Motorcycle season is here in New England, and it seems like they're especially prevalent in New Hampshire and Maine. Whether it's groups or solo bikers enjoying our beautiful scenery, drives, and towns, they're everywhere.

We know that motorcycle enthusiasts are in a club of their own, even if they don't know each other. So maybe you've noticed that includes a private wave.

It's called the biker wave, and it's pretty simple.


According to the Riding Without Reason website, motorcyclists put out their left hand at a 45-degree angle below the handlebars at hip or knee height, and stick out the index and middle fingers like a horizontal peace sign.

This biker wave is 100 years old, and started by, you guessed it, William Harley and Arthur Davidson. They are the creators of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, of course.

There are three other waves as well, which aren't nearly as common.

Low Palm Wave

According to Motor Biscuit, some riders prefer to put their entire palm out instead of two fingers keeping that same, low height.

3-Finger Wave

Meanwhile, 'trikes' (motorcycles with three wheels) sometimes receive a three-finger wave that includes the thumb or ring finger.

Fist Wave

A left fist in the air (according to Big Bike Reviews) where the elbow is bent at 90° is to show solidarity and support for social justice causes and the motorcycle culture.

However, as I mentioned above, the two-finger wave is by far the most common. So what exactly does this cryptic-looking wave mean?

Two fingers are a way to say "Hey, my two-wheel friend, stay safe and keep two wheels on the ground," according to Riding Without Reason. If two wheels aren't on the ground, chances are the biker is crashing or already crashed.

All motorcycle waves are truly a gesture to communicate support and camaraderie, often dedicated to just true motorcycles, from crotch-rockets and custom-built ones versus something like a moped, according to Big Bike Reviews.

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