The Bandidos aren’t big on posing for pictures, which makes these 10 photos of them and their bikes all the more badass.
The Bandidos Motorcycle Club is a worldwide phenomenon of like-minded bike enthusiasts with chapters all around the globe. The club was founded in Houston, Texas, in 1966 and are considered among the “Big Four” of outlaw biker gangs next to the Outlaws, Pagans and Hells Angels. At their peak, the club was represented in more than 80 countries.
In America, recent headlines forced the US chapter of the Bandidos into the spotlight for reasons both good (“hey, we’re now a non-profit“) and bad (gang wars). In Australia and New Zealand, the Bandidos are particularly well organized and stocked with types that even rugby players would steer clear of. Members are constantly in the news there for seemingly innocuous infractions like wearing banned insignias to major charges such as attempted murder and drugs.
The Bandidos aren’t big on posing for pictures, although somehow GQ was able to wrangle some rare primo photos thanks to a dare-devilish photographer willing to risk life and limb for the pictures. Here are ten photos of Bandidos and their motorcycles.
10 Cool Runnings
Bandidos are definitely Harley-Davidson enthusiasts for life. But they don’t all have to be ape-hangered Dynas straight off the set of Sons of Anarchy. As you will see in these pictures, some of the bikes the Bandidos ride may surprise you. For instance, the American Bandido shown above is rocking a bike typically thought of as suited for more conformist types. But don’t tell him that. Those Bandidos stickers are a warning to those who feel the need to comment: “Don’t.”
9 Just Getting Started
The Bandidos aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they are just getting started. Their legions are growing, especially in places like Australia. But the Bandidos worldwide family split on ideological lines in 2007, leaving the chapters in the Western Hemisphere to go their own way. Meaning: They’re still the same outlaws they’ve always been. Meanwhile, patched Bandidos in Australia, Europe and Asia lean more toward the enthusiast side of things, even though they may look the part.
8 Riders On The Storm
The Bandidos grow stronger everyday in Central, North, and South America. The club claims on their website that they more than 1,100 members spanning those three zones. That’s practically a small army. The Bandidos MC also claims to be the “largest 1% club in the Western Hemisphere.” We have no reason to doubt an MC that proudly states on their website that, “We ARE the people our parents warned us about.” Consider yourself warned.
7 Little Get-Togethers
Bikers are known for celebrating the motorcycle lifestyle through huge festival-style parties that bring together a quarter-million motorheads for a days-deafening tailpipe burst. These leather festivals usually feature name-brand entertainment and draw the full spectrum of biker, from the rough and tumble outlaw types to the checkbook Charlies. Sturgis, which is always in the news for one reason or another, is one of the best known. Of course, MCs like the Bandidos have their own gatherings independent of the commercialized affairs.
6 Bring Out Your Dead
Naturally, motorcycles play a big part in funerals for club members. Take, for instance, the recent funeral for a Bandidos Chapter President Juan Martinez in El Paso, Texas. Martinez died after being shot at a place called Mulligan’s Chopped Hog (can’t make this stuff up). A service held at a Catholic Church was held before a very loud procession of hundreds of bikes headed to the cemetery, entering in two-by-two formation. There were, of course, Bandidos from all over the country. Also there? The police.
5 Blood Brotherhood
Besides the loud motorcycles, freewheeling attitudes and badass vests, brotherhood is what draws many into the world of MCs. Troublesome types find solace and camaraderie in a group of like-minded men who feel more comfortable being who they really are in the MC environment. These bonds are real and as long as life itself. That’s why so many disenfranchised veterans end up in MCs because the hierarchy is very similar and the familial, us-versus-them vibe runs deep.
4 Wheel Estate
There is power in numbers, especially when those numbers add up to tattooed outlaw bikers roaring into town on their demon rides. Serious props, gentlemen, for parking in such neat, coordinated rows. These large rides have to strike the right balance between “badass” and “we’re just out for a Sunday drive” because you never know who is watching. Any large gathering by an outlaw biker gang will likely draw the scrutiny of law enforcement, who constantly monitor MCs.
3 Meet The Old Lady
In the outlaw motorcycle club world women are considered property. That is not exactly “progressive” thinking in the “Me Too” generation, but MCs like the Bandidos haven’t traditionally been fond of following rules or laws. So, there’s little chance that anything will change for women like Scary Larry’s old lady (above). It is common for the women of outlaw bikers to be tossed aside after a few years, only to be picked up by another biker and repeat the whole process.
2 Expect No Mercy
On their website, the Bandidos proudly proclaims that, “we are a 1% Motorcycle Club living our life without (sic) excuses and giving respect where it is earned.” They do get a little cryptic when addressing judgmental non-Bandidos, or “straights” as they call them. They want those who simply pass judgement on their appearance alone to EXPECT NO MERCY. Same for the media who makes them out to be a “bogeyman,” or the court that convicts them because of who they ride with.
1 On The Road Again
According to a United States Department of Justice report, first-year prospects for the Bandidos must complete a club ritual to earn their place in the group. Newbies visit every chapter of the Bandidos to shore up votes for membership. The little trick also weeds out potential undercover agents trying to join their ranks. And they are for sure trying, as the DOJ claims that Bandidos are running drugs through their pipeline that runs from Texas to Oregon.
Sources: DOJ, GQ, bandidosmcunitedstates.com, San Antonio Express-News, Mirage News