Like other sports, Motocross riders have a language of their own. Some Motocross terms are clear while others, not so much. If you're not up-to-date on the latest Motocross terminology, you may find yourself scratching your head wondering what to say or do.

To give everyone a jump start, I thought it would be helpful to list a few basic dirt bike terms. There are many special words in the Motocross terminology dictionary with new ones added all the time. You'll learn motocross terms soon enough but for now, I'll start with some basics.

Popular Dirt Bike Terms

Block Pass

A block pass is when a racer passes another racer in a corner and makes them slow down or lose momentum. Sometimes contact is made with the intentions of the rider fumbling or falling over. This is a good technique to pass a rider who is hard to get around or matches your speed (whether or not this maneuver is fair, is up to you).


I would be honored to get block passed by the great Kevin Windham.

Brake Check

See "block pass." While in front of someone, typically in a corner - brake checking can be used to foul up a racer's momentum behind you. Think of it like a reverse block pass, the rider leading someone momentarily brakes in the corner causing the rider behind them to do the same in hopes of throwing off their momentum.


About 45 seconds in, lets just say these two have history.


This is a big part of the "moto language." It's a universal term (or noise) used in multiple situations. It can describe actions, end a conversation, or tell a story. It comes from the wonderful sound a 2 stroke bike makes while someone is riding it fast. Brrraaaaap!


Josh Hansen and Chad Reed, prime example.


What you don't want to do on a triple. Casing a jump means to come up short and landing on the backside of the landing. The frame and where the crankcase sits usually smacks the dirt from your suspension completely compressing (as well as your ego).



Clapped Out

Used to describe a bike that has seen better days. Usually a few years old and looks like nothing has been maintained. If it sounds bad and looks bad, it probably rides bad and is clapped out.

Picture Joe Dirt's car as a Dirt Bike.


Did Not Finish. You don't want to see this next to your name on the results sheet. Well, typically you don't since you are either scrambling to get your bike working for the next moto- or someone is asking you what day of the week it is in the back of an ambulance.

Ryan Hughes could've given up and taken the DNF, but then he wouldn't be Ryan Hughes.

Goon Riding

The easiest way to describe goon riding would be to picture "Squid" but on purpose. Typically from a faster rider just having a laugh.


Trey is one of the best.


This happens at the start of the race. Once the gate drops and the riders take off, the first one to the first corner gets the holeshot.

AC shows us his best "Mike Alessi".


A lapper is someone during the race that is a full lap down from the leader or someone else. Usually happens to someone who has fallen and is slow to get back up and back in the race. For example, a last place rider becomes a lapper once passed by the leader.


Blake Baggett doesn't like lappers!


Last Chance Qualifier. Some races will have an LCQ built in to their race program to give those who had a bad first Moto or heat one last chance to qualify for the main event. This is more common for big events where there are more riders signed up than starting gates.

If you are going the LCQ, better be ready to fight for the transfer spot.


If you ever are talking to someone at the track who mentions they "just kept it pinned" through a certain section of the track, they are describing that the throttle was turned completely wide open.

Good example of stretching out the throttle cable.


If someone says "they got roosted" they are talking about the dirt flying up from the rider in front of them accelerating. Roost comes in varying forms depending on the track conditions but almost always hurts. Throw in some rocks and it quickly becomes motivation to pass the guy in front of you and make sure he gets his fair share.

Roost hurts.


Used to describe track conditions. "The face of that jump is rutted out." It indicates the dirt is relatively soft and the tires have been digging into the dirt causing ruts. This can happen anywhere on the track and causes inexperienced riders much difficulty.

Master riding rutted tracks and you've won half the battle.


This term is used most often to describe someone who is riding in a class that is slower than their own capabilities. Sandbaggers will do this in order to have a better chance at winning. "That guy totally sandbagged the beginner class, I had no chance winning today."

If the winner rides back to the pits and drinks a gatorade before you finish the race, he may be a sandbagger.


"Scrubbing a jump" is a term used to describe when a rider attempts to stay low while jumping an obstacle. Laying the bike over and absorbing the rebound of the suspension with their body keeps the trajectory low and lets you spend less time in the air. Less time spent in the air means more time putting the power to the ground and faster lap times.

Jason Anderson demonstrates.

Seat Bounce

This is a tricky maneuver that takes some time to master. It involves sitting down while taking off from the lip of a jump to compress the suspension and help bounce you off of the takeoff. It is used to get a little more clearance while jumping and commonly done on jumps that are right out of corners.


Be careful practicing these!


We've all see him. A rider on the track who could use some training on form and technique. You often cringe while he or she commits to a jump because it's a matter of time before it doesn't end up well. Squid, one squirrelly kid.


Brandon's first race is a classic example.

Step Up

A Step Up jump is usually some sort of double with the landing actually higher than the takeoff.

Larocco's Leap is one of the biggest Step Up jumps you'll find.


This is a class designation. Supermini includes the fastest kids that are still on minibikes (typically 85cc to 105cc engines).


Some of the best racing is in the Supermini class


Tearoffs are individually stacked sheets of thin plastic that go over your goggles. They are stacked up to about 10-12 and are used for clear vision. When you get roosted, dirt will hit your goggles. You then pull a tear off to clear your vision.

Don't be this guy.


A triple is a jump with three options. Single, single, single. Double, single. Or Triple - usually for some of the more skilled riders.

Though not a true "triple", you can see 3 parts to the jump.


A rider, typically fast with a lot of experience, will whip the bike while in the air. Essentially, right after taking off from the face of a jump they turn/steer the bike to one direction or the other. The more talent the rider has the farther they can whip the bike.

Some guys can really throw down when it comes to whipping the bike around.

Whiskey Throttle

A rider gives too much throttle and then starts to slip off the back of the bike, but their hand just pulls the throttle more and eventually the rider goes out of control.


Some funny looks at riders trying to hang on


Whoops are a series of smaller (sometimes) moguls or hills in succession. The fastest way through these are to enter with enough speed to skip along the tops of the whoops. Scholars have confirmed this translates from Whoop-De-Dos.

Whoop there it is.

Yard Sale

Sometimes someone will end up crashing hard enough to have their bike flip and cartwheel allowing various parts to break off. The result is bike parts scattered on the side of the track resembling a yard sale, to which the announcer will be happy to notify the crowd.

Half Price!