As the second-biggest motorcycle group in the United States, the Bandidos have built up quite the reputation down the years. But did you know that these notorious bikers are still expected to follow some particularly strict rules? With that in mind, we’ve taken a closer look at 20 of those regulations. So put on your helmets and hold on tight.
20. The hangaround period
It’s not always easy to earn a membership with certain clubs — you can’t just walk up and ask. Instead, you might have to prove yourself before they let you in. That’s definitely the case with the Bandidos. But the task isn’t as full-throttle as you’d probably expect given the group’s reputation.
In fact, it’s all about patience. Yes, if you want to earn your place with the Bandidos, you’ve got to complete a task known as “the hangaround period.” Simply put, you’re expected to spend time around a clubhouse, or “chapter,” until the chapter’s president says you can join. So it might go on for a few days… or even months. Like we said, patience.
19. Public conduct
Let’s be honest — the mere sight of a Bandidos gang on the open road is enough to scare even the bravest person. No shame in that. Yet that’s not the bikers’ aim. The notorious club doesn’t want its representatives to terrify the public at large for a very simple reason.
The Bandidos really just want to have the public’s respect and approval. Surprising, right? On that note, the bikers are expected to be on their best behavior around regular citizens. If they’re provoked, though, those niceties will quickly disappear. So don’t give them a reason to get angry with you.
18. The screening process
To say that the Bandidos’ recruitment policy is thorough would be a massive understatement. You see, if a biker hopes to join, they must’ve been acquainted with one of the representatives for no less than five years. Strangers can’t just waltz in. But that’s only the start of this so-called “screening process.”
On top of that, the higher-ups at the club will dig into the person’s past, ahead of traveling to their place of residence. From there, they’ll quiz their relatives to back up the information. All of this is done to ensure that their prospective new member isn’t a cop. That’s some security check.
17. Discussing club business
Like a lot of other clubs, the Bandidos are pretty private when it comes to talking about their internal affairs. Keeping that in mind, members are strongly advised to watch what they say in public. It’s fair to say that loose lips won’t be appreciated by the higher-ups.
One of the big no-nos is divulging club business to a person who’s not part of the Bandidos. And that includes friends and family. Meanwhile, any discussions of club matters are expected to be kept very quiet among the bikers if they’re in a public place. They have to watch their surroundings very carefully.
16. The patches
As you’ve probably noticed, biker vests are often covered in special patches and stitchings. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Bandidos are no exception on that front. But what markers and badges are the members expected to wear on the road? Is there anything in particular?
Well, Bandidos bikers have to sport patches known as the “One Percent Diamond”, “Top and Bottom Rocker”, “MC” and the “Fat Mexican” on the back of their vests. The diamond insignia has to be stitched on the chest as well. Plus, each patch needs to be recognized from a distance of roughly 150 feet. Pretty specific, right?
15. The prospect period
The Bandidos’ recruitment policy is both time-consuming and taxing — to put it mildly. But if a biker makes it through the initial hangaround period and still wants to pursue membership in the club, they start the next phase. This is referred to as the “prospect period.” And things only get harder from there.
Why’s that? Well, over the course of the hangaround period, prospective members have to convince the Bandidos that they’re worthy to join them. So those individuals are usually lumbered with demeaning jobs or told to partake in the group’s “dirty work.” This spell lasts at least six months, although it can go on for longer.
14. The pledge
When you pledge your allegiance to any kind of club, you take on certain responsibilities that have to be fulfilled. It’s no different with the Bandidos — but you’re not just signing yourself up to that way of life. Once you’ve been accepted to a clubhouse, you have to sign your motorbike’s ownership over to the group. That has to be tough.
And the commitment doesn’t end there. After a clubhouse takes you on, you’re not only a member of that specific group. In fact, you’re now part of the “Bandido Nation” as a whole. So whenever a major club affair is planned, you’re expected to be there come rain or shine.
13. “No Contact” status
It’s fair to say that people at a club can form deep bonds during their time together. And that friendship can endure for years, even if one of them departs the group for pastures new. But that’s not always possible with organizations like the Bandidos. Splits can get particularly messy.
As a result of that, the departing biker might be given a “No Contact” status. The name says it all — their former associates won’t be allowed to speak to them again. This extends beyond the one clubhouse too, so all Bandidos have to abide by the same instructions. Talk about cutting your ties!
12. The price of membership
Earning the right to call yourself a Bandido will push you to your physical and mental limits, yet that’s not all. Your wallet will take a substantial hit at the end as well! You see, bikers have to make a payment to finalize their place in the club — specifically, $550. No, that’s not a typo.
Half of that $550 goes towards a patch, while the rest is paid into a club trust. The money in that fund is used to pay for legal representation if a Bandido gets picked up by the authorities. It also helps pay for biker funerals. So you can’t accuse the group of being disorganized on that front. Some real forward planning there.
11. Bike rules
As the Bandidos are a motorcycle club, it shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that they’ve got some strict rules regarding bikes. For instance, prospective Bandidos need to have a Harley-Davidson — more than one if possible. And on top of that, the engine has to be at least 750cc.
If a Bandido is unlucky enough to lose their motorbike, though, they have to act fast. You see, each club member is allowed to spend up to 30 days without a ride every year. Even so, should they exceed that period and the situation hasn’t changed, their clubhouse will be forced to hand over $500 to the Bandidos Nation. Strict.
10. No lies or stealing
You all know the phrase “honesty is the best policy” right? Well, that’s especially true with the Bandidos. One of the club’s biggest mantras is a zero tolerance policy towards lying. So members have to watch what they say around their biking counterparts. But that’s not the only thing that gets frowned upon.
Stealing is also forbidden by the Bandido code. That’s a pretty admirable moral system for a club with such a fearsome reputation wouldn’t you say? Then again, past members from the 1960s and ’70s were well known for taking bikes that didn’t belong to them. So it’s hardly always been the case.
9. Club colors
Just as sports teams are recognized by their kits, Bandidos stand out thanks to their club colors. These items of clothing can say a lot about the person in question, identifying them as a club and a chapter member. Riders are also responsible for maintaining their garments from the moment they join the group.
Yet it goes beyond that. For example, if a Bandido is running low on money, they’re forbidden from putting their colors up for sale. And misplacing them can cause quite the hassle too, as new garments won’t be forthcoming. It could be argued that they’re just as vital as the bikes.
8. Funeral etiquette
While funerals are emotionally difficult events to get through, we all have to abide by the expected etiquette. Now with Bandido ceremonies, they’ve also got to follow their own set of rules, which includes their conduct on the road. To give you an example, each biker is expected to ride by themselves.
That way, their patches are on full display to mark the service for their fallen comrade. Plus, attendance is absolutely mandatory for those in the club. Skipping such an event is unthinkable. Mind you, not everyone gets a Bandido funeral. For instance, if a member takes their own life, they’re immediately ruled out.
7. Borrowing and returns
It’s safe to say that we’ve all borrowed something at some point in our lives. And on those occasions, we’ve had to ensure that the item gets back to its original owner in one piece. It would be a betrayal of trust if we failed to do so. The Bandidos have a very similar moral code.
Yes, the bikers are required to look after anything they might borrow from different clubhouses across the country. Vehicles, appliances, cash, you name it — it’s entirely up to them to take care of the items and return them once they’re done. So clearly manners still count for something — even in a notorious motorcycle club.
If you’re a woman and fancy becoming a Bandido, we’ve got some bad news for you. Ladies are forbidden from joining the club. Mind you, there are openings to take on “associate” positions. It’s not as glamorous as you might think — girls are occasionally mistreated while they carry out humdrum jobs for the group.
But women can also become a Bandido “Ol’ Lady,” or partner, should they choose to. When that happens, they’re advised to sport a “Property Patch” on their vest which highlights who they’re with. And much like other bikers in the club, these women aren’t allowed to discuss internal affairs with any outsiders.
5. Can’t say no to human waste
When you join a club or fraternity, you might be expected to complete an initiation. Sure, it could provoke a minute or two of embarrassment, but the process rubber-stamps your membership. Then again, some of these inductions and traditions can be extremely brutal. For instance, few come close to the Bandidos’ ceremony.
You see, when a biker joins the Bandidos, his associates will deposit human waste onto his vest. So yes, that can range from vomit to urine and… well, we don’t need to tell you what else. It gets worse, though. After that, he’s got to wear the garment on the open road. Once it’s dried, he can finally remove it. Bleurgh!
4. Don’t ask for promotions
Rising up the ranks is a great feeling, whether it’s at your job or the local biker club. Then again, if you believe that a certain promotion should’ve been yours, you might bring the matter to the attention of your higher-ups. It can’t hurt right? With the Bandidos, though, discussions of that type are off-limits.
Bikers must accept their current status within the club and work towards their eventual goal. Asking for a “career” boost won’t get them anywhere, so they’ve got to put the time in. Also, Bandidos are strongly advised to encourage those who do nab a promotion — as painful as that might be.
3. Leaving the club
As our lives progress, plenty of things can change — whether it’s our job or living arrangements. But for the Bandidos, one aspect remains a constant. Their membership to the club is essentially a lifetime commitment, unless they get the green-light to leave on good terms. What happens to those that abandon the group, though?
Well, those individuals could suffer abuse from their old club colleagues, or be shunned altogether. Yet that’s not the worst part. Should they have received a Bandido tattoo in the past, that’s got to go. The biker needs to sort that out himself if he doesn’t want his ex-buddies to forcibly do the honors. Ow!
For motorcycle groups like the Bandidos, trust is everything. Without it, things can get dangerous very quickly. How so? Well, let’s use this as an example: if a member decided to go to the authorities about an incident that happened within the club, they’d be putting their lives at great risk.
You see, those who choose to side with the authorities against the Bandidos become targets of the group. It can even get to the stage where they may need to join the witness protection program to avoid future harm. So we weren’t exaggerating when we said it can get dicey!
1. The meetings
Let’s be honest here — work meetings aren’t exactly known for their excitement. But still, we power through them as best we can — they’re an unfortunate necessity. Now similar gatherings at a club may bring about those same feelings, yet they aren’t always compulsory. That’s not the case for the Bandidos, though.
Bandidos have to go to every meeting called by their local chapter. The only accepted valid reasons for missing a meeting are having to work, being ill or simply being unable to attend because you’re currently languishing in jail. Even so, should a member skip three gatherings without getting consent beforehand, they are compelled to leave the group.
But if the Bandidos is the second biggest motorcycle gang in America, then what about the first? It’s the Hells Angels, of course. And unsurprisingly, its members are also forced to follow some pretty strict rules. Yep, if you want to ride next to them on a Harley, you’d better listen up.
30. Don’t ask to join
Fancy becoming a Hells Angel? Well, don’t expect them to tell you how to become a member. In fact, if you look on the FAQ section of the club’s website, it says in no uncertain terms, “If you have to ask, you probably will not understand the answer.” But we won’t leave you completely in the dark about what’s involved.
It all starts with what the Hells Angels call a hang around. And that’s just as it sounds. Basically, you’re given an invite to hang out with inducted members. That way, the others can see how prospective newbies will fit in with the crowd – or not.
29. Showing up for events is vital to your membership bid
But you can’t just accept an invite to hang around and then change your mind about attending. You see, charter members take the club very seriously indeed. And that means you’d better show up when you say you’ll be there. If you’re flaky, you probably won’t make it into the fold.
Members who skip events aren’t cut slack, either. The whole point of the Hells Angels is that it’s a brotherhood, and skipping out on the motorcycle family’s gatherings is a huge sign of disrespect. So, whether you’re a new or old member of the club, you go to the meetings – come hell or high water.
28. Only wear official Hells Angels merchandise
Perhaps you’ve seen Hells Angels vests or T-shirts emblazoned with the club logo. But you shouldn’t wear this gear – especially in an attempt to secure your membership. The gang has a strict no-impersonation policy, and they wouldn’t take kindly to something like that. They’d probably have no issue with dishing out the reprisals, either.
As you may already have guessed, members are the only ones who can wear official Hells Angels gear. So, until you get into the charter, don’t try slipping on someone else’s vest or sewing a patch on too quickly. Just support the club in ways that won’t offend the folks you’re trying to impress instead.
27. You can’t discuss missing Angels with anyone
We can see the strength of the Hells Angels brotherhood from the outside, but it’s hard to sum up just how seriously they take their bond with one another. This rule of the motorcycle club gives a hint, though: they cannot talk about absent members.
It makes sense that Hells Angels wouldn’t discuss members with outsiders, but they also extend this silence to those who have disappeared. This measure is yet another protection in place to maintain their privacy and keep one another away from the clutches of the law. So, if you have loose lips, you probably won’t be inducted. You’re not even supposed to talk about your brothers with anyone outside of the club.
26. Every Hells Angels charter marks its territory – and the others have to respect it
You’ve probably picked up by now that respect is of the utmost importance to Hells Angels. And this applies both inside and outside a particular charter. Simply put, you should hold your fellow motorcyclists in high regard. If one charter claims a specific area as their territory, then, others nearby should obey these boundaries.
In this way, it’s decided which Hells Angels charter can hang out where. There is some leeway, as club members can actually ride through one another’s territories. What they can’t do, however, is stop, hang out and make themselves comfortable. Only the folks from the charter that has staked its claim can do that.
25. Hells Angels will fight other gangs for territory
While Hells Angels have plenty of respect for one another, they’re not the only motorcycle gang on Earth. And, sometimes, that means they have to fight for control over the territory they want. Gang members apparently tend to take the view that they shouldn’t have to share with riders of differing affiliations.
You see, there’s an unwritten rule between motorcycle clubs – including the Outlaws, the Hells Angels and the Bandidos – that only one of them can control a single area. And that’s how conflict between these groups can start. Something as simple as a rival biker showing up in your area with “your” location emblazoned on their vest can start a fight for dominance.
24. You have to be willing to give back
Hells Angels may have tough reputations, but they’re not solely about cruising and controlling their turf. Part of the gig also requires you to be a good person – and not just to your brothers. Yes, in many charters, charity work is apparently a requirement for membership.
This means that Hells Angels often give back to the communities in which they live and ride. If your neighborhood has a motorcycle contingent, then, you may see the leather-donning members frequenting local bars and restaurants. Some will even run their own charities or spend time working with adults or children in need.
23. Hells Angels follow the Golden Rule
You remember the Golden Rule from your school days, right? It’s simple: treat others how you want to be treated. And if you could follow that guideline as a child, then you’ll have no problem being a Hells Angel as a grown-up. Members stick to the same principle when it comes to people both inside and outside of their charter.
The Hells Angels code says that they will treat others with respect so long as they receive it in return. Journalists who have interviewed gang members have apparently found them welcoming and warm. Neighbors of the motorcyclists have reported the same, too. If you show contempt to a member, on the other hand, you should expect a completely different result…
22. Protect the Hells Angels brand by any means necessary
You know by now that wearing the Hells Angels logo is an honor bestowed upon bona fide members only. Clearly, then, the motorcycle gang takes its branding seriously. But this approach doesn’t just apply to folks who want to get in or appear as though they have. It also informs how members react to the way they’re portrayed in the media.
So, the Hells Angels will do anything to defend their public image. They’ve even gone so far as to slap down big companies that have presented a skewed view of who they are. The motorcycle club launched legal proceedings against Disney, for instance, after it released the bike-centric flick Wild Hogs. Pretty serious, right?
21. You’ll have to be ready to ride – a lot
Membership in the Hells Angels clearly comes with a lot of responsibilities. But if you join a motorcycle gang, you probably won’t have any problem with this rule: you have to be prepared to ride with your brothers. And if you’re a little on the lazy side, beware. That doesn’t mean only short, quick jaunts down the road.
The Hells Angels website claims that charters ride more than 12,000 miles together every single year. Do the math, and you’ll find that’s roughly 33 miles each day. Of course, the gang doesn’t hit the road every Monday through Sunday, but you do have to be prepared to drop everything for a long cruise. And if you like riding, it won’t be a huge burden to be on your bike for hours at a time, will it?
20. You can only ride a Harley
If you want to join the Hells Angels, you should start by investing in the right motorcycle. But you don’t just need to own a bike – yep, it’s on you to supply your own ride – as it also should come from one manufacturer in particular. You see, it’s custom for members to only ride Harley-Davidson models.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, though, depending on the Hells Angels charter you join. Some will let a non-Harley bike slide so long as you choose another American-made brand. Among the acceptable choices is Buell – which, funnily enough, is a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson.
19. It’s tough to start your own Hells Angels charter, but it’s possible
It takes time to set up a Hells Angels charter – and the club’s website is careful to point out this fact. The site says in no uncertain terms, “Motorcycle clubs consist of people who have ridden together for years, live in the same area, are known by the community, have runs and parties and are a brotherhood.” And you just can’t create that kind of closeness overnight.
So, a motorcycle community would generally only consider becoming an official arm of the Hells Angels after years of riding together by choice. Perhaps that’s why the club website doesn’t include instructions on how to join up. Once you’re established enough, you don’t have to ask how or follow any steps; you’re just in.
18. Don’t question their grammar
Any grammar guru will tell you that “Hells Angels” should really have an apostrophe before the first “s.” The club’s name implies that the motorcyclists belong to hell, after all, and so an apostrophe would make that connection clear by creating a possessive. But the organization acknowledges only one proper spelling of its name, and there’s nary a punctuation mark in sight.
The Hells Angels adhere to their own rules – and that appears to include grammatical ones, too. The official website even makes a point to shut down those who question this choice by remarking, “Yes, we know there is an apostrophe missing, but it is you who miss it. We don’t.” And if you want to keep on a member’s good side, we wouldn’t recommend you disagree.
17. There’s a dress code
Initiation and membership into the Hells Angels arms you with a coveted accessory: a vest emblazoned with the organization’s name and insignia on its back. That way, when you’re on the road, everyone knows with whom you’re riding. But that’s not the only must-wear item for the motorcycle gang’s inductees.
You see, Hells Angels charters each have their own dress codes. Some don’t allow riders to wear shorts, while others bar their members from sporting anything but the color black. In other places, however, motorcyclists may be permitted to don denim and camouflage prints. And, handily, these rules help neighboring charters recognize one another on the road.
16. Hells Angels ride in a specific order
If you’ve ever seen a Hells Angels charter cruising down the highway, you’ll know that a lot ride together. The members can often take over the whole road, in fact. And yet, even with so many bikes hurtling along, there’s order to the chaos you’re witnessing from the outside.
At the front of the pack, you’ll see the captain riding along with the president of the Hells Angels charter. They lead the way, while the rest of the crew falls in line based on their personal rankings and seniority levels. New members hang near the back, and prospective signees bring up the rear.
15. You can’t join another biker club
In reading this list, you’re probably getting the feeling that joining the Hells Angels isn’t a decision to take lightly. And you’d be right. The organization prides itself on the connections made between members and the strong brotherhood that results. As such, there’s no need to join any other bike-related organization.
Apparently, Hells Angels should even steer clear of any other social clubs or membership-only groups. The organization’s website explains, “Never combine your support to Hells Angels with other clubs, street gangs or others if you are unaware of the relationship between those others and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.” It’s best, then, to stick to who you know.
14. Angels don’t speak to the media
There’s a reason why the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is such a mysterious organization: its members make a point of keeping it that way. For starters, they don’t share their plans or scheduled activities with anyone. And if you somehow happen to catch Hells Angels riding, then you’ve found out along with the rest of the world that they had a cruise on the books.
The Hells Angels’ secrecy stems from a simple internal policy: don’t talk to the press. Riders use their silence as a way to protect their image and safeguard themselves and others. And as only those inside the organization need to know what charters are up to and when they’re gathering, it’s a bad idea to spill the beans.
13. The vests are considered sacred
The vest that a Hells Angels member receives once they’re officially inducted into the group is more than just an accessory. That piece of clothing is revereed among the motorcyclists who make it into the exclusive club, and all of them treat the garment with great care.
So, while you may have a similar outfit that you hold dear, that devotion probably pales in comparison. Allegedly, some Hells Angels members will even refuse to let medics cut them out of their vests in life-and-death situations. That’s how much of an honor it is to don the famous embroidered gear.
12. Membership hinges on a vote
If you think you want to join the Hells Angels, then you should make absolutely sure before you start the process. A new prospect’s journey from enlistee to full-fledged member can take years, you see, and there are several hoops through which you have to jump before you officially make it into a charter.
And the culmination of all of those pre-membership rituals ends with a democratic vote among everyone in the charter. This step certainly speaks to the brotherhood mentality that the Hells Angels have; basically, if the group likes you, then you’re in. If the majority of the guys don’t want you to join, though, then you’re probably out without question.
11. Before you’re in, you’re a prospect – and subject to hazing
You’ve heard of fraternities hazing those seeking to join, and the Hells Angels are no different. For one, prospective initiates can get stuck with the chores that fully fledged members would rather avoid. This means, for instance, that the new guys may arrive early to a charter meeting, putting everything together before anyone else gets there.
That’s a pretty benign example of what Hells Angels hazing can be, though. Some say that the process can get violent, although this in turn triggers another rule. Apparently, prospects can’t lash out or fight back against the senior members who haze them. If they do, then their journey to membership ends then and there.
10. You can’t even link to the website without permission
Knowing what you do now, you probably don’t want to mess with the Hells Angels. But even if you’d never purposely rile a member, you may just do so inadvertedly. That’s because outsiders can’t link to the motorcycle club’s website except in a very specific scenario.
The Hells Angels’ site explains, “You may not establish and/or operate links to this website without the prior written consent of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.” And even if you have permission, it may not last forever, as members reserve the right to withdraw from the deal.
9. Say goodbye to any other hobbies
Once you join a Hells Angels charter, your brothers will expect you to put the organization first. And as membership comes with a slew of perks – you can vote at meetings, for example – you should take this honor seriously by making the club your first priority.
Needless to say, then, being part of the Hells Angels will become most members’ only hobby. Yep, they won’t have time to sign up for bowling leagues or take cooking classes. Even their wives and partners have to accept that the club comes before everything else.
8. No one in law enforcement can join
You may think that a cop would fit in well with the Hells Angels – especially one who patrols on a motorcycle. That’s not the case, though, as the group actually has a strict no-police rule when it comes to hopeful new members. And the same goes for prison guards. In fact, any ties to law enforcement will prevent you from enlisting in the club.
Mind you, the Hells Angels don’t exactly have the best relationship with police, as some charters allegedly engage in illegal activities. And even if they’re not breaking the law, club members go by their own rules and value their freedom to do so. Having a cop among their ranks would certainly put a dampener on that.
7. Interrupting a meeting could cost you
Picture a Hells Angels’ meeting, and you may imagine it to be as raucous as the riders’ engine-revving antics on the road. In actual fact, though, there are very specific guidelines dictating how members should behave at their regular gatherings. The organization follows Robert’s Rules of Order, which was originally written in 1876 to help businesses keep any assemblies civilized.
Robert’s Rules of Order outline the ways in which a firm – or in this case, the Hells Angels – can hold a democratic meeting. The group has to respect the written agenda, while members can only interrupt when it’s really needed. Anyone with a question has to raise it before proceedings begin, too. And, apparently, breaking a rule will put you $100 out of pocket.
6. Never rat out a fellow Angel
Supposedly, not all Hells Angels members lead lives on the straight and narrow. Yes, some allegedly partake in illegal dealings, which naturally puts them on the radar of the local authorities. But others in the charter know what to do if the police start poking around: basically, keep quiet.
Even if a member is involved in a crime, the group has a strict policy to stay mum. Talking to the cops or any other type of investigator could after all incriminate a brother – or, worse yet, the entire charter. So, on the whole, it’s best to ensure that your mouth stays shut.
5. Substance abuse is strictly prohibited
If you assume that Hells Angels’ criminal activity extends to drugs, though, guess again, as the organization has a no-tolerance policy for contact or engagement with illegal substances. The Toronto-based charter, for example, makes a particular point to prohibit needle use.
In the end, substance abuse would negatively affect the reputations of Hells Angels members, so they steer clear of it. And the organization also have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault. If a rider commits such an act or uses drugs, then, they’re out of the charter for good.
4. When the cops pull one member over, they all pull over
Of course, Hells Angels members are bound by the laws of the land – whether they like it or not. And when cops catch a motorcyclist riding or behaving illegally, they naturally won’t hesitate to pull them over. When that happens, though, the rest of the charter will act according to club rules.
In essence, after one member pulls over, their brothers will do the same and sit on the side of the road in solidarity. They do this as a supportive symbol, for sure, but the practice may also serve to scare the cop who has forced the bike to the shoulder.
3. You can’t retire
It takes a lot to become a full-fledged member of the Hells Angels, but the length of membership warrants such an intensive interview process. You see, once you’re in, you’re in for life, as there’s no such thing as retirement from the motorcycle club. You can, of course, lose your place for going against the rules, but that’s basically it.
But a lifetime membership does have its benefits, as Hells Angels enlistees become more like family than members of a motorcycle gang. And they generally take that connection very seriously, being brothers to the very end – at which point they give any fallen biker a proper send-off.
2. Rule-breaking comes with serious consequences
By now, you’ve learned one thing: the Hells Angels don’t just make rules for the sake of it. And it should be pretty clear that members take the organization and its reputation very seriously. If someone gets into the group but fails to meet its standards, then, or decides to flaunt the guidelines, they’ll be in serious trouble.
Those who have investigated the Hells Angels have heard horror stories of how remaining members will burn off the tattoos of those who haven’t obeyed the motorcyclists’ code. But the worst consequence of all for any rider would be removal from the club – a major dishonor, especially as membership is otherwise a lifelong commitment.
1. Strictly no women allowed
Hearing the name “Hells Angels” may encourage you to make a mental leap to the TV show Charlie’s Angels and lead you to assume that women are allowed to ride alongside the men. But the group doesn’t actually permit women to join, and so you won’t ever see them riding when a charter goes for a spin.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t women close to the Hells Angels organization, though. Many of its male members naturally have wives and girlfriends in their lives – and they’re expected to play along, too. Yes, a dutiful Hells Angels partner will probably learn the ropes and try their best to avoid breaking any of the rules as well.