Why Do Bikers Wave To Each Other And 2 Finger Wave Meaning?

If you're an expert or a budding motorcycle rider, it's no surprise that you've heard of the rider's wave. The rider's wave is a form of etiquette passed down over the years and a norm that should be acquired by all riders.

No matter what form of biker you are, this is a customary code that you need to learn for the sake of the community you belong to, as well as for yourself.

So, if you're an enthusiastic biker and you want information about why bikers wave to each other and 2 finger waves meaning, you've come to the right place!

Motorcycle Waves

If you're a novice when it comes to motorcycle waves, your days of worry are over.

Learning about motorcycle waves is not so hard if the appropriate criteria are known. For beginners, motorcycle waves can be narrowed down to five basic ones-

  • Left-Handed Low

These waves are pointed down towards the street. As cruiser-style bikes commonly practice this wave, it is also called a cruiser wave.

To initiate this wave, full extension of the arm and pointing down the street you're riding at around 45° is necessary.

For new or clumsy riders, a low wave at more than 45° and using four fingers works well. Apart from extending the arm, you can raise one, two, three, and even five fingers as your preference and comfort.

It is also preferred to use a single thumb or two fingers as a mode of a peace sign. The palm should be in the direction of the opposite rider or the road.

  • Left-handed Straight Out

This is probably the easiest of all waves and is commonly used as a general wave practice among riders. Whether you're a cruiser or a bagger rider, you can easily work with this wave.

To initiate this wave, you need to extend your arm at a level above or below the shoulder; the extension can be full or partial. The level of descent or rise of the arm above or below the shoulder should be within 10 degrees.

The palm of your hand should be directed towards the rider horizontally or vertically, whichever works.

But flattening the palm instead of showing it fully will not be acceptable in this wave. If you cannot move your palm in this way, you can show thumbs up or a peace sign to make it easy.

  • Left-Handed High

This is rather a complex form of biker wave and is most common among crotch rocket riders.

What makes this wave difficult is the precise positioning of the elbows alongside the forearms. Your forearm should be at a slightly forward angle in this wave.

The position of the elbows should be at an angle of 75° to the angle of the forearms and lower than that of the shoulder. This angle makes it difficult to maintain balance when you're riding.

The direction of the palm should be towards the rider in front, and a peace sign or thumbs up should be avoided here.

This wave should also be avoided by cruiser riders to prevent injury or mishaps during riding.

  • Right-Handed

If the size of your bike is big and roomy enough, you can go with the right-handed wave. These are more commonly found on long highway roads among crowds of cruisers.

It does not require any extensions or elbow position and can be demonstrated merely by a couple of fingers, a peace sign, or just the right arm straightened towards the incoming rider.

  • Left-Handed Forward

This wave is limited to crotch rocket riders only. When you're a crotch rocket rider, it gets challenging to wave with your right hand or to hold your left hand down or straightened out.

So, this wave particularly works for an uncomfortable position like his.

Depending on the speed of the bike, this wave comes across as a mere flash. Just a slight rising of the left hand, showing the palm, and putting your hand back on the handle constitutes this wave.

This wave takes 2-3 seconds to last and needs ample practice before jumping on the bike riding.

Meaning of two-finger Wave

A two-finger wave is not just a basic etiquette among riders; it is also formal respect on the part of a motorcycle rider towards other riders.

Even people of armed forces use a form of a two-finger wave for showing respect to fellow community members to symbolize respect.

When it comes to motorcyclists, the structure of the wave changes, but the meaning remains somewhat the same.

In the case of riders, the two-finger wave goes by aiming the index and middle finger of the left hand down to the ground.

This is initiated towards riders coming from the opposite directions. It shows respect towards the fellow rider and reminds them to keep the rubber side down and maintain both the wheels on the ground.

Overall, it symbolizes wishing safety during riding to the fellow rider in the same direction or opposite direction.

The two-finger wave signifies that riders belong to the same community, same fraternity, and same brotherhood.

No matter how different the destinations and journeys of every rider are; the same purpose bounds them. So, wishing a fellow rider safety during riding is the ultimate motive of the two-finger wave.

If you're a beginner motorcyclist, learn the etiquette of pointing the two fingers of your left hand towards the ground to greet another rider. Bringing the rider community closer is the eventual aim of the two-finger wave.


Wrapping it up, it is evident that bike riders need to master the primary forms of biker-waves to indulge in the community.

Motorcycle waves are not only a part of the biker; they form an integral part of the whole community.

Our categorization of the basic motorcycle waves why do bikers wave to each other, and 2 finger wave meaning will hopefully be useful for any novice rider.

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