This page concerns itself with so-called "1%er" Motorcycle Clubs, clubs which will rarely admit outright to criminal enterprises but nonetheless implies it by the use of the "1%er" badge. The badge in question is a reference to an alleged statement by a past American Motorcyclist Association president following a riot that 99% of motorcycle enthusiasts present were law-abiding citizens. Wearing the badge thus implies that its wearer considers himself one of the remaining few.
The following are general indications and one should bear in mind that all individual clubs have their own traditions so that while there are some patterns, what holds true for one group won't necessarily do so for another.
Another issue to consider is that individualism is usually prized within the community as a whole so that embellishment with no specific meaning are fairly common.
Club officers are normally elected at the chapter level and the following ranks or variation thereof are usually found:
- President: club, national or chapter leader
- vice President: president's deputy
- Treasurer: in charge of finance
- secretary: in charge of paperwork
- Sergeant-at-arms: responsible for internal discipline as well as keeping an eye on potential territorial encroachment by another club
- road captain: in charge of planing rides, members safety during them as well as overseeing maintenance of bikes.
The original chapter (i.e. the first one created) is the mother chapter with the president of the mother chapter normally being considered the club president if there are more then one chapter.
National presidents are the president of the first chapter in a country outside of the country of origin with subsequent chapters answering back to it.
Despite this hierarchy, external as well as internal pressure has sometime lead to individual or even entire chapters changing club allegiance, a practice known as "patching over", something which, for obvious reasons, has lead to conflicts between clubs. More often though, it will be an entire but smaller club that will patched over all at once by a larger one thus increasing its territory.
Bikies tend to wear whichever clothes they prefer with the defining identifying emblem being their patches. These are rarely sown directly onto a long sleeve jacket as this would prove rather uncomfortable in summer or inside the clubhouse. Instead, they are almost always sown to a "cut", a sleeveless vest normally made of either leather or denim that can be removed and put on top of whichever item of clothing being currently worn. Piping on the edges in club colours and metallic clasp are not uncommon on leather ones although it should be said that the cut can be as simple as a off-the-rack denim jacket with the sleeves cut off. As mentioned before, the Patches are the important part.
More then likely due to their origin in the USA, the vast majority of clubs' name (banditos being one exception) are in english, regardless of the country of origin of the club. This extends to assorted badge (including country names) although exceptions do exist.
Back of the CutEdit
One main difference between 1%ers clubs and motorcycling enthusiast is the use by the former of a 3 patches (2 rockers and a central emblem) arrangement instead of a single badge. Incidents have and do sometime still occur when non-bikies attempt to us a similar configuration as individual or for their group, something perceived as a challenge to the local 1%ers club over a given territory or as a lack of respect. Non-bikies clubs that respect this unwritten rule by wearing a one piece badge (like Harley-Davidson owners clubs and some veteran associations) are generally left alone.
"full patch members" are those who have passed initiation and are allowed to wear both rockers and the club emblem.
The top rocker is normally the club's name. Theme of death, satanic subjects, despairs and crime are most common.
The bottom rocker is the name of the state, province or country of the chapter. In some cases, the use of a national rather then local name on the bottom rocker is meant to prevent conflict by not appearing to stake a claim to a territory already claimed by a rival club. If this rocker contain the term "nomad" instead, it represent a unit with no fixed location, one which has yet to stake a territorial claim or one serving as "trouble shooters" for the club. A few clubs use bottom rockers with the word "probationary" which usually does not indicate that the individual himself is a prospective member but that the entire chapter he belongs to was recently patched over.
Between both rockers is the club emblem which will contain the letters "MC" either as part of the design or as a smaller, separate patch next to it. The emblem can be anything though again, images relating to death, crime and satanic subjects are most common. A certain level of dark humour can sometime be observed.
A "1%" or "1%er" might be present, either as a separate patch or as part of the overall design Although more often then not, it will be seen at the front instead.
Most clubs will only allow prospective members to wear a partial patches arrangement during their probationary period. The exact arrangement varies from club to club and can be a bottom rocker with the word "prospect" or it could be a "MC" patch and location without the club's name and emblem.
Front of the CutEdit
A "1%" or "1%er" patch is almost always present especially if none is found at the back. It is most commonly seen in the form of a diamond.
Ranks patch within the organisation are more often then not indicated with the title simply spelled out (i.e. "PRESIDENT"). If the Club is present in more then one country, this might be followed by a second badge indicating he is the club, national or chapter president
Some clubs use a second rocker, worn on one side of the lower part of the cuff. These can represent a sub-national grouping which, combined with the bottom rocker on the back of the cuff, prevent apparent territorial claims. In other cases, it simply represent a chapter within an area where another chapter of the same club has been established.
Some club will have patches commemorating special gathering, personal deeds of a given member, fallen comrade or events for the whole club. One seen in a number of clubs reads "original" or a variation of this, indicating that the wearer is a founding member of the club or sometime local chapter. Other patches are purely decorative and could be a motto or in-joke. As patches in this category are closely link to each club rather then the community as a whole, they will follow not real pattern except that like rank patches, they are usually simply text.