Top 10 Biker Sayings and Expressions

Words to live by

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Motorcycle Expressions

Of the numerous expressions, mottoes, proverbs, colloquialisms, etc., related to motorcycling some can be inspirational, such as “When life throws you a curve, lean into it,” while others – “Loud pipes save lives” – simply foolhardy.

Like political campaign slogans, with enough repetition a truthiness becomes attached to said expression, regardless any factual data. A retort to the loud pipes claim has emerged: “If loud pipes save lives, imagine what learning to ride that thing could do.”

In our best Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance fashion we selected 10 axioms of wisdom and arranged them in a somewhat chronological order of appearance. From novice motorcyclist to grizzled old biker, here are some expressions a motorcyclist can live by.

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  • David Kent

    “Keep the shiny side up!”

  • Baggerchris

    Keep the Rubber side down!

    • David Kent

      Same/same, but yours works better for the new crop of “customs”. They don’t have a shiny side!

    • Jeremy Ball

      I like when the sticky side in on the bottom.

  • Andy Tuttle

    Anyone know where the photo in #10 was taken? I’d like to go there. -Andy

    • dustysquito .

      That’s from ADVRider.com. I think that one is still on their front page rotation. They should have a photographer’s credit if you look at it on ADV rider.

  • Manny Pandya

    A nice montage, but I’d put your #10 at my #1, and then say it in Italian like Rossi… so sexy (the saying, not Rossi).

  • Kevin Boggs

    I respectfully disagree with No. 8 and yes, I’ve had several cases of serious road rash. Don’t tell me how to ride my motorcycle and I won’t tell you how to ride yours. If safety is your primary concern then get a Volvo. I prefer to find a happy medium. Thanks.

  • Kevin Wynn

    They missed a gem “Blahblahblah….There was nothing I could do, I had to lay’er down.” The single dumbest thing any rider could ever say.

  • clasqm

    If you want to know the shortest, most efficient way to get from A to B, never ask a biker.

  • evansg

    it is what it is.

  • len alan

    I made a “T” shirt with “If you don’t ride a motorcycle, you wouldn’t understand ” on the back, so my wife would be reminded every time I took the bike for a ride.

  • rudedog4

    ATGATT. People always ask me if my Roadcrafter suit is hot, to which I reply, “I’d rather sweat than bleed.”