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Motorcycle Glossary of Terms


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SACU - Scottish Auto Cycle Union, which controls motorcycle sport in Scotland.

SAE - Society of Automotive Engineers. Used in a system of classifying engine oils such as SAE30, IOW/50etc.

Scotoiler - An automatic chain lubrication system.

Sealant - A liquid or paste used to prevent leakage at a joint. Sometimes used in conjunction with a gasket.

Shaft drive - A method of transmitting drive from the transmission to the rear wheel.

Shim - Thin spacer,commonly used to adjust the clearance or relative positions between two parts. For example, shims inserted into or under tappets or followers to control valve clearances. Clearance is adjusted by changing the thickness of the shim.

Shock adsorber - A damper, used to control up-and-down movement of suspension or to cushion a drive train. Commonly refered to as Shocks.

Short circuit - An electrical condition where current shorts to earth (ground) bypassing the circuit components.

Silencer - Device fitted to the exhaust system or an engine whereby the pressure of the exhaust gases is considerably reduced before reaching the outer air.

Skimming - Process to correct warpage or repair a damaged surface, eg on brake discs or drum.

Slimline - Ccommon term for a latter developed MacCandless Norton Frame

Slipper clutch - desighned for racing bikes to mitigate the effects of engine braking.

SORN - Statutory Off Road Notification. A motorcycle is declared SORN when it is not taxed and kept off-road, a legal requirement of the registered keeper if the vehicle is not taxed. You may face a fine is not submitted when your bike is not taxed.

Speedway - Racing on an oval-shaped dirt track, usually with four riders competing simultaneously.

Sport bike - Motorcycle designed with speed and handling a priority, fully faired bikes.

Sport tourer - A motorcycle designed for comfort on long journeys but with reasonable handling and power.

Stoppie - Occurs when a rider breks very hars causing the rear wheel to rise in the air. Also called an endo.

Sulphuric acid - The liquid (electrolyte) used in a lead-acid battery. Poisonous and extremely corrosive.

Swinging arm - Rear suspension by radius arms carrying the wheel and attached to the frame at the other end.