It used to be that all bikers shared a common bond, an unspoken code of ethics and behavior that transcended words and was built on actions. There was never a bible written on this Biker's Code and there was no need for such. But the times are a-changin' and there seems to be a lot of new riders out there. These days the riders you see blastin' down the road are just as likely to be clad in shorts and sneakers as jeans and engineer boots. And the roughest, toughest-looking biker you pull up next to could be your doctor or lawyer and may be wearin' a Rolex watch under his leathers. There's nothing wrong with that, so long as these new riders learn the Code just as we old-timers did. Being a biker used to be about using your creativity to take a basket case old hawg and using only grit and ingenuity, turning it into a one-of-a-kind eye dazzler, then risking your life on the asphalt on a bike you made yourself out of pride. Bikers wore leather and grease because they knew cagers would just as soon run them down as look at them, so they had to be intimidating. We were a breed unto ourselves with no union, no support group, and in many cases, no family (they threw us out). We had to make it in the world of our own, against all rules, against mainstream society, and against all odds. We survived and prospered because of the Biker Code and we never took shit from anybody. As an old scooter bro once said, "It's every tramp's job to school the young. How else are they gonna know a Panhead from a bed pan?" With that in mind, we bring you a primer on the basic two-wheeled Code. Take heed, brothers and sisters, for our Code is a hallowed one filled with honor and loyalty, the likes of which have not been since the days of knighthood: Don't take any shit. Be kind to women, children and animals, but don't take any bullshit. This is an essential part of being a biker. It has to do with respect and honor. Anyone can be a quick-tempered fool. Be cool, stand tall and backup what you say with action. Never lie, cheat or steal. Another way of saying this is to always tell the truth. Bikers are always the greasy bad guys in the movies, but every real biker knows that his word is his bond. Your word is all you have in life that is truly yours. Guard it carefully and be something noble, for you are a true knight of the road. Don't snitch. If you see a wrong, fight it yourself, if you are about anything you'll take care of problems yourself and never feel the need to snitch someone off. Snitches are the lowest life forms on earth, right up there with biker thieves. Don't Whine. Absolutely no one likes or respects a whiner. Another way to say this is hold your mud. Still another way to think of it is, "Don't sweat the small stuff" Most of life's little inconveniences work themselves out whether you whine or not. Keep your chin up, dammit! You're a biker, not some lowly snail. Never say die and never give up. Whether it's in a fight, a debate, or a business deal, no matter how bad it gets, a biker never gives up. Help others. When a brother or sister is broken down by the side of the road, always stop and help them. Even moral support, if that is all you can give, is better than riding on by. Remember life is about the journey, the ride, not getting there. You already are there. And don't just help bikers, show the world that we are better than our image portrays us. Courtesy costs you nothing and gives you everything. Stick to your guns. Do what you say you'll do, be there when you say you will. This is called integrity. This also goes back to standing for something. Like the song says, "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." Life is not a drill. Yeah, this ain't no dress rehearsal. This is life -- go out and take big bites of it. You've got no time to lose and bikers don't stand around waiting for the party to come to them. You only go around once. Tomorrow you could be road kill, thanks to a chain smoker asleep at the wheel of his Caddy. Live life now, makes the most of each moment. All right, now let's review. You are a biker, a modern-day knight of the road. Protect the weak, walk tall and stand proud. Your word is your bond. Stick to your guns. Don't take any shit. Life is not a drill. Now go forth and ride. When in doubt, ride. That's what we do...ride. If you want to ride around in a Day-Glo Hawaiian shirt and sandals, go for it, but if you intend to look like a idiot, at least don't act like an idiot. These commandments are just a few of the broad strokes, there is a lot more to being a biker than buying a bike. If you just buy a bike, you are a motorcyclist. Being a biker is a way of life, a proud way of life we hold in high regard with a burning passion for the open highway.
The AMA was founded in 1924 as an organizing arm of Motorcycle Manufacturers and was mainly supported by major Motorcycle Manufacturers to promote motoryclce riding in America. They sanctioned group of riders that rode together from the same areas as "Motorcycle Clubs". Some wore complete matching dress outfits with the name of their MC stitched on the back of their shirts and jackets. At events, the AMA gave awards for the best dressed club so this was the start of motorcycle club's patches. During an event in 1947 in Hollister, Ca when a member of the Booze Figthers MC made the headlines with exaggerated news story that was later made into a movie called "The Wild Ones". The AMA wrote an article in their magazine, shortly after this stating, 99% of all of their members are law abiding citizens and the only 1% are "Outlaw". This then, began what is today known as Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs and (1%). Clubs that were not sanctioned by the AMA and non-members of the AMA were banned from attending AMA events.
In order to designate themselves as an Outlaw club to all other clubs, the 1%ers cut their club patches into three seperate pieces. The top rocker was the name of the club, the center was the emblem of the club, and the bottom rocker was the local from which they came. These Outlaw motorcycle clubs put on their own events and did the opposite of what AMA had been doing. There were no Best Dressed awards. They "Chopped" down their bikes to go faster and look different, rode with no muffler, they would drink and do other "wild" things...
The term "Colors is used in referring to a motorcycle clubs' patch with two "Rockers". One is placed over the top of the middle large graphic patch and one placed underneath it. The bar designating the location of the club. The two rockers are seperate from the middle patch hence the term three-piece patch. Motorcycle club differ from motorcycling organizations as they traditionally have "prospecting" time required before they wear or "fly" the colors of the group. Most club "Colors will also have MC printed on the rocker to futher clarify it as a club rather than an organiztion.
Many national organizations in the 1980's set policy to unite their rockers with their patch to make it one-piece to aviod any designation or confusion within the motorcycling club community.
As motorcycle club patches are recognized today:
*A one-piece patch signifies a family club, or law abiding motorcycle club
*A two-piece patch signifies a motorcycle club in transition to an outlaw club,awaiting approval from the Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs to become a three-piece patch.
*A three-piece patch signifies that the club is an outlaw club. The three piece patch is given out in three parts as a prospective member earns the privilege to wear the full three-piece patch. When one is just hanging around, he has no part of the patch. Then when he is sponsored by a full member and approved by the club, he may wear the lower rocker and he is considered a "prospect" for the club. If he is approved, then he is allowed the have the upper rocker and the insignia and the considered to be a full member.
The traditional MC is one that adheres to the protocols and traditions established. There are a few exceptions. Traditional clubs are approved by the local dominant. The traditional three-piece patch club is not nessarily a 1% club or even the dominant club
A serious MC club commands respect for one reason. Those who are correctly informed recognized the deep level of personal commitment and self-discipline that a man has to demonstrate and sustain in order to wear a patch. They realize that a club's "Colors" are closely guarded and the membership process is long and diffcult. Other factors notwithstanding, they respect Patcholders for what they have accomplished by being able to earn and keep the patch they wear. This respect born out of recognition of dedication and accomplishment. The MC Club strives for respect for this resason. This is especially true as it pertains to those persons outside of the motorcycle community. This segment of society is by far larger, and therefore represents a larger market for any fund raising activies that the group might undertake. It stands to reason that cultivating a relationship with these people is important, and to be perceived by them as "biker scum" would not be advantageous to the group. They will therefore conduct themselves as upstanding citizens in every way..."Good neighbors" so to speak. The goal is to be admired serious club, and all or its members and guests, will always conduct themselves publicly in a highly professional manner.
LEVELS OF COMMITMENT:
When someone earns their patch, it does not mean that he or she has reached the ultimate goal and from that point on they can kick back and coast. Moving from guest to prospect to patchholder is not climbing from the bottom to the top, but rather more like climbing a constantly asceding slope, and in time becoming a stronger and more committed brother or sister. A person's prospect rocker and later their patch are merely presented in recognition of what they have demonstrated along the way. In this fashion, the more senior the Patchholder is in the club and the more they experience, the more of a brother or sister they should be to all.
Prospecting is not an initiation, as you would find in a fraternity. It is instead a period of time that is sustained until the person, in every sense, conduct themselves with the respect that is mandated to be a full patch member. It's a time in which:
The Attitude is conditioned so that he displays a sense of responsibility and respect toward the member of the club, without which they will not develop a sense of respect of the group.
He is educated in basic MC protocol and etiquette.
He is given time to debelop the habits that are basic to good security and good communications.
To get into the habit of participating.
To become accustomed to trusting the judgement, at times blindly, of those patch holders who will someday be his brother.
The list could go on but the point here is to demonstrate that probationary period had definite objectives and that a person will go nowhere in the club if he is not aware of this and does not apply themselves to thos ends. Its not possible to make a checkliest of what is expected from a person in all cases. There isn't any formula for success,but the key is ATTITUDE and RESPECT. Everything else can be learned in time, but person's attitude comes from the heart.
1% - 99% of motorcycle enthusiasts are LAW Abiding citizens, the remaining 1% that consider theirselves to be hardcore bikers; the 1% of society that doesn't fit in and doesn't want to fit in. They are untrusing of the "citizen" lifestyle because everyone is only out for themselves but the biker covenant guarantees that their brothers will always be there for him, to back him whatever threatens him or his family. No Club that isn't hardcore enough is allowed to wear a 1% patch usually warn on a diamond shaped patch.
13 - Usually warn on the diamond shaped patch, the same size as the 1% diamond patch. The letter "M" is the 13th letter of the alphabet. Some biker (or even street gangs) will use the "M" as the moniker for the word "MURDER". Other use it to stand for "Motorcycle or Marijuana. It depends on the wearer to decide what is means to him. If it is displayed inside a tear-drop shaped patch, it's fairly safe to assume the wearer is using it as the "Murder" moniker.
22-If you see this patch or tatoo of this, this means the biker has been to prison.
666 - Symbolizing the of Satan.
69 - Warn on a patch or tatoo, symbolizing that a person has committed a particular sex act with witnesses.
CFFC - Club Forever Forever Club, this patch signifies the dedication and loyalty to the his club "a life time member".
Cage - A car or truck.
Church - Club buisness meeting for full patch members.
Crash Truck - A truck or van equipped with tools and equipment needed to quick repairs with MC is on a run. The Crash Truck follows the MC and is usually driven by a prospect or Female.
Colors (Cuts)- A unique club patch that is worn on the members vest. Colors are meant to be flown (worn while riding a motorcycle). Many clubs consider it greatly dishonoring one's colors worn while riding in a cage. There are many protocols concerning club colors that are very similar to American Flag protocols.
Fly Colors - To ride on a motorcycle wearing colors.
Getting Patched - Graduating from prospect to full-member (getting the club center patch). It's not bought, or give it's earned.
Handle - Nick name, Road name, AKA.
Hang-around - Someone that frequents gathers with an Motorcycle Club. They party and get accquainted with club members. Some hang-arounds are offered membership and turn it down because he enjoys the friendships with the members, he is not willing to commit to the club.
Ink - Refered to as "tatoos".
Ink Slingers - Tatoo Artist.
Lane splitting - Riding between lanes of traffic in the same direction as cages when traffic is stopped.
Lid - Helmet.
Line - Intended path of travel.
Meet - A sceduled event or "meeting".
Monkey Butt - Unpleasant "end" result of a long ride.
Nomad - Elite members of a motorcycle club that are voted into the priviege of not being tied to any one chapter, therefore, relieved of daily mundane chapter responsiblities and paying chapter dues. They can attend meetings of any chapter that is convenient. They can also perform duties of an Enforcer and or privileged duties.
Old lady - A woman with wife status. Sometimes there is a legal marriage but its all a personal preference.
Patch Over - This is a similar to when a large business conglomerate buys out another company and they do business as a single unit. Same thing applies to MC's If a major MC has good relations with smaller clubs and they decide the smaller club as some territory or business convenience - or the larger just needs to grow it's numbers and strength, they will absorb the smaller club who will then wear the patch of the dominate club and retire their previous club patch.
Prospect - Non member of a MC that is willing to do what it takes to join that MC. Propecting Phase there is no set time period between prospecting to member, it's up to the club and the prospect's dedication to the club.
Run - An organized Club Ride.