Common Tread

Snack slang: When a grocery list becomes a Harley parts-shopping trip

Jan 10, 2017

A friend recently posted up a front fender on Instagram, and captioned it with “Candy canes.”

The odd part is that I didn’t need the picture to know what he was talking about.

It would take a million years to write down all the slang names Harley parts have acquired over the years, but quite a few pieces have earned their names from food.  This is a goofy little list of items that have gotten their monikers from some humble snacks. It is kind of funny to see the influence our lunch boxes have had on our bikes. (Remember the beer cans from this article?) Let’s go through the pantry and see what else we can find.

Waffle grips. Photo by V-Twin Manufacturing.

Waffle grips: The pattern is pretty self-explanatory.

Popsicle kicker pedal. Photo by V-Twin Manufacturing.

Popsicle pedal: This also doesn’t need much explanation. When this pedal came out in 1963, it had to be differentiated from the previous bicycle-style kick pedals somehow, right?

Banana caliper
Banana caliper. Photo by V-Twin Manufacturing.

Juice brakes: A fairly common term for a hydraulic (as opposed to mechanical) brake system.

Pie slice
Pie-slice caliper. Photo by V-Twin Manufacturing.

Pie slice and banana caliper: Both items are found on AMF-era Harleys. Pie-slice calipers were found on 35mm front forks, and bananas could be found perched atop square swingarms.

Hamburger drum: Drum-type brake found on early Sportster front ends.

Cabbage cutter
Cabbage cutters. Harley catalog image, courtesy of Chris Haynes.

Cabbage cutter: A popular name for the fender trim found on earlier dressers. Sure does look a lot like the old cabbage mandolin, doesn't it? Also known as the "cheese grater," since we're all food-centric on this article.

Candy canes? @roederracing yesterday

A photo posted by 76 (@originalbagger) on

Porkster-style tank. Photo by V-Twin Manufacturing.
Candy canes: Here's yet another type of tasty-sounding fender trim found on older Harleys.

Porkster: Colloquial name given to widened aftermarket Sportster fuel tank, hence the name.

Ham can
A ham can air cleaner in its natural environment. Photo by V-Twin Manufacturing.

Ham can: The air cleaner introduced in the 1970s, so named due to its resemblance to the container a tinned ham comes in.

Baloney-cut muffler. Photo by V-Twin Manufacturing.

Baloney-cut: Synonym for "slash-cut," usually referencing muffler ends.

Limp sausage
Limp-sausage style taillight. Photo by V-Twin Manufacturing.
Limp-sausage taillight: A family-friendly nickname for a classic aftermarket piece made famous by Sparto.

Twinkie: Pejorative nickname for the Twin Cam engine.