The OilySmudges Silhouette Quiz

What started as a one-off silhouette quiz has turned into a regular feature of OilySmudges’ activity on Twitter. Whilst I’ve resisted documenting the mechanics of how the silhouette quiz works for a while now, lest it crumble to dust under close scrutiny, I think the time has finally come to create, not rules exactly but rather some helpful guidelines to help newcomers and old hands alike to get the most out of it.

How does the Silhouette Quiz work?

We kick-off around 7 pm in the UK and usually wrap up around two hours later. The initial tweet will be of a silhouette of a classic motorcycle, like the one below from Silhouette Quiz No. 59. We ask that you re-tweet this tweet before replying with your first answer so that we can spread the word about the Silhouette Quiz across Twitter.

Silhouette of a classic motorcycle

Silhouette of a classic motorcycle

What do we mean by “a classic motorcycle”?

For the purposes of the silhouette quiz, any motorcycle launched 15 years or more ago is eligible. Also, I try to only use images of standard production motorcycles (i.e. nothing modified with aftermarket components).

Do you have any tips on how to do this?

People use various clues to identify potential answers. One of our regulars can tell the make of a motorcycle from the mirrors alone. No one is quite sure how. The biggest clues are probably the wheels (not the wire ones though), the engine outline and the shape of the fuel tank and seat cowl/tail unit (or, indeed, the absence of a tail unit).

How does the quiz work?

After I’ve tweeted the new silhouette, everyone piles in with their answers. After about ten minutes of this, I send a Direct Message (DM) to all those who have submitted a correct answer and send a tweet to let everyone know that if they’ve not received a DM, their answer was wrong and they need to have another go. Please do not post a picture as an answer.

NB: due to the way Twitter works, I can only DM you to let you know you have the right answer if you follow me.

At the end of the evening, I tweet a list of all the winners followed by a tweet naming the classic motorcycle in question with both the silhouette image and the photo it was created from.

The whole thing is very informal but experiencing it will give you a far better understanding than anything I could write here.

One more thing: it’s supposed to be fun. So come and join in with the rest of the guys and girls next Monday.

I look forward to seeing you there…