When most people hear the term “motorcycle gang,” they might picture a group of outlaws with leather jackets, tattoos, and a penchant for causing trouble. But are these groups of riders really gangs, or is there more to the story?
First, let’s define what we mean by “motorcycle gang.” In general, this term refers to a group of riders who associate with each other on a regular basis, often for the purpose of riding motorcycles together. However, not all motorcycle groups are gangs. In fact, many of these groups are simply clubs or organizations that share a common interest in motorcycles.
There are certainly some motorcycle groups that do engage in criminal activity or have a reputation for being violent. In the United States, there are several well-known motorcycle gangs, each with its own history, traditions, and code of conduct.
Here are the most notorious motorcycle gangs in the US:
The Hells Angels were founded in Fontana, California in 1948 by a group of World War II veterans who shared a love of motorcycles and a desire to live outside of mainstream society. The group quickly gained notoriety for its rebellious spirit, outlaw image, and penchant for violence.
Over the years, the Hells Angels have been linked to a wide range of criminal activities, including drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, and violent crimes like assault and murder. The gang is also known for its involvement in the production and distribution of methamphetamine and other drugs.
Despite the gang’s reputation for violence and criminal activity, the Hells Angels have also been involved in a few charitable and community service activities over the years. For example, in 2019 the Hells Angels organized a toy drive to benefit children in need during the holiday season.
The Hells Angels have a highly structured organizational hierarchy, with individual chapters operating independently but under the umbrella of the larger organization. New members must undergo a rigorous screening process and prove their loyalty to the group before they can become full members.
The Bandidos were founded in San Leon, Texas in 1966 by a group of disaffected Vietnam War veterans who were looking for a sense of brotherhood and belonging. The gang quickly grew and influence, and today the Bandidos have a presence in dozens of countries around the world. Like many other outlaw motorcycle gangs, the Bandidos have been linked to a wide range of criminal activities, including drug trafficking, money laundering, and violent crimes like assault and murder. The gang has also been involved in turf wars with other motorcycle gangs, including the Hells Angels.
One of the most notorious incidents involving the Bandidos was the 2015 shootout at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, which left nine people dead and 18 injured. The incident sparked a years-long investigation into the Bandidos and other motorcycle gangs in the area. Despite the gang’s reputation for violence and criminal activity, the Bandidos have a strong sense of loyalty and brotherhood among their members. New members must go through a rigorous initiation process, which can involve criminal activities and acts of violence.
The gang’s colors, which include a black and gold patch with the word “Bandidos” and a sombrero-wearing Mexican bandit, are fiercely protected by the organization. Members are required to wear their colors at all times, and non-members who are caught wearing the colors can face violent retaliation.
The Outlaws motorcycle gang was founded in McCook, Illinois in 1935 by a group who were looking for a sense of camaraderie and adventure. Today, the gang has chapters in several countries around the world, and is one of the oldest and most notorious motorcycle gangs in the United States. The Outlaws have a reputation for violence and criminal activity, and have been linked to a variety of crimes over the years, including drug trafficking, extortion, and money laundering. The gang is known for its use of violence to maintain its dominance and control over its territory, and has been involved in violent clashes with other motorcycle gangs.
One of the most notorious incidents involving the Outlaws was the 1979 murder of an Illinois state trooper, which was carried out by members of the gang. The incident sparked a massive manhunt for the perpetrators, and led to a crackdown on outlaw motorcycle gangs by law enforcement agencies across the country.
Despite the gang’s criminal activities, the Outlaws have a deep connection to motorcycle culture and the freedom of the open road. The gang has a highly structured organizational hierarchy, with individual chapters operating independently but under the umbrella of the larger organization.
Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club:
The Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club (NABSMC) is a predominantly African American motorcycle club founded in Chicago in 1993. The club takes its name from the famed African American soldiers who served in the US Army’s 10th Cavalry Regiment during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The NABSMC is known for its commitment to community service and philanthropy. Members of the club participate in a variety of charitable activities, including toy drives, food drives, and other initiatives to support underprivileged communities.
In addition to its philanthropic efforts, the NABSMC also has a strong sense of brotherhood and camaraderie among its members. The club operates on a non-discriminatory basis, and members of all races, genders, and backgrounds are welcome.
The NABSMC is not an outlaw motorcycle gang, and does not engage in criminal activity. However, the club has been subject to scrutiny by law enforcement agencies due to its association with other motorcycle clubs that have been linked to criminal activity.
The Pagans motorcycle gang was founded in Prince George’s County, Maryland in 1959. The gang is known for its distinctive patch, which features a cartoon character riding a motorcycle, and the colors black and white. Like many other outlaw motorcycle gangs, the Pagans have been involved in a variety of criminal activities over the years, including drug trafficking, extortion, and violent crimes. The gang has a reputation for using violence to maintain its dominance and control over its territory, and has been involved in violent clashes with other motorcycle gangs.
One of the most notorious incidents involving the Pagans was the 2002 shootout in Plainview, New York, which resulted in the death of a Hells Angels member and several injuries on both sides. The incident highlighted the ongoing conflict between the Pagans and the Hells Angels, who are both vying for control over the lucrative drug trade in the northeastern United States.
The Pagans have a highly structured organizational hierarchy, with individual chapters operating independently but under the umbrella of the larger organization. New members must undergo a rigorous initiation process, which can involve criminal activities and acts of violence.
It’s important to know that not all members of these motorcycle gangs are involved in criminal activities. But, some of these groups have been linked with various illegal activities such as drug trafficking, assault, and murder.
So, why do some motorcycle gangs turn to crime?
There could be a few reasons behind this. Firstly, these gangs often exist outside the boundaries of normal society and may feel like they don’t fit in. This can create a strong sense of loyalty among the members, and sometimes they may go to extreme measures to protect their group.
Secondly, some illegal activities can bring in a lot of money. For example, drug trafficking can be a very profitable business. Unfortunately, some motorcycle gangs have been known to participate in these activities, even if it means breaking the law. The attraction of quick and easy money can be tempting to some people.
If you’re a motorcycle rider looking to join a group or simply need to transport your bike, it’s important to choose a reputable motorcycle shipping company that can safely transport your motorcycle to its destination. With the increasing popularity of motorcycles, there are many options available for shipping your bike. However, not all motorcycle shipping companies are created equal. Do your research and choose a company that has experience and a proven track record of success in motorcycle shipping. By taking the time to find the right company, you can ensure that your motorcycle arrives at its destination safely and in the same condition it was in when it was shipped.