- Dec 2, 2019
Nico’s Ultimate Biker guide
I suggest reading this guide if you are new to biker roleplay and wish to have an insight in what the roleplay may offer. I also suggest that you complement this guide with research from the internet.
1.0 The person behind the vest
The general stereotype of a biker is person with a scruffy beard and hair, ripped up jeans, stomping boots and a denim or leather jacket. Let me begin this guide by saying: every biker dresses and looks different. Bikers are usually normal human beings with jobs and families - and just like the rest of us, they are influenced by their era when it comes to clothing. What bikers wore in the 70’s are not necessarily a representation of what bikers wear today. Furthermore, what bikers wear heavily depends on where they are based. A biker from California wouldn’t wear a leather jacket in the middle of the summer whereas a biker from North Dakota would have to dress up more. Think of it as this. You would probably not be able to point out a biker in a group of people if they weren’t wearing their vest.
To move onto something that is heavily associated with the stereotypical biker culture - the rock music. This is yet another stereotype originating from the 70’s and various movies portraying the biker culture. Bikers, just like the rest of us, listen to different music where rap has become popular amongst MC’s from lower class areas and a lot of clubs have members who write club related rap songs.
1.1 The biker lifestyle
The lifestyle that has been portrayed in movies and tales over the last decades is a women beating trailer trash biker with a drug addiction. I’m not gonna write that stereotype off completely but that person is very rare to find in today’s motorcycle clubs. A lot of bikers have 9 to 5 jobs, families, houses, mortgages and whatever free time they have goes towards the club - but they don’t live and spend their whole life at the clubhouse or around the club. What’s important to know is that MC’s have all kinds of members. Poor, rich, educated, uneducated, young, old, smart, dumb, racist, anti racists and so on. You won’t find a club anywhere on the globe where all the members are the same, so make sure to make your own character unique and think of what path to go.
One percenter motorcycle clubs =/= illegal members. Yes, the majority of the members in an 1%er motorcycle club will be criminals in some way or another but do know that that isn’t the case for everyone. Many clubs rely on educated businessmen to help run their club successfully, i.e business managers, lawyers and so on.
In conclusion regarding the lifestyle. Don’t base your character off of the 70’s stereotype of a trailer trash, crackhead biker. If you as a biker and a member of a club play your cards right, you’ll make a lot of money and should live your life with that in mind. Clubs tend to stay away from heavy drug addicts and they are usually not trusted with important tasks within the MC. Remember. Your character is a husband, father, son, brother, employee and friend as well as a biker.
1.2 What do bikers actually ride and drive?
No, not all bikers ride fully decked out custom bikes with a total worth of $10,000. What your character rides depends on his wealth, his preferences and perhaps his age. The era of 60’s and 70’s bikes are slowly fading away and bikers want reliable motorcycles. Many bikers put a lot of pride and money into their motorcycles and customize them after their likings, but there is still a big group of bikers riding stock bikes out of respect for the original Harley Davidson look. What you ride depends on your character, remember to keep the aspect of wealth, preferences and comfort in mind.
What about cars then, because bikers know how to drive a four wheel too, right?
Of course! Being a biker doesn’t mean that you ride your bike wherever you go. Whenever it’s impractical to ride your bike, get in your car. And for car stereotypes, bikers drive whatever car that fits their wealth and character. If your character is piss poor, drive a shittier car. If he’s rich, go for something more nice and reliable.
And keep in mind. Not all bikers are super skilled mechanics and can fix and tune their own motorcycles, decide what kind of mechanic skills your character has.
2.0 The Motorcycle Club
2.1 The universal biker laws
The biker culture and the MC community has existed for a long time now and during that time, a few universal laws has been drawn up. The laws are being violated all the time even if they are expected to be followed by every biker in the world. A few of these unwritten rules includes not attacking a rival MC member at their home or their workplace in order to ensure the safety of innocent bystanders or family members. Conflicts are usually kept between the MC’s and they want as little involvement from the outside as possible. Another sacred occasion where the universal MC law matters is during funerals of club members. If an attack occurs during a funeral, the attacking club is considered scum and will most definitely have their own allies turn on them.
There’s a few more universal laws that every member is expected to follow. Failure to do so will have severe consequences and your reputation within in MC community will be ruined. As stated above, families are off limits even during war time - this includes women and children in any way. Just like in many other criminal circles, rape and sexual misconduct is abominable. There is usually one, or a coalition of, dominant club(s) running a state and this is usually based on whatever club that has the state bottom rocker. In order to start a club in a territory where a dominant club exists, the new club is expected to ask for permission. Members who are dishonorably voted out of their clubs are considered to be kicked out of the MC community, and for another club to pick up such member is frowned upon.
2.2 Can you actually leave a motorcycle club?
Yes, you can and there are multiple ways to do it.
As stated above, you can be voted out dishonorably. This means that your fellow brothers has voted unanimously for your patch to be stripped and you are expected to return club property which at times can include your motorcycle. Any type of club related tattoos will be blacked out, voluntarily or forcibly. You are hereby considered to be in bad standing with the club.
Another way to be voted out is in good standing with the club. This is usually done with good intention, such as you moving to a state where the club doesn’t have a charter or you having health issues where it’s deemed that you’re not fit to be a member. A member being voted out in good standing usually has the chance to rejoin in the future depending on the situation.
A member can also retire. This means that the member hold their patch but cannot participate in votes or hold any cabinet positions. This is usually done by elderly members or those that are physically incapacitated.
2.3 Church / Club meeting
Club meetings are held regularly, usually weekly, bi-weekly or monthly - depending on the club. The reason behind why it’s called ‘church’ is because it’s deemed a nearly religious experience and a place the members of a MC hold close to heart. The club meetings are democratic where every patched member’s vote matter just as much. The club meeting is moderated by the President but it’s the Sergeant at Arms’ responsibility to uphold the order during the meetings. The Secretary of the club takes notes of the discussions and the votes and this is later published where all members can view it. Different votes require a different amount of percentage to pass. For example, votes regarding moving a prospect up to a full patch usually requires a unanimous table whereas a vote to bring a hangaround up to prospect can be a majority vote. Some clubs only let the president vote to break a tie and therefore abstain from any other votes - this is so that other members vote with their heart and not because of the influence of the President. A way to circumvent that issue is to let the president be the last member to cast their vote.
When it comes to electing cabinet members (officers), it’s done democratically. The President does not hold the power to appoint the cabinet members, and officer votes are usually initiated by a member nominating themselves for said position. The Enforcer position is different though. It is usually hand picked by the club’s Sergeant at Arms.
2.4 How to ride and park
The leader of the rides is the Road Captain and it’s his responsibility to enforce the road laws. Said road laws are usually very descriptive and you as a member is asked how to operate on the road, what bikes that are allowed and what condition your bike has to be in. There is a few different types of riding formations.
One is the diamond formation. In this formation, the Road Captain is alone in the front and the rest pair up two by two behind him with a tail gun closing the pack in the back. Another type formation is the staggered one. In this one, the members form up one by one in a snake-like fashion. If a four-wheel vehicle is included in the ride, it’s usually tail gunning with some distance from the motorcycles.
When parking, the members are expected to fill in one by one in the same order as they are riding. You are expected to park with the front wheel facing the street, this is so that you can get on your bike and ride out in a swift fashion.
The bylaws is what a club relies on. It’s their constitution and what states how a member is supposed to act. Every club’s bylaws are looking very different but they are in short there to make sure the members are acting accordingly and upholding the standard the club is aiming for.
2.6 Club ranks
The names are rather self explanatory and I won’t go into depth on all the ranks, here’s a short summary though.
President is responsible for the public image of the club, making executive decisions as well as representing the club to all law enforcement agencies, and other clubs or organisations.
Vice President is responsible for taking over all of the President's duties if the President is not around or unable to complete their duties. He will also act as interim President until a new President is voted on
The Secretary is responsible for keeping a list of items to be brought up at church, keeping minutes and records of what was voted on, keeping an up to date record of all members including personal details, tracking major events of the club to include ‘patchiversaries’ and major changes to the club.
The Treasurer is responsible for keeping a record of all patches the club has that have not been handed out as well as detailed records of the income of the club, collecting dues and expenses.
Sergeant at Arms
The Sergeant at Arms is responsible for ensuring that all members follow the constitution and bylaws at all time, as well as dealing with any unruly behaviour during church or in the clubhouse. They are also responsible for the safety of all members of the club and dealing with any internal beef.
The Road Captain is responsible for leading rides, organising club runs and ride events as well as ensuring everybody's bikes are kept to a good standard.
The Enforcer is a junior cabinet position that is responsible for aiding the Sergeant at Arms in their job and sorting out small internal beefs.
All Patched Members are responsible to attend church, pay their weekly dues, maintain their bike in good condition and aid in club business.
Prospects are people that are trying to become a full member of the club and that the current members of the club see potential in and thus have voted on to become a Prospective member. As a Prospect it is your duty to do anything a full member tells you to do with no questions asked. Prospects must be sponsored by a full member.
A hangaround is a friend of the club who has been given the permission to attend club parties and such.
For a hangaround to become a full member of the club they must go through the Prospective phase, in order to become a Prospect a full member must sponsor the hangaround. Being a sponsor means you are responsible for your Prospect and ensuring they meet all the requirements prior to bringing them to the table. You are responsible if they fuck up, for money they owe to the club, teaching them how the club works and how to be a successful full member.
An Ol’ Lady is a girlfriend or a wife of a member and is not to be touched by any other member.
2.7 Different types of patches
There are different styles of front and back patches, let’s start by focusing on back patches. First and foremost, we have the one piece patch. Clubs using this are usually not claiming any geographical territory and it’s only, as the name suggests, a one piece patch with no top or bottom rocker. The two piece patch is when a club has a centerpiece as well a bottom or top rocker. And the three piece patch, which is the most common one in the biker community, is a centerpiece covered with a top and bottom rocker where the club’s name is in the top rocker and the claimed territory in the bottom rocker.
The one percenter patch is worn by outlaw clubs, bare in mind that not all outlaw clubs wear a 1%er patch!
The front patches and their meaning may vary in every club and it’s hard to give a general view of what they are. I suggest you do further research on what front patches you want for your club, or if you are a part of one, figure out what your front patches actually mean.
3.0 Useful slang and lingo
1%er (One-Percenter): If 99% of motorcycle riders are law-abiding members of society, the rest is the 1%. Advertised through a patch or tattoo, usually in a diamond shape.
99%er: The opposite of a 1%er.
ATF: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
AMA: American Motorcyclist Association.
Ape Hangers: High handlebars that rise above the rider's shoulders,
Backyard: An area that you ride frequently.
Bagger: A motorcycle equipped with saddlebags, usually referring to a large motorcycle with hard-side bags and full touring gear.
Bandana: A square of cloth used for just about everything
Bible: Another word for the club bylaws.
Big Four: Hell's Angels, Pagans, Outlaws and Bandidos. The four motorcycle clubs that have been identified as Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs by the FBI.
Brain Bucket: A helmet.
Brother: Usually how you refer to a fellow member of the club.
Cage: Car, truck, or van.
Chapter: The local entity of a larger club.
Chopper: Term for a customized motorcycle
Colors: Patches, logo, uniform associated with a Motorcycle Club
Cuts: Another word for vest
Drag Bars: Handlebars that do not appreciably sweep up or back toward the rider.
Harley Davidson: The largest American motorcycle manufacturer.
Ink: A tattoo.
Lone Wolf: A biker with no club affiliation.
Mother Chapter: An original chapter of a Motorcycle Club
Nomad: "Nomad" on a bottom rocker patch means that motorcycle club member travels between geographical chapters.
OMG: Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.
Property Of: displayed on a shirt, patch or tattoo to show who the woman “belongs to.”
What your character rides, drives, wears and looks like shouldn’t be determined by old, dated stereotypes. Look around you, look at the world, find inspiration in other cultures or other communities. Not all bikers are the same and not all clubs are the same. Think twice before you create your character and have a solid story before you hit the road. Are you looking to join a trailer trash MC, a ghetto style MC, a more clean MC? Adjust your character so it fits in because the old 70’s stereotype is a terrible representation of bikers and a little bit of research can make your time roleplaying so much more accurate.
This is written completely based on my own experiences of roleplaying a biker for over a decade and all the information I’ve gathered over the years. I wanna give a special shoutout to DonnieMacc for giving me a lot of pointers and tips around the MC world.