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What is a 3% Motorcycle Club?

When it comes to the world of motorcycles and motorcycle clubs, it is an entirely different world indeed. In fact, this world is so different that most people have absolutely no idea what any of this even means. Take the 3% motorcycle club, for example. What exactly is a 3% motorcycle club and what do you have to do to be a member of it? If you aren't a motorcycle rider, you have probably never even heard of it. The thing is, it's almost impossible to tell exactly what this means because there is no blanket answer. Depending on where you get your answers from or who you ask, the answer seems to vary from place to place and person to person. Here are a few different examples.

It’s an Outlaw Motorcycle Club

According to some, there are 3% motorcycle clubs and 3% patches, and they're not always the same thing. Some people use the terms interchangeably and in some cases, they simply confuse one with the other. This leads to the assumption that a 3% motorcycle club is an outlaw biker club because of the tradition that many of these types of clubs often have when it comes to presenting patches in pieces.

Many outlaw motorcycle clubs will give people one-third of their patch after they complete certain trials, giving them the second part of the patch after additional trials. It's only after their entire initiation process has been completed that they are given the third part of the patch. The fact that they're getting these patches in thirds often confuses a lot of people, causing them to believe that this and a 3% motorcycle club are identical in nature.

Depending on who you ask, that is sometimes the case, but not always. In short, a 3% motorcycle club doesn't necessarily mean that you're talking about an outlaw biker club. In fact, it might be just the opposite, as discussed in the following paragraph.

It’s One of the Most Legitimate Biker Clubs in Existence

Other people claim that a 3% motorcycle club is one of the most well-respected and legitimate motorcycle clubs to have ever existed. In fact, the majority of claims that fall into this camp say that most of the people who belong to this particular group are based in the UK, although there are certainly some riders in the United States who are also part of the group.

Obviously, this is enough to confuse almost anybody because it couldn't be any further from the 3% motorcycle club that was explained in the previous paragraph. Which one is correct? Again, it seems to come down to who you ask. Even within the realm of motorcycle riders, there is a great deal of disparity about this particular topic. What there doesn't seem to be a lot of is agreement about the topic. As you can see, there is also a third theory, discussed below.

It Doesn’t Exist

Some motorcycle riders become absolutely livid when you ask about the 3% motorcycle club. They will tell you that no such thing even exists and they will probably admonish you for asking such a question in the first place. This is largely because traditionally, ‘three percenters’ have been described as those individuals who support militias and have a desire to overthrow their own government. Clearly, a lot of motorcycle riders don't want to be included in such a group, nor do they want the people that they typically ride with associated with something of this nature.

Many of them will flatly state that there are no 3% motorcycle clubs in existence because they're trying to distance themselves from that whole idea of the outlaw biker. It's important to remember that there are people who automatically associate motorcycle riders with outlaws, gangs and people who do all kinds of sorts of things. Many very legitimate and respectable motorcycle riders are trying to distance themselves from this stereotype. As such, they want nothing to do with the idea of anything that could potentially put a new stain on the reputation they have worked so hard to build.

A World All Their Own

The thing about motorcycle clubs in general is that some of them are indeed very respectable. Others, not so much. In addition, motorcycle riders sort of have their own code. They like to share their experiences with other motorcycle riders, but they're not entirely keen on the prospect of sharing everything about their world with people who don't ride and know absolutely nothing about it. In fact, they sometimes have a tendency to be quite secretive about things, largely because they want to keep some part of their world to themselves as opposed to sharing it with a bunch of novices who will probably never get on a bike themselves.

Is there Really an Answer?

Unfortunately, this doesn't entirely answer the question about the 3% motorcycle club. By all accounts, it seems that it can mean many things to many different people. One thing is certain. Those who are in the know, such as motorcycle riders, don't seem to be willing to talk about the subject. There are differing answers between the few individuals who are willing to speak out on it and others who aren't willing to talk about it at all.

What does that mean? It largely means that people who aren't personally in their community will have a very difficult time finding out more about this particular topic. Perhaps things are better that way. When it's all said and done, motorcycle riders aren't really all that different from pilots, doctors for sports enthusiasts.

They all have this common thread of having something that is very important to them that they want to share with other people who share those same interests, yet they may not be as excited to share it with the rest of the world. Everyone has their group that they want to belong to. For motorcycle riders, it's a very select group that doesn't tend to share a lot of information with anyone else.

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Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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