American Motorcyclist Association

The AMA was founded in 1924 as an organizing arm of Motorcycle
Manufacturers and mainly supported by the Motorcycle Manufacturers
to promote motorcycle riding in America.
They sanctioned groups of riders from the same area that rode
together as motorcycle clubs. Some wore complete matching dress
outfits with the name of their motorcycle club
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 clubís patches.

During an event in 1947 in Hollister, CA when a member of the
Booze Fighters Motorcycle Club made
the headlines with an 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 only 1% are outlaw. This then, began what is today
known as Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs and one percenters.
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 one percenters cut their club patches into
three separate 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
parties and did the opposite of what the AMA had been doing.
There were no Best Dressed awards, they chopped down
their bikes to go faster and look different, rode with no mufflers,
they would drink, and do other wild things. Such is history.

The term colors is used in referring to a motorcycle clubs patch set up.
In the case of a 3 piece, One is placed over the top of the middle large
graphic patch and one placed underneath it. The rockers are usually
curved bars with the top bar designating the club name and
the lower bar designating the location of the club.
The two rockers are separate from the middle, larger graphic
type patch, hence the term three-piece patch.
Motorcycle clubs differ from motorcycling
organizations as they traditionally have prospecting time
required before the club members decide whether the individual
will be accepted into the group and allowed to wear or
fly the colors of the group. Most club colors will also
have M/C printed on the rocker or a seperate cube
patch with MC on it to further clarify it as a club rather than
an organization.

Many national organizations in the early 1980s set policy
to unite their rockers with their patch to make it one piece
to avoid any designation or confusion within the motorcycling club community.
H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) is one example.


As motorcycle club patches are recognized today:

A one-piece patch normally signifies a family club or
Social motorcycle club when it's done with respect to the area clubs.

A two-piece patch can have many different meanings
as long as it's done with respect to the area clubs.

A three-piece patch normally means that the club is a
Traditional MC club. With the top rocker being the club name,
the middle being their patch and the bottom being
the territory they exist in. There are also a few 3pc patch clubs
where the bottom rocker has something other than territory,
such as a saying. The traditional MC is one that adheres
to the protocols and traditions established.
There are few exceptions, but, traditional clubs are approved by the
local dominant. The traditional 3pc patch club is not
necessarily a 1% club or even the dominant club.

The Diamond patch with 1% or 13 worn with the 3pc back patch
signifies the club is a 1% or 1% support club.
While rare, they may not be the dominant club for the area
but will be sanctioned by the local dominant. There are
also a few areas where the lead club is not a 1% club, but those are few.

When one is just is hanging around, he has no part of the patch.
Then when he is sponsored by a full member and approved
by the club as a prospect he may wear the lower rocker
that only says Prospect. In some areas, the prospect wears
the Prospect rocker at the top of the vest.
ome clubs even allow the lower rocker saying prospect and
the upper rocker with the club name but not the main patch.
Different clubs do things differently across the country.
Different rocker combinations of what a prospect
might wear differs depending on each club.
If he is approved after his prospect time has been determine
do be over and the vote goes in his favor, he then is allowed
to have the full colors and is considered to be a full member,
having all three pieces if that club uses the 3 piece patch.

Nomad Rocker

Some MCs entitle a Member to wear a "NOMAD" bottom rocker.
This is only when that member continues to exhibit a lifestyle
within the common definition of the word nomad.

no∑mad A member of a group of people who have no fixed
home and move according to the seasons from place to place in
search of food, water, and grazing land.

A person with no fixed residence who roams about; a wanderer.

It is a valued distinction of lifestyle that only a few can truly
live up to, and as such, causes unfavorable notice
when seen used by those most obviously not living up
to the common meaning. By definition a NOMAD, more often than not,
will be traveling alone and needs an ability to represent,
maintain & otherwise survive under circumstances unusual from the norm.


The word "Brother" has become very abused in
the motorcycle world these days.

Seems like if you buy a bike and a new set of leathers,
everyone else that rides has now become your brother.

Some call it Brotherhood when sharing the wind on two wheels.
Some call it brotherhood when you ride a few

roads together. Just what truly is brotherhood?

There are Brothers in Christ. Brothers in Masonic temples.
Brothers in several organizations.

Elite military units commonly form a
brotherhood among the members of squads. Navy Seals for

example, are more than the sum of their individuals.
They become more than just a team.

They become brothers, totally committed to one
another up to and including giving their

lives for one another if necessary. Men that have
shared combat together have formed such

close relationships as to call each other brother.
While these are no less committed than

any other Brotherhoods, when it comes to the
motorcycle world, there is also a very strong

bond among those that call themselves Brothers.

What is a Brother in the MC world?

Once you've gone through the hangaround period, the
members of the Club have viewed your behavior,

your attitude, your dedication, trust and loyalty,
to be there. If you've actually completed this

period, then you may be asked to become a prospect.
During this time you are put under a much more

intense review. You and the other members of the
club find out if you are suited to be a part of the

club and if you can accept the other members as Brothers
just as much as if they can accept you and

call you Brother. Can you dedicate yourself to the others
as close as you would your own flesh and

blood? Many times it is an even closer commitment than family.
The person that you call Brother becomes family
as a part of his as well as you being a part of theirs.
A common phrase used in MC circles is
 I am my Brotherís keeper. This means you will support
him and help him any way you can,

sometimes to the point of selling your bike to help him,
quitting your job to go help him and, in some

cases, Brothers have even done things that they already
know could get them put in jail because they

were willing to take that step to help a Brother out.

With all that commitment, itís also that you would not ask a
Brother to do something drastic without very

good cause. Brothers may disagree, but they
will always respect one another and treat each other with respect.

Please take note that if you haven't had any experience
being around some of the more serious MC's

(1%, support clubs, etc.), they take the word
Brother, or Bro very serious, and they'll only use the

word as a show of respect towards their own club, their
members, and any club who they've also bestowed that word upon.

And if a club overhears someone throwing around the word lightly
within their midst, it could cause them to aggressively educate
those whom they felt disrespected them by abusing the word.


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