Old-time career bike mechanics used to have some pretty interesting vocabulary. "Squid," for example. Probably borrowed from old sailors who used it to describe shipboard newbies, to be a squid meant something equally derogative though a little different in the powersports world. A squid was basically a person who didn't know how to treat their motorcycle right, whether riding it or maintaining it or whatever. He was usually prone to crashing it also. Kind of a mixture of an individual who was immature, unknowledgeable and mechanically incapable, all at the same time. Bare-kneed, flip-flop shod teenagers on SOHC Honda CB400Fs comes to mind, or later, CBR600s.
And there were many other similarly graphic terms. A "prima donna" in a motorcycle shop was, as was true almost anywhere, someone who thought too much of themselves, making everyone cater to them. The prima donna invariably was the most capable mechanic in the place, and knew it. They had to be treated with kid gloves, humored, dealt carefully with. Made for interesting times, let me tell you. That's a story in itself.
But the phrase that sticks with me most right now, probably because it was so rich in meaning, I suppose, is the moniker, "magazine mechanic". You could hardly be more derisive of someone in the 1970s than to call them a magazine mechanic. What it meant was someone who got all their motorcycle technical understanding in a superficial way, most often from reading about motorcycles in magazines. A magazine mechanic was someone who could talk the talk, kind of, but could not walk the walk. He was clueless. A poser. And he may not even have realized it. Not everything written in magazines was worth repeating, let alone actually doing. Career mechanics had no time for these guys. Prey to the latest media pronouncements on anything motorcycle, they gave slavish attention to the titillating and trivial and not enough to the fundamental. The magazine mechanic had the latest noisy, ill-fitting aftermarket exhaust on a bike whose steering bearings were so loose and/or tires so low of pressure it was unsafe to ride. Kind of like, you know, a squid.... :-P.