10 Notorious Motorcycle Gangs

Outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) got their start in the 1940s and ’50s as spinoffs of more mainstream motorcycle clubs. After World War II, motorcycling began to spread in popularity as a hobby. Veterans settling into lives in the suburbs working average jobs wanted to get a taste of the more adrenaline-charged life they’d lived overseas. Riding along the country’s highways with friends — partying and often drinking — was a perfect way to do that [source: Dulaney].

The outlaw groups began to develop after a 1947 bike rally in Hollister, Calif., that erupted into a riot. According to reports, drunken bikers rode through town (even in and out of buildings and restaurants) causing trouble and destroying property [source: Thompson]. Journalists and historians have since claimed that Hollister was not the all-out chaos portrayed in the media. Still, during a widespread public outcry over Hollister, and the danger of motorcycle clubs, the American Motorcycle Association released a statement aimed at calming the public. Ninety-nine percent of motorcycle clubs were law-abiding, fun-loving citizens, the AMA said. It was the other 1 percent that caused all the trouble and got all the attention [source: Serwer].

Over the years, as certain clubs began to drift toward illegal activity, they claimed the moniker ‘1 percenter’ as a badge of honor. Even today, most of these ‘outlaw motorcycle gangs’ maintain that they aren’t criminal organizations. For example, famous Hells Angels founder ‘Sonny’ Barger claims that while some Angels may deal drugs or commit acts of violence, the organization itself doesn’t endorse those activities [source: Serwer]. Still, law enforcement agencies from the U.S. and Canada to even Australia and Europe see the OMGs as a serious threat. The FBI considers the gangs organized crime syndicates whose drug dealing and turf wars put rival gangs and the public in danger.

Read on to find out which motorcycle gangs are among the most dangerous and notorious.





When 1%Ers Take Your Cut

Black Dragon lists a few reasons why 1%ers will take your cut! To pre-order Black Dragon’s upcoming book, ‘President’s Bible: please send $15.00 via Paypal to jbunchii@aol.com. In the subject line put ‘President’s Bible’ and include name, address and email address so we can get the book to you as soon as Black Dragon finishes writing it (projected October).





Review: Motorcycle Club (PlayStation 4)

Motorcycle Club is a racing game on two wheels with a few twists. The most notable addition is the ability to switch between three different bikes on the fly. You’ll have access to a superbike, roadster, and custom all at once for each race, and tapping L1 or R1 will allow you to hop between saddles depending on the situation.

Unfortunately, while an interesting idea, this is where the PlayStation 4 release finds its first flat tire. In theory, the sports bikes should be best in straightaways, the roadsters in winding bits, and the custom bikes in off-road sections – but it’s often fastest to just stick with the superbikes and blitz through areas where it doesn’t even belong. Even the AI seems to realise this.

To make matters worse, the in-game tutorial mislabels which rides should be used in which sections of the track; at least the areas are correctly colour coded to avoid total confusion. Still, you’ll never use the roadsters, and the custom bikes only ever excel in particularly long, unavoidable off-road stretches.

The campaign consists of various categories, filled with a large number of races. As long as you ignore the aforementioned switching mechanics, then the difficulty is on the lower side. Other riders will often slam into you, hurting your times – but it’s still easy to lap almost everyone during a standard sprint. Some of the challenges do require near perfect runs to unlock motorcycles, but these difficulty spikes are rare.

Earning kudos is where the majority of the release’s entertainment lies: riding through checkpoints, performing wheelies, hitting jumps, and avoiding obstacles will all score you points. These can be used to purchase challenges that unlock the option to invest in further vehicles. It’s a fairly simple system, but the combo modifier at least adds to the excitement when you’re trying to string together long chains.

Seemingly inspired by DriveClub, the game also includes mid-race objectives and specific goals for you to accomplish over the course of your racing career. These are regrettably limited, however, and don’t inject much enthusiasm. Doing the same race five times in a row is an example – who thought that that would be fun?

Much like the challenges, the whole ‘club’ system is underdeveloped. Customisation is limited to changing the colours of your helmet and racing leathers, as well as applying a stock logo. You can’t even make your own club or invite your friends – and you certainly can’t personalise your motorcycles. Mercifully, there is at least an online multiplayer option.

Customisation or not, though, the heart of any good racer stems from the vehicles. The roster features officially licensed rides that you’d commonly find on the road. However, being able to unlock your favourite real world bike is a short lived thrill, when you discover that the characteristics of each are seemingly random. Even the in-game statistics are occasionally inaccurate.

For example, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 is one of the best handling sports bikes, but it’s lacking in both top-speed and acceleration due to its small engine configuration. For some reason, however, the game seems to indicate that acceleration is its strength, and that it has less than average handling. What? Honestly, considering that it’s more of an arcade racer, these inconsistencies aren’t deal breakers, but misrepresenting official motorcycles seems unnecessary, and, truthfully, lazy.

At least the racing itself is smooth enough, and the framerate is consistent. The bikes, racers, and various environmental textures are all fairly bland, but not to the point of distraction. All tracks also offer a ‘reversed’ version, with varying visuals such as time of day or season, but ultimately feel the same. On average, each track has about a two minute lap time, making three laps feel long winded.

And when you consider the unbearable audio, those six or so minutes will feel like a lifetime. The scream of a 599cc in-line four motorcycle is arguable one of the greatest sounds that a machine can make, however this game manages to make every bike sound like a dying mosquito regardless of engine configuration. To make matters worse, music is almost non-existent, so be prepared to hit the mute button often.

Conclusion

Motorcycle Club feels unfinished. The repetitive races, dreary challenges, horrendous sound, and unbalanced motorbike classes ruin what could have been a promising game. Unless you’re utterly desperate for a two-wheeled arcade racer, then you’d be wise to ride as far away from this release as possible.