What is a Motorcycle Squid & How to Avoid Becoming One

A motorcycle ‘squid’ is a derogatory term you may have heard here and there about some riders, but what exactly is a squid, where did the name come from, and how do you avoid being labelled as one?

What is a Motorcycle Squid?

Firstly, what is a motorcycle squid? A squid is a biker who rides with absolutely no common sense or consideration for other road users around them. Typically, this might be someone who's excellent at opening their throttle and whizzing along in a straight line, but as soon as they reach a corner, they slow down to a snail's pace. Often, they will overestimate their skills on a motorcycle.

Alternatively, they may pull tricks on the road, doing wheelies, burnouts, skids, and stoppies; you name it, they'll be doing it, and most likely will be doing so while wearing as little protective gear as possible, although this isn't always the case.

It wasn't originally an abbreviation of anything, but as time has gone on, the term 'squid' has been abbreviated into a few different sayings, such as 'Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Ignorant, and Dangerous' or 'Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, and Imminently Dead', neither of which have positive connotations.

Where Did The Word Come From?

Believe it or not, the term came from the Californian surfing scene back in the 1970s and was a name for when you had a lack of control over your surfboard whilst riding a wave, otherwise known as ‘getting squirrely’. If you did this enough times that your skills were brought into question, you’d be known as a ‘squirrely kid’, contracting itself down to just ‘squid’ over the years.

As time marched on, it started to appear in other sports such as BMX riding before finally reaching the motorcycling community and being used for riders that lack skills and awareness and stereotypically do not wear safety gear.

Insurance description

Characteristics of squids

Squids are often riders that do not wear the appropriate gear when riding, often opting for a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals when it's warm out, despite riding a motorcycle that can easily hit 60 mph as fast as some supercars. Squids aren't always riders that opt to not wear all the gear, as many squids may wear the correct clothing but ride in a manner that is inappropriate and/or dangerous.

These types of riders will overestimate their abilities and will ride incredibly quickly whenever they can, blasting by cars and other riders on the roads, making unsafe manoeuvres and overtakes, and generally being the type of rider that gives bikers a bad name.

You may also see these types of riders attempting stunts such as wheelies, stoppies, and powerslides in populated and built-up areas, creating dangers for themselves and other people around them.

A squid is normally associated with a younger rider who has passed their CBT and is riding around on L plates on their new Yamaha R125 or similar; however, it's not always newer riders that act in this manner, and even experienced riders who have become complacent or overconfident in their abilities may start acting and riding like a squid.

Insurance description

How to Avoid Being a Squid

Avoiding being a squid is quite a simple thing to do; you simply need to ride within your limits, ride according to the conditions you are riding in, wear your gear, obey the laws of the road and respect those around you.

Riding in a safe manner will help you to keep the costs of your motorbike insurance down because if you crash or claim repeatedly, it's likely you'll end up paying higher insurance premiums. As a rider, you should be doing everything possible to ensure you arrive at your destination safely without any accidents or problems because it may not just be you who suffers if you ride dangerously.

Wearing the correct motorcycle gear is a great way to avoid being called a squid too. As they say, you must dress for the slide, not the ride. Therefore, even if it is boiling outside and you are sweltering in your gear, wear it. Road rash isn't fun in the slightest as anyone who's ever suffered from it will tell you!

There are many options out there these days for summer gear, from perforated jackets, boots, gloves and trousers to underlayers that help to keep you cool and keep away sweat, so there is really no excuse for not wearing your gear.

Respecting the road and your motorcycle are two incredibly important points. Your motorcycle is powered and controlled by you, but it will easily cause you some serious damage if you do not respect it and its capabilities. This works the same way with the road.

Roads can hide all sorts of dangers, such as potholes, oil spills, and slippery leaves on the floor; therefore, it’s incredibly important to always ride according to the rules of the road and the conditions.

Simply put, the best way to avoid being labelled a squid when riding is to follow the rules of the road, ride within your limits, and wear all of your protective gear.