ATGATT and other cool motorcycling acronyms

Motorcycling columnist from Sooke News Mirror shares her knowledge of motorcycle "lingo."

If you have not yet logged on to the information highway, you may have been spared the inundation of some really cool acronyms. In which case, you may still think that LOL means Lots of Love, or that ROFL is a sound that golden retriever makes when she’s home alone, or that LMAO is a typo for lame-o.

Once you get on the Internet, you’ll discover that periodically posting these acronyms help you look like you know what you’re doing. Post ROFLMAO and enjoy the projection of your slick savvy.

Sick, isn’t it?

(“Sick,” btw means “really really cool.”)

The motorcyclist’s highway is equally littered with some really cool insider acronyms. Some are useful and will save your LIFE (Living Injury Free Everyday); others may just cause you to laugh (or cringe, depending on your perspective).

Really, really cool people use acronyms.

From the serious to the ridiculous, here are a few for you to mull over.


This acronym stands for All The Gear, All The Time. I can’t speak  (or write) enough to this one. Think of an electric sander with the roughest grit size imaginable. Think of turning that sander on high. And then consider pressing that sander, full force, against your ankle or wrist bones, knees or nose. Lastly, think of what you want to have between as a buffer between your soft skin and that sander. (No, please don’t try this at home.)

The second reminder on this acronym is that it should apply to anyone riding with you. If you love them, care enough to insist they are duly bubble-wrapped. And if you don’t, leave them on the roadside with enough bus fare to get home safely.


This acronym stands for a starting procedure that has saved me countless times from looking stupid. This matters when your aspiration, like mine, is to look cool.

Fuel: Make sure you have turned the fuel switch ON, and make sure you have enough fuel to ride.

Ignition: Do you have your key? Looking good!

Neutral: Is your bike in neutral? A quick check is roll your bike slightly forward, slightly back with the clutch out. If your bike is in gear, it won’t move.

Engine kill switch: Is it ON? Really, this is the final check on your Looking-Cool gauge.

Choke: If the weather or your bike is cold, you will need to open the choke.

Some schools teach FINES, which is the same except for (you guessed it) the S, which refers to the Stand, or kickstand. As I am sure you guessed, it should be tucked away for riding.


The American Motorcycle Safety Foundation uses this acronym to teach the thought process that goes along with active riding: Search out potential hazards; Evaluate their likelihood of impacting you; Execute your preventative manoeuvre to avoid said hazard. ICBC likes to put it in their own words: See Think Do. Personally, I think SEE is sweeter (or, “sicker”), but maybe that’s just me.


Broke my wallet.


Hang On, Not Done Accelerating (or, conversely, How Odd, No Darn Acceleration).


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