by Joanna Redmond
Motorcycle clubs almost always have reputations that proceed them. When you think about the members of these clubs, it usually conjures up images of tough guys on bikes, blazing through city streets with a mean mug and a disposition to match.
We’ve all heard the stories of motorcycle clubs participating in some less than savory activities, getting arrested, and generally being a nuisance to society. But the reputation often tends to mean that there’s much more to the story. Sometimes, groups like motorcycle clubs have a few members that participate in illegal activities and make a bad name for the other members.
Take the Highwaymen. This group of rough riders does tend to have their fair share of history, and these 15 surprising facts about the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club are just what you need to gain more insight into what many consider an intimidating unknown.
15 They Value Loyalty Above All Else – Meetings Are Mandatory
That’s right, the Highwaymen are sticklers and require their members to attend meetings regularly. If you are a member and you don’t go to meetings, you’ll likely be kicked out. Meetings are where they hold votes on potential new members (it must be a unanimous vote), learn about upcoming rides, as well as get permission to do anything that represents the club.
14 A High-Ranking Member Was Once Arrested For Running A Chop Shop
Highwaymen member Randell Lee McDaniel was arrested back in 2007 for operating a chop shop in Michigan. McDaniel was also charged with conducting a criminal enterprise and motor vehicle theft.
Of course, he isn’t the only one who has had charges brought against him. Other members are known to have participated in arms dealing, fraud, and police corruption.
13 They Have A Few Enemies, Including The Outlaws Motorcycle Club
What club doesn’t have rivals? While rivalry can consist of some friendly competition, that’s not how motorcycle clubs tend to operate.
It was back in the 1970s that some of the Highwaymen members were convicted of bombing their rivals’ houses.
12 They’re A One-Percenter Club
No, that doesn’t mean that only rich people can join the Highwaymen. A one-percenter motorcycle club member is distinguished by a 1% patch worn on their jackets. It’s said that 99% of bikers are regular law-abiding citizens, while the other 1% are known for nefarious and illegal doings. It’s also said that the 1% denotes that member as someone who has killed another person.
11 They State They’ll Do Charity Work – If It Also Benefits Them
Some motorcycle clubs are known for doing charity work. The Hells Angels hold an annual toy drive and donate all items to charity. The Highwaymen? Sure, they’ll do charity work too, as long as it benefits them. So, don’t expect to drop off a stuffed bear next holiday season to their local chapter.
10 Their Motto Literally Says They’re Evil
The Highwaymen have two mottoes: “Highwaymen Forever, Forever Highwaymen” and also “Yea, though we ride the highways in the shadows of death, we fear no evil, for we are the most evil mother f*ck*rs on the highway.” The first signals their loyalty, the second makes sure you stay out of their way.
9 They’ll Only Talk About Their Illegal Activities If You Wear Their Patch
If you’re looking to join ranks with this outlaw club, let it be known, that you have to be a full-fledged patch-wearing (and meeting attending) member to learn the goods on their sinful deeds. So don’t expect to come to one meeting and discover the wickedness of their ways.
8 There Are 7 Chapters In The US
This outlaw club has its roots in Detroit. While the club with the most members is in their hometown, the Highwaymen boast members all over the US, with chapters in Alabama, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Florida. If you’re looking to join or maybe catch a glimpse of their club, consider visiting one of these states.
7 They Have A Long History With The FBI
A recent case (2007) led to an arrest of around 30 members, including an apparent rat who informed police of the club’s sometimes shady behavior. The FBI has detained over 100 members since the club began in 1954. Just because some members have had legal run-ins, that doesn’t mean all members are up to no good.
6 They’re Banned From The Detroit Federation Of Motorcycle Clubs
It’s not easy being an outlaw motorcycle club while also adhering to rules. The Detroit Federation of Motorcycle Clubs was created in the 1970s to help stop motorcycle gang wars, and The Highwaymen couldn’t keep in good standing with them.
5 And They No Longer Have An American Motorcycle Association Sanction
The club used to be listed in the American Motorcycle Association (AMA), but they became more outlaw than respectable, thus losing their status. In 2007 after more than 40 members were arrested for various wrongdoings, and the club lost their sanction.
4 They Don Skulls With Wings On Their Hats And Jackets
Most motorcycle clubs have a logo or identifying label that brands their members. The Highwaymen’s feature a skull with wings and wearing a motorcycle cap. The fact that they’re generally black and silver distinguishes them from other clubs that tend to use colored logos. You certainly won’t mistake them for another outlaw motorcycle club.
3 Most Members Are Veterans And Suffer From PTSD
It seems that after serving their country, many bikers find friendship and solidarity in motorcycle clubs. These clubs welcome a respite from their family life, where they can be around other people suffering the same symptoms.
2 Women Are Not Allowed
Most 1% outlaw motorcycle clubs have a no woman policy. While some myths that say the women who want to join these clubs are into less than ladylike activities, there seems to be very little evidence to support these claims. That being said, the Highwaymen are just that: men.
1 The Marlboro Man Is A Member
Some members of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club are famous for being members. However, there is a man who was made famous on his own merit, The Marlboro Man, also known recently as The Marlboro Marine, also known as James Blake Miller. Since returning from war and suffering from PTSD, he has joined the Highwaymen.