'White ants will bite if you go sotong' - time to learn biker-speak

A standard front tyre (on the motorcycle)m compared to an uninflated skinny tyre called sotong.
PHOTO: The New Paper

Our rides have changed a lot, and the technology behind newer motorcycles is undoubtedly different from what it was in the time of our fathers.

The way we speak has also evolved, along with the terms bikers use when communicating with each other.

And if you don't have a clue what bikers mean when they use words such as SQUID or Sotong in a text message, here is a quick guide to some local and foreign terms:

SOTONG

These are illegally installed skinny tyres.

They are light and great for straight line acceleration but corner poorly due to their tiny contact patches.

SQUID

Means "Stupidly Quick Under-dressed Imminently Dead". Picture a speeding biker wearing shorts, sneakers and no helmet.

CARB

Nothing to do with white rice.

It's short for carburetor, the device where fuel and air is mixed and then sucked into the combustion chamber to be ignited.

Modern bikes use electronic fuel injection or EFI.

CLEARING CARBON

This is not the act of dismantling your exhaust pipe and ridding it of carbon particles.

Locally, it means riding so hard and fast that stubborn carbon deposits get ejected from exhaust pipes.

JACKPOT

Totally unrelated to casinos. Jackpot is an illegal and highly dangerous race usually conducted in Johor, Malaysia.

The organisers collect a pool of money, and first to the finish line wins the jackpot.

SEMUT PUTIH

Malay for white ants. A local term for traffic cops.

Maybe because like ants, they're hard to spot until it's too late.

SISSY BAR

A pillion back rest.

Highly popular in the chopper genre where extreme sissy bars can extend 1m above the rear bumper.

ONE PER CENTER OR 1%ER

The term refers to outlaw bikers. As opposed to the majority, or 99 per cent, of the biking community who are law-abiding.

FTW

Short for Forever Two Wheels. Similar to ATM - All Things Motorcycle.

SCRUB

Made famous by American motocross rider James Stewart Jr.

His "Bubba Scrub" is a jump technique which puts an MX bike just inches off the ground but in a horizontal fashion. A scrub saves time over curved jumps.

MONKEY BUTT

An ailment that plagues dirt bikers.

Sliding up and down the surface of a motorcycle seat causes abrasion on the buttocks.

Cures include wearing padded underwear and using lotion before riding.

BIG FOUR

Traditionally used to refer to the four main Japanese motorcycle manufacturers - Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki.

TANK SLAPPER

Also known as wobbles. Your handle bar shakes violently from left to right, slapping your fuel tank.

APES

Apes or ape hangers refer to handle bars that extend beyond a rider's shoulder.

HILL 265

A steep hill in Lorong Asrama near Mandai, formerly popular among local trail riders.

It's also within a military training area.

Other famous riding spots are Widow Maker and Stairway to Heaven.

But my lips are sealed as to their locations. Go find out on your own.


This article was first published on June 19, 2016.
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