Yararli motosiklet kullanimi bilgileri.

07 Mayıs 2005

Parts of a Motorbike

Air Cleaner

The Air Cleaner filters the air that mixes with the gasoline in the carburetor. It is similar to the air cleaner in a car.

The Air Cleaner often has a cover that readily identifies the bike. Of course, some bikes completely hide the air cleaner out of sight.


The motorcycle battery can be located in various positions on the bike. It can be hidden from sight. On this Harley-Davidson, the positive terminal is most accessible from under the seat. Therefore, if you ever need to do a jump start, you have to remove the seat. On my Honda Gold Wing, the battery is behind a plastic panel on the right side. Always consult your owner's manual to find out where your battery is.

Some motorcycle batteries require that you check their level in each cell periodically. Other batteries are sealed and require no maintenance.

If you would like to learn how to deal with a dead battery, read Basic Motorcycle Tips under Related Resources in the sidebar of this article.


The motorcycle Choke is used when the engine is cold.

The Choke may be located on the handlebars or on the side of the motorcycle in the motor area.

The motorcycle Choke is pulled out or otherwise activated when the motor is cold before you attempt to start the bike.

After the bike has warmed up and before you start riding, push the choke back in or otherwise place it in its running position.

Clutch Lever

The motorcycle clutch lever is positioned on the left-hand handlebar grip where the fingers of the left hand can reach it. Pulling the clutch lever toward you disconnects the engine and transmission and allows you to easily shift gears.

The motorcycle clutch lever is either connected to a cable that goes to the physical clutch release mechanism or it is hydraulically operated. Use of a hydraulic clutch eliminates broken clutch cables.

Crankcase Cover

For the Sportster, the crankcase cover is the right-side cover to the bottom end of the engine. Most of this cover is actually the gearcase cover where the cam and pinion gears reside.

Other bikes may have different names for this area and different components.

Crash Bar

Many motorcycles have crash bars or guards to protect the bike should it fall over. You'll have to look carefully on some bikes to see them and not all bikes are so equipped. Some models hide the protectors behind plastic covers. Look for extended areas on the bike where the guards may be hiding.

Beginners should try to buy a bike that has motorcycle crash bars. If the bike falls over without crash bars, you could see substantial damage. Expensive plastic parts are the first to go. The rider may also get some protection since many guards will keep the bike elevated off the ground so your legs are not crushed.


A V-Twin motor has two cylinders. When the V-Twin is air-cooled, there are cooling fins on the exterior of the cylinders.

Bikes being sold today have one, two, three, four, or six cylinders. Many of these are liquid-cooled.

The cylinders may be arranged in various configurations including V-twin, V-4, parallel-twin, L-twin, inline triple, inline-4, flat-4 and flat-6

Cylinder Head

At the top of the cylinder is the Cylinder Head. It forms the top of the combustion chamber and contains the spark plug(s), valves, and other intake and exhaust components.

Engine Stop Switch (Kill)

The motorcycle KILL switch is in series with the ignition switch. When the KILL switch is open, the motorcycle will not start.

Most motorcycle training courses suggest that you get in the habit of using the motorcycle KILL switch to shut off your bike. The reasoning is that if you don't use it, it won't work when you need to use it.

Much confusion occurs in traffic when you inadvertently trip the KILL switch and then can't figure out why the bike won't restart. Always look at the KILL switch first.

Foot Peg

Foot Pegs are the place where you place your feet on a bike.

Foot Pegs can be directly under the rider as shown or forward so that the rider's legs are stretched out in the cruiser position. In some cases, the pegs may be farther back for a more sportbike or racing position.

There are a variety of shapes and designs for foot pegs.

Floorboards sometimes take the place of pegs on some touring machines.

Front Brake Lever

The Front Brake Lever is situated on the right-hand grip of the handlebars. It is connected to the master cylinder also mounted on the handlebars. Pressure on the lever by the fingers of the right hand controls the front brakes of the motorcycle.

Since most of the stopping power of a motorcycle is situated in the front brakes, you should get in the habit of using the front brake at all times. That means actively using your right hand on the front brake lever to stop the motorcycle. There are some exceptions but they are treated in the motorcycle safety courses.

Front Disc Brakes

Modern motorcycles have front disc brakes. Most also have rear disc brakes. These brakes stop faster, wear longer, and won't fade as much. The front disc brake is controlled by the front brake lever located on the right handlebar grip.

Beginners are often afraid of front brakes. However, you have to remember that most of the stopping power of a bike is in the front brake. Get used to using it all the time. As you progress in your training, you will learn how to use both the front and rear brakes together to make fast controlled stops.

Should you ever find yourself in a panic situation with the front wheel locked up, RELEASE the front brake lever. This is the opposite of the advice given for a rear-wheel skid with the rear brake locked up. You need to know the difference between these two situations.

Front Master Cylinder

The front brake lever works through the motorcycle front master cylinder to control the front brakes. See the "Front Disc Brake" and "Front Brake Lever" descriptions for more information.

Front Suspension

Modern bikes have a variety of front suspensions to help soak up the bumps in the road and provide for a stable ride. Most require no attention from the rider.

There are aftermarket suspension kits available should you require a different ride characteristic.

Fuel Petcock Valve

Most motorcycles have a Fuel Petcock Valve on the engine to shutoff the supply of gasoline. It has at least three positions: ON, OFF, and RESERVE.

The rider turns the petcock to RESERVE when the reserve area of the gas tank is reached.

Some motorcycles don't have petcocks and instead have gas gauges indicating remaining fuel. Many of these bikes have low-fuel indicator lights as well.

Here's a good reference on Gas Tanks that also discusses all the types of Petcocks. It discusses ON-OFF-RES, ON-RES-PRI, and ON-OFF systems: Gas Tanks

Once the motorcycle Fuel Petcock Valve is turned on, the ignition switch turned on, the transmission placed in neutral, the choke pulled out, and the KILL switch turned to the run position, the motorcycle can be started.

Gas Cap

When you need to put gasoline in your bike's gas tank, you open the tank with the gas cap. The gas cap may be in plain sight or hidden under a lockable door.

Cap caps are under pressure and sometimes hard to unscrew.

Some gas caps are not tied to the tank so be careful where you put them and don't let one roll away.

Don't ever sit on your bike while you fill the gas tank. You may spill gas on your crotch or worse yet, set fire to your bike if you're smoking. Get off your bike and fill from the side.

If you buy a tank bag, be certain that you can get to the gas cap.

Gas Tank

Motorcycle gas tanks may be real or imagined. On the Harley, the gas tank is real and functional. On some bikes, the gas tank is there for appearance and tradition while the real gas tank hides beneath the skin of the bike somewhere to fill up unused space and provide for a better center of gravity.

Motorcycle gas tanks can be quite small or quite large. Long distance riders will often have auxiliary gas tanks so they won't have to stop as often. Often the gas tank serves a purpose by holding a Tank Bag that provides additional storage or a place to display a map.

Gear Shift

The motorcycle gear shift is on the left-hand side of the motorcycle just ahead of the foot peg.

The motorcycle gear shift controls a ratchet mechanism that shifts the gears.

Most motorcycles use a 1-N-2-3-4-5 positioning of the gear shift lever with the "1" being all the way down.

Upshifts from first gear are accomplished by a hard upward thrust with the top of the boot on the underside of the shift lever after first pulling in the clutch.

The first upward kick from first gear goes through neutral directly to second gear. The gear shift lever is released after each upward kick. Successive gear shifts upward take the machine to third, fourth, and then fifth (or higher) gear.

Downshifts occur by pulling in the clutch and kicking down the gear shift lever one gear at a time and releasing it after the shift in preparation for the next kick down.

There is a complex motion involving the left hand operating the clutch, the left foot operating the gear shift, and the right hand opening and closing the throttle to accomplish smooth shifting both accelerating and decelerating.

Headlight Switch

When you turn on your bike, the headlight comes on automatically. The Headlight Switch controls whether you show dim or bright lights. Most riders choose to run with brights on during the day and dims at night. This is done so that motorists (cagers) will see you better.

Some riders use headlight modulators that flash the headlights continuously. These are currently legal throughout the USA.

Some older bikes have an on-off headlight switch as well.


Usually motorcycle horns are pretty pathetic. Some riders have chosen to upgrade the size and noise level of their motorcycle horns to be heard better.

It's probably better to be prepared defensively to keep your bike out of trouble than to rely on warning someone else with your motorcycle horn.

Ignition Switch

The ignition key goes in the Ignition Switch.

Many motorcycles have the Ignition Switch in the middle of the handlebars. Others such as the Sportster have the ignition on the left-side of the engine as shown.

Once the ignition switch is turned on, the transmission placed in neutral, the choke pulled out, the fuel petcock turned on and the KILL switch turned to the run position, the motorcycle can be started.


Adjust your side mirrors to get a good view of the road behind you.

Make sure that just the edge of your bike is seen in the mirror.

Mirrors get moved in parking lot situations. Always check the mirrors before you ride and adjust accordingly.

Keep your mirrors clean.


The motorcycle Muffler, for purposes of description here, includes all pipes and baffles necessary to quiet the exhaust noise and match with the carburetor jetting.

Factory mufflers are often changed to aftermarket pipes to get the right sound and performance desired by the rider.

Oil Filter

The motorcycle oil filter is just like the one on a car except many riders will chrome them since they appear as part of the engine.

Many riders do their own oil changes. If you're one of them, make sure you know which oil and oil filter to use and seek out specific instructions on how to do the motorcycle oil change procedure.

Oil Tank

The motorcycle Oil Tank is a familiar sight on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It is not seen much in other brands where the oil source is integrated with the engine.

The Oil Tank contains the oil and delivers it to the oil pump through hoses.

Rear Disk Brakes

Rear disk brakes stop faster, wear longer, and won't fade as much. The rear disc brakes are controlled by the front brake pedal located on the right-hand side of the motorcycle just in front of the right foot peg.

Beginners often rely only on the rear brake since they can easily activate it using their right foot. Many have been erroneously taught that the front brake is to be avoided. However, you have to remember that most of the stopping power of a bike is in the front brake. Get used to using the front brake and the rear brake together. As you progress in your training, you will learn how to use both the front and rear brakes to make fast controlled stops. There are also other special situations where different uses of the front and rear brakes are required. When you attend the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) classes, these situations will be covered.

Since many beginners use the rear brake too much they often lock them up during panic situations and skid the rear tire. Please remember that if you find yourself in a rear wheel skid, DO NOT release the brake pedal. Ride it out. Releasing the pedal will often cause a high side incident where you will be thrown over the handlebars. This is the opposite of the advice given for a front-wheel skid with the front brake locked up. You need to know the difference between these two situations.

Rocker Box

Above the cylinder head is what is called a rocker box on this Sportster. Other engines may have valve covers or other components. The rocker box contains the mechanisms that control the rocker arm assemblies that open and close the valves.


Of course, the motorcycle seat is what you sit on. You want it to be comfortable and fit you.

You should ensure that the seat height is not too high for you to comfortably reach your feet to the ground and support the bike at rest. This will be a consideration when you purchase your first bike. It is also possible to remove some of the padding material in a seat to reduce the seat height.

You also need to consider how you will be using the bike. Some seats are too hard for long trips.

You should find out what is under your seat. Often fuses, tools, owner's manual, battery terminals, etc. are there. Find out how to remove it in case you have to.

Shock Absorber

Modern bikes have a variety of rear suspensions to help soak up the bumps in the road and provide for a stable ride. The motorcycle shock absorbers used in rear suspensions usually are adjustable. You can adjust them for a soft or hard ride and for the weight of a passenger and luggage. Otherwise, the shocks need no attention from the rider.

Some rear suspensions hide the shock absorbers and give a Hard Tail appearance. Some bikes have a single rear shock, usually well hidden. Older bikes had no rear suspensions and relied on the front suspension and seat to cushion the ride.

Side Stand

The motorcycle side stand supports the weight of the motorcycle while it's parked. Some motorcycles won't start unless the side stand is fully in the up position. Some will kill the engine if the rider takes the transmission out of neutral with the side stand down. Some motorcycles come with a centerstand as well.

Some motorcycles have very sensitive side stands that you have to make sure are down before you lean your bike onto them.

You have to be sure where you place the side stand. Soft or freshly prepared surfaces will cause the bike to tip over. You need to place a flat object under the side stand such as a board, flattened can, or metal or plastic plate.

Spark Plug

Motorcycle Spark Plugs provide the spark necessary to ignite the air-fuel mixture in the engine to cause combustion.

Some Spark Plugs are sometimes readily visible. Others are completely hidden behind plastic and other bodywork.

There can be more than one spark plug for each cylinder.

There is a technique for replacing a spark plug. Check out Basic Motorcycle Tips in the Related Resources section in the sidebar.


This is the same as the one in a car. Most motorcycle speedometers have odometers to record mileage and trip meters that are resettable.

Starter Switch

Once the ignition switch is on, the KILL switch closed, the transmission in neutral, and the choke pulled out, the motorcycle can be started by pressing the Starter Switch. The actual switch may say Start or just have a symbol on it.

The motor turns over and starts.

After a few minutes, the choke is gradually released until the bike has a low idle.

If the engine is already warm, the choke may not have to be used at all to start.


The motorcycle tachometer gives the speed of the engine in RPM.

There is a redline mark on the tachometer that should not be exceeded.

Not all motorcycles have tachometers.

Tail light

The motorcycle tail light is always on when the ignition is on.

The brake light is usually part of the motorcycle tail light. Some riders have installed special brake lights that flash when the brakes are applied. You need to check local regulations to ensure that these are legal.


The motorcycle throttle is contained in the right-hand grip on the handlebars.

The throttle is gripped by the right hand. Twisting the grip towards you increases the speed.

You must be careful to not inadvertently trip the KILL switch if it happens to be located too close to the throttle.

Turn Sign

Motorcycles are hard to see in traffic and the turn signals on bikes are even harder to see. That's one reason that many riders continue to supplement their turn signals with hand signals.

The cancellation of a turn signal after the turn is not an exact science. Some bikes require you to press the turn signal button to cancel the signal. Other bikes use a timer that turns them off automatically. Still others use a slant indicator that recognizes when the bike has leaned over to turn and then righted itself after the turn.

Many riders forget to cancel their turn signals and have to be reminded by other riders.

Whatever the method your bike uses, get familiar with how it operates and use it for every turn.

Warning Lights

Get familiar with the warning lights on your motorcycle.

The most important one is the Neutral indicator which is usually green. You'll want to turn on the ignition to see the Neutral light and then fumble around with the gear shifter to get the green light to come on indicating you found neutral.

Other lights might be for low oil pressure, high/low beam indicator, and directional signal indicators.

Some motorcycles might have warning lights for temperature and low gas.


Motorcycle windshields are considered accessories by most motorcyclists. They are optional for many. The concept of a shield to keep the wind out of the face of a motorcycle rider sometimes gets in the way of the enjoyment of riding. Some riders want to feel that wind. Others don't.

If you do a lot of riding at high speed, you'll get a lot of noise in your ears from the wind. In some riders, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) can result. A motorcycle windshield will cut down that noise.

If you do any riding in the winter, having a motorcycle windshield can make a big difference.

Some motorcycle windshields are removable. Some are manually adjustable up and down. Some have electric motors that move them up and down at the push of a button. Some are part of integral fairings such as found on touring bikes.

Some riders like to have a windshield that they can just look over. They have an unobstructed view of the road especially in the rain and fog.

Some riders choose to look through their windshields to gain maximum protection from the wind and increased levels of comfort.

Keep your windshield clean. Be careful not to scratch it. Check the Motorcycle How To's under Related Resources for some tips.