Harley Davidson and biker groups are symbols of the American way of life, which is to value freedom above all else. But when these groups of free-spirited bikers do bad things, they become a problem for the police.
Some of these outlaw bikers are just like any other mafia gang. They do things like sell guns, sell drugs, kill people on contract, extort people, launder money, get into fights, etc.
Since these bikers care a lot about the name of their club, fights often break out between different clubs. An outlaw biker’s life is full of the instincts of an animal that wants to protect its territory.
The American Motorcycle Association says that 99 percent of motorcyclists follow the law. This is why they are often called “one-percenters.”
Like movies about the Mafia, movies about outlaw bikers have a lot of fans. People who don’t live like them find their way of life funny and are curious about what goes on in their world. Let’s take a look at some of the most feared gangs of outlaw bikers.
Donald Eugene Chambers was a marine who served in Vietnam. When he got back, he started riding motorcycles. He didn’t like the way most riding clubs were.
In San Leon, Texas, in 1966, he started the Bandidos motorcycle club. The mexican bandits were the source of both the name and the culture. Bandidos did everything with the idea that they could make their own rules. Bandidos M.C. has more than 2500 members who are still in the club.
The first people to join Bandidos were picked up in Texas biker bars. By the 1970s, there were more than 100 bikers in the club, and many of them had been in the Vietnam War.
This group is very involved in getting drugs from Mexico into the US. Their members have been charged with murder and accused of a lot of other crimes. FBI says that they are one of the four biggest illegal motorcycle clubs.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Hells Angels, even if you’ve never heard of any other motorcycle gang. Without a doubt, they are the most well-known and largest biker club.
Hells Angels was founded in 1948, and their name has become so well-known that they are now incorporated in both the US and Canada. Through the company, they sell goods and sue movie studios for stealing their ideas and using their trademarks without permission. One of the movies that had to go to court with the Hells Angels was Wild Hogs.
Aside from fighting battles in court, the club’s more than 3,000 members often fight their own battles outside of court. The people in the club are involved in selling drugs, committing violent crimes, and running an organised crime ring.
Hells Angels and Mongols M.C. have been at odds for a long time because of southern California turf. The last time they got into a fight was at an Ohio gas station. Hells Angels and Outlaws M.C. don’t get along well near the Canadian border.
Outlaws / AOA
The American Outlaws Association, which is what the Outlaws Motorcycle Club is officially called, is also known as A.O.A. This club was started in 1935 at Matilda’s bar in McCook, Illinois, on the famous Route 66. They are one of America’s “big four” illegal motorcycle clubs.
Over 1,700 men are members of the Outlaws MC, and they all ride motorcycles made in the United States. They have a lot of power on the Canadian side of the border, which helps them bring drugs into and out of the United States. Hells Angels MC and the Outlaws have a big fight going on. In fact, they often use ADIOS, which means “goodbye” in Spanish, as an acronym for “Angels Die In Outlaw States.”
Outlaws has chapters all over the world, including 43 in the United States, 20 in Canada, 30 in England and Wales, 33 in New Zealand, 15 in Belgium, 15 in Brazil, 7 in Chile, 1 each in Ecuador and the Czech Republic, and many more.
In 1959, the Pagan Motorcycle Club was started in Maryland. But it wasn’t an outlaw motorcycle club until John “Satan” Marron took over the club in the early 1970s.
After the 1970s, they went up against the Hell’s Angels and started operations to get guns to them. Even though they only have about 900 members, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms calls them one of the “Big 4.”
With help from the Italian Mafia and the Aryan Brotherhood, Pagan became well-known over time. Some of the things they did were smuggling drugs, selling weapons, bombing, and so on. In 2018, a lot of illegal weapons, including a rocket launcher, were found in their Rhode Island clubhouse.
Even now, Pagans are still hostile to Hells Angels and look for any chance to attack them. Pagans have about 100 groups, most of which are on the east coast of the United States and in Puerto Rico.
Cossacks M.C. was started in 1969 in Tyler, Texas. This group doesn’t want to call itself an outlaw motorcycle club, but their actions say otherwise.
The Cossacks club recently got a lot of attention because of a shootout with Banditos M.C. in 2015 that killed 9 people.
Members of the Cossacks wear biker jackets with their club name on the top rocker and the name of their local chapter on the bottom rocker. In the middle of the jacket is a logo. But this group doesn’t wear the one percenter diamond patch that other outlaw clubs are proud to wear.
As a sign of their love for the United States, Cossacks club members only ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Bacchus MC Ontario
The home of the Bacchus Motorcycle Club is in Canada. It began in Albert country, New Burnswick, in August 1972.
The Roman god Dionysus, who was like the Greek god Bacchus, was the inspiration for the name of the club Bacchus. People believe he is a god of wine, women, and music. People thought that Dionysus looked out for people who didn’t fit in with the rest of society.
Bacchus has mostly stayed active in Ontario, but in 2014, they joined forces with Original Red Devils MC. This made the club bigger, so the Bacchus riders changed “Ontario” to “Canada” on the bottom rocker of their jackets. This club has about 100 active members spread across 13 chapters in 5 Canadian provinces.
This would also keep from getting into a fight with the Hells Angels, who say they have the right to use the bottom rocker on their jackets to show support for the local chapter or province.
Bacchus get along well with other Canadian motorcycle groups like Highlanders MC, Para-Dice Riders, Vagabonds, etc., which is not the case with American outlaw clubs.
Drug running is a big part of what the Bacchus club does. Drugs like crack, hashish, MDMA, and ecstasy. They have to use violence to solve problems that come up because they sell drugs.
Pissed off bastards of Bloomington
One of the oldest motorcycle clubs is the Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington. In 1947, they took part in the Hollister Riot, which was a big event in the history of motorcycle clubs. In Hollister, California, the Gypsy Tour Motorcycle Rally was put on by the American Motorcycle Association.
Over 4,000 bikers from several clubs, like the Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington, showed up at this event and made a lot of noise. There was a lot of alcohol, street racing, fighting, vandalism, and other bad things.
When the AMA said that 99 percent of bikers obeyed the law, this gave rise to the term “1%er.” Hollister Riot is the story that “The Wild One,” a movie from 1953, is based on.
Otto Friedli was one of the first people to join Hells Angels. He went to the Hollister Riot with the Pissed off bastards of Bloomington.
POBOB MC still exists today, but it has few members and doesn’t get much attention. The groups Pissed off Bastards of Bloomington and Pissed of Bastards of Berdoo have joined together. So POBOB MC could mean either one of them.
Sons of Silence
Bruce Richardson began the Sons of Silence MC in 1966. He was in the US Navy from 1958 to 1960, and when he got out, he moved to Longmont, California. Ten years later, Leonard Lloyd “JR” Reed, Jr., who had also served in the Navy, became president of the club and stayed in that position for 22 years.
Sons of Silence is based in Colorado Springs, California, and has chapters in Arkansas, Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Wyoming, and Utah.
They get help and protection from the Hells Angels, but they often fight with the Mongols MC.
In 1998, the club grew by opening a branch in Munich, Germany. Since then, they have added a lot of new chapters in Germany.
In 1965, people in Bernardino, California, got together to make the Vagos Motorcycle Club. This club is also called a “Green Nation” because most of the people who belong to it wear green clothes.
Psychos MC was the first group that the club’s founders, who were all Mexican, joined. But after some fights, a small group of members left to start their own group, Vagos MC. Vagos is the Spanish word for a nomad or gypsy.
Their first group was in San Bernardino, and it was called the “Berdoo Chapter.” Another group that got its start in San Bernardino is the Hells Angels.
Today, there are about 4,000 people in Vagos. They are spread out over 200 chapters. They have offices in Mexico, Sweden, and Australia. But most of the members are white or Latino.
David Satillan started the Mongols Motorcycle Club in Montebello, California, in 1969. Young Vietnam War veterans who wanted to ride started it as a regular motorcycle club. But in the 15 years after it started, the club got a bad name.
There are about 2,000 people in this club right now. The majority of Mongols in southern California are Hispanic men from the Los Angeles area. They have a lot of power there. But they have chapters in 14 states and are present in 10 countries outside the United States. “Respect few, fear none” is the group’s motto.
The Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Bureau says that the Mongols are “America’s most violent and dangerous outlaw motorcycle gang.” At one time, as many as 270 warrants were out for Mongols at the same time. Major fights have broken out between the Mongols and the Hells Angels MC and the Mexican Mafia.
Some outlaw motorcycle clubs used to be normal, law-abiding motorcycle clubs, but over time they turned bad. But Warlocks has always been one of the most dangerous biker clubs. In fact, many outlaw bikers won’t hang out with them because of how they are known.
The Warlock motorcycle club began in Florida in 1967. It was started by people who were in the US Navy and worked on the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La. Warlocks are most active in Florida, where they have 11 chapters, and have been for a long time. Aside from this, they have five chapters in Virginia, seven in South Carolina, four in West Virginia, two each in Georgia and Ohio, and one each in Minnesota, Tennessee, and New York.
Warlocks Motorcycle Club also has chapters in England, Canada, and Germany. There are three chapters in England, two in Canada, and two in Germany. Some warlocks are nomads, which means they don’t belong to a certain chapter. There are more than 500 people in the Warlocks Motorcycle Club as a whole.
Some of the people in this group run guns and drugs. Four members of the band Warlock were caught with guns and drugs in Canada in 2014.
Satan’s Sidekick is a special motorcycle club that only lets black people join. In the 1970s, this all-black motorcycle club started in Detroit, Michigan.
Satan’s Sidekick has three chapters in the United States: in Cleveland, Detroit, and Louisville, Kentucky.
Recently, Satan’s Sidekick was in the news because police raided their clubhouse in Detroit and one person was killed in a shootout at their clubhouse in Cleveland.
In 1954, the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club started in Detroit, Michigan. This is Detroit’s biggest motorcycle club, with more than 300 members. Aside from this, they also have chapters in Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, and Alabama.
“Highwaymen Forever” and “Forever Highwaymen” are sayings that tell us more about this club. “Yes, we ride the highways in the shadow of death, but we don’t fear bad things because we’re the worst motherf**kers on the road.” The first one shows how close they are, and the second one shows how they admire bad people.
Several police and FBI investigations were done on this club, especially in 1973, 1987, and 2007. In the 1970s, members of the club were found guilty of bombing rival gangs’ homes and clubhouses and breaking into them.
The band’s logo is a skull with wings and a biker cap on top. This logo is just silver and black, with no other colours. This symbol sure gives off a tough look.
In 1974, Unknown Bikers MC got its start in Brooklyn, New York. The Williamsburg chapter is their mother chapter. Before mother chaper was made, drug dealing was a big problem in Williamsburg, so the Unknown Bikers MC earned the respect of the people there.
Until the late 1990s, most of the club’s members were Italian or Spanish at first. But beginning in 1999, people from Poland also started joining the club.
Since then, Polish members have had a big impact on how the club is run. Daniel Sadowski, who is Polish, is the president of the Greenpoint, Brooklyn chapter, which began in 2010. A lot of Polish text is also on the Unknown Bikers MC website. Members of the club can also be seen with patches of the Poland flag on their vests.
The Unknown Bikers Club went to Poland in 2012. In addition to this, the club also has members in Iceland and Puerto Rico.
Other Biker clubs (to be discussed later)
Black Pistons, Avengers, Sin City Deciples, Invaders Motorcycle Club, The Breed, Outcast Motorcycle Club, Brother Speed, Phantom Outlaw, Devil’s Diciples, Diablos, Thundergaurds, Gypsy Joker, Rock Machine, El Forestaro, Iron Horsemen, Peckerwoods, Iron Order, Night Wolves, and Rebels.
Biker Gang Movies / TV Series:
Movies: “The Wild Angels” (1966), “Run, Angel, Run” (1969), “Angel Unchained” (1970), “Hell’s Belles” (1969), “Easy Rider” (1969), “Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man” (1991), “Hells Angel on Wheels” (1969), “The Wild One” (1953), “Eye of the Tiger” (1986), “Hell Ride” (2008), “Stone Cold (1993).
Sons of Anarchy (a TV show from 2008), Mayans M.C. (2018)