Traveling the roads and highways throughout Louisiana, you're always bound to see motorcyclists out and about enjoying the beautiful scenery and weather.

And, if you ever see a couple of these motorcyclists pass each other, you've certainly noticed the slick wave exchanged between them.

For those of us who don't ride, have you ever wondered what the motorcycle wave means? Could it mean something more than just "Hey"?

Unsplash Via Harley-Davidson
Unsplash Via Harley-Davidson

Why Do Motorcyclists Wave at Each Other?

Motorcyclists often wave to each other as a gesture of camaraderie and mutual respect. This tradition is seen as a way to acknowledge the shared experience and joy of riding motorcycles.

The wave is a show of solidarity, a show of respect for the tradition, and a way of acknowledging the ride, not the rider.

What that means is, It doesn't matter who you are off the bike; on the road, there's a shared experience that's being acknowledged.

From -

"The motorcycle wave takes a few different forms. Some riders do a full-on wave. Others do a thumbs-up or a raised loose fist.

The version I’m most familiar with resembles an upside-down peace sign."

However, there are some "Biker Waves" that do serve as a kind of secret communication between riders as they travel the roads throughout Louisiana.

Unsplash Via Jorgen Hendriksen
Unsplash Via Jorgen Hendriksen

What Does The 'Biker Wave' Mean?

There are a few different waves that have a few different meanings.

Two-Finger Wave - The left-handed, two-finger wave can simply be a way of acknowledging the other rider.

Two Fingers Pointed Down - This translates to "Keep the Rubber on the Road" which means "Ride Safe".

Putting The Left Leg Out - This can be a way for the rider to tell other motorists "Thank You" for giving them space. Obviously, this can also simply be a way for the rider to stretch their leg.

Putting a leg out, either left or right, can also be a signal for other riders alerting them of a road hazard.

Left Arm Down, Hand Patting - This means "Slow Down".

Unsplash Via Ambitious Studio* - Rick Barrett
Unsplash Via Ambitious Studio* - Rick Barrett

Left Hand Pointing At Fuel Tank - As you may have guessed, this just means the rider needs gas.

Left Hand On Helmet - This is a signal used to indicate the need to stop for a rest.

Left Arm Out Shaking Hand - This means the rider needs to stop to use the restroom or take a quick break.

These signals can vary slightly in different regions or among different groups of riders, but they generally follow the above descriptions.

It's important for motorcyclists to be familiar with these signals for safety and effective communication during solo or group rides.

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Gallery Credit: Sarah Jones

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