The Inside Scoop on Motorcycle Patches


There’s something both gritty and cool about a black leather motorcycle jacket covered with colorful, interesting patches. In fact, patches have become an important part of our whole biker culture. So of course, you’ll want to trick out your gear in a similar way.

Motorcycle patches, however, represent far more than mere decorations. They tell a story, letting other riders at moment’s glance get a sense of who you are and what matters most to you. 

That’s why you shouldn't just slap on a patch simply because you like how it looks – it’s important to understand that some patches must be earned, while others have deeper meanings that might get someone new to the culture in trouble.

Read on to discover some of the inside scoop on what’s behind some of the different patches, rules for how you use them, and warnings regarding patches you probably should avoid.

First Off – Exactly WHAT Is a Motorcycle Patch?

Let’s start with the basics.

Patches are typically made from heavy cotton or other materials that can handle significant wear and tear. The more complex and detailed the embroidery is on the patch, the more time it takes to create.

When talking about the level of embroidery detail, you’ll find three categories: 50%, 75%, or 100%.

Simple designs like biker phrases and simple messages receive 50% embroidery – which means the needlework will leave half or more of the background visible.  This is the most inexpensive kind of patch and it’s most commonly used by casual riders.

The majority of riders use the next tier – 75% embroidery. This type of needlework is sufficient for relatively detailed patches and comes at a standard price that most riders can afford.

Finally, if you want the greatest level of detail and accuracy possible, you’ll choose 100% embroidery. While it’s pricey, it will provide the most impressive patches you can imagine.

Now that you know the basics, we can move on to the most important thing about motorcycle patches: Motorcycle Clubs.

Bikers use patches primarily as a sign of allegiance to their specific club – it’s part of that rite of passage to becoming a member. Along with the club patch, members can get a new patch to mark a specific accomplishment. Simply put, motorcycle club patches are serious business and choosing some patch at random just because you think it’s cool is a major NO-NO. Just don’t do it. Period.

Read our article on "Motorcycle Patch Rules", and our article on "What Patches to Avoid" for more information.

Did we miss anything? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.


  • Juice

    Tom is 100% correct Eagle Leather 👎get some hurt or worse!!!!

  • Tom Sullivan

    Your advice on a Nomad patch is 100% wrong, and will get a civilian rider hurt. Nomad in no way means independent. It is irresponsible to have that article on your site.

    “Besides RC patches, you can also wear a nomad or lone wolf patch. These signify that you’re not a member of any clubs or associated with them. By wearing a nomad or lone wolf patch, you’re telling other riders that you’re independent and follow a riding schedule of your own.”

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