Here’s a look at a tribe that still exists in this land, one that offers a strong code of conduct based on respect, courage, and honor: namely the one percenter motorcycle club member. Many believe that the biker lifestyle comprises many aspects of the warrior ethic from many lands and times, from the ancient Vikings, Huns, and Mongols, to the articles of pirates, the Code of Chivalry of knights, and even the famed Code of the West. Now, more than ever, people need a code to live by. The new book The One Percenter Code may well offer an answer, showing our young men and women the warrior’s way. Following is a quick peek at what you should, and more importantly, shouldn’t do, when interacting with a member from a one percenter motorcycle club.
One percenter motorcycle clubs are about earning and giving respect. They are about commitment and loyalty. Sure, members can be intimidating, but they are people just like you or me. They are your neighbors, your local businessmen, and sometimes even the coaches of your local Little League team. One percenters have wives and kids; some even go to church on Sundays. But being members of one percenter motorcycle clubs, they are loyal to their club brothers and passionate about their clubs and the biker lifestyle. They honor and protect each other because no one else will.
As the story related earlier [in the book] shows, it can be easy to step into a situation and bring a world of hurt down on your head without even knowing what you did or how you offended the one percenter. What follows is a helpful list of things you should never do if you are a civilian or involved in a riding club (such as Harley Owners Group members) when in close proximity of one percenters:
• As mentioned earlier, never touch a one percenter. Never touch a one percenter’s cut or patch. Even brushing by in a crowded room could get you beat up.
• Never touch a one percenter’s motorcycle unless you enjoy getting yourself a proper beating. Make sure your girlfriend never touches or sits on anyone’s bike but your own.
• Don’t drop names about who you know or think you know in a one percenter motorcycle club. You never know who might be listening and might take offense. Never spread gossip about a club.
• Don’t call a one percenter brother or bro unless you deserve that privilege. Unless he really is your genetic brother or you are a fully patched member of the same club, this will get you socked up real quick.
• Don’t think wearing a support shirt buys you anything. You are not a member; you are a civilian. Never wear a support shirt anywhere that a warring club can see it, or you are dead meat.
• Never say anything bad or disrespectful to a club member about one of his club brothers. Even if he agrees with you, you will still probably get thumped.
• Keep your thoughts to yourself. Until you show yourself as being about something and not one of the walking dead, one percenters don’t give a shit what you think.
• Never disrespect a one percenter’s ol’ lady (girlfriend or wife). Period.
• When riding your motorcycle, never pull into a pack of one percenters traveling together like you are one of them. Stay out of the pack.
• Never interrupt two or more patch holders when they are having a conversation. This is disrespectful.
• Never take a photo of a one percenter. Even professional photographers for motorcycle magazines ask permission to take pictures of patch holders before snapping a flick.
• When one percenters are parked together, do not think that you can join their group and park next to them. Remember, you are a civilian to the club, even if you ride with the infamous Wild Hogs.
• But remember, the most important rule when dealing with one percenters is that you generally get what you give: Give respect and you will get respect back. However, if you disrespect a member or his club, there will be hell to pay.
Nichols takes readers inside the world of outlaw motorcycle clubs and pulls back the secretive curtain on the biker lifestyle.
Dave Nichols has been involved in many forms of media both in front and behind the camera since 1978. He has written and produced over 1,200 TV commercials with Shadoe Stevens, Inc., a series of television comedy specials for HBO/Cinemax, and American Top 40 for ABC Watermark. He has produced live events for Jani International and live sports programs for television, created early-learning software for Microsoft, and developed ad campaigns for radio, TV, and feature film trailers for New World Pictures. Dave has been the editor-in-chief of Easyriders and V-Twin motorcycle magazines since 1998 and is currently overseeing ten automotive and motorcycle magazine titles for Paisano Publications, including the new Road Iron custom touring bike title. Nichols was the on-camera host of V-Twin TV, a 26-episode motorcycle-related television series seen on the SPEED channel. He is also the bestselling author of Top Chops, Indian Larry: Chopper Shaman, One Percenter, and One Percenter Code, all published by Motorbooks. He lives in Ashland, Oregon, and Los Angeles and is currently creating TV series and feature film projects with HBO producer Michael Hill.
Kim Peterson has been a window to the biker world for 33 years as a photographer, writer, and editor for Easyriders and In the Wind. Several cross-country treks in the early 1970s whet his appetite for adventure, biker-style. From his West Coast base camp, he continues to travel widely for exceptional images.