Outlaw motorcycle club

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Hells Angels New York City
Hells Angels New York City

An outlaw motorcyclist or biker is an individual who is a member or an affiliate of an outlaw motorcycle club. The term "outlaw" came from the American Motorcyclist Association in the 1950s, when they stated that 99% of all bikers were law-abiding, thus leaving 1% outlaw. The term "outlaw biker" was coined and generally referred to a motorcycle club's non-participation in AMA-sanctioned events and runs. An outlaw biker can be defined by their relation to a motorcycle club, their involvement in criminal activity such as dealing with firearms, sale of illegal drugs, trade in stolen motorcycles and parts and a general attitude of being outside law-abiding society.

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[edit] Appearance

Wearing a leather or denim vest displaying "patches" is a common occurrence among motorcyclists. An outlaw biker differs in the type of patches worn, and the importance paid to placement and affiliation. The type of patches worn can have serious consequences in meeting other club members if worn in a way deemed inappropriate. Worn on the back of the vest, these patches are known as colours - separated into three parts. The main center patch usually depicts the logo or mascot of the club. The separate top and bottom pieces are known as rockers, consisting normally of the name of the motorcycle club affiliated with, written in a half circle shape. Prospects (nominees, not yet fully part of the club) usually wear a rocker saying "PROSPECT". Other patches worn on the front of the vest signify the club members stipulating rank, their status with the club, and memorial patches for deceased members.

One famous and controversial example are "wings" patches. Wings are available in over a dozen colors, each referring to an act of cunnilingus witnessed by other club members. Most well known of these are the "red wings", awarded for performing cunnilingus on a female counterpart while said female is on her menstrual cycle.[citation needed] Other colors (i.e., green, purple) were obviously intended as a joke. The wearing of "wings" is considered offensive by many, and most clubs have discontinued their use. Clubs have internal meanings for the assortment of patches they wear from years of tradition, and passed on from member to member.

Some law enforcement agencies have given these motorcycle clubs the label of "gang." There is some disagreement as to the accuracy of this appellation. There is also some disagreement as to the level of involvement of the typical "outlaw biker" with criminal enterprises in keeping with other known gangs. Most people, and law enforcement, label these clubs as "gangs" because of several contributing factors: yearly re-publishing of "gang task force" reports that mostly repeat what the previous year's report said, the intense press coverage given to club related activities, and the attraction that such clubs have to people of questionable character. It's quite common for a person with frequent legal problems (drug use being most common) to strive for "hang around" or "prospect" status with a club. Often these people are rejected by the club and at about the same time they get themselves back in trouble with the law. Unfortunately the damage is done at that point. It's a continuous problem for all Outlaw motorcycle clubs.

[edit] Communication and social interaction

Bikers often hold parties and other social events at their clubhouses. Many times regular weekly meetings are referred to as "church". Some common slogans or acronyms bikers use are "1%er", "13", "FTW", and "DILLIGAF". The largest and most well-known group of outlaw bikers in the world are the Hells Angels but there are several other "clubs" that have a considerable presence in many countries worldwide.

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