Why Motorcyclists Put 2 Fingers or Hands Down to Other Riders?

One day, I went out on the weekend with my motorcycle, and out of nowhere, another motorcyclist came and point me two fingers down and I really did not understand why he did it. At first, I was stressed and thought this rider has something against me and maybe he is angry. But after that ride, I did some research and came to the following conclusion about pointing two fingers down for other motorcyclists.

So why do motorcyclists point two fingers down to other riders? Motorcycle riders point 2 fingers down to other riders because it’s a sign of camaraderie among motorcyclists who want to look nice and also a kind of fraternity. Overall, the two fingers pointing down is a sign of peace among motorcyclists. Instead of a normal wave of peace between motorcycle, they point two fingers or a hand down – what they called wave that rides a mark of brotherhood and a wave of peace.

The truth is, pointing two fingers down between two riders is a very beautiful thing and honors the riders as well. This gesture can be done between all types of riders from Harley to Honda motorcycles that have a desire to show camaraderie among themselves.

Probably, you may be wondering why motorcyclists are waving each other two fingers pointing down and not simply waving in peace in a normal way? The truth is, there is no definite answer to why motorcyclists point two fingers down to each other. It may be like a secret handshake although there are different methods to wave to other motorcyclists.

There are many more things you need to know and how to point two fingers down correctly. If this whole topic interests you, keep reading because, in this tutorial, I will show you all the things you need to know about pointing your hand down to other motorcyclists and how to wave other motorcyclists correctly.

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So, let’s get started.

Reasons why motorcyclists point 2 fingers down at other motorcycle riders?

Pointing two fingers down at other motorcyclists is a very nice gesture and the truth is, some will do it to you while others will not. If you still don’t understand why people do it, here are 5 main reasons why cyclists like to point two fingers down.

  • Fraternity Marking – The first reason motorcyclists point two fingers to other motorcycle riders is, first of all, to show some fraternity to another rider. It is really beautiful and something mainly done by motorcyclists. For example, rider Gipp does this also. Pointing two fingers down is a sign much more common among motorcyclists.
  • Kind of a secret handshake – Have you ever asked yourself why motorcyclists do not wave to each other in the usual way but point two fingers down? Remember I mentioned earlier that there is no definite answer to this. It is just a sign used by motorcyclists. For example, in basketball or soccer, players use specific handshake styles that no one has ever used. So, that’s exactly the reason why motorcyclists point two fingers down to each other.
  • Politeness – Of course, it’s a way to show politeness to other motorcycle riders. It is not pleasant not to talk or return two fingers to other motorcyclists.
  • Comfort – Another reason why motorcyclists point two fingers down to each other is that it helps them communicate in situations where they are unable to take their hands off the throttle in order to not lose stability. Therefore, pointing two fingers down helps you and also keep you riding on the motorcycle without losing stability and feeling less comfortable but at the same time being able to communicate to other motorcyclists
  • Similar motorcycle brands – Usually, motorcyclists will point down two fingers to everyone but some would always point two fingers down only for riders riding a similar brand as their motorcycle.

In short, pointing two fingers down to other motorcyclists is an honorary signal. While there are some who will do it to other motorcycle riders, others will not. So, the decision is yours.

Should I point two fingers down to other motorcyclists in any situation?

So, after you understand what it means to point two fingers down to other motorcyclists, the next step is to know when you should do it or if you must do it when other motorcyclists ride past you.

So, pointing two fingers down between motorcyclists is a very common thing that everyone would do but, today, it is becoming a little less common, which does not mean that riders are not doing it.

For example, in the United States, pointing two fingers down between motorcyclists is more common than other countries.

In general, there are lots of riders who point two fingers down to other riders because they felt it’s just normal to do it. I would recommend that you give someone two fingers back if he does it to you. However, do not worry because no one will fault you if you don’t do it back. There are situations where you would need both hands to handle your motorcycle and you won’t be able to throw back 2 fingers.

For example, here are cases where it is fine and not even recommended to put two fingers down to other motorcyclists

  • At night – it is not advisable, at night, to point two fingers down to other riders because it is dangerous and you need all fingers on the throttle. Also, chances are that the other motorcycle rider will not see you.
  • In the rain – even when riding in the rain, it is not advisable to point two fingers down to other riders because they will not see you and it is dangerous too.
  • Heavy traffic – for example, when you’re riding your motorcycle together with very heavy traffic, the only thing you want to do is just stay alive than try to get to know other riders.

So, when should I point two fingers down to other motorcyclists?

There is no problem pointing two fingers down to other riders in cases and situations that are all calm and not dangerous but can distract you. When I talk about calm cases, I mean slowing down or stopping at a traffic light or congestion or traffic jams. Only do it when you think it is appropriate. In most cases when a motorcycle rider is riding in the opposite direction, pointing two fingers down is simply a way to say “hey” to other motorcyclists.

Are there any other hand signals for motorcycle riders?

The truth is that there are lots of signals and hand signals that you should know while riding a motorcycle and, there are a few other hand signals that you can and should do is to communicate with other motorcyclists around you and also to keep your ride safe.

By the way, it is always good to understand and know how to use hand signals when riding. if you do not know how to use hand signals in motorcycle riding, there are courses that can teach you.

Here are some basic examples of hand signals

  • Throwing the arm to the right (turning to the right) – Throwing the arm to the right is very simple and basic. It means you want to turn to the right. Also, it is most useful when you are driving in a group or want to signal to a car.
  • Throwing the arm to the left (turning to the left) – this too is pretty basic and simple and means you want to turn the left.
  • Throwing your thumb toward your mouth (to sing drink, restaurant, rest stop) – Throwing your thumb toward your mouth indicates that you want to go for a rest with another motorcyclist and it can be anywhere. Also, you can use this sign in cases where you want to symbolize a group of yours or another rider you created a conversation with to go into a conversation. Many riders have made
  • connections and became friends by using signals to communicate.
  • A nod with your head (hello) – When a motorcyclist put two fingers down to you and you can’t do likewise or you are not in a comfortable position to give it back, you can thankfully nod your head that you appreciate it instead of waving back to him.

It is very important that you learn all the hand signals and road signs. If you wish to see all the hand signals for motorcycles, I encourage you to read these two articles because they contain all the hand signals you need to know.

Could motorcyclists and car drivers wave to each other?

The truth is, it’s not uncommon to find motorcyclists and car drivers wave to each other but there are cases where children wave to motorcyclists, which is very common. I saw a video showing a motorcyclist letting a child who was sitting in a car touch the throttle while they were in a traffic jam.

There are also situations where car drivers can just start a conversation in the middle of the road even though it is not common. Most times, the motorcyclist and the car driver would have known each other before.


If you have any questions or opinions about this article, please write us a comment and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Thanks for the reading


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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