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Motorcycle Glossary of Terms


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Magneto - A high tension dynamo producing current for the ignition spark. Superseeded by coil ignition.

Main bearings - Bearings in which the crankshaft runs.

Manifold - Collection of pipes supplying mixture or taking away fumes.

Matchy - Common term for a Matchless Motorcycle.

MCC - The Motor Cycling club which runs sporting events. Formed in 1902.

Mic - common term used for a micrometer.

Micrometer - A precision measuring instrument that measures component outside diameters.

Monkey bike - A small strange-looking motorcycle, typically 50cc. May also be referred as a pit bike.

Monograde oil - An oil with a single viscosity, eg SAE80W.

Monoshock - A single suspension unit linking the swingarm or suspension linkage to the frame.

Moped - A light motorcycle under 50cc, some earlier models with pedals attached.

MotoGP - The premier class of Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

Motocross - Off-road motorcycle racing held on enclosed, rough circuits, derived from the French.

Mpg - Miles per gallon.

Mph - Abbreviation for miles per hour.

Multigrade oil - Having a wide viscosity range (eg 10W40). The W stands for Winter, thus the viscosity ranges from SAE10 when cold to SAE40 when hot.

Multimeter - An electrical test instrument with the capability to measure voltage, current and resistence. Some meters also incorporate a continuity tester and buzzer.

MX - See motocross.