Motorcycle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
2005 Suzuki C90T
Joined
·
670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In another thread, these words were used...

the signal that you need help is to place your helmet on the ground by the rear wheel

I had no idea that was protocol.

Someone told me that when you pass another rider you don't wave, but you extend your left arm out and point to the ground. I have never heard that either but then again, I'm not a part of the rider world yet.

What other things are there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
I've read that tapping the top of your helmet is to indicate police/radar trap ahead. Never seen it implemented and I warn other drivers/riders by flashing between low and high beams...

As for "the wave", I usually will do the "point at the ground" but have also given "thumbs up" or a salute gesture or the "A-Okay" sign. Really depends on my mood...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
I usually give the traditional 'two fingers down' wave but it varies. I read somewhere it means keep both wheels under you or something, and it probably originated across the pond. There are so many more motorcycles almost everywhere but the USA, a lot of our culture is borrowed.

Anybody else notice that motorcycle cops don't wave? Or has anyone gotten a wave from one?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,646 Posts
I would suspect that some things are a bit regional. I will warn other riders of cops or speed traps with the taps on top of the helmet. But I just learned about that a few years ago. What I'm doing at the time will dictate if I wave or not. Usually its the two fingers pointed at the ground.
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
25,978 Posts
I've never been able to tell if a person waves with two fingers down or one or more. I just see a hand down. Depending on my mood I might go all crazy waving with both hands. I think this two fingers thing is rather silly. But if it means keep both wheels down or something like that, I might change my mind about it. That actually makes some sense. I've just never heard what it means if anything until another thread.
 

·
Moderator - Loves All Motorcycles
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
If they do the two fingers down thing, I'll do it too. Otherwise I wave or do a fist pump. If I'm in the middle of shifting/clutching I'll do a nod. :)

I also give thumbs up to cool cars and wave to police officers if they happen to end up next to me at a light.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Doc Samson

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
I read somewhere it means keep both wheels under you or something, and it probably originated across the pond.

Anybody else notice that motorcycle cops don't wave? Or has anyone gotten a wave from one?
I've read several explanations that all stated that it did originate as an indication to "ride safe, keep both wheels under you!" and that makes sense to me.

I've only encountered on cop on a bike and he gave me a thumbs up! Of course, I was going the speed limit at the time... :devil:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Retired Guy

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,876 Posts
The cops often wiggle their social finger at me. Is that a sign?
I sometimes give a cage driver the two fingers up salute. Not sure a google search will reveal the meaning. It does, but in mostly polite terms.

UK
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
25,978 Posts
The cops often wiggle their social finger at me. Is that a sign?
I sometimes give a cage driver the two fingers up salute. Not sure a google search will reveal the meaning. It does, but in mostly polite terms.

UK
Well I had to look it up. So is this meaning new or was it really the meaning I had always heard was the V for Victory sign??? That must have gone over great for the Germans if so. I had never heard it called the 2 finger salute but can sure see it if that's the case. Are we on the same page or do you have yet another meaning UK?
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
15,520 Posts
UK do you get two fingers down in return.

Larry - the two fingers up salute depends on the direction of your hand. Peace sign is palm out, back of your hand with two up is not a piece sign :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,876 Posts
The Urban Dictionary is correct with the UK meaning. The sign needs an upward motion, not stationary like a V for victory. The V would be about shoulder height, with knuckles towards you. The FU starts just above waist height, knuckles down and your hand goes up about 8 inches, with a quick stop. It requires practice to develop your own personal version.

I was on a four lane road, two in each direction. In the lane furthest from the curb, but in the process of moving to the curb lane. A street approaching to my right. Lady going the other way turned left into that street, with enough time to do so. A legal move so far.
She then did a U turn where the side road met the main road. And continued on into the lane I was moving to. SAt no time did she stop.
The U turn in an intersection would be illegal, so too for ignoring the stop sign, and again for not looking, to determine if it was safe to pull on to the main road. I was half way in to the new lane, and moved over to the white dotted line as I passed her. She got a lot of horn and the F U sign. Shirley said she was using her cell phone.

UK
 

·
Registered
2021 CanAm Spyder RT
Joined
·
3,938 Posts
There are lots of variations of the "wave". I almost always do some type of wave at oncoming two wheeled vehicles (including scooters, but not bicycles) as well as 3 wheeled vehicles like the CanAm or traditional trikes. Most return the wave, but not everyone. No big deal either way. The helmet on the ground by the rear wheel, on the left side of the bike as a sign that help is needed used to mean something, but it doesn't seem to anymore. I'm no mechanic and could not likely be much help to someone broken down, but I used to stop if I saw the helmet on the ground. Many years ago, stopping meant that you could find out what the problem was, or at least if the rider needed help or a tow, and then proceed to the nearest pay phone and call for help for the stranded rider. Since the advent of cell phones starting about 20 years ago, most everyone can call for help themselves, and maybe that's why I can't even recall the last time I saw a helmet set on the ground by the rear wheel.

Tapping on the top of the helmet, and or flashing high beams has been a pretty standard way to warm oncoming riders that they will soon encounter a police officer, often hidden from his view. I use the helmet tap method, since I can't readily flash my headlights since they are modulating by themselves, and if I flick them to low and then back to high it turns off the modulating feature.

Another sign can be pointing with the hand at the ground if there is some hazard there, giving riders coming up right behind you a warning about the dead animal, other object, or pot hole in the road. But this is obviously only used when riding in a group.

Finally, I have used a "sign" to tell car or truck drivers that are too close to me to back off, without being confrontational. I just use my left hand extended down, palm to the rear and gesturing with that hand in a "patting" motion. Usually it works, and I've never had it taken as an aggressive gesture, as would the middle finger salute. But in case any cager takes offense at my asking him to back off, I always ride armed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Been riding since the mid-60s and never have deciphered all the "signs" nor did I especially care to -- one of the nuisances of my later Harley years, was it seemed than nearly every Harley rider thought I was out on the road to wave at them in some fashion... out of courtesy I'd wave back, but... the nice thing about my Connie is that she appears to be almost invisible to other riders (downside is it probably is to cars as well...). If I see a rider who obviously looked like they could use assistance, I'll stop -- and I'm grateful to say I've had folks stop for me once or twice over the years... I never did learn the appropriate "help" wave/sign/signal/gesture/gesticulation, but they seem to know...

-- LB
 

·
On The Road Again!
Joined
·
4,204 Posts
I find that most riders wave, and I always wave back.
But yesterday on the highway, my group of eight was moving along at a good clip in the right lane and a "harley dood" (you know the type) on a trike passed us in the left lane. We all raised a hand to him. He never so much as looked at any of us. Didn't wave or even nod.

Eff you too buddy.
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
25,978 Posts
Yeah, those that have a stick up it can kiss off. They will get what they deserve at some point. Just ignore them and don't take their nose in the air, wrong.
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
15,520 Posts
Vito we always use a foot to point at a hazard in the roadway. It could be roadkill, grass, rocks, gravel or anything else that the following riders should be aware of. By using your foot you don't have to take your hand off the throttle.

Also when riding in a group the lead rider will put one finger up in the air to tell the group to single up into one line. Road maybe narrow or some other reason. Two fingers in the air when we can fan out again.
 

·
Very Famous Person
Joined
·
10,003 Posts
--

I use the two, three, or four method of finger signalling. The two fingers out to the side at about 45° meaning both of my legs are cramping, so watch for me to fall over at the next stop and notify appropriate authorities. Three fingers means I'd like you to check as best you can and see if my passenger fell off--the bike is feeling pretty spunky lately. And then four fingers. That's just bragging about my having gotten a manicure and, Gee Whizz!, don't I look pretty cool. :smile_big:

--
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
15,520 Posts
Ronk, you are a mess.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top