Have you just bought a motorbike and would like to get to know the signs of motorcyclists? Curious about how  to communicate on the road  when you’re behind the wheel of a motorcycle? What is the meaning of the « V » symbol, so famous in the motorcycling world, how and when is it used? ✌️

Bikers and lovers of big machines, welcome to « Skull World »! We are fascinated by the motorcycle world and our  motorcycle community  gathers on our blog to learn a little bit more about motorcycle culture each week.

In this article, among other things, we will be  very well known and much used about the V sign , but not only that. Here are also the points that we will detail together :

  • What different signs should you know?
  • What are their meanings
  • How do bikers communicate?
  • How to communicate with motorists 👈 👉

After reading this article, you’ll know exactly what you’re talking about when a biker sign comes your way. How you can use them, in turn, to make yourself understood even when your  bike’s engine is purring loudly and much more. Are you ready to hit the road? Let’s start together now!

Motorcyclist signs you should know

Motorcyclists  do not have microphones in their motorcycle helmets to transmit a message to those around them. The use of a horn, headlights or turn signals is not always understandable either. Because of this, the motorcycling community has decided to use a universal sign language to communicate with each other. 👌👈✌️

If you’re on the road, you’ve probably noticed the signs that motorcyclists use to communicate with each other. They might even use your motorcycle friends to send you a message, but you don’t understand them. Most of these signs are very easy to understand and for your own safety you should be able to recognize them.

Each motorcyclist sign is universal and can be recognized by all two-wheelers (some at motorbike races). So here is a list of signs you should know:

  • The « V » sign
  • The sign for the right leg
  • The sign to turn right or left
  • The sign to stop
  • The sign to speed up or slow down
  • The sign to indicate danger
  • The sign to leave the road or turn back
  • The sign to refuel
  • The sign to indicate a police presence
  • The sign to indicate a problem with the headlight
  • The sign to indicate tiredness

Now let’s look at the meanings of each term and how to use them. 👇

biker sign

Meanings of the symbols in the motorcycle code

Making the biker sign does not happen in a random way, because it symbolizes a special detail. Some are classic, popular and recognizable even to motorists. Others, on the other hand, are less well known and still very useful when you are in a  group of motorcyclists.

The “V” sign: The biker’s salute

It is a classic and unmissable gesture, considered the king of signs for a motorcyclist. Dating back to the 19th century, its prominence in the community dates back to a motocross rider . It is referred to as a « biker greeting ». Even a non-motorcyclist must have seen the “V” sign that two bikers make when passing each other. It is an identification mark that shows belonging to the biker family . It’s also a simple way of “greeting” someone who shares your passion for motorcycling. ✌️

This gesture is universal and represents a sense of camaraderie or respect towards those around you. It manifests itself in a “V”-shaped movement of  the index and middle fingers of the left hand.  However, it not only differs from country to country, but also depends on your driving style. It is not possible to lift your left hand holding the steering wheel when accelerating. the coupling. You could find yourself in the wings very quickly… Likewise, using your right hand is risky, which implies that you must be in optimal physical condition to do so.

⇒ When is the « V »-sign of the hand forbidden? Being part of the motorcyclist community does not allow you to let yourself go and forget about safety parameters. On the contrary, the motorcyclist will not take offense if you do not show him the healing symbol. While some may feel  silly at times,  it puts your own and your device’s survival first.

So here are the moments when you shouldn’t use the V sign:

  • Whenever you want to use a command: When you want to downshift on a corner or initiate a maneuver at low speed.
  • Every time you corner: keep your concentration while crossing the street. You don’t have to answer or use the sign, no motorcyclist will.

Origin of the “V” biker sign

In Europe, Barry Sheene is considered an icon of the biker salute , a recognized symbol used by the community worldwide. The legendary rider, also known as “Lucky Seven”, was a two-time motoGp world champion (500cc). He used to greet the audience by showing his fingers in the shape of a “V” – a synonym for victory.

In the US, this symbol is known as the “biker wave” (motorcycle wave) and is said to have originated with Harley William and Arthur  Davidson . They are the creators of the Harley-Davidson brand, a major motorcycle brand to which the symbol has been attributed since 1904. Whenever the two creators met, they always performed the V as an acknowledgment, and it quickly became popular. 🏆

During the Hundred Years’ War, the “V” symbol represented the victory of the British over the French. During World War II, Winston  Churchill  used this sign as a sign of victory over the Nazi army. The “Peace & Love” of the hippie movement is also represented with this symbol.

V sign bikers

The sign of the right leg: symbol of thanks

This is another classic sign, recognized even by some motorists. It represents a  thank you  to the driver, making it easier for the biker to overtake. So it is not a sign of aggressiveness, as other drivers who do not yet know the meaning of the gesture think. 🦵

It is characterized by pulling the right leg away from the footpeg, which must be cocked for a few moments after overtaking. This is a much easier and safer method that allows you to say thank you without taking your hands off the  handlebars . However, it is not advisable for a beginner to try this in a real situation without practice.

The beginner can simply use the lighthouse call or wiggle his head until he gets it right. The right leg gesture was made by moto-cross fans  after watching their role models do it. At least with him you avoid traffic accidents and at the same time express your gratitude. 

The signs of the bikers used in the group

It is common to see a gathering of motorcyclists wearing leather jackets on our roads doing a  motorcycle tour . Since they don’t have a microphone to communicate with each other, gestures are used for safe tracking. This prevents the others from colliding with an obstacle or getting out of step. 🤓

The sign to turn right or left

While it’s less popular than the other two before it, it’s still useful. It is the directional sign that the  motorcyclist . To turn to the left, simply extend your left arm in that direction, parallel to the floor.

To turn to the right, use your left arm as well, but this time at a 90 degree angle with a closed fist. You can also use your right arm by holding your right hand. Brakes so you don’t have to worry about anything.

The gesture to make a stop

Sometimes you want to signal that you have to stop after   warming up the bike well. The same applies if a tire has blown or there is a general problem. Simply place your left arm at a 90 degree angle while keeping your hand open to the floor. That’s the right gesture. 🖐

Motorcyclist gesture

Accelerate or slow down

When traveling in a group, it’s important to maintain a certain pace so you don’t fall behind. To get your fellow riders to go faster, all you have to do is point your left arm down. Open your palm and then gesture toward the front of your bike .

To get the group to slow down, do the same move but towards the ground. Likewise, when your opponent performs this move, don’t think too much and slow down…

Indicate a hazard or obstacle

Whether pothole or hole: If the danger comes from the left, point your finger at the obstacle. If danger is coming from the right, use your right leg to point to the obstacle. The  lighthouse call  is used to indicate danger, accompanied by the slow down gesture. 💡

Exit the road or make a U-turn

If you see a motorcyclist raise their hand and then make a circle with their pointing finger, it means they want to turn back. He only asks you to turn back with him when you’re walking together. However, if you want to exit the street, point to your left arm and use your index finger to indicate the new street.

The motorcyclist’s gesture to take care of himself

When your tank is empty and you need to drive to the gas station, it’s easy. Simply point at  your bike’s fuel tank   with your left index finger. In case you want water, close your fist and move your thumb towards your mouth. 💦 On the other hand, if you need food, move your hand up from the mouth one at a time.

Biker Gesture

The warning of a police presence

This movement is deployed within the framework of the law. She indicates to the group that we are about to meet police officers. It is performed by placing your left palm on the top of the  motorcycle helmet . After all, the most common sign is the searchlight call.

The message that the headlights are missing

If a motorcyclist has not switched on his lights or if he has a problem with  the Feus ignition , he can signal it. All you have to do is point to your left hand palm and then keep opening and closing it. 👋

express tiredness

Your weekend trips are exhausting and your eyelids are getting heavier. You want to communicate your tiredness to the group in a simple way. Tilt your head slightly to the side and use your arm to simulate a pillow or bedtime. Your friends will get the message very quickly! 

Capturing the gestures of motorcyclists

Here is a brief summary of what you should definitely remember so that you are safe on the road and can communicate appropriately with your buddies on your motorcycle tours:

The V-sign to greet your fellow bikers, the gesture with the right leg to thank drivers when they let you pass. Barry Sheene, Grand Prix motorcyclist and two-time world champion in the 500cc class, is the legend of the ✌️ sign, which symbolizes victory. In  groupe de bikers , there are directional, guide and supply signs as well as signs indicating danger. You should always have a motorcycle license, motorcycle insurance and know the signs before embarking on the adventure of a ride!

You now know exactly how to communicate properly on the street, so well done! We now invite you to adopt a true biker style and decorate your bike appropriately with our skull stickers that will make the bikers of the skull world happy!

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