Video: Watch MotoGP Racers Talk with Their Hands

Alpinestars “Hand Jive” Video Shows Grand Prix Gestures

Anyone who has spent any time with racers or as a racer knows that when it comes to describing how the bike is acting on track, you have to use your hands. There's something about trying to convey the very visceral feelings on a race bike that make even the best MotoGP riders in the world use their digits to explain what's happening.

Chatter, rear-end pump, uncontrolled wheelies: We’ve all been there, right? Maybe it’s the fact that when we hold our hand upright—heel down and index finger on top—it somewhat resembles a motorcycle. This way we can show slides, wheelies, and any other handling characteristics to anyone that will listen. Need to be more specific? Hold your hands as though you’re gripping the bar(s) and describe, with loud noises, how the motorcycle was moving underneath you.

It's easy to dismiss all of this as juvenile mumbo jumbo, but this video from Alpinestars shows a glimpse of the MotoGP paddock doing the same thing you (or someone you know) do at a track day or club race. Perhaps we has humans are slowly becoming illiterate and none of us are articulate enough to use the word "oscillation," but I prefer to think that this is the way motorcyclists are bred to communicate. It's a separate language, can only be spoken and understood by those who understand the circumstances (equal parts joy and frustration) of riding a motorcycle at speed.

So send this video to a friend or loved one who thinks you’re crazy for talking with your hands and making engine noises. Maybe they will at least see where you get it, and who you’re trying to emulate. If they don’t understand, it’s okay—we will.