There are three prominent components of American Motorcycle Culture: Fancy Bikes, Leather and Motorcycle Patches. The one’s that have the biggest lifestyle impact are the biker patches. The striking colors and bold imagery of the biker patches paints a symbolic narrative associated with American biker culture, that attracts a large audience of motorcycle enthusiasts who wish to join and look cool.
Either sewn onto a leather garment such as a jacket or a vest, a biker patch reveals a member’s association with a motorcycle club and sometimes carry hidden meanings.
Let’s take a look at what these patches denote:
Motorcycle Club Patches Meanings
There are more than 2500 operational motorcycle clubs in the USA. Each club symbolizes something different. Some clubs are there just for the sake of riding motorcycles, others are about being part of something bigger. Many even have specific purposes like serving their communities by providing support to individuals in need through charitable events.
A patch not only signifies which club you belong to but also the manifesto of that particular biker club. To let others, know who you are and how you feel about things, you may put patches on any visible parts of your motorcycle gear such as back of vests, jackets and helmets.
How are Biker Patches earned?
A biker patch should be worn proudly and earned. Just because you paid for a motorcycle patch doesn’t make you eligible to wear it. You don’t earn a patch by paying money, you earn one by putting in work and by becoming a constructive member of your club.
Biker patches aren’t mere adornments, they carry meaning and information; sometimes visible and at times only known to bikers. At times, the new riders go online and quickly buy patches to attach to their jackets and vests without knowing that there are certain rules for earning a motorcycle patch. If you want to be a responsible biker, know that motorcycle patches can only be earned by being a good rider and representing your club well.
The rules for wearing a biker patch are as follows:
- Earn it.
- Wear it proudly.
- Don't steal someone else's patch.
- If you do want to wear multiple patches, don't go overboard.
Kind of Biker Patches
There are various types of biker’s patches ranging from club patches, army customized patches, flag patches, brand based patches and outlaw mc patches.
The most popular ones are: One-piece patches, Two-piece patches and Three-piece patches.
Let’s take a look at how each of these are earned.
Earning a Single Back Patch
A single back patch is an iconic symbol of a motorcycle club membership sanctioned by the American Biker Association. This patch is typically worn on the back side of a jacket or vest and carries important information like the name of the club, their insignia, and territory. This type of patch is usually awarded to riders when they sign up with a riding club in their area.
Earning a Two-piece Patch
Once you become a member of a club, you’re expected to follow the club rules and participate in various club activities to be able to earn the two-piece patch.
A 2-piece patch is the most common type of motorcycle club patch. It represents that a rider’s membership is in transitioning state and he/she is hoping to rise up in the ranks of their club. In other words, once approved, the biker becomes a permanent member of that club and can wear a 3-piece biker patch.
Once a rider is authorized to wear a 2-piece patch, they have to be careful that it must not breach the rules or may look like the design of another local club.
Earning a 3-piece Biker Patch.
A three-piece patch isn’t awarded to the members right away. They instead have to go through rigorous loyalty tests by the senior members and show their dedication towards their club’s motives and purposes to become 3-piece patched members.
A three-piece biker patch is made up of a top rocker, the club’s logo, and a bottom rocker. Collectively, they are called colors.
A 3-piece patch is awarded to a prospective member in a number of stages. First, they are given top rockers which carries the name of the club and its logo and collectively makes a 2-piece patch.
During that testing phase, the members have to actively participate in rallies and events organized by their club. From there on, a member rider maybe able to earn the last piece to make it a 3-piece patch and become a full member of that motorcycle club.
It is worth mentioning here that a three-piece motorcycle club has to adhere to strict rules and procedures to establish themselves as a distinguished club.
Motorcycle patches to avoid (Outlaw Biker Patches)
There is another type of motorcycle patch associated with illegal clubs and activities. You need to be aware of those in order to avoid unnecessary conflicts and altercations with the police or criminals. For example, the 1%er “outlaw” motorcycle clubs wear patches with the shape of a diamond and a log reading “1%.” These patches are worn by motorcyclists who consider themselves apart from the 99% of the bikers who are allegedly represented by the American Motorcycle Association. There are a number of patches worn by other bikers may also indicate that the wearer may have engaged in criminal activities in the past.
Biker patches are stylish accessories with simple yet bemusing rules. In this guide, you learned all the rules of earning a biker patch. Though, it may seem that, earning a biker patch is a lot of work, but once you join a group, you’ll get to know that there are numerous benefits to being part of a motorcycle club.
One benefit is the sense of responsibility towards others. Members often help out each other and the community during times of trouble. Another benefit is the support system. You know that your club members have got your back, no matter what.
If you decide to join a motorcycle club, make sure you know what you are getting into. You need to be aware of your club rules. If you want to become an important figure in your club, you have to adhere by their rules. Be aware of the patches to avoid and the meanings of different colors, symbols, and designs. The rules of earning a club’s patch are same for all the members. Make sure you ask questions before wearing a biker patch that you have earned.