motorcycle skulls

The Meaning Behind Motorcycle Skulls

October 7, 2019

What is the meaning behind a motorcycle skull? Well, skulls in the motorcycle community is a bit different than any other culture or walk of life. As mentioned above skulls represent death. However, I do not want nor intend to die.

Throughout history, skulls are depicted as a sign or symbol of death and mortality. In the present society, skulls are associated with death and evil. Amoung different cultures skulls take on new meanings. Such as the Mexican culture. Where it means death, however, it also means beauty, the balance between life and death. The promise of resurrection.

Motorcycle skulls are common in motorcycle riders. You can find skulls as patches attached to the vest, decals on the motorcycle, and accessories.

“As much as we all strive to be safe on our motorcycles, it seems ironic that skull symbolism is so dominant in motorcycling.” – ThrottleX Blog


Skulls date back way before motorcycles. Skulls can be found in paintings, referenced in ancient text, and anthropologist has found tribes using skulls in ceremonies. Most famous skull symbols and the most universal symbol is that of pirates. Which warns of danger.

Motorcycle Skulls

Motorcycle riders are not doing death ceremonies, coming and raiding towns and stealing treasure. However, the skull has a deeper meaning to the motorcycle community. Each time a rider gets on his/her motorcycle we take the risk of injury and sometimes death can be around the corner. Here are a couple of reasons riders chose to have skulls.

  1. Many people consider skulls to mortality, whereas motorcycle riders few skulls as a symbol for immortality. The skull is one part of the human that is recognized as being human.
  2. It’s a visual acknowledgment of our fate as riders. Death can happen at any time. To motorcycle riders, we live in the moment. That death follows us each time we ride. No matter how safe we try to be we live by the sword and die by the sword mentality.
  3. It’s the best way to drive away certain people. Wearing skulls or visually seeing skulls will allow certain people that can relate to us near and those that don’t stay clear.
  4. Skulls level the playing field. Each skull is different and depends on the rider’s style. However, a skull no matter how different still holds a homogenizing look. This means no matter how powerful you were in life, you are no greater in death. Therefore, you can’t recognize someone by sex, religion, or race by a skull.
  5. Last but not least, Skulls represents the commitment motorcycle riders make. That we ride until we die. We are committed not just to our bikes but to the brotherhood/sisterhood, clubs, and charities we as motorcycles hold dear to us.

Want to know more about motorcycles? Check these links out below.

New To Riding

Motorcycles For Women

Motorcycle Rides

As a motorcycle rider, what does the skull mean to you?

motorcycle skulls
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  • Nick

    To bikers skulls also represent no identity. No gender,ethnicity,social status,age,race or religion as a reminder that everybody is equal

    October 31, 2020 at 6:40 pm Reply
    • Amanda


      October 31, 2020 at 6:56 pm Reply

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