13 Words That Mean Something Completely Different to a Biker

By Ryan Woodward

Bikers are a different breed. We are loyal to a unique culture that lovingly embraces cool customizations, high-octane engines and a thirst for the open road. Depending on how deep our roots go and how we were raised, some of us may also speak somewhat of a different language. Do you personally use “biker terms” that could confuse a non-biker when you speak, or do you know anyone who does? Here’s a list of 13 terms that just might mean something completely different to guys called Wrench, Tiny, and Joker than to a guy who simply goes by Cornelius.

1. Coupon

Cornelius’ Standard Definition:
A certificate that entitles you to a discount on items such as mayonnaise at the grocery store.

Wrench’s Biker Definition:
A speeding ticket dished out by a cop. Synonym: Fast riding award.

2. PMS

Cornelius’ Definition:
Acronym for Premenstrual Syndrome – a condition referring to irritability, fatigue, emotional distress, and sometimes depression experienced prior to the occurrence of menstrual cycles. Synonym: Man’s worst nightmare.

Tiny’s Biker Definition:
Parked Motorcycle Syndrome. A bad mood caused from having a motorcycle parked in the garage too damn long. Much like a woman, a biker who is PMS-ing should be avoided at all costs!

3. Ape Hangers

These bikers at the Buffalo Chip CrossRoads aren’t monkeying around.

Cornelius’ Standard:
A group of primates hanging from a tree.

Joker’s Biker Definition:
Head-turning handlebars that sit at or above shoulder-level. As of July 1, 2015 apehangers are legal in South Dakota.


Standard Definition:
A cute little deer whose mother meets an untimely fate in a classic Disney movie.

Joker’s Biker Definition:
Born-Again Middle-Aged Biker – one of your buddies who got soft, quit riding for many years, but got back on track again and now embraces the open road.

5. Binders

Grab your binders and burnout on the Chip’s Vice Bridge this summer.

Cornelius’ Standard Definition:
Organizational tool with rings used to hold calculus and chemistry notes in.

Tiny’s Biker Definition:

6. Heat

Cornelius’s Standard Definition:
Temperatures measured in Celsius, Fahrenheit, Rankine or Kelvin high enough that cardigan removal is required.

Joker’s Biker Definition:
The guys who are always hot on your tail, the police.

7. Wrench

Service your ride, replace your tires and run a Dyno test with help from wrenches at the Buffalo Chip CrossRoads including Easy Eddie’s Mechanical Services and Harmonious Dyno.

Cornelius’ Standard Definition:
A tool for gripping and turning or twisting the head of a bolt, a nut, a pipe, etc.

Tiny’s Biker Definition:
The guy who keeps your bike running! In other words, a mechanic.

8. Rippin’ it up

Cornelius’ Standard Definition:
To physically tear apart an object.
Practical use: “Cornelius took a handful of French bread, then started rippin’ it up and dipping it in Herbes de Provence infused olive oil.”

Wrench’s Biker Definition:
Twistin’ the throttle and riding aggressively like you own the road. Synonym: Hammer down.

9. Brain bucket

Diva Amy Skaling of Team Diva sports her rhinestone-encrusted brain bucket during the 2014 Legends Ride®.

Cornelius’ Standard Definition:
Something out of a cheesy horror movie?

Joker’s Biker Definition:
A motorcycle helmet. Synonym: Skid lid.

10. Backyard

Are there world-class concerts in your backyard?

Cornelius’ Standard Definition:
The portion of a lot behind a house that’s used for sipping iced tea and playing croquet. In the big city, a mythical place one only sees in the movies.

Tiny’s Biker Definition:
A place you ride often and feel at home. Hundreds of thousands of you experienced Sturgis Rally fans lovingly call the Sturgis Buffalo Chip® your “backyard.” Welcome Home Bikers!

11. Sled

This sled from Led Sled Customs won the Hot Biker Magazine Winner Takes All Bike Show at the Buffalo Chip CrossRoads in 2014.

Cornelius’ Standard Definition:
A small vehicle consisting of a platform mounted on runners for use in traveling over snow or ice.

Wrench’s Biker Definition:
A motorcycle. Synonyms: Bike, scoot, scooter.


Cornelius’ Standard Definition:
Any of several ten-armed cephalopods, having a slender body and a pair of rounded or triangular caudal fins. Synonym: Something one orders at a Japanese restaurant to appear cultured.

Joker’s Biker Definition:
Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Imminently Dead. This label is reserved for inexperienced riders who ride too fast, dress inappropriately for the road, and obviously didn’t read the 12 Safety Tips Seasoned Riders Swear By.

13. Stay Vertical

Buffalo Chip owner Rod Woodruff staying vertical on his EagleRider Baja Tour.

Cornelius’ Standard Definition:
To sit or stand up straight. (A gentleman always maintains good posture.)

Wrench’s Biker Definition:
Keeping the rubber on the road and the shiny side up. Pay close attention to this and be safe during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and year round!

Do you personally use any of these biker terms? Are there any slang terms that you do use? Shoot ’em over in the comments below!

Want to be with like-minded folk during the Sturgis Rally? The Buffalo Chip was built By Bikers, For Bikers™ in 1981, and has been throwing one hell of a party since! Record numbers of bikers have already made their reservations for the Chip’s Party of the Century during the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Rally, so don’t be the only one to miss out. Reserve your passes now!