Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Motorcycle Clubs or Gangs?

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_645



Motorcycle clubs, that is, voluntary social organizations based on a common love of motorcycles and riding together, formed in the early 1900s. However, by the 1930s groups of displaced young men riding motorcycle grouped together in what were nascent gangs. These nascent gangs evolved into outlaw bikers and then into a subculture of bikers known as One Percenters aka Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. The One Percenters evolved into motorcycle gangs more into crime for profit than a common love of motorcycles and riding together. Today, these Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs are national and international criminal organizations.

Are motorcycle clubs really clubs, that is, voluntary social organization built around the love of motorcycles, or criminal gangs whose members happen to ride motorcycles? There is no easy answer: some are and some are not. Some well-known...

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Recommended Reading and References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal Justice, College of Justice and SafetyEastern Kentucky UniversityRichmondUSA