I ran across this piece a few years ago....it seems to fit with the current discussion.
Biker T-shirt spotter’s guide
Have you noticed the huge increase in the number of people that wear “biker” T-shirts these days? It’s gotten to the point of being damn near impossible to tell who’s really a biker, and who isn’t. Well, almost impossible. That is, if you know what to look for and interpret the T-shirts you see. Here, let me help. If you have no sense of humor, though, you best look away.
Harley-Davidson dealership T-shirts:
OK, this is a sure giveaway that the wearer is not a biker. Christ Almighty, Dudley Perkins has a T-shirt shop set up on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco! This is getting to be the norm. H-D dealership T-shirts have now sunken to the level of tourist schlock. Only 100 percent genuine posers wear H-D dealership T-shirts.
Generic “biker” design T-shirts:
You know, the kind they sell at gas stations or Kmart? Laden with lots of superficial and cliche biker slogans like “Live to ride, ride to live,” etc., etc. Excuse me while I go and throw up...
H.O.G. event T-shirts:
You have to be kidding, right? Need I waste any ink on this one?
Independent motorcycle shop T-shirts:
OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Independent shop shirts are kinda cool. Provided that you actually were a customer, and not for just a T-shirt. If it’s poser souvenirs you want, then that is what the H-D dealer is in business for.
H-D performance parts T-shirts:
Definitely cool stuff here, son. If you are a hot-rodder and built your own bike. If you ain’t, and paid somebody else to build your bike for you, then you are so uncool you deserve only to be buried to your ears in pig excrement. You
Biker bar T-shirts:
Again, these can be pretty cool. But if they are from the thinly disguised “Planet Hollywood”-type biker “theme” bars, and you actually wear one, then you are so helplessly useless that you should consider suicide. If the shirt was not purchased from a bar with a beer-soaked floor and maybe a broken window or two, with a toothless old hag schlepping the drinks, then it ain’t worth wiping up 50-weight from a garage floor with. Broken Spoke or Quail Canyon Inn, now yer talkin’, boy.
Biker event T-shirts:
Like all things in life, it highly depends on which event we’re talking about. True and traditional events like Sturgis, oh hell yes. If you rode there. If you drove a Winnebago, then forget it. You’re a useless waste of the oxygen you used up while you were there, and should be shot on sight. And if it was mail ordered, then I sure pity you, you poor pose-asstic piece of rodent dung. Love Ride, or any other “hip” pose-fest type event? Kill yourself now and save yourself the embarrassment. Now, a Redwood Run T-shirt is a definite cool piece of threads. Wear that with pride, my friend, if you actually went there and got it.
Motorcycle club T-shirts:
These are definitely cool. Tops in fashion wear. If you are a club member, that is. If you’re not, and you wear a “Support Your Local <insert club name here>” T-shirt, then you are simply using it to make the uninformed masses think you are a club member. You sorry-ass wannabe. Cyanide is the only hope for you.
Motorcycle club event T-shirts:
OK, we’ll let you slide on these, you pus-sucking pose bag. But it had better have been a three-patch club...
Plain black T-shirts:
Thank God for small miracles. Now we’re down to the real deal. Like I said, it ain’t hard to spot the real bikers, if you know what to look for. Plain black T-shirts with grease spots and stains on them. One hundred percent guaranteed real red-blooded American biker. Look and learn, all you sickening subhuman billboards for the H-D marketing department. You see, that fellow doesn’t need to advertise to the world the kind of person he is. He’s a biker, and he don’t give a **** who knows it or doesn’t. He possesses the one thing you wish you had the most: biker attitude. Yours is a store-bought fake. His is genetic.
I hope this helps answer your questions about biker T-shirts. Now, get a life, you insecure pose-baby loser... —John Willie