What Is A 13 Percenter: Know Why This Number Holds A Significant Meaning For Bikers


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What Is A 13 Percenter

Have you ever come across a fleet of bikers and noticed them wearing vests with 13 percenter on them? Do you feel curious to know why Harley-Davidson riders often wear vests with the number 13 on them? If so, then you’ll get to know all about it here.

A 13 percenter on the vest is meant for sending a message. There are many meanings for sewing number 13 on the vests. The most common interpretations of 13 denote that they’re the “outlaws” or the letter “M” for marijuana.

In this article, you will get to know all about what is a 13 percenter, what does 13 mean to bikers, why bikers wear vests with numbers, and more.

Biker clubs wearing vests with numbers

Harley-Davidson bikers live in a world of their own. The biker vests they wear come with numbers and symbols, and all those numbers and symbols come with their meanings. Bikers take a lot of pride in their community and the biker clubs they represent. They follow the rules and regulations set by the club religiously. They adhere to the rules as it takes a lot of effort and time to get into a biking club. Harley-Davidson bikers are particular about everything, and the club isn’t all about riding bikes and going on trips. There is a lot more that goes into biking and being a member of a biker club.

During the early years of motorcycles, it was essential for bikers to wear biker vests. It was important not just for a unique look, but it signified something far bigger than that. Bikers would wear it for protection purposes and to live their outlaw life.

A vest can be worn in multiple ways, and it’s largely made up of either denim weather or pure leather. It was important to sew your biker’s club logo or patch number onto the vest. It had to be done so that the rider could be identified alongside the bike club they represent. There are different patch numbers that come with their own interpretations and meanings. These patch numbers are normally seen sewed onto biker vests.

All of them have different meanings, while each number represents the biker. Interestingly, the most famous shape and numbers that the bikers from the outlaw society use are the log shape and the diamond shape. Bikers who make use of diamond or log shape symbols consider themselves to be rare. They feel that they’re different from the rest of the biers. Similarly, there are other numbers that have their own meaning and importance to Harley-Davidson motorcycle clubs all over the world.

What does a 13 patch mean for biker vests?

When someone goes accepted into a biking club, the person has to wear the different patches on their vests. These patches will represent different things and have different meanings. They should be happy and proud, as it takes a lot of time and effort to get into a biker club. It should be understood that different numbers will represent different things in the biking world. Each number will come with a different meaning, especially the number 13, which has multiple meanings. The number 13 is a fairly common patch worn by the Harley-Davidson bikers who represent the outlaws. But what does 13 mean to bikers? 

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13 Percenter Vest

This number has many different meanings. The most commonly used meaning of the number is that it is used to represent the 13th alphabet in English. The 13th alphabet in English is the letter “M”. In previous years, the letter “M” was used to represent Marijuana, so 13 would become associated with the drug. With the change in time, the letter “M” became a representation of the word “Motorcycle”.

The other meaning of “13” is that whoever is wearing the patch is a Marijuana user and should be dealt with carefully and accordingly. One of the most peculiar meanings of the number 13 biker vest is that whoever is wearing the vest is his own judge and jury. This meaning came about with 13 standing for 12 jurors, whereas the remaining member is the judge.

There are many unique representations of the number 13. Consequently, there are other numbers that come with different meanings and interpretations as well. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that numbers, alphabets, logos, and emblems aren’t what many people think. They are far more significant and come with unique meanings and interpretations, especially in the biker universe. Moreover, it is true that for an average biker, a vest containing a certain number might not be understood. For members of biker clubs or the ones who are extremely passionate about biking and communities, they will definitely know what these symbols and numbers represent.

Why do bikers wear vests with symbols and numbers?

Once you know the meaning and importance of the number 13, it is important to know why to wear vests. Vests play a significant role in the biker world and biker clubs. There are many reasons why a biker club member must wear a vest representing a number or a symbol. Here are some of the core reasons why –

They have a reputation to maintain

As surprising as it may sound, bikers do have a reputation to maintain in the outlaw society. Further, they have to maintain a reputation in their own circle and among their own biker members as well. 

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A badge of the group they belong to

Another reason why bikers have to wear biker vests is to let others know which biker club they belong to. Wearing a club will signal to others that the biker belongs to a certain, high-profile biker gang. Moreover, wearing a biker vest with a symbol will be crucial as it’ll prove that the biker isn’t faking it.

To be taken seriously

A biker who isn’t wearing the biker vest with their gang’s symbol doesn’t get taken seriously. The other bikers in your group or rival gangs won’t take you seriously if you’re not wearing your group’s vest. This is even more significant if you’re new to a biker club as it’ll diminish your credibility.

For image and dignity

Wearing a biker vest will make you feel proud to be a biker and be a part of a biker group. Moreover, it’ll also help you maintain your dignity and image. On top of that, it’ll also make you a reputed member of your biker gang.

Highlights the biker group’s culture

Like the clothes, jewelry, and food in societal cultures, a biker gang will also have its own unique culture. The bikers will have to wear their biker vests to highlight their group’s culture to the world. This has become a ritual in the biker society. It’ll give a better idea to non-bikers and other bike groups that you’re a proud member of the outlaw society. A true, enthusiastic bike will always make sure that they wear a biker vest no matter what. Vests are really crucial for biker groups.

Very stylish to wear

It is widely believed and accepted among bikers and non-bikers that biker vests are very stylish and relaxing. People who aren’t even bikers wish to wear biker fests for the style, but it doesn’t feel the same.

A biker vest can be styled in several ways. Many people prefer wearing their biker vests in pure leather material. Some of them prefer wearing denim biker vests for a rugged look. These vests can be worn with different types of shirts, jeans, and outfits to give a more complementing look.

Vests with leather material are also a common look as it gives a cool, stylish vibe. Moreover, it is extremely comfortable to wear as compared to other materials.

Numbers and characters signify grades or ranks in a biker gang

Just when you thought that the meanings of the number 13 on a biker vest were finished, there appear more meanings. Often, numbers are used to signify ranks in a biker gang.

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Each biker gang or club has its rank. Each one of them holds significance with its meaning and description. Some of the more popular ranks in the biker gangs are –

  1. Founder
  2. President 
  3. Vice President (VP)
  4. Secretary 
  5. Treasurer 
  6. Road Captain
  7. SGT At Arms
  8. Members
  9. Prospect 

Once you know the ranks, it is important to know how to identify the status and position in the group. The most common and easiest way of determining the rank in the biker gang is by the patch numbers. Now comes the question, what does the 13 patch mean? If a biker has a patch number 13 sewed on their vest, they’re a member of the group. Moreover, it also means that they are smokers and consumers of marijuana. Bikers who wear vests with the number 13 also likely sell marijuana to others.

If you’re in a reputed biker group or a well-known gang, it’s crucial to wear the vest of the group. Further, the vest must have the number sewed onto it. Wearing vests with a number sewed onto them will signify your rank in the outlaw biker society. Moreover, it’ll help with the biker’s image and be easier for you to be identified among other clubs and members. You shouldn’t be wearing numbers or logos of other biker groups if you’re not a part of their group.


Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you have a better idea of what is a 13 percenter, what does 13 mean to bikers, and why bikers wear vests with numbers, and symbols sewed onto them.

Biking doesn’t just involve traveling from one place to the other. Similar to other things in society, biking has also evolved above the concept of just a hobby. Biking has become a passion and when passionate people come together, they form a community. The numbers and symbols used by the bikers represent the community, their groups, and the meaning behind them.The number 13 on a biker vest has a lot of different meanings. Some believe that as the alphabet “M” is the 13th alphabet, then the bikers might be referring to marijuana.

Moreover, the number can also signify the original mother of the motorcycle group. There is another definition of using the number 13, and it is that the wearer is their own judge and jury. This is believed as 13 stands for 13 jurors, while the remaining number are the judge. That’s not all, there are many other numbers and symbols that have their unique meanings. But what’s more important is the bond and brotherhood among the clubs that these numbers and symbols represent.

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