20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Outlaws Motorcycle Club

20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Outlaws Motorcycle Club

Most of the one-percenter clubs — the ones that don’t abide by the rules and regulations of the AMA (American Motorcycle Association) — are outlaw motorcycle clubs. And the Outlaws Motorcycle Club is one of the topmost one-percenter clubs in the U.S. It’s also one of the most popular one-percenter clubs, despite all the attention that its name and reputation earn them from law enforcement.

Updated March 2023: If you’re interested in learning about the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, or just curious about one-percenter clubs in general, you’ll be glad to know that we’ve updated this article with more facts regarding the infamous biker gang.

While all one-percenter clubs such as the Hells Angels and the Pagans are outlaw motorcycle clubs, there is only one Outlaws MC. And it’s not a motorcycle club you would want to take lightly, for they take their rules, riding, and brotherhood very seriously. If you have seen them around and wonder about their history, we have some interesting facts for you right here, showing you why it’s good to be wary of them enough to give them the right-of-way.

RELATED: Here’s What America’s Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs Keep On The DL

20 The Outlaws MC Was Born In A Bar

The Outlaws MC Was Born In A Bar
Outlaws MC

The best of the worst ideas can come out of a bout of drinking, as is clear with the fact that the Outlaws MC was born in Matilda’s Bar. This bar is on the old Route 66 in McCook, Illinois, southwest of Chicago, and the Outlaws MC was born way before the war. WWII and the return of the veterans only brought them closer.

19 Outlaws MC Is Part Of The Dreaded Big-Four

Outlaws MC Is Part Of The Dreaded Big-Four

Along with the big seven, which is law enforcement’s loose terminology of marking out seven major outlaw motorcycle clubs to keep an eye on, the Outlaws MC is also part of the inner core of the big-four outlaw motorcycle clubs. These four MCs keep getting into trouble with the law and with each other, the other three being the Hells Angels, the Bandidos, and the Pagans.

18 Homogenous Members

Biker Trash Network

Like most other high-profile one-percenter clubs, members of the Outlaws MC are exclusively white males. Traditionally, women can’t become full-patch members, and the same is the case for men of other races. This is not unique to the Outlaws MC though, as virtually all one-percenter clubs are racially unmixed and don’t allow women to become members, whether they are black clubs, white clubs, or Hispanic clubs.

17 The Outlaws MC Is 88 Years Old And Counting

The Outlaw MC Is 80 Years Old And Counting
Outlaws MC 

Formed in 1935, the Outlaws MC turns 88 in 2023, and their 100th anniversary is just 12 years down the line. Keeping that in mind, they are the oldest motorcycle club around, outlaw or otherwise, and senior-most in the ranking, if there was such a thing in the motorcycle club scene.

16 Black Pistons MC Is A Support Club

Black Pistons
Black Pistons

The Outlaws MC are pretty famous in their own right, and so have a separate support motorcycle group, called the Black Pistons Motorcycle Club. The Outlaws MC uses the Black Pistons MC as a recruitment club, prospecting for new members when they need to fill their ranks. Other MCs, such as the Grim Reapers, the Iron Coffins, and the Mongols are allies.

15 Outlaws MC Have An Auxiliary Club As Well

Outlaws MC Charity Event

They have allies and a support club, plus they have an auxiliary club known as the Dirty White Boys MC. Founded in the federal prison system in 1985, this club is for those who are not part of the Outlaws MC. While the name is Dirty White Boys MC, they are not affiliated with the white supremacist movement.

14 A Marlon Brando Movie Inspired The Patch

A Marlon Brando Movie Inspired The Patch

The original patch had a winged motorcycle, but by 1950, the club re-established itself and its colors. The skull replaced the motorcycle and the lettering became Old English style. Finally, by 1954, they added a set of crossed pistons to the patch and this too was later redesigned in 1959, inspired by the Marlon Brando movie, The Wild Ones.

13 Outlaws MC Are Official One-Percenters

Outlaws MC Are “Official” One-Percenters

In 1963, the Outlaws MC became an official one-percenter motorcycle club and added the “1%er” patch to their biker jackets and vests. This made them the first motorcycle club on the east of the Mississippi River to adopt the one-percenter brotherhood, and made the population around them pretty uneasy about it all.

12 They Back-Talked To The AMA With AOA

They Back-Talked To The AMA With AOA

Since they did not kowtow to the AMA, the Outlaws MC and other outlaw motorcycle clubs decided to form their own “association.” Outlaw MCs pooled together on the first day of the year in 1965 to form the American Outlaws Association (AOA), and the logo of AOA sends a pretty clear message.

RELATED: Here’s Why Law-Abiding Motorcycle Clubs May Clash With Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs

Their Motto Does Not Promote Forgiveness

Outlaws MC does not have a very aspirational motto, especially if you are thinking of going head-to-head with them. According to the Outlaws MC’s motto, “God Forgives, Outlaws Don’t,” or GFOD for short, and the warning is clear and intentional. Go against them, and they will remember, and they will exact revenge. Forgiveness isn’t what they believe in.

10 They Are Multi-State And International Too

They Are International And Multi-Stated

With more than 1,700 members, the Outlaws MC has some 176 chapters spread across the U.S. and 12 foreign countries as well, including France, Australia, Ireland, Japan, Norway, and Russia. They have quite the long arms of reach even outside their home soil and seem to be proud of their span.

9 ADIOS Is A Warning From The Outlaws MC

Outlaws MC Members
Outlaws MC Lithuania

ADIOS holds deadly meaning for the Hells Angels MC. Hells Angels and Outlaws are competing groups and often get into volatile and violent conflicts. ADIOS is an acronym coined by the Outlaws MC for Hells Angels who venture into their territory, and it stands for “Angels Die In Outlaw States.”

8 Peace Is Not A Concept They Preach Or Adopt

Peace Is Not A Concept They Like Or Adopt

The Outlaws MC is an alpha club — not only do they defend their territory in violent ways, but they also challenge and take over other MC territories. The smaller motorcycle clubs do not stand a chance against their invasion. They are big and powerful and most MCs fall under their onslaught, choosing to give up their patches in submission.

RELATED: Outlaw Bikers Love Riding These 10 Motorcycles

7 They Have Strict Rules About The Motorcycles

There Are Strict Rules About The Motorcycles In The US
Outlaws MC

For the U.S. chapters of the Outlaws MC, the motorcycles have to be American-made (think Harley-Davidson), but members can’t ride something like a Harley-Davidson 500 Street because there are rules regarding engine displacement as well.

RELATED: The Most Badass Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Of All Time

6 They Have Been Extensively Covered By The Press

They Have Been Extensively Covered By The Press

Much like the Hells Angels, the Outlaws MC has been extensively covered by journalists. “The Bikeriders” is a 1968 book by photojournalist Danny Lyon in which he photographed and recounted the stories of the members of the Chicago chapter of the Outlaws MC. When it comes to being famous, being bad can be good too.

5 Being An Outlaws MC Member Can Be Bad For Your Career

Outlaws Motorcycle Clubs Have Crazy Hazing Rituals

In 2019, a fire department fired a medic for being part of the Outlaws MC and bringing a bad name to the government body. The gentleman in question tried to fight the termination, but kept his silence about the brotherhood. The reason is loud and clear on T-shirts sold on the Outlaws MC website: “Snitches are a dying breed.” Consider it a threat and a promise.

4 Why The Police Struggle To Take Them Down

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Being part of The Big Four means the Outlaws MC could, technically, get prosecuted under the U.S. Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute. However, unlike other criminal organizations, such as the mafia, biker clubs mostly operate on an individual basis rather than being outright ruled from the top. Because of this, the clubs can argue that illegal activities are often isolated occurrences committed by individuals, not the work of a criminal organization. Often, one-percenter MCs will compare themselves to police departments, saying the occasional bad cop doesn’t mean the police department is a criminal organization.

3 Making Money Is A Major Goal

Money Inc.

Money, or the hope of making money, is a major incentive for joining any course. Besides the obvious power they get to wield over the territories they control, being members of the Outlaw MC also has other benefits that include getting to make a lot of money. As expected from such a group, the bulk of the money they make is from illegal activities that include contract killing, running drugs across the border, petty theft, and several other crimes, according to Complex.

2 The Leader Of The Outlaws MC

Harry Bowman and an Outlaws MC member
The Gangster Report

While some bikers created the Outlaws MC at a bar in Illinois in 1935, we know little about the founding members. Yet, the Outlaws MC has had some well-known international presidents, which include the very notorious Harry Bowman, who was the club’s president from 1984 to 1999. Currently, the international president of the Outlaws MC is John Ermin as alleged by a U.S. attorney.

1 Becoming An Outlaws MC Member Is Easier Than It Seems

Outlaws MC member

Although the Outlaws MC is quite an exclusive club, it’s actually relatively easy to become a member if you have the right set of attributes they are looking for. To know if you qualify, you have to first find Outlaws MC members, get to know them, and later ask them what it takes to become a member. However, while the success of this initial stage remains a significant step in you becoming a member, you’ll still have to meet other club members who also have a say in you becoming a member or not, and possibly put you through some tests.

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