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Why Motorcyclists Are Sometimes Referred to as “Motorcycle Squids”?

Why Motorcyclists Are Sometimes Referred to as “Motorcycle Squids”?

Being a motorcyclist, have you ever experienced a frowned-upon look from other road users as they are cursing you for being reckless and stupid? Not sure if you heard it or not, but they must have called you or thought of you as a “motorcycle squid”. If you are unsure about what a motorcycle squid is, you must have realized by now that it is not a compliment and a positive term associated with bikers. Continue reading this article to learn why motorcyclists are sometimes referred to as motorcycle squids, the meaning of the term ‘squid’, and its origin.

1. Meaning of a Squid in Motorcycling

Meaning of a Squid in Motorcycling
Photo Credit: Motorcycle How To

A ‘motorcycle squid’ is a slang with multiple meanings but unfortunately, no single meaning is positively associated with bikers. It is a notorious term used to define a particular category of riders who ride irresponsibly, are stupid enough not to consider road safety, maneuver dangerously, perform stunts on busy roads, and don’t prefer wearing proper riding gear.

The Urban Dictionary also provides a comprehensive explanation of a motorcycle squid in the following words:

“A young motorcyclist who overestimates his abilities, boasts of his riding skills when in reality he has none. Squid bikes are usually decorated with chrome and various anodized bits. Rear tires are too wide for their own good, swingarm extended. Really slow in the corners, and sudden bursts of acceleration when a straight appears. Squids wear no protection, deeming themselves invincible. This fact compounds itself with the fact that they engage in 'extreme riding'--performing wheelies and stoppies in public areas. Squids wreck a lot. Derived from 'squirly kid'.”

1.1 The Abbreviation of Squid

The Abbreviation of Squid
Photo Credit: Vec

Originally, the term ‘squid’ was not an acronym but as time went by and people started observing more motorcycle squids on the road, the term started making sense. People started abbreviating the term ‘squid’ in the following different expressions and phrases:

Abbreviation of Squid in Motorcycling (S.Q.U.I.D.)
S Stupidly Stupidly
Q Quick Quick
U Underdressed Underdressed
I Ignorant Imminently
D Dangerous Dead
S.Q.U.I.D. Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Ignorant, and Dangerous Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, and Imminently Dead

1.2 Young Vs. Old Motorcycle Squids

Being a moto squid is an expression used for those young riders who in an attempt to stand out from the old bikers and to look cool, try to gain attention with their stupid actions and gestures. Such irresponsible behavior is not only life-threatening to them but can also put other drivers in great trouble in case of an unfortunate event.

To be clear, it is not always true that all young riders are squids. Being a squid is a characteristic and it has not much to do with age. Old and experienced riders are also often seen behaving crazily while riding which equally makes them squid.

1.3 Male Vs. Female Squids

Gender also has no specific role to play in being a motorcycle squid. Female motorcycle riders are equally a part of such an irrational and irresponsible riding culture. 

1.4 The Term “Squid” Is Not an Expression of Hate Introduced by Drivers

Calling the motorcyclist a squid is not an expression of hate and it is not used for all riders. Nowadays, a majority of bikers are sensible and considerate about their surroundings. They prioritize their safety as well as other road users’ safety.

Also, a ‘motorcycle squid’ is not a hypothetical term introduced by car drivers to show their dislike for motorcyclists and to tease them. This slang perfectly fits such riders who are stupid enough not to prioritize their safety and act like they are highly trained which they aren’t in real.

2. Motorcycle Squid Origin

Like most things and traditions that made their way to the motorcycling world, the origin of the motorcycle squid is also quite vague. However, some say that the term ‘motorcycle squid’ was first coined to call out those unskilled surfers who put their safety in danger only to portray them as surfer masters.

2.1 Where Did the Term Squid Come from?

Regardless of its wide usage, the motorcycling community has no clue from where the term ‘motorcycle squid’ came. However, there is a theory regarding the origin of this term stating that a motorcycle squid is a blend of three words, including “squirrely”, “squished”, and “kid”. Squirrely is a slang and it refers to strange actions. Meanwhile, squished means to crush something soft, and being kids refers to the characteristics of making irrational decisions while not considering the consequences.

3. Characteristics of Motorcycle Squids

  • A motorcycle squid loves to wear summer clothes or beach outfits while riding and is allergic to a safety helmet and other riding gear. They can be seen riding a motorcycle while wearing shorts, t-shirts, and sandals.
  • A motorcycle squid is also believed to only have a few or little to no riding skills. He/she also doesn’t bother to receive safety motorcycle riding training.
  • Another prominent characteristic of a motorcycle squid is its bad habit of swerving frequently, unnecessarily, and dangerously. Squids want to get noticed even if it attracts criticism or bad wishes from others.
  • Motorcycle squids love to perform wheelies, stoppies, and burnouts, and show other useless acrobats on their bikes particularly when they are in the middle of busy roads.
  • Squids are usually overconfident about their riding skills, control, and stability, and therefore, love to go stupidly quick on their motorcycles.
  • They overtake dangerously and don’t prefer using turn signals and horns to inform other road users about their moves.
  • Squids tend to accelerate on straight roads and nothing stops them, even the busy traffic.
  • Age and gender do not have much to do with being squids.

4. How to Avoid Becoming a Motorcycle Squid

4.1 Avoid the Urge to Become a Squid

The first preventive measure to avoid becoming a motorcycle squid is to fight the urge to be a squid. There is no good in becoming one. You will either get a ticket which is still a better-sounding consequence than meeting an accident due to overspeeding and riding irresponsibly.

4.2 Take a Safety Riding Course

Immediately get yourself registered in a safety motorcycle riding training program so you learn how to ride safely and also ensure other people’s safety on the road. The training program can help you learn useful riding skills to make you a sensible rider.

4.3 Start Prioritizing Your Safety

Work on your nature and start to care about yourself. When you prioritize your safety, you automatically become aware of other road users’ safety as well. Do not fall victim while trying to satisfy your urge to look cool in front of other squids.

4.4 Wear Proper Riding Gear

Prioritize safety by wearing proper protective riding gear. A DOT-approved helmet, leather jacket, leather pants, gloves, and motorcycle boots must be your go-to costume before going for a ride. It helps you avoid life-threatening injuries and abrasions.

4.5 Become a Responsible Rider

Think about your family, parents, kids, wife, or loved one if it helps you in becoming a responsible rider. The more responsible you are on the road, the more wise decisions you will make before making any move on the road.

4.6 Experience the True Spirit of Motorcycling

If you are attracted to what squids do and want to be one of them, you are most probably not familiar with the true spirit of motorcycle riding. Try experiencing the adrenaline rush on a motorcycle tour to get the essence of motorcycling. Take your cruiser out of the garage and get a few pieces of equipment attached to it to make it ready for long miles. Viking Bags has almost everything under one roof that your motorcycle needs to maximize its touring capabilities. In the luggage bags category, the company offers supreme-quality saddlebags , backpacks , tour packs , tank bags , and more. The aftermarket parts available at Viking Bags include sissy bars , backrests , crash bars , and fairings.

5. The Bottom Line

Being a motorcycle squid has nothing to do with being cool. It is stupid to do things that can hurt you and others on the road. If you continue being a squid only to attract a group of other squids and gain unpopular attention, you will never find respect in the motorcycling community. There is no point in becoming a moto squid and playing cool if you are more likely to crash and die. Motorcycle riding is about being happy and safe. Make sure to set a limit for yourself and never cross that limit no matter what. A moment of extreme adrenaline can take your or someone else’s life. Live like a veteran biker, be responsible, ride safe, and avoid being stupid.

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