Motocross Slang and Phrases

motocross slang

Today we are doing something a little different and looking at motocross slang and phrases!

A motocross track is a hotbed for learning new words.  When you first begin riding, you may here some terms at the track and have no idea what they mean.  We are here to help.  This guide is a glossary for motocross slang and terms that you might hear at the track. 

Instead of having to hang your head in shame and ask for a definition, just look it up below!

Common Motocross Slang and Phrases



Arm pump

A condition that is the result of a dirt bike rider grabbing too hard on their handlebars.  This results in a restriction of blood flow making it hard for them to continue to effectively use their arms.


Back marker

The slowest rider in the pack.  Marks the back of the pack of riders.


The part of the jump that a rider lands on.

Bail out

When a rider jumps off the bike


Riding across the top of a whoops section at high speed.  Generally “blitzing the whoops” is faster than jumping them, and is always faster than rolling them.


The noise a dirt bike makes.



As in “to case a jump.”  This happens when a rider comes up short on a jump.  The classic example is when a rider tries to jump a double, but instead lands with his/her rear tire on the face of the second jump and the front tire on the back of the second jump.  Results in a very hard landing!

Clapped or Clapped Out

A worn out dirt bike.  Dirty, poorly maintained, etc.


A flawless ride through a section of the track.

Crossrut or Crossrutted

This occurs when the front and back wheel are in different ruts.  Hard to steer and control in this type of situation.  Generally a result of rider error when picking a line.



A double is a set of two consecutive jumps where the rider jumps the gap between them.   For example, the rider would come up the face of the first jump and land on the backside of the second jump.

Dragon Back

A jump with a series of whoops on the face.



A style of woods riding.


Face or Face of a jump

The front side of the jump that you ride a dirt bike on.



The distance between two jumps that must be cleared.


When the suspension becomes fully compressed.  This typically happens during a sharp turn at high speeds.


High Side

When a bike suddenly gets traction while cornering.  The opposite of a low side.  The result is the rider gets tossed over the bike.  In general, high side crashes are nastier than low side crashes.


The section from the start of a race until the first turn.  Sometimes indicated by a white line on the track.  If you win the whole shot, you are leading the pack at the first turn.


Lap Traffic

Towards the end of a race when the leaders of the race have to navigate around the slower riders they are about to pass.


A rider that is a full lap behind the leaders in a race.


The path you take when riding your bike around the track, on the trail, or through the woods.  Ideally you want to find the fastest line (or fastest route) through a section.

Low side

When a dirt bike suddenly loses traction while cornering, causing the bike to land on top of the rider.



A motocross race.  There may be 2 “motos” per class in a single day, this means that each rider has to race twice.



A throttle that is wide open.



A series of 4 jumps.  



To ride aggressively.  As in ripping around the track.


A smooth obstacle that can either be jumped or rolled over.


The dirt and rocks that are thrown in the air by the rear tire.


A section of the track that has a lot of ruts in it.



A measurement that indicates the suspension travel that a dirt bike has at rest with the rider on the bike.



A type of jump that has the gap filled in.


Three consecutive jumps.  Jumping a triple means that the rider takes off on the face of the first jump, clears the second jump, and lands on the backside of the third jump.


Whiskey Throttle

When a rider twists the throttle too quickly and causes him/her to slide off the back of the bike.  Since the rider still has their hand on the throttle, the further back the side the further they twist the throttle.  It is a vicious cycle that almost certainly will end in a crash.


A section of track that has several consecutive small mounds in a row.  The idea being that a rider needs to decide how to attack these, either by blitzing them (skimming across the top) or jumping them.

Wrap Up

So there you have it.  A list of common phrases that you will hear at the motocross track.  If there is something I have missed or something you would like me to add, go ahead and drop me a line in the Contact Us page.  Stay safe out there!

Additional Reading

Motocross Flags
Motocross vs Supercross