Motorcycle Club Basics

A serious MC commands respect for one reason. Those who are correctly informed recognize the deep level of personal commitment and self-discipline that one 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 difficult. Other factors notwithstanding, they respect Patchholders for what they have accomplished by being able to earn and keep the patch they wear. This is respect born out of recognition of dedication and accomplishment. This is especially true as it pertains to those persons outside of the motorcycle community. This segment of society is by far the larger, and therefore represents a larger market for any fund raising activities that the group might undertake. It stands to reason that cultivating a relationship with these people is important; they will therefore conduct themselves as upstanding citizens in every way. The goal is to be admired and respected by the general public rather than feared. All MC Patchholders, extensions, and guests will always conduct themselves publicly in a highly professional manner.  Always be aware of the "Golden Rule" of conduct while in club circles: If you give respect, you'll get respect.

Club Colors

The general public does not draw a distinction between different club colors.  If one club causes a problem that touches the public sector, the offending club's identity is either confused or ignored and the heat comes down on all clubs. The general public does not make the distinction , therefore everyone needs to be aware that no matter whether they are in an MC and RC (Riding Club) or an Independent rider, their actions reflect on all in the motorcycle community. 


Patchholders do not discuss any club business including any member's personal information with anyone outside of the club. They understand that they are a Patchholder at all times, whether or not they are wearing their colors. Everything they say or do in public can affect the club. They also understand that if they get out of line, that they are subject to a discipline action for their own good and for that of the club. Wearing a patch is more than getting together for good times. It also means getting together for the other times, too. It constitutes a lot of work. It's committing themselves to a lifestyle in which they do not look for how their brothers or sisters can help them, but for ways that they can be of help to their brothers and sisters. They always look to give rather than to receive. All of this may seem very idealistic, and in some cases it's just that. But it is an ideal that all clubs profess and are always striving for in principle and practice.

Levels of Commitment

When someone earns their patch, it does not mean that he/she has reached the ultimate goal and from that point they can kick back and coast. Moving from Prospect to Probate to Patchholder is not climbing from the bottom to the top, but rather more like climbing a constantly ascending slope, and in time becoming a stronger and more committed brother or sister.

Purpose of a Probate

Probation is a period of time that is sustained until the person, in every sense, conducts themselves with the respect that is mandated to be a Patchholder. It's a time in which:

Ø The attitude is conditioned so that he/she displays a sense of responsibility and respect toward the Patchholders of the club,       without which they will not develop a sense of respect for the group.

Ø He/she is educated in basic MC protocol and etiquette.

Ø He/she is given time to develop the habits that are basic to good security and good communications.

Ø To get into the habit of participating.

Ø To become accustomed to trusting the judgment, at times blindly, of those patch holders who will someday be his/her brothers and sisters.

There isn't any formula for success, but the key is your Attitude and Respect. Everything else can be learned in time, but a person's attitude comes from the heart.

Protocol Basics
These are some things for you to consider if and when you are going to be around motorcycle clubs.

Ø Patchholders are people too. They have good and bad days, they have jobs, families, and normal everyday problems and concerns just like anyone else.  Just like with any group, you will find both good and bad.

Ø Protocol and Respect are primary rules when dealing with a motorcycle club Patchholder.

Ø If you are introduced to another Club’s Patchholder, make sure either the person doing the introduction knows what club you belong to and if you are an officer be sure they know what position you hold.  Under no circumstances do you interrupt to correct a mistake while that person is introducing you or while they are talking. Wait till the introduction is done & politely introduce yourself correctly.

Ø Greet a Patchholder as you would meet anyone else and wait until the offer is made to shake hands. Do Not interrupt,  wait for the Patchholder to recognize you. Do Not be offended or make a big deal if they do not offer to shake your hand.  Many times they want to get to know about you and your club a little better before they will offer to shake your hand.

Ø Never, Ever, Lie. You can refuse to answer a question in a polite manner by saying something like, "That seems like club business, and I would like to refer that to one of our officers in order to get better information for you."

Ø Do not volunteer club info. If they ask a question about the local chapter answer it if you can.  If they start asking questions about the number of members, or National refer them to the Club President.

Ø If you know a Patchholder, don’t throw his/her name, road name or club’s name around; many clubs consider that as a major disrespect to the whole club.

Ø Watch where you are when speaking about the Club; never say anything about it in public because you never know when that one person in regular cloths is standing near you and Patchholders do not always wear their colors. By the time what you said gets back to the top of the club, it will have been changed many times over and could be blown up way out of proportion.

Ø Anything said between club members is club business. If comments, even those said in a joking manner were to get out, problems could start.  Discussion outside the privacy of the chapter can start rumors which could cause a lot of problems for not only the chapter, but also for other chapters in and out of the state.

Ø If you know a Patchholder don't just walk up to him/her and interrupt when they are with other members. Wait till he/she acknowledges you first and NEVER touch them or put your arm around them like a buddy. Don't put your hand out to shake theirs; wait for them to extend their hand first. If for some reason you're not acknowledged at all, then just keep walking.  If you need to talk to an officer of a Motorcycle Club the proper way is to go through the Sgt at Arms or one of the Patchholders.

Ø Do not wear your Patch into a another club’s clubhouse unless you have been invited to attend a function there.

Ø Never touch or sit on a Patchholder's bike unless invited to do so.  Do not expect the invitation.

Ø Have absolutely no doubt that a motorcycle club is serious and many have been known to physically educate a person who shows disrespect or displays a bad attitude.

Ø The term Brother has special meaning to a Patchholder, do not call a Patchholder Brother or Bro.  Their Brothers are fellow Patchholders and those that have earned that term.

Ø Don't ever touch any part of another club member's colors, which includes the vest or jacket it's sewn on.  That is considered serious disrespect, which could cause them to aggressively educate the un-informed.

Ø Remember, show respect.
AMA = American Motorcyclist Association

ABATE- An organization started by EasyRider Magazine to fight against discrimination toward motorcyclists, mostly helmet laws originally. Now fighting rights many issues well beyond helmet laws, and often helping charities. Membership most often a yearly dues for membership, and officers are elected from active membership. They often have local regions, areas, chapters, counties, to get be closer to members in a statewide group and provide local functions as well as state wide functions.

Ape Hangers = High handlebars so Biker's hands are at or above their shoulder height

Backyard = Where you ride often

Baffle = Sound deadening material that sits inside a muffler and quiets the exhaust note

Blockhead = The V-twin engine Harley produced 1984 -2000

Boneyard = Salvage yard for used bikes & parts

Brain Bucket = Small, beanie-style helmet (usually not DOT approved)

Burnout = Spinning the rear wheel while holding the front brake.

Cage = Automobile, Truck, Van....... not a motorcycle.

Cager = Automobile Driver

Chopper = Bike with the front end raked out or extended out.

Chromeitis = Someone that just cannot get enough aftermarket accessories (especially Chrome) is said to have Chromeitis.

Church = Clubhouse

CLAP = Chrome, Leather, Accessories, Performance

Colors = M/C Backpatch

Crash Bar = Engine Guard

Crotch Rocket = Sport bike

Counter steering = Turning the bikes handlebars in one direction and having it go in the opposite direction

Custom = Custom built bike

Cut = Vest with Club Colors

DILLIGAF = Do I Look Like I Give A Fuck

DOT = Department of Transportation

Drag Bars =  Low, flat, straight handlebars

Evo / Evolution® = The Evolution engine (V-Twin, produced from 1984 – 2000)

Fathead = The Twin-Cam engine (V-Twin, produced from 1999 – Current Day)

Flathead = The Flathead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1929 – 1972)

Flash Patch = Generic patches usually sold at swap meets and shops.

Flying Low = Speeding

Forward Controls = Front pegs, shifter & rear brake control moved further forward to stretch your legs out

FTW - Fuck The World or some are using Forever Two Wheels

Hard Tail = A motorcycle frame with no rear suspension

HOG = Harley Owner's Group

Independent = Someone not a part of any club or group, but normally a part of the biker culture.

Ink = Tattoo

Ink-Slinger = Tattoo Artist

Knuck / Knucklehead = The Knucklehead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1936 – 1947)

LE / LEO = Law Enforcement Officer/Official

Leaving Your Mark = Oil puddle on the ground where you parked your scoot

M/C = Motorcycle Club

MSF = Motorcycle Safety Foundation

OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer

Pan  / Panhead = The Panhead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1948 – 1965)

Pillion Pad = The passenger seat

Pipes = Exhaust System

Plugs = Spark Plugs

Pucker Factor = Refers to how tight your ass got on a close call

Rags = Also used to refer to Cut or Colors.  In some areas it's used only when referring to a woman's colors.

Rat Bike - Usually an older bike that doesn't look like it's been taken care of at all.

Revolution™ = The Revolution engine, Harley-Davidson's first water-cooled engine (V-Twin, produced from 2002 – Current Day)

RICO = (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations)  Laws passed for Law Enforcement to combat organized crime such as the mafia that are also used against some MC clubs.

Ridin' Bitch = Riding as Passenger

Road Name =  Name given to someone by his Brothers/ friends.  Usually given after some kind of incident or something they would associate with that person.

Rocker = Part of M/C colors which usually designates geographic location or territory

RUB= Rich Urban Biker

Rubber = Tire

Rubber Side Down = Ride Safe; Don't Lay the Bike Down

Run = Road trip  most of the time with a place to go to in mind

Scoot = Motorcycle

Shiny Side Up = Ride Safe; Don't Lay the Bike Down

Shovel / Shovelhead = The Shovelhead engine (V-Twin, produced from 1966 – 1984)

Sissy Bar = Passenger Backrest

Slab = Interstate

Sled = Motorcycle

Softail® = A motorcycle frame whose suspension is hidden, making it resemble a hard tail

Straight Pipes = An exhaust system with no Baffles

Tats = Tattoos

Tail Gunner = The last rider in a group

Thirteen "13" - Common patch worn by "Outlaw" bikers. Can have several meanings.  The most common held meaning is it's being the 13th letter of the alphabet "M" and stands for Marijuana or Meth.  It's also known to stand for the original or "Mother" chapter of an M/C.   In the last few years, many places are saying the "M" stands for Motorcycle.

Turn your back = To completely disassociate from a person or club.

Twisties = Section of road with a lot of turns

Wannabe = Refers to someone that tries to pretend to be a part of the biker lifestyle

Wrench = Mechanic

"Lick and Stick" "Pussy Pad"- This is a temporary pillion back seat placed on the fender through the use of suction cups.

"Fender" - A female passenger who is not an attached to a Patchholder but simply a lady a biker invited for a ride. 

U.S. Military Vets MC and the associated Eagle are trademarks of U.S. Military Vets M/C Inc. and are protected by copyright and  trademark laws under U.S. and international law.   All rights reserved
Saluting the Flag
The First Fold of our Flag is a Symbol of Life
The Second is a Symbol of our belief of Eternal Life
The Third is Made in Honor and Remembrance of the Veterans departing our ranks  who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country  to attain peace throughout the world
Powered by
The Meaning of the Folds
Disclaimer:  The intent of the following information is to provide the basic structure and philosophy of a motorcycle club.  It does not express specific feelings or priorities of any particular club and may not be specific or applicable to the U.S. Military Veterans Motorcycle Club.