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Thread: OK, I have to ask.

  1. #1
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    OK, I have to ask.

    I may regret asking, but a couple of times recently, I've passed riders going in the other direction, and they wave enthusiastically and rap on the top of their helmets like they're knocking on a door.

    What, if anything, does this mean, the rapping, that is?

    This is in the SF Bay region.
    Last edited by SPOKESMAN; 06-24-2009 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Clarified.

  2. #2
    Raspberry waffles Bob!!! kewlmoose's Avatar
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    Did you see any LEO's stationed on the side of the road after getting the top of the helmet tapping? Some use that as a signal to indicate the potential offering of 'performance awards' ahead.
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    I thought of this, but didn't notice any corresponding LEO's. Doesn't mean they weren't there.

    The more customary LEO signal in these parts is repeatedly flashing the high beams.

  4. #4
    E_Page
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    You forgot your helmet?

  5. #5
    Registered User lvermiere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ima4nr View Post
    You're sure they are U.S. riders? They may be from Canada on their way to Mexico or from Mexico on their way to Canada and it is a foreign "wish-you-well" sign, like "knock on wood"
    Well, maybe they were from Canada but the knocking of the helmet might mean something else.

    Before we had instant on headlights knocking on the helment meant that your headlight was out and to turn it on. Maybe yours was on high beam and the rider wanted you to put it on low?

    best guess is that they were warning you of somehting ahead.

  6. #6
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Knuckles rapping on the head? Hummm .......
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPOKESMAN View Post
    I may regret asking, but a couple of times recently, I've passed riders going in the other direction, and they wave enthusiastically and rap on the top of their helmets like they're knocking on a door.

    What, if anything, does this mean, the rapping, that is?

    This is in the SF Bay region.
    Usually it's an open hand tap on the top of the helmet, but that could be a variant. But in the SF Bay Area it means LEO ahead.

    Mostly a warning given by sportbike riders. I guess cruisers and tourers think you shouldn't be speeding anyway so they're not going to warn you.
    Personally, I'm VERY grateful for the warnings.


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  8. #8
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Tap your helmet on top = Cops.
    It's ones you don't see that nail ya.

    Here some other Motorcycle Hand Signals.
    "Stupidity, if left untreated, is self-correcting."

  9. #9
    scqtt
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    Tapping top of helmet on street means cops ahead. A twirling index finger beside the helmet can mean the same thing.

    Tapping top of helmet during an endurance race means I'm coming into the pits next lap.

  10. #10
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCQTT View Post
    Tapping top of helmet on street means cops ahead. A twirling index finger beside the helmet can mean the same thing.

    Tapping top of helmet during an endurance race means I'm coming into the pits next lap.
    ...so does holding up a sign... "LEO AHEAD!"

    Basically if yer in an area close in proximity to other riders who are close enough to warn you of LEOs than you really shouldn't be doing anything to get you pulled over anyway. IE: "While in Rome... "yadda yadda yadda...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafikfeat View Post
    ...so does holding up a sign... "LEO AHEAD!"

    Basically if yer in an area close in proximity to other riders who are close enough to warn you of LEOs than you really shouldn't be doing anything to get you pulled over anyway. IE: "While in Rome... "yadda yadda yadda...
    The warning comes from riders coming toward you that have passed the LEO lurking on the side of the road a mile or so up the road.

    Usually on those nice twisty motorcycle roads where every one is there to really wick it up.

    LONG MAY YOUR BRICK FLY!

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    Lee Fulton Forum Moderator
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  12. #12
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98lee View Post
    The warning comes from riders coming toward you that have passed the LEO lurking on the side of the road a mile or so up the road.
    I know... The Taconic in NYS was a gauntlet to ride...

    I see 'em everyday as I ride everyday.
    What they [LEOs] should be looking for is texters!

    But I digress...
    "Stupidity, if left untreated, is self-correcting."

  13. #13
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    I have always understood this as a cop ahead warning

    I have also had truckers do a fishing rod pantomine out their window when passing them in same direction- same meaning.

  14. #14
    Registered User k100lt's Avatar
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    I have encountered this twice. Both times it was due to traffic congestion or some other slow down ahead. I always thought it meant "heads up" be ready for something ahead.
    David
    1989 K100LT

  15. #15
    Registered User barry5k's Avatar
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    Definitely means LEOs up ahead! Same with a twirling forefinger in the air (don't get that mixed up with flipping you off!) that denotes an old-style cop car with twirling/flashing light.

    I got both "messages" from riders going the other way on one stretch of highway 128 here in Northern CA just a couple of weeks ago. We saw five police and CHP in a 15-mile stretch that day. Thanks for the warnings guys!

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