One-percenters are best known for flaunting their bikes and their fearless disregard for the rules. But do you really know what they don’t want you to know about them? We lift the lid on their closely guarded inner secrets that they would never reveal to anyone.
Many people idolize and revere these wild-spirited riders. But to the law enforcers, outlaw motorcycle clubs are just another source of headache and pain. While being part of the brotherhood is the ultimate thrill, many would rather watch them from afar and stay away as much as possible. The law department likes to rank the various clubs according to threat levels as most MCs are a menace to the society.
And while many outlaw motorcycle clubs would proudly want you to know about them, there are stuff that they would pay anything to keep them secret. These lesser-known facts are at the core of their self-aggrandizing bad-boy image. Revealing them to the public would shatter the very foundation of their being. But for the first time, we lift the lid on these closely guarded secrets MCs would like to keep quiet about.
You would think that outlaw MCs are a bunch of do-hickey groups without knowledge about the existing laws. But this assumption is quickly thrown out of the water when you discover their sophisticated organization that protects them legally. For instance, the famous outlaw club, Hells Angels, once sued Disney for copyright infringement over the use of their name in the movie Wild Hogs.
They won and then went on to sue Saks, Amazon and even Marvel… so next time you want to take advantage of them, be prepared to face off in the courts. And they will probably win and you will lose.
Rather sad is that, outlaw motorcycle clubs are often caught on the wrong side of the law. They dispel the myth of being free riding brothers taking on the road in a carefree manner. Many members of these MCs are accomplices in illegal substance distribution not just as a pastime activity but for prime profits and serious money-making. Another big business where you are likely to find them is arms and ammunition of which most operate without a government license.
Outlaw motorcycle clubs are very territorial, and often fierce battles emerge between opposing groups. No two outlaws can occupy the same city territory and often they will fight over key cities and states for ultimate control. You would want to stay away from these blood-gushing fights that often end with multiple casualties. It’s the reason why you see their bottom rocker patch which says the territory or state they belong to.
The one-percenters are notorious for viewing their female counterparts as mere property belonging to an existing member. Women in the club barely have any rights and are quite often second fiddle to the male members. In fact, a married woman belonging to an MC has little better standing than a girlfriend. All are viewed the same. However, many outlaw motorcycle clubs are actively engaged in advocating for womens’ rights even donating money to the causes. Despite this positive gesture, women are still property.
You will notice various numbered patches on vests and jackets and wonder what they mean to MCs. Well, it turns out the numbered patches are codes with exclusive meaning. For example, number 18 on a patch is a specially designated code for the most famous outlaw motorcycle club; Hells Angels. It cannot be used by any other motorcycle club. Meanwhile, number 13 represents a more sinister occupation for the biker wearing it. It could mean that the biker is fond of illegal substances and either uses or distributes them.
So far, it should be no secret that outlaw MCs and the law enforcement do not look eye-to-eye. Reason being that many outlaw motorcycle club members engage in illegal activities that put them on the law enforcement’s radar. This is obviously not the case if you decide to fall for the popular image and romanticism of MCs painted by Hollywood films. The bottom line is, one-percenters are fond of breaking the rules and finding themselves in trouble with the law departments. As a result, they are considered a threat to society and are classified according to their threat levels.
Different patches and colors carry various meanings for things that members of a MC stand for. A biker jacket usually has different patches carrying different meanings or beliefs that the bikers hold dear. The top patch on the jacket’s back is the motorcycle club’s name, in the middle is the logo and the bottom rocker is the territory which belongs to the outlaws club.
Outlaw MCs like to keep it all-American with their style, more so when it comes to their ride. The Harley-Davidson motorcycle is their go-to ride without exception. For them, foreign-made motorcycles which they often refer to as “Jap Scraps” barely make it to their standards or level of pride. They sure are patriotic in keeping it all-American despite not seeing eye-to-eye with law enforcement. In some cases, some outlaw clubs require that the motorcycles have a particular engine displacement for you to join.
The 1%er badge has become an accepted emblem of honor and pride in the outlaws community. However, the name has controversial origins dating back to 1947. During a motorcycle rally called by the American Motorcycle Association, AMA, about 4,000 attendees rioted the event. This led to the releasing of a statement by AMA denouncing the 4,000 and saying that 99% of motorcycle clubs are law-abiding while 1% are outlaws. Since then, the outlaw clubs took up the 1%er badge with pride which they continue to identify with even today.
If you plan on belonging to one of these exclusive clubs, it better be a famous one. However, not all outlaw MCs can boast of the might and power of some big clubs like Hells Angels, Pagans, Sons of Silence, Bandidos and Outlaws. The smaller clubs are often overshadowed by their bigger brothers or even obliterated by law enforcement because they simply lack the capacity to put up a fight.
While outlaw clubs refer to themselves as free riders, there is a strict hierarchy and structure that is to be observed by each outlaw motorcycle club. In short, an outlaw club is run the same way as an organization with distinct structures within it. A senior member of the club has the final say on matters, and junior members cannot question the decisions. They adhere to militaristic authority only this time they are not serving their country nor are they known for being law abiding citizens.
When most members join a club they get a nickname that has to be creative and witty. Quite often, they will go for a macho name, or a badass nickname. It’s common to find members using nicknames such as Trigger, Gunner or anything that exudes danger and masculinity. Any name is applicable including clean names that do not necessarily reflect how macho a person is. For example, preacher or pastor can apply to a person who has a clean image in the group. The point is that, the name has to reflect the person’s image.
Without doubt, one percenters are the bad boys of the road. Hollywood could not miss the prime opportunity of making movies about their enigma as evidenced in numerous films such as The Wild One (1953) and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998). The first film featuring Marlon Brando and his biker gang is regarded as a timeless classic that revolves around the biker community. Johnny Depp features in the popular 1998 film which covers the underground world of motorcycle racing, revealing the extent of drugs and crime.
The whole idea of motorcycling clubs was birthed after WWII and when more veterans returned from the Vietnam War. In a way, motorcycle clubs became a way of rediscovering the lost brotherhood and a response to being sidelined by the government.
Federal prosecutors and MC members often end up on opposite sides of the law as evidenced by numerous high profile cases over the years. For example, in 2015, the Mongols motorcycle club badge was seized by a federal judge subject to an investigation. Later on, the case was dismissed and the Mongols won back their patch.