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If you are starting a Biker Club, I'm pretty sure you have a lot of questions. Sometimes you are likely to be getting answers from people that claim to know what they are talking about and they can end up getting you in trouble.
When you are starting a club, everyone wants the largest rockers out there. They fail to think, "Hey will 3" high letters and 10 letters fit on a 12" wide patch?" It's not very likely. A rocker with 3" letters would have to be 3" high and I'm guessing about 20" wide. It would take one big fella to wear a 30" rocker. Most rockers have letters in the 2" to 2 3/4" high. If you have a 2 word or longer club name, you may need to use smaller letters to keep the length down. You can make more of a curve, but that does not look good with large letters. You also need to consider the length of what's on the bottom rocker. It looks best to make the bottom rocker the same size as the top, at least the same letter size. I have done lots of sets with the bottom rocker shorter than the top, but used the same size letters and that looks good.
The other issue is the center patch when customers call and want a 16" circle patch and 3" high rockers, top and bottom. Add up the inches and allow some spacing between the rockers and the center patch and you have over 27" from top to bottom. I don't think there is enough room on most vests for that size. Most center patches are in the 10" to 12" size range.
The majority of club colors that I make have rockers that are 2 1/2" high by 12" to 13" wide. Then there is usually a 10" to 11" center patch. If you want one of the wavy type end rockers, they need to be smaller in the height, due to the lost space to put the letters.
Another option we do, is to make a one piece patch that has the name incorporated into the design. We can also make a one piece patch that looks like a center patch with a bottom and top rocker. We do this by sewing one piece of fabric as the center patch and then embroider a top rocker right at and just above the top border of the center patch. It will curve around the center patch just like you started with a round center patch and butted the curved top rocker right up against the center patch. We do the same with the bottom rocker. The sides are cut out so it looks like a three piece. One of the big clubs on the East Coast started allowing small clubs to do this several years ago and the concept has been very popular. It also keeps the cost down. If you do 25 pieces it runs about 35.00 a patch, set up included. Lesser quantities run 140.00 for tape and 50.00 each. I can do patches in the 13" to 14" range this way.
Many clubs have used stock center patches, like eagles etc for their center and if you can find one you like that works real well. The drawback is that you will see others with your back patch.
When trying to decide on a club name, customers tell me they don't know where to advertise the name to see if anyone else has it. Well, that was the way it was done many years ago, when Easyrider and other Biker Magazines had cheap classified ads. I have not seen one of those ads in 15 or more years. Today, I would do an internet search as there are sites that have hundreds of club names and sometimes contact info. In this day and age there are many clubs with the same or similar names. Unless they are a large club, in your area or a 1% club, I would not worry about it. Just do the best you can and try to find a name that's all yours.
You then need to deal with the issue, are we going to be an MC, 1% etc. I would forget about the 1% right up front, as its highly unlikely you will get the approval to be a 1% club. It's hard enough to get approval to wear a MC patch. I would suggest you not even waste your time trying. Sometimes you will be allowed to wear a MC patch after a few years as a support club to one of the big MC clubs.
On the bottom rockers, you should try to stay away from territory names as its pretty difficult to get approval for that. Some clubs will say there are no 1% ers around here to give us trouble, but its not the ones around home that are likely to give you problems. It's the ones that are out of town and you just happen to run into them.
You also need to decide will the clubs be all male or will both sexes allowed membership. If both sexes are members, you need to take that into consideration when making your patches. You want ONE size patch to fit everyone. I hear all the time that we want a huge patch cause we have all xxl and xxxl size guys and then they want a 10" patch for the females. Well, I think the smaller people and not just the females will feel like lesser members because their patch is smaller and it ends up causing issues. You need to consider this upfront. Also, if you want two sizes, realize the cost will be higher having to make different size patches. The same goes for the top rockers. A 12 1/2" top rocker is about the biggest you can put on a medium vest. You have more room on a jacket than on a vest due to the sleeve cut outs.
When you call me with everything all set, I am going to address ALL these issues with you if I see anything that could cause you problems, including the 1% and MC patches. Don't take it personal, but I have found over the years that many people starting clubs have no idea what they are doing or getting themselves into.