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John Glimmerveen

Motorcycle Part Names

By August 20, 2011

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Restoring a classic motorcycle brings all sorts of challenges. From finding elusive parts, to removing damaged Philips head screws, the classic bike restorer will soon become a jack of all trades.

But one of the challenges you may not initially be aware of is new language. No, I'm not talking about new swear words you'll think up while staring at that frozen bolt; instead you'll need to know terms related to parts on a motorcycle.

Knowing the correct name of an item will save hours searching for a replacement. And you'll have to make sure you know of all the possibilities the part could be called--in American English, and English, English!

For example, we are all familiar with fender/ mudguard, and gas tank /petrol tank, but what do the official parts manuals call these parts?

Typically, parts are grouped together under major sections: engine, frame or chassis, electrical, wheels and brakes. But the grouping doesn't always seem logical.

>p>If I wanted a front mudguard, for instance, I would look in the chassis section, only to find that some manufacturers would place a mudguard in the wheel section--but it's called a fender. And finally I would need to choose front or rear.

So my front mudguard in a typical parts catalogue has now become: fender, front; and just to challenge you further, make sure the fender, front, item has all the standard decals, stickers, emblems, stripes, tape set etc. or you may end up with an unpainted bare fender.

August 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm
(1) Pete says:

Some of the translations from other languages to Engrish can leave your head spinning. Some of them are quite funny…
Any long time Honda dealers out there? 80-1 Gold Wing … on the front fender is small plastic plug used to fill the hole where the sprue was cut off after the fender was cast…much like the trees plastic model parts come attached to.
The factory, instead of cutting it off and sanding it, drilled it right out. To fill the hole, we sold “Plug, Useless hole”.
To this day, we could still find applications for that part, if only it were a bit bigger.

August 22, 2011 at 9:14 pm
(2) classicmotorcycles says:

Brilliant Pete. Too many jokes, not enough space!

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