Super Slab – Interstate Highway
S (Motorcycle designation suffix) – Sport (eg. BMW F800S or Suzuki SV650S)
SAE – Society of Automotive Engineers.
Safety Nazi – A person who is obsessive about always wearing full kit, riding sensibly and obeying the speed limits.
Safety wire – A springy wire used by racers to help keep a part from falling off.
Scavenge – Clearing of exhaust fumes from a two stroke engine.
Scoot – Slang term for a motorcycle.
Scooter – Motorcycle design where the tires are small and fat, the engine resides over the rear wheel permitting a sheltered driving platform for the riders feat. Slang term for a motorcycle.
Scooter Trash – Any Biker
Scotchlite Reflective Material – A thin, light weight membrane, mounted between the face fabric and the lining. It is Waterproof, Windproof, and Breathable.
Screamin’ Night Hog – A biker when traveling long distances, prefers to ride at night (avoiding the heavy traffic and usually at high speeds).
SEE (see also SIPDE)– Updated MSF term used to help you remember what to do when making judgments in traffic – Stands for Search, Evaluate, and Execute
Seizure – The locking in place of moving parts due to overheating, lack of lubrication or opposing pressure. Also called freeze-up.
Semiconductor – A non-metallic conductor of electrons. A particular feature is the ability to control the resistance and conductivity in specific areas of a semiconductor by applying electrical fields.
Sending Unit – Electrical or mechanical device for sensing some physical property of the motorcycle’s operating conditions. Also called a sensor unit.
SFFS – Multiple meanings: 1. Sons Forever, Forever Sons 2. Set Free From Sin 3. Saved Forever, Forever Saved
Shadow – Any Honda Shadow
Shaft drive – Shaft Drive System – 1. As an alternative to chain or belt drive to transfer power to the rear wheel, shaft drive is the solution that requires least maintenance, but is also possibly the heaviest solution. On some bikes there is a notable elevation effect when accelerating. 2. Direct connection method between transmission and rear wheel, as opposed to chain or belt final drive.
Shaft Jacking – Shaky, bumpy or raising/lowering motion of the bikes rear end created by the impact of acceleration and then fed back into the bike’s frame caused by a shaft drive. It’s quite normal as that’s what Shaft drives do as the gears inside the drive want to “ride up” as they are under stress (acceleration).
Sharing – When a cage driver passes you in your lane or otherwise tries to share the lane.
Shim – Small piece of metal used to set clearances between valves or other parts.
Shimmy – Another term for high speed wobble.
Single – An engine configuration comprising of one cylinder.
Shiny Side Up (Keep The Shiny Side Up) – Drive Safe, Don’t Lay the Bike Down. Friendly parting expression.
Shock Absorber – Also known as damper, shocks absorb road surface vibration through hydraulic friction.
Shooters on Scooters – motorcycle cop
Short – Low Final Drive Gear Ratio
Short-Legging – A situation where a rider attempts to put down a foot on pavement or solid ground when stopping a motorcycle but finds that no pavement exists where it was expected.
Shotgun Pipes – This style of exhaust had the two pipes ending straight and together, giving the appearance of a double barreled shot gun.
Shovel – Shovelhead – 1. Slang for Harley-Davidson engines produced between 1966 and 1984, so named because of the shape of the head resembles a coal shovel. The Shovelhead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1966 – 1984.) 3. Harley-Davidson’s third generation overhead valve Big Twin engine.
Showed Him My Wheel – Riding behind someone so close that he saw your wheel beside him.
Sidecar – Small carriages attached to the side of a motorcycle to provide extra carrying capacity or additional passenger(s). Also allows the motorcycle to become more stable and rideable in slippery condition (snow, ice, mud roads, etc.).
Sidestand – he factory-installed stand that props up a motorcycle at an angle when it is parked Also called a Kickstand.
Silverhair Hiway Patrol (SHip) – Bluehairs that attempt to enforce a maximum speed limit of 35mph no matter what the posted limit is. Generally followed by a small parade of vehicles, they often speed up upon encountering a passing zone.
SIPDE (see also SEE)– – An older MSF term used to help you remember what to do when making judgments in traffic – Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute
Sissy Bar – 1. Passenger Backrest. 2. The backrest put behind the passengers portion of the saddle.
Sit on the gas – When you sit on the gas tank (located at the upper front section of the bike) with your hands on the throttle and brakes either at a stop or while moving.
Skid Lid – Slang term for a helmet.
Skiing – A type of stunt where a rider carefully jumps off the rear of the moving motorcycle, grabs the pillion grab rail and skis on the road surface. The world record stands in excess of 225 kph (140 mph). Also called skating.
Skin – New paint job
Slabbing it – Taking the Interstate Highway
Slam or Slammer – 1. Jockey Shift. 2. To lower a bike’s suspension (or in extreme cases remove it entirely), also a remark made to someone with intent to make comments, sometimes of a rude nature, to elicit laughs from those who hear/read it.
Slave Cylinder – Hydraulic cylinder activated by the master cylinder, usually referring to clutch or brake cylinders.
Sled – Slang term for a motorcycle.
Slick – Treadless tire. Can refer to a race tire or a completely worn out tire with little or no tread left on it. Slick’s offer the greatest dry traction to a road surface as friction is greatest since there is little/no air gap (tread) between the rubber and the road. A tyre specifically designed for use in road racing only that is made of a soft compound with no tread.
Slick Plastic Arrows – Directional traffic control arrows made of smooth white plastic that are glued to the road surface.
Slider – the throttle throat opening mechanism on a CV carb controlled by a diaphragm& Vacuum.
Slider – A Brit term for the leg or lower casting on the forks.
Slinger – A bike with a centrifugal oil filter which spins the oil at crankshaft speed.
Slinky Riders – Riders in a group ride who consistently fail to maintain interval with the bike to their front are “slinky riders” and are a severe hazard to others.
Slip-on – A type of muffler that installs onto the exhaust pipe or header.
Slip The Clutch – To play with or fan the clutch in order to prevent the engine stalling or spinning the rear tyre from the start line.
Slop – A term for “play” or “looseness” in a motorcycle assembly.
Slow Ride – A common on-bike competition, often seen at rallies or safety events (ie. riding as slow as possible, last to cross the finish line wins).
Slug – 1. Piston in an engine. 2. A slow motorcycle and rider.
SM (Motorcycle designation suffix) – Supermoto (eg. Suzuki DR-Z400SM)
Smell Me Bars – Ape Hangers
SNAFU – After attempting to fix something that wasn’t broken in the first place and ya can’t put it back together correctly, you have a Situation Normal All F_ _ ked Up
Snakes (road snakes) – The serpentine tar strips sometimes used to fill cracks on a racetrack or on a highway/road.
Sneakers – Tires as in “I got a new rear sneaker, or a new pair of sneakers”
SNELL Rating – A foundation formed in 1957 and is an independent motorcycle helmet testing organization. A Snell rating on a helmet, indicated by a sticker inside the helmet, states that the helmet has passed performance tests. Helmet manufacturers are not required to apply, qualify or receive a SNELL rating unlike the required by law DOT rating. Having both SNELL and DOT on a helmet is a very good thing.
Snicking – The act of shifting a well functioning transmission is often called snicking, because that’s the sound the action makes. A transmission that doesn’t snick into gear is described as sloppy-shifting.
SO – Significant Other (usually refers to someone’s wife or husband)
Soft Tail – Refers to a mono-shock swingarm bike, has the rigid or hardtail styling yet full rear suspension capability. One major company utilizes a play-on version of the word to describe their lineup of this style; the Softail.
Softail® – A motorcycle frame whose suspension is hidden, making it resemble a hard tail
Software – What your back warmer presses into your back.
SOHC – Single Over Head Cam. A single cam shaft found in the head or top of the engine that activates the valves.
SOHV – Single OverHead Valve.
Solid Mounted – A bike with a solid mounted engine has the engine bolted directly to the frame tubes.
Solenoid – A cylinder of wire magnetically controlling a free sliding metal core.
Solenoid valve – A solenoid is a cylindrical coil of wire acting as a magnet when carrying electric current. A solenoid valve is an automatic safety shut-off valve that is opened or closed by the action of a solenoid attached to the valve disc, resulting in fast opening and closing times.
Solid – Standup, good people, trustworthy
Solvent – A liquid used to dissolve a solute.
Spanny/Spannie – 2-stroke expansion chamber. A type of exhaust system found on a ‘Stroker.
Spark Plugs (or Plugs) – A device that lights an electric spark within the combustion chamber to burn the fuel in the cylinder.
Sparkin’ or Sparking the Pavement – This is a term used when a rider would lean their bike over far enough to drag the bottoms, usually of their bikes floor boards or maybe an exhaust pipe and cause sparks to fly at night from rubbing the pavement. I.e.”He had that bike so low to the ground in the turn it was Sparkin or Sparking the Pavement.”
Speed Tax – Speeding fine
Speed Wobble – See Wobble – A sudden instability of a motorcycle at speed in which the front end of the bike darts from side to side uncontrollably. Best recources I’ve heard to fix it: DO NOT slam on the brakes. DO NOT death grip the handlebars. Accelerate out of it or slowly close the throttle to reduce speed.
Spine Frame – Main frame structure made up of two sheet steel pressings welded together along the center line. Also can be tubular construction. Often called a “T” or “7” frame as this describes the shape of the frame.
Splicing – Driving in the narrow passage between oncoming cages and parked cages when normally cars take turns going through. Very common on rural and residential roads in Germany.
Split Tail – a female passenger or your squeeze.
Splitting the Cases – The metal shell surrounding the bottom end is composed of two clam shell like halves, called cases. Taking these apart to repair the motorcycle is called splitting the cases.
Spoke – A rod that connects the hub and rim on a wheel.
Sportbike – 1. The racy light weight mega-fast bikes with full fairing, comfort is not taken into consideration on these bikes rather they are made for hard acceleration, quick and responsive maneuvering, and rapid stopping power. 2. Motorcycle offering high performance characterized by leading edge engine design, heavily applied racing technology, radical aerodynamic styling, low handlebars, high performance tires and suspension, low weight, high RPM engine and big disc brakes. 3. A motorcycle designed for optimal speed and handling characteristics, often with expensive bodywork.
Sport Standard – An attempt to declassify sport bikes, essentially they are fairing-less sport bikes. They fall between a Sport Bike and a Standard, with some racy styling and a little more upright riding stance.
Sport Tourer – Sport Touring – 1. Motorcycles that go under this category are a compromise between powerful sports bikes and touring bikes. These bikes often have good aerodynamics and lots of power, making the top models of this category the fastest bikes around. 2. Sport touring bikes offer more comfort than a sport bike and more speed than a touring bike. 3. A motorcycle that combines the comfort and carrying capacity of a touring bike with the handling and power of a sportbike with larger fairing and hard, lockable luggage.
Springs (shock springs) – Help the shocks absorb road surface vibration through compression of the spring around the shock.
Springer – A motorcycle that is designed with large springs on the front forks to dampen and absorb road shock.
Springer Fork – Springer type forks use large, exposed springs to dampen the impact of road irregularities. Very old technology that works is still used today by Harley-Davidson for a heritage look.
Squid (Squiddy) – Acronym, SQUirrely kID. 1. In reference to younger MC riders with little respect to posted speed limit laws, self safety or safety of others. 2. Inexperienced newcomer, someone trying to ride beyond his skill level with arms flailing (like a squid) to try not to fall. This may be just a Southern term. 3. Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Imminently Dead. 4 Any Sportbike Rider – seems this term got twisted along the way and has many meanings. 5 Sportbike riders who wear tennis shoes or flip flops, shorts, T-shirts, etc. on their nice shiny new sport bikes. 6 Anyone that rides without all proper gear , rides recklessly, or rides beyond their limits. 7. Someone who rides a sportbike on the street as if he or she were on a racetrack.
Square – In the counterculture movements that started in the 1940s and took momentum in the 1960s a “square” referred to someone who clung to repressive, traditional, stereotypical, one-sided, or “in the box” ways of thinking. The term was used by hipsters in the 40s, beatniks in the 50s, hippies in the 60s, yippies in the 70s, and other individuals who took part in the movements which emerged to contest the more conservative national, political, religious, philosophical, musical and social trends.
Square Four (4) – An engine configuration comprising of 4 cylinders in a square formation (i.e. 2 sets of parallel twins).
Squat – The rear suspension of the motorcycle seems to bottom out due to hard acceleration.
Squirrelly handling – A slang term for a feeling of less than full control on a motorcycle. Loose handling of the motorcycle.
ST (Motorcycle designation suffix) – Sport Tourer (eg. BMW F800ST)
Stanchion – A Brit term for the fork tube.
Stand-Up – dependable, can be counted on.
Stand up – When you raise your body or ‘stand’ while riding your bike.
Standard – 1. A more upright styled bike, with little attention to styling. Generally more powerful than cruisers and their engines are tuned to “real world” riding (ie. more torque in the low-mid RPM range with a few less horsepower in the top end.) 2. Term for a basic, universal, multipurpose motorcycle design. 3. UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle).
Standing on brakes – Strongly applying the brakes, usually in a panic stop. Using both front and rear brakes very agressively to stop quickly.
State Patrol Formation – Staggered group riding formation – L-R-L-R-L-R…
State of charge – Like a fuel gauge on a gasoline-powered vehicle, the state of charge indicates the amount of fuel remaining for use in a battery electric vehicle, hybrid-electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. In this case, however, the fuel is electricity. The fuel (or electrical charge) is measured in percentages, with 0% being empty and 100% being full.
Statey – State cop
Static – Harassment by law enforcement
Stitching a line – Meaning to get by traffic quick and safe.
Stay Vertical – Stay upright, don’t crash
Steeler – See Steelership
Steelership – The local motorcycle dealership
Steering Aids – Ruts in the road formed by heavy trucks that try to steer your bike for you.
Steering damper – 1. A steering damper is mounted to a motorcycle’s frame and fork to prevent situations like a wobble. 2. A system for adding resistance to the motorcycle steering.
Steering Geometry – The geometrical relationship between the motorcycle frame, the angle of the fork, and the position of the front tire.
Steering Head – 1. The tubular section at the front of a frame where the triple trees mount to. 2. The place where the fork is connected to the frame and which specifies the steering angle.
Steering lock – A lock that enables one to lock the fork at an extreme right or left to prevent or hinder theft.
Street Fighter – Streetfighter – A bare bones sportbike (or any bike that originally had fairings) stripped of all extraneous bodywork. Also called a hooligan bike.
Step-thru – A frame layout with a low structure between the seat and the steering head.
Stewartized – When some Bikers take great pains and expense to color coordinate their bike colors, leathers, helmet, boots, gloves. Named after Martha Stewart.
Stick it – What a cop would do to check for Straight Pipes is stick his nightstick in the end of the exhaust pipe and if it didn’t stop and went all the way in, ya got a coupon for straight pipes (a fix it ticket).
Stinky Finger – priming the AMAL carb on early Triumphs from fuel seeping out the button.
Sticky hoops or boots – Tires made of a soft compound which maximise grip usually at the expense of tire’s longevity.
Stinkwheel – A motorcycle with a 2-stroke engine.
Stock – A motorcycle set up to OEM specifications with no alterations.
Stoppie – The art of stopping a motorcycle and having the rear wheel lift off the ground, the reverse of a wheelie. Also called an endo. 2. Aviation of the rear wheel in an effort to stop quickly
Stoppers – Brakes
Straight Pipes – An exhaust system with no baffles inside thus the exhaust travels straight through unrestricted. (Very loud and technically illegal in most areas.)
Straight-shooter – Tells it like it is, no b.s., Talks the truth, speaks their mind
Streetfighter – A sportsbike that has been crashed and the owner cannot afford to repair the cosmetic damage so all the fairings are removed and the clip-ons are replaced with flat bars (these are the typical areas of damage on a sportsbike).
Stressed member – A component that is an integral part of the whole structure.
Stretch – A chopper term for increasing the neck rake of a motorcycle by extending the length of the frame’s front downtubes, which is that part of the frame between the neck and the front motor mounts. Stretching is a chopper modification dating from the 1960’s. Its effect was to raise the fork neck, increasing the degree of rake, and allow for the use of a long, extended fork without significantly raising the engine and drivetrain (and bike’s center-of-gravity) high into the air. The bike retained a low, long look, high in the center, front to back, and handled relatively well
Stretching out – When the swing arm that holds the back tire is pulled or ‘stretched out.’ It makes your bike look longer and it makes it hard to pop wheelies.
Stroke – 1. (as in bore/stroke) The distance traveled in either direction of by an piston or rod in an engine. Do not mix up with stroke as in 4-stroke. 2. The up and down motion of the piston. 3.A single movement of a piston, stem or crank arm from one end of its range to the other.
Stroker – Two stroke engine.
Stubby – A muffler which has been deliberately cut down to a shorter length, typically to increase the noise of the exhaust system.
Stuck – Sudden Engine Seizure – This also refers to a Stuck Piston which will cause a Gradual Engine Seizure, where the bike will loose power and need to be pulled over to cool-off. I.e. The engine was overheated and/or wasn’t broke in properly or the clearances were set wrong and the engine Stuck a Piston. This can happen if the piston to wall clearance is set to close on a forged piston which expands more and faster than a cast piston and can seize the engine when there is no more room/clearance for a forged piston’s expansion.
Suicide Shift – Suicide Clutch – An early-style gear shift mechanism. Unlike modern motorcycles, early motorcycles used a foot-actuated clutch and the gear shifting was done with the rider’s hand via a long gear shift knob that was connected directly to the transmission (much like a manual transmission on a car). Because the rider had to remove one of his hands from the handlebars in order to shift – a dangerous prospect given that most of the thoroughfares of the day were rutted, unpaved dirt roads or brick and cobblestone streets – many people felt that motorcycle riders were literally “taking their lives into their own hands” … hence the term, “suicide shift”.
Suck to the Bulls – Talking friendly with law enforcement. (Best way to talk to them).
Suckin’ leather – About the same as Pucker Factor.
Sulphur oxides (SOx) – Taken collectively, pollutants of the oxidation of sulphur, including both sulphur dioxide (SO2) and sulphur trioxide (SO3) and the acids formed by their combination with water. Of these, sulphuric acid (H2SO4) is of principal interest.
Super-motard – A motorcycle category which defines urbanly designed cross or enduro bikes.
Sump – Oil reservoir that either scavenges free draining engine oil or separately holds oil.
Suspension – The system of springs, shock absorbers, or similar devices connection the axels to the frame of a motor cycle. Designed to reduced unwanted motion transmitted from the riding surface.
Superman – Refers to flying through the air (chest down) after coming off a motorcycle. Also see “Nipple Surfing”
Supermoto – A new style of motorcycle usually built around, and looking like, off-road machines with street tires. They tend to be light, flickable machines, and are used in a new genre of racing that usually encompasses riding on a mixture of pavement and dirt surfaces. Many manufacturers have a Supermoto in their model lineups.
Super Slab – 1. Interstate. 2. A generic term for any multilane, high speed, limited access highway, including a freeway, toolway, motorway, parkway, or superhighway.
Swapping Paint – Two riders bump in to each other while racing. Also known as love nudges.
Sweep – The last (and most experienced) rider in a group ride.
Sweeper – A broad high-speed turn.
Swingarm – The rear portion of a bike that the rear wheel mounts to, a pivoting structure that moves up and down with the rear suspension.
Swirl – Swirl is the spiralling movement of the gas in the cylinder of a motor. In a typical gas turbine engine, the air from the compressor is set in a swirling motion by vanes in the premixer located upstream from the combustor. Fuel is then injected into the swirling airflow in the premixer such that a swirling, premixed fuel-air mixture enters the combustor.
Swoop – To take a road trip. E.g. I took a swoop over to any town or lets go a swoop to any town.