If you have ever seen real bikers, you probably noticed skulls on their tattoos, vests, jewelry, and motorcycle patches. Have you ever thought why bikers love skulls while the majority of people fear or apprehend them? For a layman person, a skull is a symbol of death but then why do motorcyclists revere it? Do they want to die while riding their two-wheelers or they wish death to somebody else? It turned out that skulls have a slightly different significance for bikers. Do you want to know it? Alright, then buckle up and read on.
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On the global level, a skull has always been a symbol of death. There are even cults of death worshipping skulls. Mexicans went even further; they have the world-known Day of the Dead festival that celebrates the death and makes a skull one of its major symbols. For bikers, death is also an inseparable companion of life, and this is why.
The biker subculture was established by former American soldiers (mainly aircraft pilots). Upon returning home to the USA from WWII, they “got bored” with the monotonous city life after being accustomed to the adrenaline of combats and living with death at their side. These veterans used to decorate their aircraft with various themes but the recurring one was the “threatening motif” that could instill fear or terror in the enemies. What could be more frightening than a skull, a “winged death”?
When transferring it to motorcycling, bikers adopted the skull as a symbol of death as well as a reminder of where they came from and where they are going. Bikers understand like no other that the meaning of life is unintelligible without the acknowledgment of death.
As times goes by and the concept of the biking evolves, the skull symbolism also changes, transforms, and acquires new meanings. For people not affiliated with the biker movement, skulls are a way to show how cool and badass they are. Some guys just want to pretend to be a toughie who defies death.
Virtually anyone who gets on a motorcycle knows that riding carries an inherent risk of death. Therefore, for these fearless dudes on mean machines, death becomes a traveling companion. Some wear the symbol of death ahead of them as if trying to reach it. Some carry this symbol behind them trying to show that they are not willing to die soon. Others, carry a skull on the side acknowledging that death is the only companion escorting them in the road adventures.
Incorporating Skulls into Your Biker Look
Skulls are an integral part of the biker image but everyone is free to choose specific ways of introducing this symbol. The easiest way is to add some jewelry while the most extreme is to get tattoos. Let’s take a look at your options.
A real biker cannot be imagined without a leather jacket or vest. The entire back of these items is reserved for club colors (name, logo, and location of the club), so you have little freedom to add symbols other than club ones. Instead, you can dispose of the front as you wish. If you think that a skull patch is a good idea, then go for it! If you change your mind for any reason, you can easily rip this patch off or cover it with another one. Alternatively, you may simply don a T-shirt or a bandana with a skull print.
When it comes to biker skull jewelry, the selection is immense. A skull necklace, ring, pendant, bracelet, earrings – this is the basic skull set you can try on. Traditionally, biker jewelry is made of silver or steel, the white metals that harmonize with motorcycles and especially their chromed parts. The range of jewelry for motorcycles goes from discreet for everyday wear to in-your-face and larger-than-life for special occasions. Whichever option to pick is up to you. Also, you can go with head-to-toe skull jewelry or pick one prominent skull item while leaving some room for other popular biker symbols.
We get it, not every man enjoys jewelry. If you are not a fan of bling bling either, there is another way to make you image skullier. You wear pants and it means you probably need a belt, and a belt needs a buckle. Why not let the buckle carry skull images? Here is another idea – if you have money, you have a wallet, too. There is a wide array of skull biker wallets. These are perfect accessories to define your biker style. You may even pair them with a wallet chain if you wish and this is another skull accessory you can try out. Finally, if you’re a smoker you can get yourself a nice skull-adorned lighter.
A motorcycle is your property, your friend, and a loyal companion in your adventures. It’s up to you whether to customize or adorn it. If you want to add a touch of individuality to your steel horse, you can start with a skull sticker. You may plaster stickers to a prominent place to let everyone see your philosophy or hide them somewhere for your eyes only (if you want to keep a more intimate connection with the skull).
If you are ready, go for it. Just remember that a tattoo is forever so if you change your mind later, there will be no way back (or it will be very painful). Along with that, tats are the most convincing way to show your commitment to the biker community and its ideas.
Now you know what skulls mean to bikers. There are many ways to introduce skulls into your wardrobe, choose the ones that suit you the most.