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Motorcycle Glossary of Terms


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Pannier(s) - Motorcycle luggage holder, fitted on the rear. More popular with touring motorcycle ranges.

Parallel Twin - A two-cylinder engine configuration in which both cylinders are mounted side-by-side and accross the frame.

Patern Parts - Non-factory copies of original motorcycloe parts.

Ped - Moped.

Pillion - Passenger on a motorcycle.

Pinking - A distinctive noise from an engine with over-advanced ignition or inferior fuel.

Piston - The component driven down the cylinder by expanding gases.

Piston slap - Knocking caused by piston wear.

Plantif - A party bringing a case against another.

Polarity - Either negative or positive earth (ground), determined by which battery lead is connected to the frame (earth return). Modern motorcycles are usually negative earrth.

Post-vintage - A motorcycle made after December 31st 1930 and before January 1st 1945.

Power ranger - Term often used to describe a Sunday motorcycle rider.

Pre-ignition - A situation where the fuel/air mixture ignites before the spark plug fires. Often due to a hot spot in the combustion chamber caused by carbon build-up. The engine has a tendancy to run-on.

Premix - The method of engine lubrication on older two-stroke engines. Engine oil is mixed with the petrol in the fuel tank in a specific ratio. The fuel/oil mix is sometimes referred to as petroil.

Pressure plate - The plate against which the clutch springs react to load the friction plates.

Primary chain - Chain that connects the crankshaft sprocket to the Clutch or Gear box sprocket.

Primary drive - Description of the drive from the crankshaft to the clutch. Usually by gear or chain.

PS - Pfedestarke - A German interpretation of BHP.

PSI - Pounds-force per square inch. Imperial measurement of tyre pressure and cylinder measurements.

Pushrods - Operating rods rods for overhead valves , working from cams below the cylinder.