piston is at its highest point. 2. Amount of compression of the fuel:air mixture in a piston.

Compression Release – Used in two-stroke engines, the compression release opens an extra valve to prevent compression and increase engine drag.

Condenser – See capacitor. (Capacitor – A device for storing or collecting a surge of electrical current. Also called a condenser.)

Connecting Rod – 1. These attach the crankshaft to the pistons via the eccentric hournals, and the rods up and down movement is converted into a circular motion through the design of the journals. 2. Rod connecting piston to crankshaft.

Constant Radius Turn – A turn with a steady, nonchanging arc. In a decreasing radius corner, the arc gets sharper as you progress through the curve, while in a increasing radius corner, the arc becomes less sharp.

Contact Patch – The area of your tire that actually contacts the road while you ride. Also called “foot print”.

Cool Collar – A wrap for use around the neck used to provide significant cooling to a rider in very hot weather. The wrap is a cloth tube that either contains a bead-like material that swells when moistened and dries slowly, or contains an inner platic tube which, in turn, contains ice and/or ice water.

Cordura® – 1. A high tenacity, air textured nylon fiber, made exclusively by Dupont. Superior abrasion resistance over any other fabric in a head to head comparison. Hundreds of nylon materials exist but 500 Denier Cordura is the industry minimum standard for apparel material abrasion and tear strength. 2. Nylon yarn which consists of 100% polyamide.The manufacturing process involves respinning and weaving the cut polyamide fibres. The melting point is 210 °C. Cordura® 700 is even more tear-resistant.

Corn Snakes – Dried cornstalks that blow across the road especially at harvest time.

Corrosion – Oxidation or rust on a metal part.

Counter Steer – (see also Countersteering) 1. Action of moving the wheel to the opposite direction desired in a turn. 2. To turn the handlebars so the contact patch shifts in the opposite direction from that which the rider wishes the motorcycle to lean.

Counter Balancer – A weight inside an engine that spins with the engine rpm to cancel out some of the engines vibration and make the engine feel smoother.

Countersteering – 1. The act of turning the bikes handlebars in one direction(at higher speeds) and having it go in the opposite direction. 2. The way you use the handlebar to lean the bike into a turn. If you want to turn right, you push the handlebars left, and vice versa.

Counterweight – Rotating shaft used to offset vibration. Sometimes called counterbalance or countershaft.

Coupon – This is a traffic ticket.

Cowling(s) – A piece of bodywork that covers the engine, transmission and/or mid section of a bike crash bar area.

Crack It – Turning up the throttle

Crank it over – To turn an engine over in the process of starting it up.

Cradle Frame – Frame design where the bottom tubes “cradle” or embrace the engine.

Crankcase – External housing for the crankshaft.

Crankshaft – The main rotating member or shaft of the engine, with cranks to which the connecting rods are attached; converts up-and-down or reciprocating motion into circular or rotary motion.

Crash Bars – The incorrect term for engine guards. If you want to see a factory lawyer cringe, there’s no faster way than saying this term.

Crash Padding – A motorcyclists protective clothing, especially abrasion resistant and impact absorbing riding gear and helmet.

CreditGlide – RUB’s Ride

Caveat Emptor – Caveat emptor is Latin for ‘buyer beware’, meaning the onus is on you (the buyer) to ensure that you know what you are purchasing.

Cross – Extreme motorcycles designed for driving in rough terrain or on cross tracks.

‘Crosser – A motocross bike. Often referred to as a Scrambler.

Crossover – what connects a front & rear cylinder exhaust pipe together.

Cross winds – Winds blowing perpendicular to the direction of travel of the motorcycle.

Crotch Rocket – 1. A slang term for Sport Bikes. 2. A small sport bike with big HP engine. 3. Small, fast motorcycle.

Crowns – The tops of the pistons.

Cubic Inch Wars – Refers to the ongoing battle between the “Big 5” companies for the largest displacement OEM MC engine.

Crash Bungs or Mushrooms are terms for the plastic ‘bungs’ you attach to the frame to protect the fairing etc in case of a ‘spill’ or crash.

Cruiser – 1. A newer term that surfaced in the late 1980’s that refers to the laid back styled street bikes with chrome and boulevard styling. 2. Factory made decedents of customized choppers offering a classic look. Characterized by low seat, swept back look, lots of torque with a strong exhaust note and lots of chrome and accessories.

Crushers – Cool Shades like the original Ray-Ban Wayfarers

Curb weight – The total weight of the vehicle at nominal capacity, with all standard equipment and including batteries, fluids and lubricants.

Cycle – The up and down motion of the piston. The terms cycle and stroke are used interchangeably when referring to engine types.

Cylinder(s) – 1. The cylinder shaped space in an engine where the piston moves up and down to compress and explode fuel, which generates the engine’s power. 2. Parallel sided circular (or oval) cavity usually housing a piston. 3. The hollow shafts in the top end of an engine inside which internal cimbustion occurs.

Cylinder Block – The hunk of aluminum which holes bored through it, inside which the pistons move up and down.

Cylinder Head – The engine piece that closes off the top end of a cylinder.

Cylinder Sleeve – Liner for a cylinder.

About Michael Le Pard 9890 Articles
"Mr. Totalmotorcycle". Owner and Founder of Total Motorcycle. Supporting over Motorcyclists and Motorcycling for 23 great years. Total Motorcycle is my pride and joy and being able to reach out 375 million people has been incredible but I could not have done it without the support of my visitors, readers and members, thank you so much! You are making a difference to millions of riders worldwide. Thank you.