Technical Definition: Squid - Acronym, SQUirrely kID.
1. In reference to younger MC riders with little respect to posted speed limit laws, self safety or safety of others. 2. Inexperienced newcomer, someone trying to ride beyond his skill level with arms flailing (like a squid) to try not to fall. This may be just a Southern term. 3. Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Imminantly Dead. 4 Any SportBike Rider - seems this term got twisted along the way and has many meanings. 5 Sportbike riders who wear tennis shoes or flip flops, shorts, tshirts, etc. on their nice shiny new sport bikes. 6 Anyone that rides without all proper gear , rides recklessly, or rides beyond their limits.
source: Motorcycle Dictionary
Origin of the Word: Orignially from an article in the early 80's where this type of rider was called a "squirely kid" and shortened by riders throughout the years.
The term "squid" came into use to describe certain motorcyclists in the 1980s. Former Cycle magazine editor Paul Gordon claims credit for it. Originally it applied not just to kids, and it didn’t connote a lack of safety gear; it referred to those who engaged in high-risk canyon riding. Most squids were young, but anyone who took chances—and often crashed—earned the title. The full safety gear that confers legitimacy today was rare in the 1980s. In fact, the well-worn second-hand race leathers worn by some riders were regarded as a sign of squidliness.
Ken Vreeke, who worked at Cycle alongside Gordon, circumscribed the notion of squidliness in a 1985 article, "Growing Up Squidly" (Cycle, 3/85), in which he revisits his youth: It could have been so perfect: A friend and I out for a Sunday morning ride on spanking-new motorcycles, the pure twirling grace of endless canyon roads before us, behind us the urban machinations and pension-planned, computerized whizz-bangery of the workaday world. Today we would be creatures of the road, given to flights of enthusiasm and blissful indulgence.
Then we saw the wreckage. There, within earshot of the Sunday morning hangout, was a Moto Guzzi stuck like a dart into the side of a car. The bike was a write-off, the rider was nowhere in sight, and the scene flooded me with memories. I had seen it all before, years ago. In the crumpled Moto Guzzi was hard evidence of squidliness, and a reminder of why it had been years since I had visited these canyons on a weekend.
Squidliness is not unique to Southern California; it is one of nature’s own behavioral kinks, and it knows no geographic bounds. Squids are usually young, free from pressing responsibilities, and possessed of natural blind spots, especially where such things as danger are concerned. They are practiced masters of rationalization, who can crash for no other reason than abundant ignorance—but blame their thrashing on bad karma or on a mysterious scum-slide which everyone else miraculously avoided.
Southern California is a prime breeding ground for squids. It is quite impossible to be too tanned, too rich, or too squidly in California. Then, too, there are the canyon roads, miles and miles of intoxicating tarmac that invite willful disregard of civic obedience.
Flanked by the Pacific Ocean and the sprawling suburbia west of Los Angeles, the Rock Store sits quietly in the shadow of the craggy Malibu Mountains. It’s the watering hole for weekend warriors who pour forth from Los Angeles to ride some of the best canyon roads anywhere. As we rolled into the parking lot, I flashed on old memories again. The lot was already filled with a hundred motorcycles, and accounts of the Guzzi accident buzzed through the group: The rider had been catapulted over the car on impact and had surfaced with little more than scratches and bruises.
People shook their heads and said the rider was lucky and, well, he probably didn’t know what he was doing anyway. "These roads are dangerous to the ignorant, but me and my pals are plenty good, and fast, and smart. It won’t happen to us." This was, after all, just another day at the Rock Store.
Had time stood still for eight years in the Rock Store parking lot? [...]
I got initiated the way most young riders do. A close friend, recognizing my exuberance, led me to the Rock Store, where I spent an afternoon scampering down his favorite roads. I was born into squiddom. Before that afternoon, I had done little street riding. It was boring. I had spent six years racing motocross in Southern California and a year pursuing a spot on America’s International Six Days Trial team. Once you’ve ridden headlong into a cloud of dust with 40 other adolescents toward a needle’s-eye turn with room for only three, and once you’ve sheared acres of bark off the Oregon woods with your knees and elbows, riding street bikes can be damned dull.
But this canyon riding stuff, now this was intriguing. In the canyons, where roads dart wildly around mountainsides and the unexpected poses the greatest challenge, the experience of riding at speed was similar to racing a dirt bike along a narrow mountain trail. [...]
Back then machinery divided the squid population into social classes, the lower order made up of kids on dual-purpose bikes and converted motocrossers, the upper stratum of seasoned riders on expensive coachbuilt café racers, guys who dressed in tailored leather jackets and Italian racing boots. The only real difference between this older aristocracy and the newcomers was the happily myopic view the younger riders had toward the perils of canyon racing, while the seniors nobly acknowledged the dangers.
Between the elite and lower orders fell the Middle Kingdom of Squidery. There I belonged. We rode mostly ratty Yamaha RD350s and 400s, bought for a song and outfitted for business. The most serious among us could be seen in third-generation leathers, wads of duct tape on our knees bearing the scars of conflicts past. We were young and fearless. Our group would be the last to leave the Rock Store, the first to arrive at the summit. We circled, we leered, we let the nubbin remains of our footpegs speak for us. [...]