First biker movement appeared in the middle of the last century in the USA and soon spread both in Europe and all over the world.
The term “biker” came from the English word “motorbike” and means person who is a fan and admirer of motorcycles. For bikers motorcycle is not just a favorite «toy», but also the way of life. So, it is peculiar to bikers to organize themselves in clubs, as a group of people, who share a common interest. These biker clubs are gangs that usually quarrel with each other and bring thus quite a lot of troubles to official authorities.
People become bikers because of many different reasons, but one of the main is fraternity or clubs, which is integral part of biker community. Usually there are definite discipline and code of honor inside the club. One of the important things that unites all bikers is free way of life, and, mainly, freedom of the opened road, that let them to achieve the explosion of adrenalin from riding on motorcycles with furious speed.
Bikers are notable for their original appearance: dark bandanna or stocking little cap on a head, leather or jean jackets or waistcoats, leather trousers. They never washes or brushes their clothes and wear them till the state of complete uselessness. Bikers usually have long hair, moustaches and beards. The inalienable details of biker’s outfit are tinted glasses to protect eyes from wind, and large collection of different attributes with symbols of biker motion: stripes, emblems, bangles, necklace, rings, ear-rings, chains and other accessories, which made in specific style. But tattoos, undoubtedly, are one of main elements of bikers style, as they quite often cover all their bodies in tattoo. Favorite themes of biker tattoos are motorcycles, engines, brands of mototechnique manufacturers, symbols of clubs which they belong to, images of fire, fire-spitting dragons, skulls, predatory animals, mythical creatures, iron crosses and many other symbols and signs of bikers community. At the same time, these tats are usually done in rather aggressive style.
Biker tattoos are not only the inalienable attribute of subculture but also a new type of fine art, where traditions of body-art, sacral talisman-symbols and real rock-painting are fully presented. The most popular tattoo designs, that peculiar strictly to bikers, are:
- Confederation Flag as a symbol of nonconformism (negativism) shows biker’s aspirations to defend and stick to world view with particular aims, opinions and behavior that bluntly contradict to those, which is dominating in this society. It’s also a symbol of disobedience and struggle for freedom. It was the battle flag of the Confederate States of America (CSA) - the independent state in the southeast USA ( but no state officially recognized the CSA as an independent country), which lasted from 1861 to 1865 and included 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S. The Confederation flag was square in shape and had dark blue saltire on a red field and thirteen stars inside this cross. Also this flag was used during the civil war between North and South.
- Club colors - the insignia of biker gang which he belongs to. This sign usually consists of three parts. On the top arc («rocker») is depicted the name of club, country and city are indicated on the lower arc and in the centre is logotype and status of club. The inscription “MC” is also widespread. It shows that club belongs to «MC»-clubs category (abbreviation of «Motorcycle Club»).
- Iron cross symbolizes protest. Initially the American military pilots of the Second world war ( at the beginning of biker motion) expressed thus a protest against American authority by wearing enemy’s rewards.
- Swastika is an ambiguous symbol, which determines both supporters of right-wing political views, who are real Nazis (but there are really few of them in biker motion) and those, who used it as a sign of epatage to shock ordinary public. It’s one of the MC attributes.
- 1 % tattoo is a symbol of disobedience and unamenability to laws, which appeared after the speech of the head of American Motorcycle Association (АМА). It was said that 99% of bikers are law abiding people and only 1% of them is violators. Often single bikers, independent bikers who do not belong to any clubs, but stick to МС laws and its informal traditions are applied this tattoo. Thus, don’t think that persons with such tats are criminal elements.
- Motorbike, engine, logotypes of mototechnique manufacturers are favourite tattoo themes among bikers, that determined by personal liking. At the same time all of these images are often combined with symbols of freedom and road.
Also very popular such biker tattoo pictures as:
- Skull, bones or skeleton symbolize fearless of death and danger and are used as a protection from death. According to belief, Death, when comes to man, leaves its sign (skull) on him, but if this symbol is already depicted on this person, Death thinks that has been there before and doesn’t disturb him again.
- Fire is a symbol of transformations and changes in life, powerful and destructive energy that everyone is afraid and respects, but, at the same time, it’s possible to control and use this power, achieving in such a way considerable successes.
- Predatory animals (wolves, tigers, lions, sharks, scorpions etc.) symbolize strength, power and uncompromisingness.
- Mythical creatures (dragons, harpies, griffins, centaurs, griffins etc.) are symbols, each of them has its own meaning. So every person can emphasize his or her personality with a help of such tattoos.
Biker tattoos mean firmness and endurance of their owners and express their attitude to the world, in spite of the world’s attitude towards them. Every biker always searches new unexplored road, and with every next mile he is more and more enamored of his way.
The abundance of symbols gives bikers an opportunity to cover all their bodies in tattoos, and they do it with a great pleasure. So, not for nothing, it is considered that the most tattooed people are these fans of motorcycles and mad speed.