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Motorcycle Glossary C

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

- C -

CAFÉ RACER- A Cafe Racer is a style of bike popularized in London in the '50s where bikers wanted a fast, personalized and distinctive bike to travel from cafe to cafe. Many Cafe Racer bikes have distinctive small low-cut fairings. 

CAM- A metal shaft with oval "lobes" that rotates to open the valves in a four-stroke engine.
CARBURETOR- A mechanical device found on the intake side of the engine which mixes fuel and air to create the volatile mixture that gets ignited in the engine.

CASUALTY- A loss of property due to fire, storm shipwreck or other casualty, which is allowable as a deduction in computing taxable income.

CAUSE OF ACTION- The plaintiff’s legal claim against the defendant. There is often more than one cause of action in a lawsuit.

CHAPS- Chaps are a great clothing accessory designed for protection. They’re usually made of leather and are fastened around the waist, with an open back. They snap at the ankles and zip down the legs.

CHOPPER- A cruiser style bike that has a lot of the pieces of the bike "chopped off." The riders of the '60s did everything they could to customize their bikes and make them go faster. Thus, much of the existing bikes they bought were chopped off. The bikes in the movie "Easy Rider" are examples.

CIVIL LAW - That part of the law which governs relationships between people where there is no criminal activity involved.

CLIP ONS- Handlebars that are clamped around the top of the fork tubes, rather than bolted to the top triple-tree. This lowers a rider's upper body on the front of the motorcycle for a racier body position.

CO-DEFENDANT- A defendant joined together with one or more other defendants in the same case.

COMMON LAW- Body of law that has grown based on the decisions of courts long ago. It originated in England and has since passed to the United States. It is always changing to reflect the current needs society.

COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE- A defense to negligence used when it is believed that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to his or her injuries. Based on the amount of negligence by each party, the amount of damages is adjusted accordingly.

COMPLAINT- A pretrial document filed in a court by one party against another that states a grievance, called a “cause of action.” 

CONTINGENCY FEE AGREEMENT- An agreement between an attorney and their client, which allows the attorney to be paid only if the client prevails in a lawsuit and collects monetary damages. The lawyer then receives a percentage of the damages, generally 1/3 of the award.

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE- A defense to negligence, which points out that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to his or her injuries. Contributory negligence is an absolute bar to the plaintiff’s recovery against the defendant.

CO-RIDER- An enclosure on the front of the bike containing the windshield and affording wind protection to the rider. Can be attached to the frame and not move or be attached to the fork and move as the handlebars are turned.

COUNTERBALANCER- A weight in the engine that spins with the rpm to smooth out engine vibrations.

COUNTERCLAIM- A demand by the defendant against the plaintiff asserting an independent cause of action in the same lawsuit.

COUNTERSTEERING- The input a motorcyclist gives to the handlebars in order to steer: push the right handlebar to go right, or push the left handlebar to go left.
CROTCH ROCKET- A term some people use to describe a high performance sport bike motorcycle.

CRUISER- A style of motorcycle generally equipped with a low seat and pullback handlebars. This style of bike predominantly stems from the customizing of standard American motorcycles in the '60s and '70s.

CUSTOM MOTORCYCLES- For many motorcyclists, the choices provided by the motorcycle manufacturers do not provide enough variety to match the personalities of the riders. For this reason, many customize their bikes or hire customizers to do the work for them. Many of these customs are entered in shows and win prizes. Customs can easily cost twice the selling price of the original bike.


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