There is something about a man and his bike, and when you see a group of bikers riding thorough town your safest bet is to stay out of their way. Sure, not every biker group is bad. You have groups that are part of the American Motorcyclist Association, the Christian Motorcyclists Association, and the Freewheelers; but the bad apples of the road tend to outshine them. So, let focus on the some of the top Big Bad Biker Gangs and I have managed to include cream of the crop staring with…
1. Hells Angels: It’s the one Biker gang that comes to mind when you think “Biker Gang.” Hells Angels were actually named after the American Squadrons in the two world wars. There are among the top four Biker Gangs for a very good reason. In spite of being founded in 1948, this group of bikers were able to assimilate into the 1960’s counterculture and adopted a Dead Head insignia based on the popularity of San Francisco Jam Band “The Grateful Dead.” Hells Angels was also responsible for the launch of “Gonzo” journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
While certain members have gotten in trouble with the law, the management of the Hells Angels assures you and me that those people do not speak for the Biker Club. If you remember the short lived “Pink Panther & Sons” cartoon show, there was a biker gang inspired by this famous gang. They called themselves the Howl Angels and were antagonists to Pink Panther’s sons Pinky & Panky and their peers dubbed the “Rainbow Panthers.
”However, when Walt Disney’s Touchstone Pictures apparently wanted to their likeness in the movie “Wild Hogs” they tried to sue Disney but voluntarily dismissed the suit when Disney assured Hells Angels would not be referenced at all. The movie was hated by the critics but enjoy by the audience…at least that is what Rotten Tomatoes says.
2. Bandidos Motorcycle Club: Founded by Don Chambers in the state of Texas during the mid 1960’s. Their motto;” We Are The People Our Parents Warned Us About.” In May 2015 the Bandidos were involved in a shootout in a parking lot outside a restaurant in Waco, Texas. The incident is still under investigation and three high ranking members of Bandidos group were taken in to FBI custody from late 2015 to early 2016.
3. Outlaws: Out of the top four biker group the Outlaws are the oldest of the cream of the crop. This group was founded in 1935 and would become the archrival of Hells Angels. Their motto is “God Forgives, Outlaws Don’t.” The Spanish word for Good Bye, “ADIOS” was made into an anacronym Angels Die In Outlaw States… thus the rivalry with them. Taco Bowman, who was the international President of the Outlaws Motorcycle club is serving two life sentences since 1999 in connection with three murders.
4. Pagan’s: The got their start in 1959 and grew when they merged with smaller groups. While they are still among the top 4 of the Outlaw Biker gangs, their membership has been in decline while their rival gang Hells Angels experienced growth. They have yet to renounce the Nazi Party and continue to wear symbols popularized by Nazi Germany and white supremacist groups.
5. Highwaymen: When Jim Webb wrote the song “Highwayman” he did not have the namesake biker group in mind. Webb’s Highway man was a thief who stole from travelers and who’s soul was reincarnate several times through the song. The largest Highwaymen biker club is in the city of its founding. That being Detroit, Michigan. The club’s insignia is a skeleton with wings and a leather jacket and motorcycle cap. At one time, they were part of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) before they became more associated with the 1 percenters aka Outlaw Clubs. They also have been banned by the Detroit Federation of Motorcycle Clubs which tries to resolve motorcycle gang turf wars.
6. Hangmen: This biker group was formed in 1960 in Richland, California. This outlaw club would expand into the Western States. The country of Germany would have a Hangman group in 1983, and have an official brotherhood with the American Hangmen by 2008.
7. Moonshiners: Before any of the other Biker clubs ever exist that were presented in this article, you had the Moonshiners which was founded in 1934. They were founded in Compton, California and long before that suburb of Los Angeles was known for its ghettos and “Gangsta Rap.” They managed to stay out of trouble or at least not get any bad publicity as the biggest Outlaw Biker groups get. To these guys, being a One Presenter is not being part of the American Motorcyclist Association.