Bikers are well known for wearing their leather garb and beards and getting into barroom brawls. That’s how we picture them in the movies after all. But in general, they are law-abiding, hard-working people. Many are even doctors, lawyers, and engineers who just like to ‘kick up’ some dust and have a little fun on the weekend.
Yet, there are a small percentage of motorcycle gangs that are notorious for the run-ins with the law and for their dangerous criminal activity. However, not all gang members commit crimes and the ones that do are often convicted. Either way, there are certainly notorious biker gangs all across the country. Here is a list of the top seven:
The Bandidos were founded in San Antonio, TX in 1966. This biker gang’s symbol is of a fat Mexican wearing a large sombrero and carrying a machete in one hand and a pistol in the other. The Bandidos have around 90 chapters across the U.S. They also have chapters in Asia, Australia, and Germany.
The gang’s motto is: “We are the people our parents warned us about.”
Perhaps so, because members of the Bandidos were among 5 gangs involved in a shootout in Waco, Texas that left 9 dead and 18 injured back in 2015.
6. The Warlocks
The Warlocks were founded in 1967 in Philadelphia, PA. This gang mostly consists of only white males and it had gained much of its traction at the end of the Vietnam War. Their colors are red and white and they use a Greek figure of a winged Harpy as their symbol. The Warlocks have chapters in the Northeastern U.S. and also have chapters in the Southeast as well as in Germany and England.
The Warlocks are notorious for some of its member involvement in the production, transportation, and distribution of methamphetamine back in 2008. It is alleged that they sold approximately $9 million of the substance before their arrest.
5. The Sons of Silence
The Sons of Silence is a biker gang that was founded in Niwot, Colorado in 1966 and was featured in a 2009 episode of Gangland on the History Channel. The club patch is the American Eagle logo used by the Budweiser beer company and bears an eagle superimposed over the letter A with their motto (Doec Mors Non Seperat,” which is Latin for “Until Death Separates us”) underneath. The group has chapters all over the U.S. and also Germany.
A 1999 raid found that the Sons of Silence had a significant arsenal of machine guns, pipe bombs, and grenades. The gang also lacks in numbers, so it’s no coincidence that it has allied with the Hell’s Angels in recent years.
The Outlaw Motorcycle Club was founded at Matilda’s Bar on old Route 66 in McCook, IL in 1935. This is one of the more notorious gangs in the country. The club adopted the skull with cross pistons as their official symbol. The group has chapters widely across the United States as well as in Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America.
The Outlaws are often at war with the Hell’s Angels over territory. Former Outlaws President, Taco Bowman, was also on the FBI’s Most Wanted list before he was convicted on three accounts of murder in 1999.
3. The Pagans
The Pagans formed in Maryland in 1959 and had widely expanded by 1965. Their symbol is of that of a Norse fire giant Sutr sitting on the sun wielding a sword with the word Pagans written in red, white and blue. Members are known to wear their patches on cut-off demin jackets along with Nazi symbol patches. The group is mostly concentrated in the east coast of the U.S.
The Pagans are also often at war with the Hell’s Angels and have a long history of dangerous crimes. In fact, in 2005, members of the Pagans allegedly shot and killed Hell’s Angel’s VP of the Philadelphia Chapter.
2. The Mongols
The Mongols (or Mongol Nation) were formed in 1969 in Montebello, CA. The group is made up of Hispanic bikers who were rejected by the Hell’s Angels because of their race. Their symbol bears the name Mongols in large black letters above a pony-tailed sporting man riding a motorcycle wearing a leather vest and sunglasses and carrying a cutlass. The Mongol chapters are mostly found in the Western U.S., but they also have chapters in Canada, Mexico, and Italy.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) claims that the Mongols are the most violent motorcycle club.
1. Hell’s Angels
Of course, Hell’s Angels is probably the most infamous biker gang in the world. The gang was formed sometime in the 1940’s or 1950’s in the U.S. but information isn’t quite clear because of the group’s code of secrecy. The symbol is the “death’s head” log which originated from the 85th Fighter Squadron and the 552nd Medium Bomber Squadron, The club’s colors are red and white. The gang has chapters all over the U.S., Russia, New Zealand, South America, Europe and Australia.
Hell’s Angels have are often known for their run-ins with law enforcement as well as with other biker gangs. The Department of Justice also claims that some members are committing murders and trafficking drugs.