Need help describing your motorcycle parts?

If you need a little help describing the motorcycle parts you are searching for, you may find this page useful. It lists some common motorcycle parts with their alternative names and a short explanatory description. Choose one of the links in the table below to navigate to the relevant section:

AIR CLEANER (back to top)
airbox [ air filter housing ]
Contains the air filter element (e.g. Honda CG125 / CB125 / Suzuki GN125 / GZ125)
air box rubbers Rubbers connecting the airbox to the carbs (e.g. Yamaha FJ1200 / Honda ST1100 Pan European) or throttle bodies (e.g. Suzuki GSX1300 R Hayabusa / GSXR1000 / Kawasaki ZZ-R1400)
BODYWORK (1) (back to top)
complete bodykit All of the painted (colour-coded) parts on a bike i.e. all the cosmetic plastic panels and the fuel tank (e.g. Honda CBR600RR / CBR1000 RR)
complete set of plastics All of the colour-coded cosmetic panels (e.g. Aprilia RSV1000R Factory)
complete front fairing All of the main plastic panels at the front of the bike
top fairing [ nose cone / headlight fairing / headlight cowl / upper fairing / front fairing ]
Top plastic panel around the headlight. Can be a single panel (e.g. Kawasaki ZX-10R / Aprilia RSV1000 Mille / Suzuki TL1000 R / Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat) or three pieces; centre, RH & LH (e.g. Honda VFR750F / NSR125 1994+). AVOID using the term ‘front fairing’ as this can be misunderstood to mean all of the fairing panels at the front of the bike
BODYWORK (2) (back to top)
bikini fairing [ headlight cowl / headlamp cowling ]
Small fairing around headlight on bikes without a full fairing (e.g. Kawasaki ZRX1100 / Z1000 / Z750 / Yamaha DTR125 / Honda XR125 L / XLR125)
RH & LH top fairing Panels either side of the headlight, sometimes also houses the front indicators (e.g. Honda CBR600 FM-FW 91-98 / Suzuki SV650 S 99-02)
centre top fairing Small panel around / between the headlights on bikes with 3-piece top fairings (e.g. Honda VFR750 FR-FV 94-97 / Triumph 750 900 Trident Sprint 92-97)
LH & RH middle fairing [ mid panel / centre fairing ]
Sits between the top fairing & bellypan or lower fairings (e.g. Honda CBR900 RR 93-98 / Yamaha YZF1000 R Thunderace)
LH & RH lower fairing [ main fairing panels ]
Large panels running from the top fairing all the way down to join together underneath the bike (e.g. Kawasaki ZX-7R / Ducati 749 / 999)
bellypan Panel located under the belly of the bike (e.g. Kawasaki GPZ500 S / Yamaha RD125 LC2 LC3)
RH & LH belly pan [ lower fairing panels ]
Run from underneath the bike to join the middle fairing panels (e.g. Yamaha YZF-R1 4XV 5JJ 98-01 / YZF-R6 99-05)
BODYWORK (3) (back to top)
screen [ windshield / blade / visor ]
Attaches to the top fairing (e.g. Suzuki GSX750 F / DL1000 DL650 V-Strom)
chin piece Small cosmetic panel below headlamp on faired bikes - usually colour-coded (e.g. Suzuki GSX600 F 98+ / Honda CB500 S)
LH & RH inspection panel [ inspection covers ]
Fit into the main fairing panels & can be removed to change spark plugs etc (e.g. Honda CBR600 FM-FW 91-98 / Suzuki RF600 R RF900)
V-piece V or U-shaped panel directly behind the front wheel. Joins the lower fairing panels together at the front of the bike (Yamaha FZR1000 Exup / Kawasaki ZX-6R G)
W piece [ fairing joining strip ]
Silver W-shaped strip which joins the mid & lower fairing panels on Kawasaki’s ZZ-R600 E (ZX600E)
tailpiece [ seat unit / rear plastics / tail unit / tail piece ]
Refers to a single-piece panel running under the seat (both sides) & up to / around the rear light on modern bikes (e.g. Yamaha YBR125 / Honda VTR1000 SP1 SP2 / Yamaha R1 R6) or a small plastic panel behind the seat on older bikes (e.g. Kawasaki Z650 / Suzuki GT250 X7 / early Yamaha XJ600 / XJ900 / Kawasaki GPZ900 R / Honda CB900)
BODYWORK (4) (back to top)
LH & RH seat panel Runs under the seat / rear seat to the back of bike (Suzuki GSXR1100 / GSXR750 86-99 / Yamaha YZF750 R SP / Honda CBR125)
RH & LH side panel [ side covers / battery cover / airbox cover ]
Small plastic panels under the seat on traditional naked bikes (e.g. Honda CB750 / Kawasaki W650) custom-cruisers (Kawasaki VN1500 / Yamaha XVS650 Dragstar / XV750 Virago) and trail bikes (Kawasaki KMX125 / KLR650 / Yamaha XT600). ONLY use these descriptions if your bike is unfaired (i.e. NOT a fully faired bike)
tailpiece joiner Small panel above rear light, joins LH & RH seat panels together (e.g. Suzuki RF900 / Yamaha XJ600 Diversion / XJ900 Diversion)
rear light surround Small panel running around the rear light, may also join LH & RH seat panels together (Suzuki GSXR750 WN-WS 92-95 / Honda CBR900 RR Fireblade)
RH & LH tank panel [ radiator panels / radiator scoops ]
Small plastic panels attaching either side of petrol tank and/or radiator on naked (e.g. Honda CB500 R 94+), trail (e.g. Yamaha DT125 R / XT600 E / Suzuki DR-Z400 S), supermoto / supermotard (e.g. Derbi Senda SM / KTM 950 SM LC8 / Yamaha DT125 X), or motocross bikes (e.g. Kawasaki KX125 / Yamaha YZ125 / Honda CR125 / Suzuki RM125 / RM250 / RM-Z250 / RM-Z450)
BODYWORK (5) (back to top)
front mudguard [ front fender ]
Can be one piece or in front and rear sections (e.g. Kawasaki ZZ-R1100 D ZX1100)
RH & LH fork shields [ fork guards / fork shrouds / fork protectors ]
Fit either side of the front mudguard on some sports bikes (e.g. Kawasaki ZX-6R G / J / ZXR400 L) to protect the forks from stone chips. Also fitted to many motocross & Enduro bikes with upside down forks (e.g. Honda CRF250 / CRF450 / Yamaha YZF250 / YZF450 / WR250 / WR450 / Kawasaki KX250F / KX450F)
air intake / intakes [ air scoops / air duct / ram air scoop ]
Sit inside the top fairing & run to aperture/s in the frame. Can be a single air intake (e.g. Kawasaki ZX-6R J / ZX-12R) or RH & LH air intakes (e.g. Suzuki GSXR600 S-RAD / GSXR750 SRAD / Honda CBR400 RR NC29 Gullarm)
clocks surround [ clocks infill panel / clocks surrounds ]
Plain plastic finishing panel around the clocks; can be a single panel (e.g. Honda CBR1000 F / Yamaha XTZ750 Super Tenere / Suzuki GSXF600) or in RH & LH sections (e.g. Suzuki TL1000 S)
RH / LH infill panel [ inner fairings ]
Plain plastic finishing panels between fairing & frame (e.g. Kawasaki ZX636 B1H / ZXR750 J / Yamaha YZFR6 06-07)
BODYWORK (6) (back to top)
RH / LH top fairing infills [ upper fairing trim panels ]
Plain plastic finishing panels sitting inside the top fairing (e.g. Honda NT650 Deauville / Yamaha FZR600 R / FZ6 Fazer). Sometimes contain a storage pocket & lid (e.g. Kawasaki ZZ-R600 ZX600 E)
Indicator stiffener [ indicator mounting panels ]
Plain plastic panels (located inside the main fairings) which front indicators attach to (e.g. Honda CBR900RR Fireblade)
front panel (scooter) [ front apron / main front panel ]
Large colour-coded panel at the front of scooters & mopeds (e.g. Yamaha YN50 / 100 Neos / Piaggio NRG / ST125 Skipper). Usually surrounds the headlight/s (although the headlight may be mounted in the front handlebar panel e.g. Piaggio Liberty / Aprilia Scarabeo 50 125 / Vespa GT125 GT200)
front inner panel (scooter) [ legshield / inner leg panel / inner apron ]
Panel in front of your knees - often surrounds the ignition switch (e.g. Peugeot Speedfight 50 100 / Yamaha YQ50 / 100 Aerox MBK Nitro), may have a glove box / storage compartment (e.g. Piaggio Zip 50 125 / Aprilia Habana 50 / Mojito 125)
front handlebar panel (scooter) [ front handlebar cowl / cowling ]
Small panel surrounding the front of the handlebars (e.g. Aprilia SR50 Di-tech / Gilera Runner 50 / 125 / 180 / 200)
BODYWORK (7) (back to top)
rear handlebar panel (scooter) [ rear handlebar cowl / cowling ]
Small panel covering the rear of the handlebars; often surrounds the clocks & indicator / headlight switches (e.g. Piaggio Typhoon 50 125 / Vespa ET2 ET4)
footboard (scooter) [ floor panel / foot boards / foot panel ]
Panel that your feet rest on (e.g. Gilera Ice 50 / Honda SCV100 Lead / Aprilia SR125). Sometimes comes in RH & LH pieces (e.g. Gilera VX125 Runner / Suzuki AY50 Katana), usually non colour-coded
seat bucket (scooter) [ helmet holder / under seat storage compartment ]
Large bucket-shaped storage compartment under the seat (e.g. Gilera DNA 50 125 / Aprilia SR125 / Peugeot Elyseo 50 100 125)
sump guard [ bash plate ]
Aluminium plate or plastic panel protecting the bottom of the engine on trail styled / off-road bikes (e.g. Honda XL1000 Varadero / XL600 V 650 Transalp / NX650 Dominator)
rear hugger [ rear wheel hugger ]
Covers the front upper section of the rear wheel to prevent dirt contaminating the rear shock absorber. Often incorporates the chain guard, can be an original item (e.g. Honda CBR1000RR / early CBR600F / Yamaha FZ6 Fazer) or an aftermarket item (e.g. Honda VTR1000 Firestorm / Kawasaki ZX-9R)
BODYWORK (8) (back to top)
rear mudguard [ rear fender / back mud guard ]
Situated above the rear wheel. Usually manufactured from metal (painted or chrome) on older bikes (e.g. Yamaha FS1E / XS1100) & custom-cruisers (Kawasaki VN1500 / Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star Dragstar) or plastic on modern bikes (e.g. Kawasaki GPZ600 R / Honda XL125 V Varadero / Suzuki GS500 E). Can also have front & rear sections (e.g. Honda GL1500 Gold Wing / CB400F CB400 Four)
undertray [ rear mudguard / under tray ]
Large plastic part running from the rear of the bike up to the petrol tank. Often incorporates the battery tray & number plate mounting (e.g. Honda CBF250 / Cagiva Mito 125 Evo). Be sure to specify whether you want the original part or an aftermarket painted item
number plate bracket [ licence plate holder ]
Can be a separate item (e.g. Yamaha XS750 XS850 FZR600 Genesis) or part of the undertray (e.g. on sports bikes)
chain guard [ drive chain protector ]
battery box [ battery tray / battery holder ]
Can be a separate item or part of the undertray (e.g. on sports bikes)
two stroke oil tank [ 2 stroke oil tank ]
Holds the two stroke oil (e.g. Honda NS125 / Yamaha RXS100 / TZR125 / Suzuki RG125 FU / Aprilia RS125 RS250)
BODYWORK (9) (back to top)
Panniers [ luggage boxes / side cases / hard luggage ]
Can be original equipment (e.g. Honda NT650 V Deauville / GL1800 Goldwing) or an aftermarket upgrade (e.g. Givi / Krauser / Nonfango / Kappa / Hepco & Becker etc)
Pannier lids [ pannier covers ]
Outer lid / door for panniers (e.g. Honda NT700 V Deauville / ST1300 Pan Euro / Yamaha FJR1300)
BRAKES (1) (back to top)
front brake disc or discs [ front discs / front disks / brake rotor / disc rotors ]
Brake discs mounted to the front wheel. Can be single disc (e.g. Buell S1 X1 Lightning Cyclone) or twin disc type. Usually hydraulically operated (older small bikes can be cable operated, e.g. Kawasaki Z200)
rear brake disc [ rear disc / rear disk ]
Brake disc mounted to the rear wheel
front brake caliper / calipers [ front caliper /front callipers ]
Mounted on the fork lowers, single of twin caliper type. Contain hydraulically operated pistons that press brake pads against the brake disc. Often referred to by the number of pistons contained within each caliper e.g. ‘6 pot calipers’ (e.g. Tokico) or ‘twin piston calipers’ (e.g. Nissin) etc. Traditionally calipers are axially mounted (i.e. both mounting points are located at the trailing [upper] end of the caliper), although high performance bikes are increasingly being fitted with radially mounted calipers (i.e. the mounting points are located at either end of the caliper, on both the leading and trailing end)
BRAKES (2) (back to top)
radial brake calipers [ radial calipers ]
Where the mounting points are located at either end of the caliper body i.e. on both the leading & trailing ends (e.g. Brembo Monoblock)
rear brake caliper [ rear caliper / rear calliper ]
Contains one or two hydraulically operated pistons that press brake pads against the rear disc
rear caliper bracket [ rear caliper mount / rear calliper mounting ]
Fits onto rear wheel spindle & provides mounting points for the rear caliper
brake hoes / hoses [ brake lines / brake pipes ]
Hoses containing hydraulic fluid which run between the brake master cylinder and caliper(s). Can be ‘rubber’ (often original equipment) or braided stainless steel (usually an aftermarket performance upgrade, e.g. Goodridge / Hel / Earls)
brake union [ brake hose splitter / T-piece ]
Joins RH & LH front brake hoses into a single hose (which goes to the master cylinder) on twin disc bikes
front brake master cylinder [ front master cylinder ]
Located on RH handlebar. Contains a hydraulic piston to pump brake fluid to the caliper(s). Can have a remote (i.e. separate) fluid reservoir, or the reservoir can be part of the same casting as the master cylinder
BRAKES (3) (back to top)
rear brake master cylinder [ rear master cylinder ]
Usually located behind the RH rider’s footrest assy. Activated by the brake pedal & contains a hydraulic piston to pump brake fluid to the rear caliper. Sometimes incorrectly termed a ‘slave cylinder’ because it resembles hydraulic slave cylinders on cars. Rear master cylinders usually have a remote (i.e. separate) brake fluid reservoir (often hidden behind the RH side/seat panel)
brake reservoir (front or rear) [ front reservoir / rear reservoir / brake fluid reservoir ]
Container for brake fluid on remote reservoir type master cylinders
brake light switch (front or rear) [ brake switch / stop light switch ]
Electrical switch that activates brake light (i.e. rear light) when the front or rear brake is applied. The front switch attaches to front brake master cylinder, the rear switch is situated between the brake pedal & rear master cylinder
ABS sensor (front or rear) [For bikes fitted with Anti-lock Braking System. Detects rotation speed of wheel & sends information to ABS control unit (Honda ST1100A ST1300 ABS TCS / Honda GSF650 A Bandit / Yamaha FJR1300A FJ1300 FJ1200A)
ABS control unit [ ABS module ]
Can be single unit (for both wheels) or separate. Controls the ABS system from information supplied by sensors on front & rear wheels. Temporarily releases hydraulic pressure to caliper pistons in the event of wheels starting to lock up
BRAKES (4) (back to top)
drum brakes (front or rear) [ front drum brake / rear drum brake ]
Uses brake shoes to grip the inner surface of the wheel hub (drum), rather than external disc & caliper system. On bikes, drum brakes are usually cable operated rather than hydraulic
brake plate (front or rear) [ front brake plate / rear brake plate ]
Metal plate that holds brake shoes & fits into the wheel hub. The front brake plate sometimes incorporates the speedo drive. Sometimes termed the ‘drum brake’, although this can easily be misinterpreted
front brake cable Runs from front brake lever to the actuating arm on the front brake plate (drum brake system)
rear brake cable (scooter) Runs from rear brake lever to the actuating arm on the rear brake plate (drum brake system)
brake actuator arm (front or rear) Lever attached to a cam on the brake plate, which in turn pushes the brake shoes against the wheel hub
rear brake rod Steel rod that attaches between the brake pedal & actuating arm on the rear brake plate (drum brake system)
CABLES (back to top)
clutch cable [ cable, clutch ]
power valve cable (s) [ power valve control cables ]
Operates exhaust power valve inside the cylinder barrel on 2 stroke engines (e.g. Yamaha RD350 YPVS TZR125)
front brake cable Operates the front drum brake or disc brake (on early small displacement bikes)
throttle cable / throttle cables Single cable or separate open & close cables
tacho cable [ rev counter cable / tachometer cable ]
Connects between the tachometer drive gear / sensor (e.g. on cylinder head) and tachometer clock
speedo cable [ speedometer cable ]
Connects between the speedo drive / speedo sensor (e.g. on front wheel or sprocket cover) and speedometer clock
choke cable [ starter cable ]
Connects between the carburettors and choke lever / knob
decompression cable Opens a valve inside the cylinder head to decompress the combustion chamber to make it easier to kick start the bike (e.g. Honda XL500, Yamaha XT600, Kawasaki KLR600 KLR650, Suzuki DR800
oil pump cable For 2 strokes, often part of the throttle cable assembly
side stand cable Fitted to some older bikes; lifts the side stand when the clutch lever is pulled (e.g. Kawasaki GT550 Z440 Z550
seat lock cable Releases the seat lock catch enabling the seat to be removed or lifted open
CLOCKS (back to top)
clocks complete [ instruments / meter assembly / dashboard ]
Entire instrument assembly including speedometer, tachometer, odometer & warning lights. Increasingly these are incorporated into a single unit, but are often separate parts on earlier bikes
rev counter [ tacho clock / tachometer ]
Displays the engine speed (i.e. crankshaft revolutions) in RPM (revs per minute)
speedo [ speedometer clock ]
Displays the speed of the bike / scooter in MPH (miles per hour) or KPH (kilometres per hour)
odometer Records the total miles or kilometres travelled by the bike / scooter. Usually incorporated into the speedometer
idiot panel [ warning lights / instrument lights / idiot lights ]
Display showing indicators, neutral light, high beam, oil pressure light, low fuel warning light etc. Usually an integral part of the clocks assembly, but may be a separate item on early bikes
fuel gauge Usually an integral part of the clocks assembly (e.g. Kawasaki ZX10R, Suzuki GSXR1000, Honda CBR1000RR), but can be mounted on the fuel tank on older bikes or custom cruisers (e.g. GPz550 Unitrak, Yamaha XVZ1300 Royal Star)
clock covers [ speedo pod / tacho pod / rev counter pod / clock casings / clock bowls / clock cowls ]
Outer cosmetic covers for bikes with traditional styled clocks featuring separate speedo & rev counters (e.g. early Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit). Often finished in chrome effect plastic - very difficult to find in good condition second-hand!
CLUTCH (1) (back to top)
clutch Disengages drive to the gearbox input shaft to facilitate gear selection. Usually consists of an outer basket, inner hub (centre), pressure plate, friction plates and metal plates (steels)
clutch basket [ clutch outer / clutch cradle]
Large outer part of the clutch, continuously driven by the crankshaft. The friction plates (non-metal) fit into slots on the sides of the clutch basket (e.g. Kawasaki GPZ1000 RX / ZX-10 B / Suzuki 1200 Bandit)
clutch basket [ clutch outer / clutch cradle ]
Large outer part of the clutch, continuously driven by the crankshaft. The friction plates (non-metal) fit into slots on the sides of the clutch basket (e.g. Kawasaki GPZ1000 RX / ZX-10 B / Suzuki 1200 Bandit)
clutch centre [ clutch inner / clutch hub ]
Fits inside the clutch basket & attaches to the end of the gearbox input shaft. The clutch centre has groves around its outer side for the metal clutch plates (steels) to slot onto
clutch plates Two types of plate; metal ‘steels’ which have castellations on the inside (to slot into the clutch centre), and non-metal friction plates with castellations on the outside (to slot into the clutch basket)
CLUTCH (2) (back to top)
clutch pressure plate Provides pressure (via clutch springs) to force the friction plates & steel plates together which in turn provides drive to the gearbox. When the clutch is engaged the pates are forced apart disengaging drive to the gearbox
clutch cable Connects the clutch lever on the handlebars to the actuator arm on the clutch cover on the engine
clutch actuator arm [ clutch actuating arm / clutch arm ]
Connects to worm gear inside the clutch cover which in turn connects to the clutch push rod
clutch push rod Separates the clutch friction plates which in turn disengages drive to the gearbox output shaft
clutch master cylinder Located on left handlebar. Contains a piston to pump hydraulic fluid to the clutch slave cylinder. Can have a remote (i.e. separate) fluid reservoir, or the reservoir can be part of the same casting
clutch hose Hose containing hydraulic fluid which runs between the clutch master & slave cylinders
clutch slave cylinder Usually located on LHS of engine near gearbox/front sprocket cover. Actuated by the clutch master cylinder, it contains a hydraulic piston which engages the clutch by moving the clutch push rod
clutch remote reservoir [ clutch reservoir ]
Separate hydraulic fluid reservoir for the clutch master cylinder
COOLING (1) (back to top)
oil cooler [ oil radiator ]
Generally called an oil cooler rather than radiator to prevent confusion with the coolant radiator. The most common design is a small finned radiator at the front of the bike. An alternative design circulates coolant around the oil filter housing
oil cooler lines [ oil cooler pipes ]
Pipes carrying oil to and from the oil cooler. Usually RH & LH / upper & lower
oil cooler grill [ oil cooler cover ]
Protective grill to prevent damage to the oil cooler from stone chips
radiator [ coolant radiator ]
Finned radiator, often fitted with a cooling fan & motor. Some bikes have two radiators; upper & lower (e.g. VFR400 NC30, Suzuki TL1000R) or RH & LH (e.g. Honda VFR800, VTR1000 SP1 SP2)
temperature sender Measures coolant temperature for clocks / dash display
fan switch Small metal switch that screws into the radiator. Turns the fan motor on when coolant exceeds a specified temperature
COOLING (2) (back to top)
radiator hoses [ coolant pipes ]
Hoses carrying coolant (water) between the engine & radiator. Usually RH & LH / upper & lower
radiator covers (RH & LH) Small cosmetic panels flanking the radiator on naked bikes (e.g. Triumph Speed Triple 1050)
radiator grill [ radiator cover ]
Protective grill to prevent damage to the radiator from stone chips (e.g. Yamaha RD250 / RD350 LC & YPVS, Honda VTR1000 Firestorm)
coolant expansion bottle [ expansion tank / water bottle ]
Coolant reservoir providing an overflow when the coolant is at high temperature
thermostat Temperature operated valve which opens to allow coolant to flow into the radiator. Prevents cooling of the engine before it has reached operating temperature
thermostat housing Usually a cast alloy housing containing the thermostat
water pump Usually an impellor type mechanical pump circulating coolant around the engine (and radiator when the thermostat is open)

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