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Motorcycle Glossary

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 #

- T-

TACHOMETER- A gauge that measures how fast an engine is spinning. The measurement is usually expressed in revolutions per minute. Also: "tach."

TANK SLAPPER- What happens in rare cases when a motorcycle’s handlebars slap back and forth at high speed, often due to alignment or suspension issues.

THIRD PARTY LITIGATION- When a lawsuit is brought against a defendant and that defendant wants to add another party to the suit, the original defendant may file a “third party complaint” which results in a third party litigation or lawsuit.

THROTTLE LOCK- Manual device fitted to the throttle of a motorcycle that applies friction to keep the throttle from moving. Used to temporarily give your hand a rest on long rides.

THUMPER- A single-cylinder, four-stroke motorcycle engine.

TIERED LICENSING- Tiered licensing is an insurance practice that restricts operation of a motorcycle, based on its engine displacement.

TORQUE- A unit of measure describing the twisting force, or leverage, an engine can exert on the rear wheel. Typically, an engine with a lot of torque will have the potential to speed up faster at lower RPM’s.

TORT – A civil wrong; a wrongful injury to a person’s property. There are three types of torts: intentional, negligence and strict liability.

TRAIL- The distance from the front axle’s vertical position on the ground, to the spot in front of it created by drawing a straight line from the angle of the forks.

TRIPLE TREE- The two metal plates that connect the fork tubes to the steering stem, sometimes also used as a handlebar mount.

TUBELESS TIRE- A tubeless tire is just that – a tire without an inner tube. It’s not recommended for a motorcycle because it tends to deflate rapidly when it’s punctured, which would cause sudden loss of control for the rider.

TWO-SECOND RULE- This is the minimum spacing in seconds between moving motorcycles. While in formation, maintain a 2-second interval from the rider in front of you. It is measured by counting "one-thousand one, one-thousand two" as you see the rider in front of you pass a sign or landmark. Stop counting when you pass the same marker. Under poor weather conditions, maintain longer intervals consistent with safety.

TWO STROKE ENGINE- A once-common type of engine now found almost exclusively in off-road motorcycles. A two-stroke motor fires once with every two strokes of the piston. 1) Once fired, the downward stroke of the piston delivers power and then draws in a mixture of fuel, air and oil which displaces the exhaust gases in the combustion chamber; 2) the upward stroke compresses the mixture for ignition.


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