Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs

Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs

Jacob Miller - October 24, 2017

The term ‘1% Motorcycle Club’ is commonly used to describe outlaw motorcycle clubs such as the Hells Angels or the Banditos.

The expression ‘one percenter’ was coined when the American Motorcycle Association created it as a public relations campaign after a violent riot in Hollister, California in 1947 to show that the majority of motorcycle riders were law-abiding citizens. After the statement was made, the violent motorcycle gangs took the fact that they were ‘1%’ as a badge of honor.

After the end of World War II, a large number of ex-servicemen returned home and found that civilian life didn’t offer the same thrills as the terrors of war. There were also a large number of military-issued Harley Davidson motorcycles that were no longer needed in peacetime.

Disenchanted thrill-seekers who could not adjust back to normal life found a way to satiate their longing for fraternity and to ease their boredom with motorcycle gangs.

Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
A Hells Angels biker pops a wheelie while cruising through downtown Bakersfield, California. 1965. The LIFE Picture Collection
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
A member of the Hells Angels shows off his tattoo while hanging out with other members. Circa 1960s. all that is interesting
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
An injured member of the Hells Angels is carried out by police after getting into a brawl with security at the POP Festival in Weeley, Essex, England. August 28, 1971. Getty Images
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Hells Angels members fight with pool cues during the Altamont Free Concert, for which the club was hired as security, in California on December 6, 1969. One concertgoer was beaten and stabbed to death by a Hells Angels member during the evening. all that is interesting
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Hells Angels’ old ladies (girlfriends) sit during a rest stop on the group’s ride from San Bernardino to Bakersfield, California. 1965. all that is interesting
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Members of the East Bay Dragons, one of the first all-black motorcycle clubs, pose outside a barbecue joint near Oakland, California. Circa 1970s. Flickr
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Members of the Hells Angels ride from San Bernardino to Bakersfield, California. 1965. all that is interesting
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Members of the NYC Hells Angels chapter gather near their Lower East Side clubhouse at the funeral of one of their members, Jeffrey “Groover” Coffrey, killed during a fight with another gang in Cleveland. March 11, 1971. Eight would-be mourners were forced to miss the ceremony for they were seized by police March 10 on charges arising from an alleged rape. All that is interesting
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
An Outlaw biker holding a gun during a bar brawl. The Outlaws, a hardcore motorcycle club, have a notorious reputation for drugs and violence. During the 1990s, power-hungry national president, Taco Bowman, takes the Outlaws to new depths of depravity and violence in his efforts to rid Outlaws territory of rival motorcycle clubs. National Geographic
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
A bearded Hells Angel waves from his bike as he and other members ride toward Bakersfield, California. 1965. The LIFE Picture Collection
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
A Hells Angels member grabs a beer during a break at a California rest stop. 1965. Getty Images
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
A Hells Angels member works on his bike on the streets of New York. Circa 1970s. New York Public Library
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
A Hells Angels member’s old lady (girlfriend) flips the bird while riding on the back of her man’s bike en route to Bakersfield, California. 1965. Getty Images
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
A member of the Devil’s Breed club poses with a nude woman on his bike. 1980. Flickr
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
A police officer questions a group of the Satan’s Slaves members during a ride through California. Date unspecified. Getty Images
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
An FBI agent leads a Hells Angels member — one of 17 arrested as part of a narcotics and weapons investigation — into a federal building for arraignment in Albany, New York on May 2, 1985. all that is interesting
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
An LA County sheriff questions a member of the Iron Horsemen alongside a California highway. 1965. Getty Images
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
An LA County Sheriff searches a Hells Angels’ member for illegal items during a ride from San Bernardino to Bakersfield, California. 1965. all that is interesting
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
An old lady of the Hells Angels wears a gang vest while relaxing on a picnic table at a California rest stop. 1965. Getty Images
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
California Hells Angels and old ladies hanging out outside their clubhouse sometime in the mid-1960s. Getty Images
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Donald Deke Tanner, of the Outlaws club, stands with bar owner Kitty Randall after several of his brothers were arrested for a violent crime in Florida. 1967. Getty Images

Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
FBI agents keep lookout outside of the Hells Angels clubhouse on East 3rd Street in Manhattan following a raid. May 2, 1985. New York Daily News Archive
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Girlfriends of the Hells Angels — one with a broken nose — hang out in the Blue Blaze Bar in Fontana, California while members have a meeting in another room. 1965. The Life Picture Collection
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Members of the Galloping Goose gang talk after a traffic stop with police during a ride in California. Circa 1960s. all that is interesting
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Members of the Gypsy Jokers pay their respects to member Stanley Bimbo Simmons, who died in a traffic accident in Sydney, Australia. April 17, 1975. Fairfax Media
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Members of the Gypsy Jokers raise their fists as the casket of one of their members is carried out of a church in Sydney, Australia. March 11, 1974. Fairfax Media
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Members of the Outlaws are led away in shackles in West Palm Beach, Florida, after being accused of nailing a woman to a tree. 1967. all that is interesting
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Mourners pay their respects to Jeffrey Groover Coffrey as his coffin is loaded onto a hearse in New York City on March 11, 1971. all that is interesting
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Stanley Bimbo Simmons is laid to rest. April 17, 1975. Fairfax Media
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Oakland Hells Angels founder Sonny Barger (left) hangs out with four other members on the set of the film Hells Angels ’69, in which some members played themselves. 1969. American International Pictures
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Oakland Hells Angels founder Sonny Barger lays back as a nurse stitches him up after a crash in California. 1965. Getty Images
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Two members of the Hells Angels cruise down a California highway. 1965. all that is interesting
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Though the Mongols are a smaller gang than many of their peers with similar notoriety, they make up for their relatively small numbers with tenacity. Since their 800-member ranks are clustered largely in and around Southern California, the MC is a powerful force there. With the help of standing allegiances with Latino street gangs, the Mongols took control of the SoCal from the Hells Angels in the 1980s and still hold the turf today. complex
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
The Warlocks have such a nasty reputation that even many of their fellow MCs won’t associate with them. The gang has a history of extreme and wanton violence: They have been known to commit crimes such as assaulting rival gang leaders and indiscriminately killing police officers. complex
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Sometimes, larger gangs form “support clubs,” which exist solely to take on the dirty work that even a one-percent gang won’t touch. The Black Pistons are the support club for the much larger Outlaws MC. Black Pistons deal drugs and rough up enemies on behalf of the Outlaws. Support clubs often cause a lot of tension when they move into new turf; when a Black Pistons chapter moves into a new city, violent clashes with existing gangs usually come with them. complex
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
The Sons of Silence, a Colorado-based gang is one of the smaller on this list, with only 275 members across 30 chapters. What the gang lacks in numbers, they make up for in fire-power. A 1999 raid found that the Sons had a significant arsenal, including machine guns, pipe bombs, and grenades. complex
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
The FBI views the Pagan’s as an incredibly dangerous organization, largely due to their connections with gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood and the Italian Mafia. Members of the Pagan’s are regularly tied to arson, bombings, and murders, and one of the gang’s favorite hobbies is stockpiling machine guns. As with many of the country’s better known MCs, the Pagan’s often come into conflict with the Hells Angels. complex
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
At more than 2,000 members, the Bandidos are one of the largest gangs in America. Though the gang was only just founded in 1996, the gang has a presence in 16 states and 14 countries. The influence of the gang has led the federal government to name them among the Big Four MCs (Pagans, Hells Angels, Outlaws, and Bandidos). The Bandidos’ home base is in Texas, where they specialize in smuggling drugs across the U.S.-Mexican border. complex
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
The Outlaws are thought to be the world’s oldest outlaw motorcycle club. The Outlaws remain a strong presence today, with over 1,700 members across 176 chapters. complex
Photographs of the Mayhem of 1% Motorcycle Gangs
Vagos MC is best known for coordinating drug smuggling operations with their Mexican chapters. Founded in the 1960s along with many of the best-known one-percent gangs, Vagos has been at war on and off with the Hell’s Angels since the beginning. complex

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