Bikers can often be seen sporting jackets with colorful patches on them. These patches are not only decorative in purpose, but also hold messages that are only known to bikers. The patch could tell others which club the biker belongs to or what activities the biker participates in. It is important that you understand the basics about biker patches.
What Are Biker or Motorcycle Patches?
Most biker patches or motorcycle patches are worn by bikers who are members of motorcycle clubs. These patches will often be placed on the back of the jacket and have certain meanings to them. However, patches are not only a means of identifying which club the biker belongs to but also a method of decorating the jacket and showing the character of the biker.
When considering the patches linked to clubs, there are no design rules. However, there will be a difference between the patches for a club and a motorcycle association. The association will have two patch designs while the club will only have one. Patches with a 3-piece design are often regarded as being for outlaw clubs and are not recognized by the American Motorcycle Association.
To get a club patch, bikers often have to go through a difficult membership process. There are certain clubs such as RC’s and riding clubs where a membership process is not part of earning a patch as the patches are given to all the members. In most of these cases, the patches can be bought.
What Are Patches Made Of?
Most patches are made using heavy materials such as denim or heavy cotton as they are more durable and able to withstand the damage caused by riding. The embroidery on the patch is one of 3 categories, and they are 50%, 75%, and 100%. The more intricate the design on the patch the more embroidery is needed.
50% embroidery is usually reserved for simple patched with sayings or plain text. These patches will also cost less to create because less of the patch is made of embroidery. The background of the patch is necessary because this is half of the visible area.
75% embroidery is the most typical of the patch types with 50% or more of the patch being covered with embroidery. This kind of patch is usually suitable for most designs, and the background is not as important as less than 50% of the patch will be background. These patches will cost more than the 50%, but they will not be extremely expensive.
The highest quality patch is the 100% embroidery with little to no background being seen. This is an expensive patch and will be ideal for more detailed designs. For designs that need high levels of accuracy, this is the perfect patch type.
All motorcycle patches will be made with an adhesive backing. This allows the patches to be ironed onto the jacket. The patch should also have a seal along the back to ensure that the embroidery does not come out and to increase the durability of the patch.
The Meaning Of Biker Patches
To understand the meaning of the biker patches you need to know more about the types of patches. These types will include the one-price patch, the three-piece patch, activity patches and outlaw patches.
The one-piece patch means that the rider belongs to a riding club or a motorcycle organization. These patches will usually have the name of the club, the club logo and in some cases the club location. Riders wearing these patches are part of groups sanctioned by the American Biker Association.
The three-piece patch is usually used by clubs with a rigorous membership standard, and this patch will set them apart from others. The center of the patch will have the clubs emblem with the top of the design stating the club name. The bottom part of the design will have the location of the club. These types of patches are referred to as ‘colors.’
Activity patches relate to rallies and charity events. Any rider who attends rallies like the one in South Dakota will receive a patch known as the Rally patch. Other activity patches will include the flag of the country the rider comes from or patches detailing military service.
The last patch type is the outlaw patch which usually incorporates a diamond with a log reading 1%. This percentage states that they consider themselves different to the other 99% of bikers and are not recognized by the American Motorcycle Association.