Bikers and motorcyclists have a language all of their own. While certain biker slang terms made their way into mainstream vernacular ("the heat" = police, "ink" = tattoo, "rubber" = tire), most terms from biker culture remain isolated on the road. If you're new to biking, the dialect can be more than a little confusing, and shows like Sons of Anarchy don't fully explain anything. You'll need a motorcycle slang cheat sheet to fully understand.
The world's first motorcycle was developed in 1867 and powered by steam. In 1885, the first gas-powered bike was unveiled, and within the next couple of decades, bikes became the preferred mode of travel for countless enthusiasts. As years passed, motorcycles garnered more and more fans, and the language native to biking culture expanded exponentially.
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Meaning: Caused by wearing incorrect biking gear, road rash is what's left of the skin on unprotected parts of the body after a wipeout. It takes weeks to heal and can leave scars. It can also become infected.
Use It In A Sentence: Jim wasn't wearing leathers on his ride the other day, and he wiped out. He got a nasty road rash on his arms and legs.Is this a real bit of biker slang?
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Meaning: On kickstart bikes, a motorcycle that starts on the first kick.
Use It In A Sentence: That bike is a one-kicker, even after it's sat out in the cold all night.Is this a real bit of biker slang?
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Meaning: A popular term used in the Royal Air Force during WW2, a gremlin is the source of any sort of unknown mechanical problem that might befall a bike. Many bikers superstitiously have gremlin bells on their motorcycles to keep mechanical issues at bay.
Use It In A Sentence: You don't know what's wrong with your bike? Must be a gremlin.Is this a real bit of biker slang?
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Meaning: A waxer is a bike owner who is more devoted to washing, waxing, and polishing their motorcycle than riding it. They prefer showing off their bike than to actually using it. A poser.
Use It In A Sentence: My neighbor bought a new Harley last summer, and all he does is wash it and display it in his front yard. Such a waxer.Is this a real bit of biker slang?