Motorcycle Hand Gestures

  • September 21, 2009 4:10 AM PDT
    I wave when waved at. But I learned a pat on the head means your headlight is not on, like when you have an older bike that the headlight doesn't turn on automatically and here in Washington you have to run with your headlights on.
  • September 21, 2009 5:40 AM PDT
    when there is something in the road and we are moving fast in a group of people or even just a few friends RR tends to kick his long leg out as to point at something in the road, a rock, glass, a dead animal, whatever it may be to notify whomever is behind us

  • September 21, 2009 3:20 PM PDT
    I wave at all bikes. It is about being out on the open road and free. Now if it is the caged driver that tried to run over me I do wave at them but we will not go into it here. LOL
  • g
    September 21, 2009 10:21 PM PDT
    aye the leg out if theirs crap on the road or the thumb and finger flash ,let u know u have ur indicators on still.
  • November 19, 2009 1:22 PM PST
    Here are the few examples I know
    1 - a wave is a wave.......I wave to all on an actual motorcycle of any type.

    2. - waves....some hold hand out.....some do the two fingers as in "two Wheels"....ones that may a Touring or Goldwing type bike may have their hand up higher ...just becasue the ease of how how high the grips are located to the bike...................If in a certain curve type on the road I or other riders may not wave for safety riding conditions. some wave pointing up,,,down and straight out

    Left hand palm side down like bouncing a basketball = slow down ( basically toa rider that can see you ...especially riders behind you )

    Riding with riders behind you ( staggered formation ) and pointing down to the road ( there is DEBRIS in your lane LOOK OUT )

    Arm / hand in air making a circle ( others may have other terms but I have seen this to be........"get ready to take notice we are gathering up yonder for a stop or such ".....Or we are gonna U-TURN.

    The Pat on the Helmet......Well I just learned that one reading these.

    Ride Safe, and have fun doing it
  • November 19, 2009 2:24 PM PST
    waving at other bike riders is a common greeting among bike riders. We are a relativly small community and we tend to acknowlege each other. There are some subtle differences in the waves. Waving high is a common greeting. Waving low with one finger pointing toward the ground is an old school gesture. It mean "keep the greasy side down" in reference to the under side of the motor. Patting the top of the head means "Keep it down" a loose reference to keep your speed down. Police trap ahead. A arm straight up or a leg straight out and circling means loose gravel or hazard in the the road. Hopoe this clears a few questions up.
  • November 23, 2009 12:59 PM PST
    I took this picture last year somewhere in New Mexico ..I love the wave!

  • December 2, 2009 6:38 PM PST that is what my friend is PA was telling me when I was following......

    Leg out = loose gravel.....

    I thought he was just show boating and knew the PA roads..

    .In am from Vegas.......
    In PA they ROAD TAR ,.........then PEE GRAVEL the roads.......for the vehicles to smash down the gravel into the tar..................Did not know that at that time.

    Now it all makes sense.
  • December 6, 2009 8:42 AM PST
    Wow, A lot of different replies to this question. I have been riding a motorcycle most of my life, hung with many different clubs and thought I knew everything when it comes to hand gestures. I stand corrected! In massachusetts we always tap our helmets when cops are around, most of us wave with the peace sign upside down, as a gesture of being safe. Some still only wave to the type of bike ridden. I have never, and never will. I have always ridden a Harley, but I agree with waving to anyone on a bike. There are some that are strictly American and Jap, I say f@#$ them! Riding is a choice, be safe, have fun, ride again tomorrow.
  • December 6, 2009 9:01 AM PST
    I often tell my passenger,she is the designated waver.There are times when the "wave" gets old and you wish folks would stop doing it.Then you wave at some passing bike and the rider does not wave back and it makes you odd thing about it...hardly any of us wave when driving our cars.
  • December 7, 2009 3:00 PM PST
    Yes Glide03........when my wife is riding with me ( she is on the back ) she is the designated " waver"........and every bike or group that passses ...I do ask her ...did u wave????
    Cause I cannot see her hand stretch out that low in my mirrors.

    When I ride solo ...I wave to all motorcycles except "scooters ( mopeds )" Am I wrong for that??

  • December 10, 2009 8:33 AM PST
    I love throwing a wave to the mopeds. Scares them.
  • December 10, 2009 10:47 AM PST
    I believe the hand on the top of the head indicates "stop and put your friggin helmet on before you get a ticket" just evolved into "cops."

    I agree on the wave being passenger job. I am an old index point down waver. Not sure why. When I get tired of waving at every bike, I notice that I start ignoring the crotch rockets, then work my way down to only people on a bike just like mine and the guy is wearing a digital dew rag... I catch myself wondering why I feel bad about ignoring the wave. Like on the way back we might meet and he will ask why I didn't wave back...
  • December 27, 2009 2:34 PM PST
    when i was in the club, "patting" the head was for a rest break, pointing to the head was police, then the standards like everyones else, pointing to crap in the road, motioning to slow down, index and pinky fingers held straight up and twist the hand meant formation change back to stagger, one finger straight up was single file formation for traffic obstructions.
    • 1780 posts
    December 28, 2009 1:15 AM PST
    Hambone you scare me....Poor Moped dudes.
    Forgot one....patting your gut means .....time for a beer.
    Night Dragon
  • December 28, 2009 10:53 AM PST
    I like this one. Hold both hands over your eyes. It means scarry shit behind me, don't look!
  • December 28, 2009 10:54 AM PST
    Wow, that sounded bad. Not behind me like in the passenger seat... I mean along the road, or in the road... dude, give up, I screwed that one up
  • December 28, 2009 11:07 AM PST
    jimandterri, that is funny! i did the swim going downhill on my bike in the rain in guntersville alabama, no-one knew what the hell i was doing!
    • 190 posts
    December 31, 2009 9:23 AM PST
    The pattin on the head is a new one. Gotta file that in the memory cabinet. I usually just either clwench my fist as a show of solidarity with Bikers or give them the sideways peace sign.
    • 2685 posts
    July 10, 2012 5:10 AM PDT
    Didn't think there was so much thought put into "The Wave" but good to know that we are all thinking. Personally, I wave to everyone with a slight downwards motion and maybe the old peace sign, except that is for mopeds and scooters. Not trying to hurt anyones feelings, just feel a little funny about waving to them. I have noticed that the few that I may have (accidentally - 8^)) waved to have never returned it.
  • July 11, 2012 7:45 AM PDT
    A wave with the left hand means...howdy friend

    A wave with the right hand means....look at me I have cruise control...LOL LOL
  • July 11, 2012 10:00 AM PDT

    We dont wave to scooters and mopeds here...there is still a major divide between them, but we have this kind of understanding...We dont wave to them ~ and they dont wave back!!!  Works for

    With either hand I find that this hand gesture seems to work best over here.....
    we suffer from road rage ..... no guns here see...

    • 601 posts
    July 11, 2012 10:11 AM PDT
    Most folk in Ireland just nod or shake the head as a hello.
    A tap on the upper arm means cops ahead
    Waving hand down low means shyte on the road (not cops)

    • 2 posts