Are you a Harley-Davidson biker who wants to be a part of a biker group and wants to learn more about it, but don’t know what 13 means to bikers? If so, then don’t worry, as you’ll get to know about the significance of 13 for bikers here.
13 means to bikers that it represents the 13th alphabet of the English language, which is the letter “M”. Previously, the letter “M” was used for representing Marijuana and so “13” used to be associated with drugs. With change in time, the letter “M” has become a representation of the word “Motorcycle”. Moreover, the Diamond 13 Patch stands for the Top-13 racing outlaw motorcycle clubs in Southern California.
In this article, you’ll get to know all about the number 13 in the biker circle, what does 13 mean to bikers, what does the diamond 13 patch mean, the evolution of the diamond 13 patch, and more. Continue reading to get all the answers that you’re looking for.
The biker world and their motorcycle gangs
The biker world is an entirely different world on its own. Everything ranging from numbers to symbols to logos has its own meaning. Bikers take a lot of pride and joy in the community and the clubs they represent. Bikers follow the club’s rules and regulations very religiously. Moreover, they cannot break the roles as it takes a lot of time and effort to successfully get into a motorcycle club.
Bikers are incredibly particular about everything, and the motorcycle clubs aren’t just about riding bikes. There is a lot more to just biking with the member of the clubs. If someone gets into a motorcycle club, the person wears different patches that represent different things. Once a biker gets a patch, they are pleased and proud of it, as it requires great effort to get in.
As a member of a biker world, you cannot renounce your membership to a motorcycle club. If you try to leave a motorcycle club abruptly, you should prepare yourself for a lot of explanation and problems. It is considered very disrespectful to leave a motorcycle club, and it’s tantamount to disloyalty.
What does 13 mean to bikers?
It is a known fact that different numbers are used for representing different things in the biker world. Every number comes with a different meaning, and especially the number “13”. It is one that is incredibly common as well as pretty special for the biker. The thirteenth patch is a common patch worn by many bikers, and it is used to represent the “outlaws”. This number has many different meanings as well. The most common meaning of the number 13 is that it is a representation of the 13th alphabet of the English language, which is the letter “M”.
In the years gone by, the letter “M” used to represent Marijuana, so the number “13” became associated with the drug. With the change in times, this letter has become a representation of the word “Motorcycle”.
Another meaning of the number “13” is that the biker wearing the patch is the user of the Marijuana drug and therefore should be dealt with carefully and accordingly. Perhaps the most peculiar meaning of the number “13” patch is that the biker wearing this patch is their own judge and jury. This is the case because 13 stands for 12 jurors, while the additional number is the judge.
There are many different representations of the number “13”. Consequently, there are some other numbers that have plenty of different meanings too. Hence, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that alphabets, numbers, logos, and emblems are just not as they are. Instead, they have rather different, unique, yet significant meanings, especially in the motorcycle world. It’s true that to the average person, a motorcycle patch with a certain number on it might not be understood.
However, to the members of the club or the ones who are extremely passionate about biking and are a part of the motorcycle community, they know exactly what these numbers, alphabets, logos, and symbols are and what they represent.
What does the Diamond 13 Patch to bikers?
If you have been around the biker scene for some time, especially in a biker club, you would have heard of patches and MC clubs. One such patch that gets a lot of attention is the diamond-shaped one that has the number 13 on it. Usually, this patch is worn as a part of the colors between the top and bottom rocker. There are different meanings and some misinformation about the number 13 for decades.
The Diamond 13 Patch was essentially created in Southern California as an anti-AMA (American Motorcycle Association) common patch. This patch was used by the early outlaw clubs for marking their distinctions from the AMA clubs. Some of them also used it for expressing their dissatisfaction and defiance of AMA. In the early 1930s, AMA tried taking over the motorcycling and biker club scene. Resentful of the rules that were set up by the AMA, outlaw motorcycle clubs were born.
Hence, the 13-patch culture was born. The Diamond 13 Patch also used to stand for the Top-13 racing outlaw motorcycle clubs in Southern California. The top racing outlaw biker clubs were awarded both patches and trophies. They eventually became known as a part of the diamond club. The diamond club became a small part of the Southern California Outlaw Federation racing scene.
There was a reason why the diamond shape was chosen for the 13 patch. During the anti-AMA movement in Southern California, many riders of the movement had a military background. The diamond shape was something that those people in the military were familiar with, and they decided to carry it forward.
The evolution of the Diamond 13 Patch
AMA used to call the outlaw racing clubs and their club members “1 percenters” in the late 40s. This led to the birth of the “1percenter clubs”. However, it wasn’t actually until the early 60s that the term “1%” started to catch on. The number 13 diamond patch shape started to be replaced by a 1% diamond patch. Outlaw biker gangs started changing the colors of the club to show the 1% patch. Many bikers started wearing the 13 Diamond Shape as well as the 1 percenter patch together.
When they were worn together, the 1% patch used to be worn as a square shape, whereas the 13 patch had a diamond patch. In the 70s, the transition from the number 13 to the 1% biker patches was in full swing. This is when bikers completely gave up on the Diamond 13 Patch and replaced it with the 1% patch in a diamond shape as a part of the 3-piece patch.
The false narratives surrounding the Diamond 13 Patch’s origins and meanings
Being a topic that dates back almost a century, there will obviously be many theories and stories surrounding it. This is why there are a few false narratives and stories surrounding the Diamond 13 Patch. Moreover, the Diamond 13 Patch today means plenty of different things to different outlaw bikers. Here are some of the common but inaccurate stories about the meaning and origins of the Diamond 13 Patch.
Drugs and other letters starting with M
A common meaning of the Diamond 13 Patch is the 13th letter of the English Alphabet. According to many, the letter “M” stands for either Marijuana, Methamphetamine, or Motorcycle. If you’re into bikes and deal in such illegal activities as being a user of Methamphetamine, Marijuana, or any other drug, then wearing the Diamond 13 Patch on your leather jacket will help you announce that to the world.
Judge and jurors
Another potentially incorrect definition of the number 13 patch is that the biker has complete self-judgment, and they can mete out justice on their own. This comes from it being equivalent to 12 peers and an extra one for being in charge – being the judge.
Many bikers believe that the Diamond 13 Patch used to be awarded to loyal support club members by the dominant MC of the territory. The most Dominant MCs would be Bandidos MCs or Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, for instance.
13 loops and 13 steps
A biker would rather climb the 13 steps to the gallows and hang from the noose that is made up of 13 loops rather than betray his brotherhood.
Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know a lot more about the number 13 in the biker circle, what does 13 mean to bikers, what does the diamond 13 patch mean, the evolution of the diamond 13 patch, and more. The number “13” is special to bikers as it represents the 13th alphabet of the English manuscript, which is the letter “M”. Previously, the letter “M” was used for representing Marijuana and so “13” used to be associated with drugs. With the change in time, the letter “M” has become a representation of the word “Motorcycle”. Moreover, the 13 Diamond Patch stands for the Top-13 racing outlaw motorcycle clubs in Southern California.