Have you ever listened to motorcycle slang and wondered what it means? Can you differentiate between a bobber and a bar hopper? Do you know what a rat bike is? If you answered no to any of the above questions, don’t sweat it, because at BON today, we’re hashing out 10 funny, yet accurate motorcycle terms, that’ll give you the upper hand on knowing what all the crazy motorcycle slang means. Are you ready?
Ape-Hangers are a modification for cruiser motorcycles; they are tall handlebars that sit well above a rider’s shoulders. They’re most commonly added to choppers, gangster bikes, a sometimes (ridiculous) custom bikes. They’re also a great way to ensure a rider gets a sunburn on their armpits. Yow know what they say about Ape-Hangers…if you’re going to run apes, you might as well go all the way.
This is a really easy one, which means it’ll take no effort at all to remember. Baggers is the term for those motorcycles that have sidebags. Sidebags are usually found on big touring bikes – and are made of hard materials like vinyl and leather. Baggers typically have front fairing so broad that you can barely see around it, and a front wheel that looks entirely too big to even be on a motorcycle.
A Bar-Hopper motorcycle is one that is usually custom made, and would seriously only be comfortable enough for its rider to take it on short rides. Like the only around town type of short rides. This is not the kind of bike you’d want to go road tripping on, unless not being able to feel your ass is something you’re totally into. If it is, we don’t want to know. Anyway, the Bar-Hopper is perfect bike to go bar hopping on, and is everything you’d want in a bike, minus the comfort.
4. Barn Find
The barn find motorcycle is literally what its name says – an all-original, antique or vintage motorcycle that the owner claims he found stowed away in some granny’s barn for decades collecting dust and bought for pennies on the dollar. Usually the owners find them on E-Bay, buy them for thousands of dollars, and create a badass back-story for them, but hey, to each their own.
5. The Bobber
The Bobber motorcycle is very similar to the Bar-Hopper; it’s not known to be comfortable, but it is known as stripped down, custom bike that has it’s fenders “bobbed”, or stripped down/removed. The typical construction of a Bobber consists of stripping a motorcycle of its excess body work – removing the front fender, shortening the rear fender, and removing all unnecessary parts to reduce the overall weight of the bike.
Cager is a biker’s term for car drivers out on the road – the car is the “cage” itself while the Cager is the driver – who usually spends more time looking at their cell phones behind the wheel than the bikers out on the road. Cagers rarely, if ever, notice that motorcycles exist, nor do they care that motorcycles and motorcyclists are out there on the road with them.
7. Dropping The Bike
Dropping the bike is a simple term for when a motorcycle falls over, typically when not under power or being ridden, however, the exception is on Craigslist; where dropping the bike can mean anything from “Ooops, I forgot to put the kickstand down.” to “Yeah buddy, I was drunk and don’t remember, but it seems to work fine.” Moral of the story here, don’t Craigslist and motorcycle.
Hooning is the official biker term for anyone who rides their bike like a total jackass in traffic. Hooning includes being a hooligan while on the road – riding around like a dumbass, disregarding traffic laws, doing wheelies and stoppies, and making stupid decisions that can get any rider or driver killed. Don’t go Hooning, BON family, we’d like to keep you alive, and safe with us.
We digress, “Jugs” is a pretty versatile term. But in the biker world, Jugs is not in reference to the beauty that sits atop a bike, it refers to the cylinders in a motorcycle engine. You can see the jugs plainly displayed in the image above.
10. Rat Bike
A Rat Bike is a bike that has literally been beaten to hell, looks like it’s been broken down more than its been ridden, and appears to have been McGyvered back into running order on the side of the road more than a few times. Sometimes, Rat Bikes can hardly be recognizable as an actual bike, as seen in the photo above. Some motorcycle owners actually commit money to making their bikes look like a Rat Bike on purpose, while other owners sadly possess a Rat Bike because they don’t have the time or money to do anything about it. Most owners of Rat Bikes genuinely don’t give a crap they’re riding around on a Rat Bike.
Tell us in the comments below if you use any of the terms listed above, or if they apply personally to you! What other terms would you add to this list?