Hell’s Angels Can’t Ride

That isn’t a judgement call or a snarky attention grabber to get you to read this post.  It is a statement of fact.  I’m sure it won’t get me on their Christmas card list or anything, but rest assured that I will sleep just fine.

What brought that up, you ask?  A while ago, I happened to be at a car show.  I had occasion to see some Hell’s Angels members (fully patched, by the way) on some of their bikes.  They needed to do simple pull outs and ride away.

Hells Angels Rallyphoto © 2008 SliceofNYC | more info (via: Wylio)For those of you who don’t know what a pullout is check out the picture to the right.  See how the bikes are lined up all nice and pretty like?  A pull out is where you pull out far enough from the curb and make a quick right or left turn.  If you have even remedial skill, you should be able to lift both feet off the ground, put them on the foot pegs/boards, pull forward, turn and go.

The batch of H.A.s I saw had to walk their bikes out about 20′, cant the handlebars, back up, and then ride away.  L.A.M.E.

As a trained and professional rider, I was offended.  As a police officer, I was amused.  The Hells Angels are a motorcycle gang.  Make no mistake.  They are not a jovial piece of Americana.  They manufacture methamphetamine, run guns, and have been responsible for the deaths of untold individuals.  So, although I, too, enjoy Sons of Anarchy, I do not have a romanticized version of the Hells Angels in my head.  They are crooks.  This is not new to law enforcement.  They have certainly made their mark with the stereotypical image of the Death’s Head and the Harley Davidson.

I find it incredibly amusing and not a little bit ironic that a group as infamous as the Hell’s Angels based their whole identity and universe around a motorcycle they suck at riding.  Anyone can ride in a straight line, fellas.

What about you, have you ever seen a motorcycle *cough* “club” *cough cough* on the road?  Ever seen them ride dangerously, aggressively, or rudely?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

15 thoughts on “Hell’s Angels Can’t Ride

  1. I live and work in the state that holds one of the most infamous motorcycle rallies around…. Every August we scrape a few off the road and they are always wearing the patch of one of the more notorious biker gangs: HA, Banditos, etc. The mass chaos that ensues with each accident scene and the hospital waiting room afterward always makes me thankful to see September.

  2. I always see those bumper stickers that say, “Watch for bikers,” and “Look twice for bikers.” Then I see bikers being dumb on the road.

    I want to make a sticker that says, “Biking is not a crime
    … But speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and turning or changing lanes without signaling is.”

    I just don’t know how to make that all fit and still be legible. And add something about helmets. My mom is an RN and has told us plenty of dinnertime stories about legs laid open to the bone and head injuries from bikers not wearing protective gear.

  3. These kind of “bikers” give the rest of us a bad name. And I agree with everything that EliMae said, too.

  4. We had a few safety bulletins in our firehouse because some gangs were having a rally in our county. After work I hopped on my resonably priced, fuel-efficient, responsibly quiet KLR650 and putted over to see what the fuss was about. Needless to say, it doesn’t pay to be twice as drunk with half as many wheels. It looked like they really couldn’t handle their bikes when sober either. If you watch these “motorcyclists” at an intersection, take note of how long they keep their feet down after pulling out.
    What really gets me are the weekend warriors that work some pansy-assed desk jockey gig during the week and suddenly become billy badass saturday morning when they get on their hogs. They usually are accountants or dentists or something, and usually ride about 500lbs more Harley than they can safely handle. Then they tear up and down suburbia setting off car alarms and revving their engines at intersections. I live in a state with no helmet law and they will say, with a straight face, “Loud pipes save lives” while not wearing any head protection.
    If you haven’t yet seen it, the South Park episode “The F Word” is hilarious in reference to HOGS.
    From your picture I’m guessing you guys ride the Honda ST 1300P?

    • Yup. The first two years of my MC career, I was on a Road King. I’d just as soon put a bullet in a Harley as ride one again. (No offense to you Harley fans…in my opinion, it just isn’t built for my kind of riding). I love the Honda.

      And yes…I fantastic key to the aptitude of a rider is the length of time it takes them to lift up their feet when starting from a dead stop. Excellent point!

      • Oh man, I’m sorry about the Road King. I’m really surprised they are so widely used by police departments. I read the Michigan State Police motorcycle testing, and I was amazed how far behind Harley was in each category. I’ve riddent the councours ABS that the Kawi PD motor is based on, and it’s pretty slick.

  5. Just a question, is part of their lack of ability on pullouts due to the shape of the bikes? IE, extended forks, funky handlebars etc. I’m sure some of them are there more for the money and other illegal activities rather than the love of the road on a bike, which between that and the potential of heavy substance abuse would make anyone a bad driver no matter how many wheels. I live where there are helmet laws, but watching bikers weave in and out of traffic on the freeway or zipping between lanes on the lines in stopped traffic like nobody is on the road is insane. How many times have you seen a car weave over a little to try and see what’s up further ahead? I’ve seen a guy on a bike with a helmet, t-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes go inside cones to pass a bunch of traffic. Problem is when he got the front of the line the truck that was holding up traffic was turning right and the biker was unable to stop, at least until he hit the front fender between the the tire and bumper and lost his leg. As a witness to that I told both attorneys nobody deserves what happened to him, but he certainly did go looking for and found it.

    • The ones that I have seen have just been on your average, everyday bikes. The custom bike riders get a small (and we’re talking minuscule) break just based on the ridiculous nature of their bikes.

  6. A couple of years ago I was thinking about getting a bike and using it to hop to work and back (save on fuel…plus…LOVE to ride). Since I hadn’t been on a bike since junior high (and that wasn’t on a road), I signed up for a motorcycle class. I highly highly recommend the class – it was awesome.

    One guy in my class was an “experienced” rider but wanted the break on insurance. He showed up wearing…I kid you not…a black leather jacket with an 18 inch fringe hanging off the arms and across the back. He turned out to be one of two that flunked the class out of fifteen. His malfunctions included:

    1. Took at least twenty feet or more to pick up his dang feet and put them on the pegs – I kept thinking he was going to break his ankles one of these days by catching those little danglers in a pothole or something.
    2. Struggled mightily to find second gear from first and usually failed – his fringe didn’t move much in first gear.
    3. Consistently failed to notice his bike was in NEUTRAL, so he gunned the engine when it wouldn’t go anywhere.
    4. Could not remember what gear he was in when he came to a stop, so he clicked it constantly which drove the instructor up a wall.
    5. Never mastered the emergency stop – and nearly laid the bike down several times trying
    6. Never mastered leaning
    7. Never mastered the dreaded figure 8 (which I thought rocked – it never would have occurred to me to try that!)
    8. During the final test, he popped the clutch…and then panicked and hit the gas – causing the bike to shoot out from under him so he was barely on the seat and hanging onto the handlebars by his fingertips. Took the entire length of a very very large lot to get it under control. In retrospect….hilariously funny. At the time I seriously thought he was going to ram into the 12 ft tall fence.

    And yet…when the instructor informed him he’d failed? He couldn’t understand why. Then he shrugged. No big. In my state you can drive on a learner’s permit pretty much indefinitely. The guy is on the road, riding with his “club.” Every time I hear about a bike accident in our area I look for his name.

  7. Motor Cop,
    Outstanding write up. I’m a retired Motor Cop from NE OK, and I couldn’t agree with you more!
    What has always puzzled me, is how these dirt clod “clubs” bamboozle Joe public into thinking they are maligned and picked on by LEO’s. Oh and riding skills?? LOL, It was comedy central one night a few years ago when we caught a bunch of the frito banditos trying to go around a DUI check point. What fun!! I sure do miss being 10-8 on my motor!

    A buddy of mine turned me onto your blog a few weeks ago, EXCELLENT!
    Keep up the good work!

  8. shhh! Don’t blow the deal by going around saying this in public. The gang members who DO know how to do a pullout are the undercovers. lol

    • I’d agree, but all the motors I know would rather stay motors than do that undercover stuff. 😉 Besides, they’d blow their cover if they showed off the skills.

  9. I’ve never had an issue w/ an Harley rider, aside from the awful racket the things make. It’s the jerks on the sport bikes I hate.

    For some reason, it’s a fad for teens/20 somethings. here to ride them down the lines between the lanes at like 10 times the speed of the traffic, then slam across two or three lanes right in front of the nose of a car.

    It probably makes me a horrid person, but whenever I see a gang of them flying up behind me on the yellow lines, knowing they are going to pass within an inch of my rear view mirrow, I have SUCH an urge to throw my door open in front of them…..

    I’ve resisted that urge. So far. I’ll make no promises about tomorrow.

  10. I tooK a CNOA class once over at the Alameda County OES office on Gleason. The class was appropriately named “Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs”.
    One of those classes you take to get you to advanced POST faster when you’re a rookie. Any who, the instructor had been an undercover HA for several years and all these younger rookies had arrived on their humungous Harley’s and of course one had an Icon brand vest and the mohawk helmet brush thing.

    The instructor said “no doubt about it, if you ride with a leather vest with two or more patches, you Sir are in a motorcycle gang.” Half the class got up and walked out.

    Mind you, every one of these guys was with an agency, only a few were tragically dressed in the tacky 5.11 pants and polo shirt on their bikes and a few actually wore their vests from charity organizations etc, but he was right.
    The Mongols and HA’s are total criminal

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