Notorious and Noteworthy Top Ten Motorcycle Clubs in America

Some undoubtedly are notorious, for whatever reason, with four of them appearing on the FBI’s watch list. Others are relatively unknown, but each has their own unique characteristics. Some of these motorcycle clubs insist on American owned motorcycles for their members while others do not.

Top Ten Motorcycle Clubs in America #1: Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC)

Probably the most well-known of all the 1% motorcycle clubs, the HAMC formed in San Bernardino can trace their lineage back to 1948.

Predominantly based in California, in the 1960’s the club extended its reach to the east coast. But their first overseas charter saw HAMC become truly international when the Auckland, New Zealand Charter came into existence in 1961.

Established on five continents, Europe got their first Charter in 1969 with the formation of the London chapter.

Top Ten Motorcycle Clubs in US #2: Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA)

Bikers Against Child Abuse is a back-patch club with a difference and one you may not have heard of before.  Founded in 1995 by licensed clinical child social worker, and lifelong biker, John Paul Lilly.

When an abused child is referred to the BACA, working in conjunction with local authorities, members of the nearest chapter ride to the child’s home and offer them much needed psychological support.

This support even extends to accompanying children to court, to give them the courage to speak out against their abusers. The club has chapters in 47 states and 12 countries.

Top 10 Motorcycle clubs in US #3: Outlaws MC

The origins of this Club go back to the pre-war era when a group of Illinois motorcyclists gathered together to form the McCook Outlaws Motorcycle Club. From humble beginnings, the club gained in popularity around the Chicago area until in 1967 they founded the Florida chapter.

Once again, this is a club with worldwide Charters and has been named by the FBI as one of the top four OMG’s! in America. That ironic acronym means Outlaw Motorcycle Groups.

Top 10 Motorcycle clubs in US #4: Women in the Wind

Bored of riding on her own, Ohio resident Becky Brown started the all-female motorcycle club in 1979 by placing an ad in her local newspaper. The ten women who answered her call, shortly afterward started Women in the Wind.

The ladies now have more than 100 chapters and over 1200 members, stretching from the US to Great Britain and Australia. Its original premise of promoting women motorcyclists in a positive light is still the primary motivation, as well as educating members on motorcycle safety and maintenance.

Top 10 Motorcycle clubs in US #5: The Mongols

Allegedly formed by Hispanic bikers, refused entry to the Hells Angels in 1969, the Mongols created their mother chapter in Montebello, East Los Angeles. They count Southern California as their stronghold but have chapters in 14 US states and some countries across the world.

In 2008, the club made national headlines when an undercover sting resulted in the arrest of 60 members. In a landmark decision, the presiding judge banned the Mongols from wearing colors in public. A ruling overturned some years later.

Top 10 Motorcycle clubs in US #7: American Motorcycle Association

The American Motorcycle Association is made up of member clubs, and as the largest motorcycle club in the world, it gets to have its name on this list.

Listing its membership in the millions, the AMA has made a name for itself in the fight for biker’s rights. It also sanctions the largest number of on and off-road motorcycle competitions in the world. But they may also be forever known as the association whose statement about 99% of the people at their events were law abiding, gave rise to the term 1% biker.

 Top 10 Motorcycle clubs in US #7: Banditos

Another entry on the ‘big four’ list is the Banditos.  Started by Houston docker Donald Chambers in 1966. Named after Chamber’s admiration for the lawless Mexican Bandits across the border.

Members now spread across the world and in 2016, the club opened what is thought to be the first international motorcycle club in the Middle East when it started the Abu Dhabi chapter.

The Banditos’ rapid expansion has led to conflict with several others including the Comanchero’s, Hells Angels and Cossack’s.


Top 10 Motorcycle clubs in US #8: Iron Order

Adopting three patch colors, and classing themselves as an MC, the Iron Order believe in the philosophies of biker clubs from the 50’s and 60’s. They don’t, however, class themselves as outlaws or 1%ers, going out of their way to stress that they are a law-abiding club.

Started in Jeffersonville, Indiana in 2004, the Iron Order is one of the fastest growing clubs in America, with hundreds of chapters across the US.  Repeatedly being accused of being made up of law enforcement, correctional officers, and military personnel, which they staunchly deny.

In 2016 the Mongols Motorcycle Club held a press conference, stating that although two unarmed members of their club had been shot dead by a member of the Iron Order charges were not brought against the rival club.

Top 10 Motorcycle clubs in US #9: Harley Owners Group (HOG)

The Harley Owners Group have more than one million members and chapters around the world. This membership makes them the largest back patch club in America, although they are not and never have been an MC.

The HOG started in 1983, and specify that each chapter has to be sponsored by a Harley Davidson dealer. It is the largest manufacturer backed riding club in the world, and its popularity is believed to have reversed Harley’s weak sales in the mid-80’s.

Top Ten Motorcycle clubs in US #10: Pagans

The smallest of the FBI’s top four motorcycle gangs, the Pagans have approximately 40 chapters along the east coast from Pennsylvania to Florida.

 Lou Dobkin originally formed the club in 1959 as a group of Triumph enthusiasts.

But a decade later, under the presidency of John ‘Satan’ Marron, the Pagans became an outlaw club. They are one of the few motorcycle clubs to have virtually no official online presence, believing that their actions speak louder than their words.

The club’s above, all form part of the rich history of motorcycling in the United States today. Some are notorious for their actions, while others are noteworthy for their activities.

The one common denominator of all ten is their love of two wheels.