The biker subculture has a rather long history and, therefore, it is characterized by unique attributes, clothing, and symbolism. Motorcyclists are surely one of the most loyal admirers of tattoo art. They are probably the only people who don’t have enough skin to express their love for speed and powerful motorbikes. A tattoo is one of the main signs indicating a person’s belonging to the biker fraternity. In this article, we are going to highlight the most popular motives of biker tattoos.
Biker Club Tattoos
Bikers have a special relationship with motorcycle clubs. For bikers, their club is the second family. A biker club is a fraternity with its laws and rules. Most bikers belong to a particular club, although there are loners as well.
Biker tattoos originate from the clubs’ logos (also known as colors). Symbols and colors are repeated in classic biker tattoos. Most tattoos exactly reflect the clubs’ symbols. Tattoos are applied on the forearms (the most common place for biker tattoos), back, stomach, even on the shaved bald head.
Next to the club colors, it is customary to indicate the date when the tattoo has been made. If a biker decides to leave a club, the quit date is tattooed as well. Many clubs demand to cover an old club tattoo with a new image or to remove it from skin whatsoever. There have been cases when club members forcefully removed club tattoos from an exiled biker. Therefore, applying a tattoo with club colors means that a biker has connected his life with a club, and he is not going to leave it.
Popular biker tattoos
In addition to the club tattoos, many bikers have tats with the following themes:
Symbols of freedom, wings, eagles, flame, etc. Those are classic biker tattoos reflecting the belonging to the biker community. Often such images, which are distinguished by the huge number of details, cover the whole back, abdomen, or hands.
Life events - such tats have a realistic execution. Normally, they are dedicated to the biker’s family or friends. “I ride for him because he died for me” - the most popular variation of such tattoos.
Biker events. The ink highlights various biker rallies and get-togethers. For example, Sturgis motorcycle rally.
The symbolism of death. Many motorcycle riders believe that if they get a tattoo with death, they will be guarded. They assume that if death marked a person with its symbol, it won’t come close anymore. The most popular tats are death with a scythe riding a bike, images of skulls and skeletons, etc. By the way, skull accessories have long become a recognizable feature of the biker image.
A common type of tattoos is a brand or even a drawing of the favorite two-wheel machinery.
Harley-Davidson is one of the most popular tattoo themes. The biggest bike club is made up of fans of this particular brand. Today, not only riders of classic choppers are considered to be bikers but also sport bike motorcyclists. Nevertheless, the Harley-Davidson two-wheelers have iconic status so it comes as no surprise that biker tattoos bear the name of this renowned brand and stuff related to it: V-twin engines, HD bikes, exhaust pipes, etc.
In the past, getting a tattoo was a challenge to society, therefore, tattooed people stood out from the crowd. Today, tattoos are popular among many people, so they are no longer shocking. Bikers who want to get noticed sport rebellious ink.
1% - such motif has spread widely after the statement that only 1% of bikers are law violators, while the rest 99% are regular people and have no problems with society. These words gave rise to fashion for such tattoos. 1% bikers openly declare that they are rebels and outlaws.
Other rebellious tattoos depict swastika, the Confederate flag, Iron cross, etc. Such tattoos may raise eyebrows. However, swastika doesn’t always mean that a biker is Nazi (although, there are such customers as well). Sometimes, swastika tattoos are required by a motorcycle club a biker belongs to.