Modern Buddy/Scooter Lexicon: Glossary

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Modern Buddy/Scooter Lexicon: Glossary

Post by ericalm »

Common Scooter and Forum Terms
This is a work in progress and will grown continuously as the forum grows. Suggestions for additions and other comments can be posted in the thread here. Thanks!

+! : expression 1. Excitedly agreeing with someone. A variation of "+1" intended to express a higher level of enthusiasm.
Usage: To amplify excitement, use in response to a previous post. Example: "+! I do the exact same thing on my scooter! I thought it was just me!"
Also expressed via emoticon: :+!:
Possible pronunciation: SUM-BANG (suggested by member broke)
Origin: Thread in which poster didn't release shift button when trying to +1 someone's post and accidentally started a new thread with an intended reply
(Definitions adapted from a post by member djelliot)

ATGATT: noun 1. "All the Gear, All the Time." The practice of wearing full gear (full face helmet, armored jacket, gloves, riding pants, boots) every time you ride. Can also be applied as an adjective.

BDU: noun 1. Acronym for "Blur Distance Unit," the measurement of mileage on a Blur odometer which should be in miles but due to inaccuracy is not. The precise measurement of a BDU is still one of the great mysteries of the Genuine universe, a quantity which may never be known. Though "BDU" has alternately been used to mean "Buddy Distance Units," this usage has not caught on (possibly due to the improved accuracy of the Buddy's odometer).

BMPH: noun 1. Acronym for "Buddy Miles Per Hour" or "Blur Miles Per Hour" referring to the indicated speed on the Buddy or Blur speedometers. As with most scooters and motorcycles, these read 10-15% "optimistic," meaning faster than actual speed.
synonym indicated speed, or simply "indicated"
Usage: "The speedo had me going 50 BMPH, but my GPS read that I was actually going around 45 MPH."

bore: noun 1. The diameter of the cylinder in the engine. A "big bore kit" or "cylinder kit" increases displacement through installing a larger diameter cylinder and piston.

bubble: noun 1. Slang for the open-topped glove compartment-like storage container behind the legshield of a Buddy.
Usage: "I used to keep my phone in the bubble 'til it bounced out when I hit a pothole." (See also: glove bucket)

cage: noun 1. A car or truck.

cager: noun 1. Someone driving a car or truck (often used derogatorily).
Usage: "This damn cager on a cell phone cut me off in traffic!"

California roll: noun 1. The act of riding up to a stop sign, pausing without putting your feet down, looking both ways, then riding through. Legal if you're able to come to a complete 2-second stop without putting your feet down. It can be done, but probably isn't the safest way to approach a stop sign when traffic is near.

cc: noun 1. Acronym for "cubic centimeters," the metric unit of volume used to measure the displacement of motorcycles, scooters and similar vehicles. Often used to indicate overall power and capabilities of an engine or vehicle.
Usage: "The Blur was supposed to come out in a 200cc version at one point." (See also: displacement)
Note on capitalization: When following a number (e.g., "125cc"), "cc" is usually lower case. When alone, often plural, it is in all caps ("I don't think the Rattler has the CCs to make it fast enough for freeway use!").

CVT: noun 1. Acronym for "continuously variable transmission." Type of automatic transmission found in modern auto scooters. The pulley-based CVTs in scooters employ a clutch, variator and drive belt rather than the gears found on manual transmissions and most automobile automatics. Centrifugal forces from engine RPMs (revolutions per minute) cause roller weights in the variator to move inwards and outwards, altering the circumference of the drive belt and changing the gear ratio. While a CVT technically has an infinite number of gear ratios, in practice the variator and weights of the rollers create thresholds in which the gear ratio discernibly changes at certain RPMs.

cylinder kit: noun 1. Performance mod which increases displacement by installing a larger cylinder head. Sometimes referred to as a "kit." (See also: displacement, bore.)

dead lights: noun 1. The inactive lights on the legshield of a Buddy. In other parts of the world, these are turn signals but they are too low to meet US Department of Transportation rules. Instead, US models have the added pod-shaped turn signals under the handlebars. Many owners choose to reconnect these lights for use as either turn signals or running lights.
Usage: "I hooked up a switch to make the dead lights wink but it just looks like they're broken."

Denier: noun 1. Unit of measure for the mass density of fibers in fabrics (mass in grams per 9,000 meters), often used in reference to synthetic materials used in riding gear. Though higher density provides greater protection, it is also stiffer and offers less breathability. In addition, this takes into account only density and not composition, so 800 Denier of one fabric may be stronger than 1000 Denier of another. This should be just one factor in assessing the strength and protection of gear.
Usage: "The Corazzo 5.0 jacket has 1000 Denier Cordura!"

displacement: noun 1. The total volume of air and fuel drawn into an engine, as expressed in cubic centimeters or inches. (See also: stroke, bore.)
Usage: "The displacement in the International Buddys is 150cc."

DOT: noun 1. Acronym for the federal Department of Transportation. The DOT administers and enforces federal vehicle codes and regulations.
adjective 2. A feature, item or standard required by the Department of Transportation.
Usage: "Those DOT turn signals under the handlebars look tacked on."
When applied to helmets, "DOT" means FMVSS 218 compliance: A motorcycle helmet that complies with U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218 (FMVSS 218). Helmets which manufacturers claim are compliant should have a "DOT" sticker or decal on the back. (Compliance is assessed by the manufacturer, not DOT testing, so helmets with the sticker may not meet standards. See Helmet Basics & Buying for more info.)

ECE: noun 1. Abbreviated acronym for the "United Nations Economic Commission for Europe 22.05" standard for motorcycle helmet safety. Though standards are more stringent than DOT, many of these helmets are not (technically) DOT-certified because they're not for sale by U.S. retailers.

gear: noun 1. Protective apparel and other accessories used while riding.
Usage: "I regret not wearing any gear when I crashed."
2. Component of a transmission used to transmit force from the engine to the wheels or an specific arrangement of individual gears (e.g., "first gear," "second gear," etc.).

gear up: verb 1. To don protective apparel.
Usage: "If you're going to riding tonight, you should gear up."

glove bucket: noun 1. Slang for the open-topped glove compartment-like storage container behind the legshield of a Buddy.
Usage: "I can fit a grande, but not venti, iced latte in my glove bucket." (See also: bubble)

Hurt Report: noun 1. The last major study of motorcycle crashes in the U.S., based on research by the ironically-named Dr, Harry Hurt and published in 1981.

kit: noun 1. See "cylinder kit."
verb 1. To install a cylinder kit. A scooter with a kit installed is said to be "kitted."
Usage: "I'm going to kit my scooter to see if I can hit 80mph."

lane splitting: noun 1. The act of riding between lanes and lines of cars, most often in heavy traffic or congested highways. Not to be confused with lane sharing, more than one vehicle within a lane. Legal in few states, most widely practiced (and accepted by drivers) in California. There is much misinformation on the legality and restrictions on lane splitting.

lid: noun 1. Slang for a helmet.

lurk: verb 1. Slang for browsing the forum without ever posting. Certain topics will sometimes inspire lurkers to become active posters, if even for a short time.
Usage: "I've been lurking here for months, but this is my first post!"

lurker: noun 1. Someone who lurks.
Usage: "Many registered members are lurkers who read up on a particular topic but don't participate."

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act: noun 1. Federal law (15 U.S.C. § 2301, 1975) governing warranties on consumer products. The act was designed to protect consumers from false claims, deceptions, unreasonable restrictions and other misuse of warranties by retailers and manufacturers. The act is often cited in discussions of warranties and their applications, but it's rarely cited by legal experts.

Here's a good summary for consumers from the FTC, which enforces the Act: ... aintenance

MC: or M/C noun 1. Abbreviation of "motorcycle."

mod: verb 1. An abbreviation of "modify" meaning to customize a scooter with performance enhancements, body modifications or accessories.
Usage: "I'm going to mod my scoot by installing a 70cc kit."
noun 1. An item used to modify a scooter (e.g., an aftermarket exhaust would be a performance mod).
Usage: "What kind of mods do you have installed?"
noun 2. Abbreviation of "modern" or "modernist," often capitalized as "Mod," a subculture with roots in 1950s London characterized by tailored Italian-influenced fashions, music (American jazz, R&B, soul, Jamaican ska, British beat of the early '60s) and love of scooters. Most famously chronicled in the movie Quadrophenia. Revived in the late '70s, incorporating punk, new wave and British ska elements of that era. Spread to U.S. and has been a persistent presence since. Mod iconography (such as the red, white and blue RAF target roundel) is very popular on scooters and mod scooter styles are frequently seen on modern scooters (windshields, chrome racks adorned with several mirrors and lights, insignia decals, etc.). Traditional mod scooter wear is a fishtail parka adorned with patches.
Usage: "These mods rode by on their Lambrettas."
adjective 1. Of, similar or pertaining to the mod subculture.
Note: In the late '60s and '70s, "mod" was appropriated and applied to popular styles and designs of the era—think big yellow flowers, smiley faces, Nehru jackets and Laugh-In. That ain't the kind of mod we're talking about here.

modern: adjective 1. When applied to scooters, "modern" typically applies to those with automatic transmissions and electronic starters. The first well-known modern scooters in the U.S. were the Hondas of the 1980s: the Elite and the Helix. The Italjet Velocifero introduced Americans to retro-styled modern scooters, but was eclipsed when Vespa returned to North America with the ET series.

moped: noun 1. A form of motorized cycle which has pedals to assist with propulsion, but which is primarily powered by a small displacement engine. Most mopeds have more in common with motorcycles and scooters than bicycles, with engines located under the seat and, on some, handlebar shifting. (There are a number of forms of motorized bicycle which are not mopeds; most of these rely on pedaling for the primary power source.) Because scooters are frequently mistaken for mopeds or erroneously called mopeds—despite the obvious difference of pedals—the motto "It's not a moped" has become popular among scooterists.
This is somewhat confused by the inconsistent legal definitions of "motorcycle," "motor scooter" and "motorized bicycle," all of which vary by state. In many, the classifications are determined by engine displacement or top speed, which often causes 50cc scooters to fall in the "moped" category. This doesn't make them mopeds, of course, but depending on the state, small scooters may share the legal benefits of mopeds: no need for insurance, parking with bicycles or on sidewalks, legal for drivers with DUIs on their records. (See also: scooter)

MSF: noun 1. Acronym for Motorcycle Safety Foundation, a national nonprofit organization (sponsored in large part by motorcycle manufacturers) which provides education, training and research into motorcycle safety. The MSF Basic Rider Course (often referred to simply as "the MSF") is a class designed by the foundation to provide basic riding skills to new riders. The class is administered by various certified providers in all 50 states. Successful completion will provide a waiver for any motorcycle licensing riding test. (The course will soon be required for new riders seeking licenses in some states.) MSF also publishes a variety of informative pamphlets and videos. Though heavily focused on motorcycles, they have added a scooter-only curriculum. The scooter class is not available in all locations and does not provide a riding test waiver.

newbie (noob, n000b): noun 1. Slang for a neophyte to either the forum or to the world of scootering.
Usage can be either casual ("Hi, I'm a newbie here and haven't bought my scooter yet") or derogatory ("The total n00b on a brand new Vespa almost swerved right into me!").

NSR, NBR and NMBR: phrases 1. Acronyms for "Not Scooter Related" and "Not Modern Buddy Related," used in a post subject line. More specific versions of OT ("off topic"), which is found on most forums and bulletin boards.
Usages: "[NSR] Visiting Chicago—restaurant suggestions?" or "[NMBR] Just test rode an Aprilia Scarabeo 500ie—sweet!"

odometer: noun 1. Gauge used to measure distances traveled by a vehicle (i.e., mileage). Often confused with the speedometer.
Usage: "I have over 10,000 miles on my odometer—all ridden in a parking lot!"

OP: noun 1. Acronym for "original post." A way of referring to the first post in s thread, often after several digressions.
Usage: "Okay, now we know how your dog got its name, but we still haven't answered the question in the OP!"
2. Acronym for "original poster," the person who started a thread.
Usage: "If you'll recall, the OP did say she was color blind."

pet carrier: noun 1. The storage compartment under the seat on many scooter models. So named because new Vespa models have a sticker with a "no pets" icon in the underseat storage.
Usage: "Does your full face helmet fit in the pet carrier?"

PM: noun 1. Acronym for "private message." The forum has an internal messaging system which allows private communication between members. Beneficial because it allows members to keep email addresses and other information private.
Usage: "If you want to discuss this outside a thread, please send me a PM."
verb 1. To send a private message to another member.
Usage: "I have a used exhaust for sale—PM me for info!"

rollers: noun 1. Cylindrical weights found in the variators of a scooter with a CVT-based transmission. Under centrifugal forces caused by engine RPMs, roller weights move outwards, altering the shape of the variator and the circumference of the drive belt. Installing rollers of varying weights can produce different effects on the transmission, increasing acceleration or maximum speed. See: CVT. Also known as "roller weights" or simply "weights."

scoot: noun 1. Abbreviation of "scooter."
verb 1. To ride a scooter. Use of "scooter" as a verb is generally preferred to distinguish this for other uses of "scoot" (e.g., "scoot down," "scoot over").
Usage: "Let's scoot to the park for a picnic."

scooter: noun 1. An abbreviation of "motorscooter." The traditional definition of a scooter is a vehicle with a "step through" design, wheels less than 16" in diameter, with the engine located below and to the rear of the seat. By contrast, motorcycle may have larger wheels, a tank between the rider and handlebars, and the engine will be located further forward. A moped has pedals. Throughout the history of scooters, though there have been models which defied the definitions by combining elements or designs from motorcycles or mopeds. New designs and technologies are pushing the boundaries further. Though some scooter classicists would like to restrict the definition to apply to vehicles with engines below a certain size or using other parameters, the "scooter" categorization may one day be as broad as "motorcycle." Legally, most state codes do not recognize the motorscooter as a unique vehicle, and scooters are classified as either motorcycles or mopeds, depending on engine displacement. This is confused at times by the inclusion of "motor-driven scooters," "electric scooters," "motor-driven cycles" and other vehicle classifications—none of which include scooters as we know them.
verb 1. To ride a scooter.
Usage: "We're going to scooter over to the club."

scootering: noun 1. The act of riding a scooter.
Usage: "I'm going scootering!"

scooterist: noun 1. Someone who rides a scooter.

shifter: noun 1. A manual transmission scooter (one that requires shifting).
Usage: "Shifters like the Stella appeal to some who want more control and a more vintage ride." (Can also be used as an adjective.)
2. Handlebar-mounted mechanism for changing gears on a manual transmission scooter.

Snell: noun 1. The standard for motorcycle helmet safety set by the Snell Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit funded by various motorcycle and other powersport organizations. unlike DOT, Snell certification involves testing of helmets submitted by their manufacturers. while this remains the most comprehensive standard at use in the United States, the accuracy of these tests and their conclusions has been hotly debated for years. (See Helmet Basics & Buying for more info.)

speedo: noun 1. Abbreviation for "speedometer," the gauge used to measure a vehicle's rate of motion.
Usage: "My speedo read 35mph, but my GPS read only 31."

squid: noun 1. A motorcycle (typically sportbike) rider who displays insufficient skill for the bike in use, poor judgment, and dangerous riding behaviors. The term is either a contraction of "squirrely kid" or an acronym of "stupid quick underdressed imminently dead."
Usage: "I was minding my own business when some squid on an Interceptor blew by me doing 80 while crossing lanes, weaving between cars, smoking a cigarette and wearing nothing but gym shorts and flip-flops."

stroke: noun 1. The distance a piston travels in a single action of an engine, typically determined by the length of the cylinder and crankshaft. A 4-stroke engine (such as those on most modern scooters) has four separate actions for each cycle of the engine.

twist-n-go: noun 1. An automatic scooter (one that does not require shifting.)
Usage: "If you're not up for shifting, you should buy a twist-n-go." (Can also be used as an adjective.)

variator: noun 1. One end of a pulley-system in a scooter's automatic transmission. (See also: rollers, CVT.)

voodoo verb 1. The act of installing various modifications and tuning the scooter to eke out maximum performance or achieve desired performance goals.
Usage: "Once the warranty expires, I'm going to voodoo my scooter until it burns rubber and breathes fire!"
noun 1. A reference to the collective modifications made to one's scooter.
Usage: "How much Voodoo do you have going on there? That scoot's fast!"
2. Any practice or act involving some unknown procedure (usually by another person) to achieve desired results.
Usage: "I don't know what he did, but he worked some kind of voodoo on my kickstart and finally got the scooter running."
adjective 1. A descriptor for a scooter that's been modified for high performance.
Usage: "That voodoo Buddy really hauls!"
Origin: The first usage of voodoo in the context of performance was by Phil Waters (aka POCPhil) in an August, 2007 thread about exhaust and variator tuning. It was used sporadically for the next several months, often to refer to engine break in procedures. Popular usage in the current context began in 2009. Though the exact tipping point is difficult to determine, it may have been this post from now-FAQ-moderator Lostmycage.
[Note on capitalization and usage: It's common to see the word "Voodoo" capitalized regardless of usage or context. While there's no official style for this, it stands to reason that when used as a noun, "Voodoo" is a fairly direct reference to the occult practice from Louisiana and Haiti (Voodou). When used as an adjective (e.g., "voodoo doll") the word is not capitalized. Such fine distinctions are unlikely to be observed on Internet forums.]

Weeble Effect noun 1. Term used to describe the ease of leaning a Buddy due to its low center or gravity and lightness on top. Also used to describe the effect of high winds on the Buddy. Origin is the advertising slogan for the popular egg-shaped 1970s Weeble toys: "Weebles wobble but the don't fall down." Buddys do, in fact, fall down.

w00t! (or woot!): interjection 1. An expression of joy or enthusiasm, often directed to another person. The term was originally used by hackers, then became part of the online gaming lexicon, retroactively becoming an acronym for "we owned other team."
Usage: "You passed the MSF? w00t!"

WOT: adverb 1. Acronym for "Wide Open Throttle," i.e, riding with maximum throttle.

"Why Red Is Red?": expression 1. Modern Buddy's first catch phrase, which has the tenuous meaning of "Why are things the way they are?" It can also be used to imply someone is asking too many questions or to divert a discussion which the speaker (writer) feels has become repetitive or tedious. When used, the expression is often colored red, bold and in large text.
Origin: Thread about a suspicious Buddy sale on eBay. Modern Buddy members and others assaulted the seller with questions, often receiving inadequate responses. This led to this exchange:
Q: Why is Fran-Mar Collision NOT LISTED as an authorized dealer on Genuine's web site?
A: Why red Is red !
Last edited by ericalm on Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
Eric // LA Scooter Meetup Group // Stella 4T // Vespa LX // Vespa LXS // Honda Helix // some, uh, projects…