Motorcycle and Events News
May 26, 2015 11:29

8 Bits of Biker Slang Every Rider Should Know

On your next visit to your local motorcycle club, if a member introduces himself as a “one percenter who rides a chopper,” or asks if you’re a “lone wolf,” or if you’ve ever had a case of “monkey butt,” will you have any idea what he’s talking about? There are precious few guides available that explain how to speak hip, and even less that deal with biker lingo. But fear not. Here and there, you can find the odd reliable website where biker slang is defined in order to help “citizens” decipher the minute linguistic nuances of outlaw culture. As a starter course, take a look-see at the following eight bits of biker slang every rider should know.


  1. One Percenter

    The term “One percenter” goes back to the infamous “Hollister riot” of 1947, where, for two days in July, thousands of motorcycle club members turned the town of Hollister, Calif., into a war zone. In the wake of the riot, and pre-’50s films like The Wild One that portrayed motorcycle clubs as violent, out-of-control gangs, The American Motorcyclist Association publicly stated that 99% of motorcycle riders are law-abiding members of society. Some motorcycle clubs, including the newly formed Hells Angels, reactively adopted the term one percenter to refer to its members.

  2. Chopper

    A “chopper” is a customized motorcycle, with unnecessary parts of the bike removed or “chopped” off to make room for new and customized features, including extended forks, stepped saddles, tall handle bars, and creative, crazy paint jobs. The Captain America chopper featured in the classic counterculture film Easy Rider is probably one of the best-known examples of this type of creatively morphed motorcycle.

  3. Lone Wolf

    A biker who, for whatever reason, chooses not to affiliate with a club is often identified as a “lone wolf.” A lone wolf may identify himself by wearing a patch, but will not wear colors, codes, or acronyms identified with local or global clubs. That said, lone wolf motorcycle clubs do exist, offering organized rides, activities, and meets for their members. But unlike so-called one percenter clubs, members are solely responsible for their own actions.

  4. Bro/Brother

    A high degree of genuine respect and friendship is implied when one person refers to you as “bro” or “brother.” Members of outlaw or one percenter motorcycle clubs are especially sensitive to and particular about whom they consider a “brother” or close friend as opposed to an associate or “citizen.” Funerals for Hells Angels, where members bury the casket by shovel, are revealing for the way club members publicly and emotionally express the bond they had with the deceased.


  1. Cruiser

    There are bikes built for riding several miles of endless highway across the country. And there are bikes built for riding up and down the streets where you live so you can look like a badass. A “cruiser” is just that kind of bike. Pull-back handle bars, a low seat, and a whole lotta chrome identify a cruiser. Some limited edition cruisers, like the Victory Cross Roads Classic, feature classic graphics, custom stitched saddlebags, and fender bumpers, all designed to make the rider look as cool as possible.

  2. Monkey Butt

    You don’t necessarily have to be a biker to experience a case of the humorously and accurately named “monkey butt.” Office workers, equestrians, and truck drivers all deal with the soreness and, um, redness that comes from sitting on your rump for extended periods of time. This slang term is one of the more humorous ones on the list, showing that even outlaws and one percenters can be self-deprecating.

  3. Organ Donor

    We’re not sure if motorcycle culture can lay claim to originating the term “organ donor,” especially since many bikers are adamant about not wearing a helmet when riding. Organ donor, in case you haven’t figured it out, refers to a biker who doesn’t wear a helmet and doctors in emergency rooms hope has filled out an organ donor card. Riders without helmets are 40% more likely to die from a head injury than a rider wearing a helmet. But such statistics hold little sway in macho biker culture.

  4. Citizen

    The term “citizen” is so simple, yet so profound. It refers to a person with no known affiliation with a motorcycle club. And yet it has connotations that go beyond whether or not an individual rides a motorcycle or not. Some club members use the term to derogatively refer to bikers who do not identify as one percenters, and don’t live a hardcore, outlaw lifestyle.

Related posts:

  1. So You Want to Be A Badass Biker? Motorcycle Clubs and Bike Gang Information
  2. Dutch Police Arrest 56 From Biker Gang. There Are Dutch Motorcycle Gangs? You Bet, and They Use Rocket Launchers To Rumble
  3. Professor Breaking Bad Biker Pleads Not Guilty in Meth Case

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