What the...is this still a thing? (Motorcycle gangs)

I had a real moment of :confused: today.

A group of us friends (all co-workers) quit work early and were having a lovely time at the friendly local bar (it has a fantastic outdoor patio and “beach” area.) We were all drinking, laughing, bonding, and then - I’ll call him “Jim” - stiffened up. Quickly and immediately. From laughing and having a good time to stone-faced rage. He flagged down our old friend “Dirk” who works at the bar as a barback and sometimes bouncer.

Jim: “You see that guy? You need to get him the fuck out of here now. He’s wearing gang colors.”

Dirk: “Yeah, we know all about him. He’s dating one of the waitresses. We usually throw guys wearing colors out, but the owner’s been away and the waitress won’t enforce it. Bad news, I know. So far he’s been cool…just pops in, has a few drinks and leaves. I don’t like it, but for now…”

At this point female friend “Gina” pipes in: (her father is a motorcycle enthusiast, she and he are from “the city” proper):

“Get him out of here. Those guys are bad news. Seriously.” And she does not, as a rule, overreact. Ever. She’s from a minority group and hates profiling. And she grew up in a bad part of the city.

…at which point, I’m like WTF?! All I see is friendly people, drinking, talking, having a nice time. I ask, flabbergasted, “WTF are you guys talking about? Who? Where?” They both point at the bar, where a biker-looking guy is drinking a beer and chatting with other patrons. So I make an excuse to walk over, get a look at the guy, and return to our table. Other than looking like a biker, he’s wearing a black tee with a logo (which I looked up on wikipedia once I got home, and which wikipedia claims is still a major biker gang. So I guess my friends knew something?

Are biker gangs still a thing? The grand dramatic finale to this whole thing was that we had a nice time, finished our drinks, paid and left. Said gang-member drank a few beers at the bar and was still there when we left.

I really thought biker gangs were a thing of the 70s, 80s and early 90s. Are they still a thing?

Yeah they’re still a thing.

There was a big bust just a couple days ago.



The president of the Hells Angels San Jose chapter was shot and killed and three Vagos were wounded during Reno’s annual motorcycle rally last September. Two shootings in one night forced the city of Sparks to cancel a large part of the rally.

I’m in Arizona. A lot of bars have signs that say “No colors”.

I also ride with a MC. We are a military support club who jumped throught lots of hoops to get the MC cube. Its an interesting experience when we are in places with other people with 3 part patches.

Have you ever watched a couple of alpha dogs meet each other? They carefully stalk up to each other, sniff each other with tails high and decide if they should fight or just blink and walk away and pee all over.

Maybe I shouldn’t be posting about this…

The Gypsy Jokers are still active in the US, and very active in Australia:

So are the Comancheros.

Back when I lived in Ocean View, we had a house across the street from us that a sort of random assortment of Pagan MC guys and females lived in. Other than the occasional weekend night when shooting the transformer out was a passtime, individually they could be just fine. Unless either one of the more 1% violent guys showed up, or someone in a different MC came past.

I would, if I were a business owner, prefer that people in a MC would not wear their colors into my place of business, I would probably not rent a residence or item to someone in a MC unless I knew them personally.

[mrAru’s Mom had a house across the street from one of Sonny Barger’s seconds for about 5 years, thankfully the guys in the Hells Angels kept a very low profile in the neighborhood. She says that Barger was able to behave nicely but in general he was a real asshole about things.]

I yesterday recent enough for ya?

Michigan Motorcycle Gang Busted

In Pennsylvania, the Pagans regularly make the news. They are very big in the illegal drug trade.

A couple of years ago I was in a thin blue line separating a large group of Pagans and Hells Angels. Yes they are still “a thing.” Many are organized crime pretending to be a club. Some motor cycle clubs are just that, clubs for people who ride motorcycles.

Once the higher ups got all nervous because the pagans rented part of the park for a BBQ. Turned out to be a bunch of hippies eating veggie burgers. Crisis averted.

Btw ever watch Sons of Anarchy?

That’s so weird… I go hiking and camping a lot in Daniel Boone National Forrest, and every nice weekend, there’s packs of old guys on motorcycles just tooling around, enjoying the scenery. I had figured that’s what motorcycle gangs had aged into - retired guys who enjoy their toys.

It is kind of delightful to see them, though - they’re all in their sixties or older, and the ladies in particular still sometimes try to relive the glory days when they could wear, uh, skimpier clothing. They’re all super friendly, though, and very helpful with directions.

There is a big difference between a criminal motorcycle gang and a bunch of guys who like to get together and go on rides.

And there are widely varying degrees of criminal activity–as there are with all gangs.

True. The big ones like the Hells Angels and Pagans are organized crime. Just like the Crips or MS13. They do have there own niche. Big into chrystal meth. A lot of the small local clubs want the mystique of being in a tough biker club but don’t have the criminal organization. Some of the individuals are criminals, some aren’t.

And then another death at his funeral. This one was a personal feud/bullshit, not a gang hit. I like to imagine that before the shootout they were in the Nugget sharing one of those multi-straw fruity tropical drinks.

OP: I wouldn’t want to be the guy to tell him to leave. But while the MCs may have a higher incidence of psychos, I think one guy is much less to be scared of than a group of them.

Strangely, I was reading about this earlier today. From Wiki:

*"One, two, and three piece patches

The colors worn by members of some motorcycle clubs will sometimes follow a convention of using either a one-piece patch for nonconformist social clubs, two-piece patch for clubs paying dues, a three-piece patch for outlaw clubs or side patches. The three-piece patch consists of the club logo and the top and bottom patches, usually crescent shaped, which are referred to as rockers. The number and arrangement of patches is somewhat indicative of the nature of the club. Though many motorcycle clubs wear the three-piece patch arrangement, this is not necessarily an indication that a club is an outlaw motorcycle club."*

There was a shooting at a local bar last night that injured 17 people. Police are investigating the possibility that it was motivated by a dispute between rival motorcycle gangs.

Try reading the wiki article on the Quebec Biker War:

And according to a more recent news article, there are fears that the biker war may re-erupt in Quebec: Biker War Brewing in Montreal

So yes, biker gangs are still very much with us.

Back in the 70s when I was a deputy sheriff, we used to roust the Bandidos on a fairly regular basis. They were always good for a couple of weapons/drug/warrant busts, and it put them on notice that they were being watched closely in the county.

It’s odd to come across this thread because I’m reading No Angel right now. It’s about an undercover ATF agent who infiltrated the Arizona Hell’s Angels in 2002-2003. Good read so far.

There was a fight between the Hell’s Angels and the Iron Pigs gangs in Sturgis in 2008 in which a member of the Hell’s Angels was shot, and one between the Hell’s Angels and the Mongols in 2011.

Frankly, when I worked in Wall, SD, I didn’t have any problems with the biker gangs (including the time I had to kick some Hell’s Angels out of the car wash).