If you attend enough motorcycle rallies, you may have noticed vendors offering custom-made braided leather or paracord whip-like objects that attach to the clutch or brake levers of motorcycles. You may even have considered adding one or two of them to customize your motorcycle, but you may want to take a moment to learn a little about their history.
As it turns out, those leather decorations serve a purpose other than making your motorcycle stand out as they flutter in the breeze when you ride. The braided leather cords also served as weapons when detached and used as a whip, which may have given rise to their being referred to as “get-back whips” or “get back whips.”
Some of the dealers at rallies or motorcycle shows offering customized get-back whips attach them by wrapping leather strands around the brake or clutch levers. Other retailers, including those found on Amazon, offer get-back whips for sale that attach to brake or clutch levers by means of clips that allow you to quickly detach them.
Included in this article about get back whips is a brief history of how bikers made them be detachable, so they could be used as weapons. When used as anything other than for customization, the devices may get you arrested for violating state or local laws banning certain types of weapons.
Our primary focus will be on the decorative use of get-back whips along with a discussion of how they can contribute to making your motorcycle more noticeable to other motorists. As we’ve done with articles about wheelies and lane splitting, our aim is for you to become a safer rider by being aware of things that could get you into trouble with the law.