A Guide to Motorcycle Subcultures

How You Know You're A Biker

• Parks Harley Davidson in living room.
• Has checker pattern floor in garage.
• Plasters garage walls with posters of naked women.
• Arms are covered in tattoos.
• Considers anything other than a chopper a scooter.
• Wears a lot of leather.

The History

This subculture has its roots in the post-World War II era of American society. It is centered around the use of Harley-Davidsons and choppers, and a set of ideals which celebrate freedom, nonconformity to mainstream culture and loyalty to the biker group. Biker guys are typically members of motorcycle gangs. The primary visual identification of a member of an outlaw motorcycle gang is a vest adorned with a large gang-specific patch. The patch will contain a club logo, the name of the club, the letters MC, and a possible state. This vest and the patches themselves are referred to as the colors or cut.

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in the USA

State Where Founded
Year Established
Gang Name


1940 Market St. Commandos
1942 Galloping Goose MC
1945 Pissed-off Bastards
1948 Hells Angels
1956 Gypsy Joker MC
1959 Chosen Few
1960 Hangmen MC
1961 Diablos
1967 Devils Disciples
1968 Hessians MC
1969 Mongols
1978 Peckerwoods MC
1990 Jus Brothers


1966 Sons of Silence


1967 Warlocks


1969 Brother Speed
1935 Outlaws
1967 Hell's Lovers


1966 Sin City Disciples


1962 El Forastero MC


1959 Pagans


1954 Highwaymen


1965 Invaders

New Jersey

1968 The Breed


1960 Iron Horsemen


1968 Free Souls


1954 Sons of Satan MC


1966 Bandidos

The Bike - Dyna

Drawing of a chopper

Bike Specs

Year: 1981
Make: Harley Davidson Model: Dyna
Engine Size: 1,340cc
Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Excelsior-Henderson are common brands in the cruiser community. Their engines are tuned for low-end torque, making them less demanding to ride because it is not necessary to shift as frequently to accelerate or maintain control. The riding position places the feet forward and the hands up high, so that the spine is erect or leaning back slightly. At low to moderate speeds, cruisers are more comfortable than other styles, but riding for long periods at freeway speeds can lead to fatigue from pulling back on the handlebars to resist the force of the wind against the rider's chest. Cruisers have limited cornering ability due to a lack of ground clearance. They are often custom projects that result in a bike modified to suit the owner's ideals, and, as such, are a source of pride.