Did you know there’s a hand signal for a “refreshment stop” among motorcycle riders? I didn’t, but it appears that there’s an entire set of defined hand signals for things like slowdown, speed up, follow me, road hazard etc. I knew a few of them though, like the one where you stick your arm out and open and close your hand a few times, for “hey bozo, your turn signal is on”. I guess we all know the signal where you stick your middle finger out and shake your fist like crazy, for “argh! watch where you’re going moron”, but they must have forgotten to put that one on the list.

I suggest not trying to learn them all at once, after all, you have to hold on to the handlebars now and again.

Here’s an example of a few signals.
Motorcycle hand signals
Head on over to the American Motorcycle Association for the full list.

Via: Carla King

Grab the RSS feed If you enjoyed this post, subscribe today by email or RSS.

12 Responses to “Bikers secret sign language revealed”

  1. Sell Your Motorcycle  April 28th

    Hmmm..from ’round are parts, tapping the helmet is universal for cop ahead.

  2. Elizabeth Jury  April 30th

    Those are good to know, but every area has its own signals. When I first got my bike I was freaking out because everyone kept making hand gestures at me. From one of my friends I learned of the “biker wave” and from there she has been teaching me the signals from the area I am from.

  3. Il linguaggio dei motociclisti  May 3rd

    […] via | Helmethairblog PUBBLICITÀ PUBBLICITÀ postato da Dave Contini il giovedì 03 maggio 2007 in: […]

  4. Carl  May 6th

    Yes its the signal for high beams which is what cagers do when they want to warn others that a cop is behind them.

  5. steve  May 13th

    The only signal that I have seen for “cop ahead” is just, instead of the usual friendly wave “hello”, the wave is a repeated downward hand movement, like petting a dog or telling someone to “chill out” type of jesture (for lack of better analogies). Also, I’ve seen some people give me the normal wave first to get my attention, then give the “downward motion” type wave. It’s just common sense, I haven’t seen any code waves like tapping the helmet. (Colorado and Vermont rider).

  6. Gypsy  June 4th

    I just wanted to comment on the signal. My husband and I have been riding here in Virginia and all I have ever seen with the tapping on top of the helmet is “cop ahead”. The downward motion for us is to slow down. Interesting article I think I’ll explore it further and post it on my blog. A state by state would be interesting..what do you think?

  7. Pan Chopper Man  July 15th

    There’s only one signal I know…

    Beer stop!

  8. learning sign language--an art  March 13th

    well tapping your helmet was a cool stuff,
    i dont really know how much these sign language can be helpful.
    in fact it can even cause accidents,because to have it successfully every one should know sign language

  9. jacques  June 29th


    Once skilled at riding, you should be able to use your left hand (while riding straight) for making meaningful gestures. Standard hand-signals include “turning-left”, “turning-right”, “slowing down”, and “stopping.”

    Riders also use hand signs to communicate to each other where to go, and what the situation is: exit here, cops, food, friends, enemies, etc.

  10. Shell  January 29th

    I’m a patchholder and yes patting top of helmet/head means “COP.”

  11. Barry @ Read Coffee machine Reviews  August 3rd

    Can my Landlord have mt motorcycle towed from my garage? There is a no motorcycles sign on the property.?

  12. paco  September 18th

    if my landlord towed my bike, i’d tow his car into his livingroom!

Subscribe to Helmet Hair Motorcycle Blog

  • Get the RSS feed
  • Enter your email address:

Support Choppertown


Latest entries