Can You Ace This Motorcycle Quiz?

By: Dave Davis
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
Can You Ace This Motorcycle Quiz?
Image: Unsplash by Motoculturel

About This Quiz

Getting from one place to another is one thing; getting there in style and enjoying the experience is quite another. 

Motorcycle riders are a breed apart from other travelers on the highway. In a car or a truck, it's easy to divorce yourself from your surroundings. Climate control, surround-sound stereo and all the other creature comforts allow you to ignore the natural world around you. On a motorcycle, however, you're part of nature. You feel the wind, the heat, the cold and the rain, and you're OK with that because it's all part of the journey. You know the roads in a way that automobile drivers never will, and deep down (or maybe not so deep down), you pity them.

Just like motorcycle riding, this quiz isn't for everyone; it's for those who want to feel a sense of adventure in each ride they take. Riding a motorcycle isn't a simple choice of vehicle. It's a lifestyle decision, and one that's rich in history and has a sense of community, unlike any other on the road. 

Experienced riders know what it's like to become one with their bikes, to travel the road and appreciate every second of the journey. Prove you know your way around your hog, chopper, adventure bike or whatever motorcycle you ride by acing this quiz! Get your motor running, and let's hit the highway!

Crotch Rocket
Pexels by Skitterphoto
What somewhat-unflattering nickname is given to a motorcycle that is built for speed and not for comfort?
Crotch rocket
Pavement burner
Skipper bike
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A "crotch rocket" is another name for a sports bike — one that is designed to run fast on paved roads and is optimized for speed, cornering, acceleration and braking. "Comfort" is not a factor when it comes to these specialized types of motorcycles; the rider is typically hunched over for better aerodynamics. Some can go up to 190 mph or faster.

Wikimedia Commons by Joachim Köhler
A motorcycle with long forks and an overall stretched-out appearance is called a ... ?
Dirt bike
Supermoto bike
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If it's got long front forks and a rider leaning back in style with some attitude, it's a chopper. This type of bike was first seen in California in the late 1950s, and choppers were the bikes ridden and made famous by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in the 1969 film "Easy Rider."

Ape Hanger
Pixabay by Alexas_Fotos
What are "ape hangers"?
Motorcycles that are geared low
Very tall motorcycle handlebars
Very loud motorcycles
Motorcycles hauling trailers
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Ape hangers" are handlebars that are tall — so tall, in some cases, that the rider actually has to reach up to take hold of them. Usually found on chopper bikes, some believe these handlebars were first used to allow riders with no rear suspension on their bikes to lift themselves from their seats to miss potholes.


Wikimedia Commons by Yitzachmmeyer
What can a "dual sport" bike do that others can't?
Use two gears simultaneously
Ride two people on an off-road track
Use two types of tires
It's a street-legal bike that can also be ridden in the dirt.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Dual sport bikes, also known as "adventure" bikes, are designed to combine the best of street bikes and dirt bikes into a vehicle that can be used either way. With a dual-sport bike, riders can go on long trips where they might be forced to leave the highway to take the backroads. These bikes can be stripped down or feature-rich, but they're ready for whatever the journey throws at them.

Pexels by Oleg Magni
Who, where and/or what is "Sturgis"?
A motorcycle rally
George Sturgis, the inventor of the modern motorcycle
The kickstand
A maker of motorcycle jackets
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Sturgis, South Dakota, is the home of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which draws almost half a million riders a year. Started in 1938, the Rally has grown year after year. The event, held in August, lasts for 10 days and has entertainment, events, competitions and, of course, a blue ton of motorcycles.

Unsplash by Anh Trần
What does a "trike" and "spyder" mean to a motorcyclist?
An inexperienced motorcyclist
A motorcycle with three wheels
A souped-up bike
A bike with color LED lights installed
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A "trike" or a "spyder" is a motorcycle with three wheels. Trikes have two wheels in the back, while newer spyders have two wheels in front. These bikes are more stable than their two-wheeled cousins and are great alternatives for those who want to have the motorcycle experience but don't feel comfortable on a regular bike.


Pixabay by chezbeate
If a motorcyclist says he has "road rash," what does this tell you?
He has had an accident.
He needs new tires on his bike.
He has allergies made worse by the wind in his face.
His bike has rust spots.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Road rash is a skin condition best avoided. It refers to the wounds received by sliding on the pavement after a motorcycle accident, where the skin is stripped away. Wearing proper gear can help riders minimize this condition or avoid it entirely.

Unsplash by Richard Ciraulo
When a biker is looking as his or her fairing, what are they examining?
The windscreen on the front of the bike
The main engine bearing
Their helmet
The area underneath the seat
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The fairing on a motorcycle is the windscreen at the front of the bike and can take different shapes and sizes. While they can provide some protection from objects that might get kicked up on the road, not all motorcycles have fairings; some riders don't care for them because they can cause the handlebar to shake in certain conditions.

Naked Bike
Pexels by Giorgio de Angelis
When a motorcycle is said to be a "naked bike," what does that mean?
It's a parked motorcycle.
It's actually a scooter.
It's in the process of being torn down and rebuilt.
It is a standard, no-frills motorcycle.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A naked bike is also called a standard motorcycle, as it has no modifications and is intended to be a general-purpose vehicle for street use. The term "naked" was used for 1950 British motorcycles that were used for racing. Standard motorcycles are great for those just learning to ride.


Unsplash by Jan Starek
Congrats! You've just done a "stoppie"! So, what exactly have you just done?
You've popped a wheelie.
You've gotten pulled over for going too fast.
You've replaced the brakes on your bike.
You've performed a reverse wheelie.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It's difficult — it was impossible before certain advances in braking technology were made — but if you can stand your bike up on its front wheel, you've just done a "stoppie." While it looks cool, it's not easy to do and, if done poorly, can damage both bike and rider.

Pixabay by arielrobin
What unit is often used to describe the size of a motorcycle engine?
Cubic centimeters
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Most motorcycle engines are smaller than most automobile engines, and cubic centimeters (cc) are used to describe the air that is displaced by the engine's cylinders. Where an automobile engine would be a 1.6-liter motor, the same size engine on a motorcycle would be described as a 1,600-cc motor. Some American makers, such as Harley-Davidson, use the cubic inches for their measurement.

Pixabay by Free-Photos
Which of these is the "motorcycle salute"?
The biker revs the engine loudly.
The left arm is extended low with two fingers out.
The hand is brought up to the brow and then snapped back.
Swerving quickly in front of a car
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There are variations, but the "motorcycle salute" is usually done as two oncoming bikers pass each other on the road. They put their left arm out and hold it low, with two fingers extended as a sign of recognition and respect. This is thought to have begun in 1904 when Arthur Davidson passed by William Harley, and they waved. Since these were giants in the field, the simple gesture caught on immediately.


Motorcycle mechanic
Unsplash by Aaron Huber
Which part, which has fallen out of favor in automobiles, is still in use today on many motorcycles?
AM radio
Timing belts
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While fuel injection systems have taken over in the automotive realm, the humble carburetor is still in use by many motorcycles today. They both do the job of mixing fuel and air into a combination that the internal combustion engine can use, but carburetors are cheaper and easier to repair. They aren't as environmentally friendly as fuel injection systems, however, and can be trickier to start. Still, carbs are hanging in there for the moment.

Dress for the Slide
Unsplash by arivoli tamilarasan
When it comes to the clothing you wear on a motorcycle, which is the correct phrase?
Dress for the ease, not the breeze.
Dress for the wind, not the bend.
Dress for the slide, not the ride.
Dress for the ride, not the slide.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

On a nice day, it's tempting to wear a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops, especially if you're just going for a quick ride to feel the wind in your hair. Riding a motorcycle, however, is something to be taken seriously; a ride can quickly turn into a slide if things go wrong, and light clothing offers absolutely no protection in a slide — it's skin vs. road, and skin will never win.

Long Way Round
Pexels by Quang Nguyen Vinh
Actors and motorcycle enthusiasts Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman documented their trip around the world on bikes in which TV series?
"Long Way Round"
"Long Way Down"
"Obi Wander"
"The Motor Cycles"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 2004, British actors and motorcycle enthusiasts Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman filmed a documentary series of their adventure of riding their BMW R1150GS all-terrain motorcycles around the world, starting in London and ending in New York City. The trip was also used to promote UNICEF, visiting some of the places the humanitarian group was doing their work. The two also filmed another series, "Long Way Down," riding from Scotland to South Africa in 2007.


Unsplash by Nadine Shaabana
Long before it started making motorcycles, what did Yamaha first manufacture?
Weaving machines
Iron-cast cooking pans
Fishing boats
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Yamaha started in 1887 as a Japanese company that made pianos and reed organs and is, in fact, the largest piano manufacturer in the world. Yamaha Motor Company, which makes motorcycles, boats and other vehicles, was formed in 1955 and was eventually spun off to form its own company (although Yamaha is still a major shareholder).

Pixabay by Frank Winkler
Why does the phrase "Isle of Man" make a motorcyclist's heartbeat just a little faster?
It's where the motorcycle was invented.
It's one of the rarest motorcycles in the world.
It was the first motorcycle made by Harley-Davidson.
It's one of the most dangerous motorcycle races in the world.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race is one of the most famous and exciting motorcycle competitions in the world. It's also one of the most dangerous; riders are regularly killed as they tear around the unforgiving 37-mile road race that is made up of both city and country roads. The race, known as the "IoMTT" to some, has claimed the lives of more than 250 people since it started in 1907.

Rat bike
Pixabay by Marzena P.
When a biker refers to his or her "rat" bike, what are they talking about?
A bike that won't run
An underpowered motorcycle
A bike that can take some punishment
A dirt bike
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Just as some automobile drivers have the "good" car and then the old, dented pickup truck for hauling dirty loads, some bikers have their "rat" bike. The bike doesn't have to be in bad condition but has to be one that the rider doesn't really care that much about getting dented, scratched or otherwise abused. Ironically, some riders come to love their "rat" bikes and the fun they can bring and wouldn't be without them.


Pexels by Oleg Magni
What does a "one-percenter" mean in the motorcycling world?
Rich people
Outlaw bikers
Those with expensive bikes who never ride them
The fastest of fast bikes
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The vast, vast majority of people who enjoy riding motorcycles are just that — people who enjoy riding. The "one-percenters," however, seem to get the bulk of the public's attention. Motorcycle gangs, "outlaw" biker movies and television shows and the like don't represent the reality of motorcycling culture, but the stereotype can color all riders in the minds of some.

Wikimedia Commons by Khaosaming
Which of these motorcycles recently turned 50 and is credited with ushering in a new age for motorcycles?
Indian FTR 1200
Honda CB750 Four
Harley-Davidson Iron 1200
Yamaha YZF-R3
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When it was released in 1969, the Honda CB750 Four changed the rules of motorcycle manufacturing. The 750 has the first mass-produced transverse inline-four engine, along with a front disk brake and a lot of power — and, at $1,495, was very affordable for the time. Other motorcycle makers had to scramble to complete with this new player on the field as the CB750 quickly found an audience.

Female Rider
Unsplash by Harley-Davidson
If a rider says she needs new skins, what does she mean?
She wants a new jacket.
She's going to get a custom paint job on her bike.
She needs a new helmet.
She needs new tires.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Skins" refers to the tires of the motorcycle. Since the margin of error is so much less for motorcycles than it is for automobiles, motorcyclists should make sure their tires are in good condition and appropriate for both the bike they are riding and the conditions they'll be riding through.


Pexels by KML
In an emergency situation, what is the best way to "hard" brake on a motorcycle?
Apply them as gently as possible, and use your maneuverability to avoid the crash.
Hit them as hard as possible; the bike will stay upright.
Squeeze them gently at first, and increase pressure as needed.
Prepare to "lay" the bike down.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It's important to know how to handle your bike in an emergency situation so you can avoid trouble without losing control. Slamming on the bike's brakes is a quick way to let the bike get away from you. A gentle squeeze followed by increasing pressure on the brakes is the best way to keep upright and out of trouble. When first starting out on a bike, it's a good practice to try braking at different speeds in an empty parking lot to see how the bike handles.

Pexels by Pixabay
Which brand sold the most motorcycles around the world in 2018?
Royal Enfield
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 2018, Honda was the best-selling motorcycle manufacturer in the world, moving 19.6 million bikes across the globe. In the United States, Harley-Davidson motorcycles are the most popular, although brands like Ducati, BMW, Honda and Yamaha are closing the gap.

Unsplash by Jan Starek
Carl Reese set a world record in 2017 for greatest distance on a motorcycle in a 24-hour period on a closed track. How far did he go?
457 miles
2,116.5 miles
3,520 miles
5,280 miles
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

On February 25, 2017, endurance motorcycle rider Carl Reese got on his motorcycle at the Continental Tire Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas. When he got off the next day, he had traveled 2,116.5 miles, breaking the previous record by 93 miles. Reese has his name on many records, including making the fastest motorcycle trip from Los Angeles to New York City in 2015 (a record that was broken a few years later).


Pixabay by Sterver
Your friend says he found a "ring-ding" in his grandfather's garage. What the heck is he talking about?
A motorcycle sidecar
A rare type of horn for motorcycles
A motorcycle with a two-stroke engine
A classic motorcycle in perfect condition
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Ring-dings" — also known as "skeeter bikes," "fog machines" and "buzz bombs," among other things — are motorcycles with two-stroke engines. Mechanically simpler than the standard four-stroke engine used in modern motorcycles and automobiles, these engines also spew out a great deal of pollution and are no longer widely made. The nickname comes from the "ringing" sound of the engine.

Pixabay by Irina_kukuts
Who owns Ducati Motor Holding, maker of some of the world's finest motorcycles?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The trail of corporate ownership can get a little confusing: Ducati Motor Holding is owned by the Italian automaker Lamborghini. Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Audi AG. Audi is then owned by the Volkswagen Group, which actually holds a large number of companies recognizable to gearheads around the world. So, the answer, ultimately, is Volkswagen.

Pexels by Denniz Futalan
When a biker refers to a "cage," what is he or she talking about?
Their helmet
A car
Their gas tank
The cowling around the bike's engine
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A true biker needs to feel the breeze as they cruise down the highway — something that's not possible inside a car. To bikers, those poor fools are riding in a cage (and they are sometimes referred to as "cagers"). That term, by the way, is usually derogatory.


Pixabay by dawnydawny
In motorcycle slang, what is a "cog"?
A type of motorcycle wheel
The sprocket that is turned by the timing chain
A gear in the transmission
A Harley-Davidson knockoff
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When a biker refers to his or her "cogs," they are talking about the gears in their motorcycle's transmission. If you say you have "five cogs in the box," it means that your bike has five gears in the transmission.

Stock Market
Pixabay by skeeze
What is the stock listing for Harley-Davidson?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Harley riders love their Hogs, and those who want to own a piece of the company love their "HOG," which is the official stock listing of Harley-Davidson Inc. The company, founded in 1903, became a publicly-traded company in 1965.

Pixabay by filinecek
Why are Harley-Davidson motorcycles called "hogs"?
They take up more room on the road than other cycles.
It refers to the mascot of an early Harley racing team.
It's the name of their owner's group.
It refers to the type of engine they use.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

People have referred to Harley-Davidson motorcycles as "hogs" for almost a century because a member of the company's factory racing team, Ray Weishaar, got a pet piglet that would become the team's mascot. The team would ride a victory lap with the pig — whose name was Johnny — after every win. The company eventually embraced the nickname, and today those who ride Harley's are in the "Harley's Owners Group."


Partial Helmet
Pexels by Atul Choudhary
When it comes to operating a motorcycle, what are "partial helmet laws"?
These are helmet laws that apply only to some motorcyclists.
These are laws that only require helmets, but not faceguards.
Helmets must be worn on specific types of motorcycles.
Helmets must be worn on highways.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There are 28 states with partial helmet laws on the books, which require certain people on motorcycles to wear helmets. These can include passengers under the age of 18, operators still on learner's permits, those who do not meet that state's requirement for medical insurance coverage, and so on.

Pexels by Oleg Magni
On April 1, 2014, which company was reported to have bought Harley-Davidson?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The reports in 2014 that Japanese manufacturer Kawasaki had bought the American icon Harley-Davidson set the motorcycle world on fire — until people saw the dateline of the article: April 1. The April Fool's joke caught many off guard, and the "press release" can still catch people off guard if they don't read closely enough.

Unsplash by Harley-Davidson
What part of the bike is the pannier?
The storage units
The seat
An inwardly turning handlebar
The cowling around the engine
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The "pannier" is a name of French origin that is given to the saddlebags on either side of the passenger seat. These backs can be either be made of soft material or can be hard-sided cases. These bags or cases are referred to by some as "pannies."


Pixabay by Rob van der Meijden
The death of which celebrity spurred the development of the modern motorcycle helmet?
T. E. Lawrence
James Dean
Erik Estrada
Duane Allman
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

British author, archaeologist and army officer T. E. Lawrence — better known as "Lawrence of Arabia" — swerved to avoid a boy on a bicycle on a rainy day in 1935 and went over the bars of his motorcycle. He would die of severe head injury. One of the medics who treated him, Hugh Cairns, was so disturbed by the incident that he went on to gather information and write a report on the importance of wearing helmets when operating motorcycles.

Unsplash by Ambitious Creative Co. - Rick Barrett
How many U.S. states have no motorcycle helmet laws?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There are only three states in the U.S. that have no laws regarding wearing helmets while operating or riding on a motorcycle: Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire. The other 47 states have laws governing the use of helmets, but those laws can vary widely.

You Got:
Unsplash by Motoculturel