by Domenic Marinelli
Biker clubs, these days, are a dime a dozen, really. It seems as though every city has got its fair share of clubs. But historically speaking, there are just over a dozen motorcycle clubs that can call themselves “the real deal.”
When it’s all said and done, it’s the long history of these clubs and all they’ve done that passes from person to person as time ticks by. And it’s always the same few clubs we hear about the most, outside of the Hell’s Angels.
One of those clubs is the infamous Bandidos. If you’ve never heard about them, get ready to learn all about this notorious club. We’ve got some interesting details for you, so climb on and let’s take a ride with the Bandidos.
Vandals destroyed two huts used by Kingdom Off Road Motorcycle Club, hampering its vital work with young people in the area.
15 Founded 54 Years Ago
Texas in the sixties was a formidable landscape. It was also full of barren fields and ridden with poverty. The rich got richer, and the poor… Well, we’re sure you know how that goes.
So, it was in 1966 that this club was founded. And although the founder had no idea what the club would eventually become, all who were around at the time felt something “special” was at work.
14 An Incredible 210 Chapters In 22 Countries
And grow they did, and not just in the States. The Bandidos spread like a wildfire set to consume everything in its path, both nationally and later globally – to 22 countries, in fact. A biker club’s scope says everything about their power and dominance.
13 Close To The Hell’s Angels In Scope …But Still No Cigar!
Speaking of that aforementioned “scope,” they still can’t reach the Hell’s Angels. The Angels themselves are a powerhouse club and one whose reach is unstoppable. Perhaps it was all the publicity they received or their antics out there on the streets. Regardless, they are untouchable, even by the Bandidos.
Freelance writer and journalist Hunter Thompson wrote about them in his book: Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. Perhaps this too led to their popularity and scope.
12 Who Was Donald Eugene Chambers?
Well, who was he, you ask? He was the founder of the club, of course. His life and story have gone down as both myth and legacy. His memory lives on in the club, and his notoriety precedes him. He was a former marine and he passed away in 1999. The ideals he set up for the club are still regarded as the Bible for its members.
11 A Life Before The Biker Club
So what did the founding member of a biker club do before it all began? Work at the local docks, it seems. Like so many other war veterans of his day, the only work available to vets was, of course, manual labor. And with the sixties being what they were, the docks were always hiring good, strong, and able-bodied men.
10 The Many Territories (Part 1)
The word “scope” has come up often in this piece. And it’ll probably come up again, as there is nothing else more important to a biker club. The more countries and cities they establish a presence in, the more they can influence the members of those communities. This exposure creates notoriety and respect. Because in the end, respect means everything to a biker club; respect and loyalty.
9 The Many Territories (Part 2)
And earn respect they did. Not only from among members all over the world but also among the men and women of the many cities they have dominance in. Norway, Panama, England, Canada, Finland, and Thailand are just some of the countries in which this club has a presence.
8 “We Are The People Our Parents Warned Us About”
All biker clubs have a motto or a credo. Something like a mission statement that propels them through all the days of their existence. And as far as credos go, we’d assume that this one is as good as any for a biker club – both creative and rebellious, as the members of the club describe themselves as willingly becoming the monsters their parents were warning them about as children.
7 How They’re Seen By Authorities
With great power (along with responsibility) also come great amounts of accountability. And Bandidos didn’t get to where they are today just by accident. Their dominance was planned and they have to deal with its consequences. But, of course, they were already prepared for this, as the members were warned upon joining that their lives would forever be changed. Naturally, the authorities don’t see them as just a bunch of kids playing on bikes, either.
6 5000 Plus!
Over the years, many have wanted to join the Bandidos. And obviously, many have. They have a membership count that exceeds the 5,000 mark. Now, that isn’t as many as some other notorious clubs, but it’s certainly up there.
5 The True Meaning Of Living A 1% Life
Many clubs out there live by this, and it’s featured on almost as many biker club vests as there are biker clubs. Being a 1% or rather a “1-Percenter” is simple though. The term was coined way back when the American Motorcycle Association or AMA stated that 99% of motorists are law-abiding. The biker clubs would represent the rebellious 1% of motorists that aren’t.
4 Their Texas Home Base
Despite expanding around the globe, the Bandidos’ influence will always be most felt at home, where they got started. Now, Texas sure isn’t the landscape it was when this club was founded, but it will always be a place where Bandidos can feel at home and maneuver freely.
3 First Australian Chapter
The first Australian chapter was pretty important to the Bandidos, as it represented both reaching farther than ever before and establishing their influence on a whole new continent. Only a few western motorcycle clubs can boast their influence in Australia, and the Bandidos seem to be on their way to becoming as big as notorious as the Hell’s Angels.
2 Part Of The “Big 3” Of Biker Clubs
Still, despite many considering the Bandidos as one of the top three biker clubs in the world, comparing them with the Hell’s Angels in terms of dominance and scope seems pointless.
And indeed, according to History, the Bandidos are among the top six motorcycle clubs. These are: the Hell’s Angels, the Outlaws, the Pagans, the Mongols, the Vagos, the Sons of Silence, and, of course, the Bandidos.
1 Support Clubs
The Bandidos have many support clubs scattered all over the world. This is very important in gaining steam and momentum for the club, thus propelling their influence further. In most cases, support clubs wear vests with the biker club name printed across, but the colors are actually in reverse order.