First of all, Harley-Davidson has always had close ties to outlaw bikers, so it only makes sense that they’re on this list. Second, most one-percenter clubs require members to ride an American bike – which is why most of the bikes on this list are American-made. Third, riding with a club means carrying a lot of stuff and covering huge distances, so most of the bikes here are big, powerful cruisers or tourers – but of course, there’s an exception to every rule.
To round things off; this list is not meant to be taken seriously. We’re very much aware that there’s the occasional law-abiding citizen behind the handlebars of some of these bikes. Or it could be that they just haven’t been convicted of a crime yet.
20 Harley-Davidson Dyna
Dyna riders pretty much invented the “club-style” look, which was made popular by the number one outlaw biker tv show; Sons of Anarchy. A small fairing, risers, T-bars, and slightly raised suspension is what you want in a club-style bike. Dynas are actually a bit light for heavy-duty club riding, yet they’re really common.
19 Suzuki Hayabusa
The perfect bike for the criminal who needs, or wants, to cover long distances in a short time. You’ll see some ‘Busas with lowered suspension, fat rear tires, and stretched swingarms… These riders are either posers or live in an area with only straight roads. Real criminals who ride Hayabusas will make it even faster and better – check out the Swedish Ghostrider to see how it should be done.
18 H-D Heritage
If there was ever any doubt if this bike was made for criminals, here’s what Harley-Davidson themselves write on their website about the Heritage: “From the shady side of the family tree, a dark classic with a modern edge. Dripping with gangster-era style, if Bonnie and Clyde rode a motorcycle, this would be the one.”
17 Kawasaki Vulcan
Believe it or not, but Kawasaki Vulcans are actually very common bikes in MCs. They lack the acceleration of the Harleys and Indians but cruise at high speeds and handle the weather just fine. Vulcans have plenty of carrying capacity and stand up well to long-distance riding, which is important when riding with a club.
16 H-D Street Glide
A quick glance is all it takes to know this is one of the preferred rides for criminals. The Street Glide is a badass stripped-down hot rod bagger that backs up its menacing looks with a rumbling Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine. The batwing fairing is iconic by now and provides plenty of wind protection for the criminal who enjoys longer rides.
15 H-D Road Glide
It’s easy to understand why outlaws like the H-D Road Glide. It possesses an aggressive hot rod look with a wind-cutting shark-nose fairing on the front. The Road Glide is a familiar sight on the highways – make sure you give way and leave plenty of space for it to pass you, getting in trouble with the owner is the last thing you want.
14 H-D Electra
Real outlaw bad boys will opt for the basic, stripped-down, bare essentials Electra. Why? Because it’ll do the job when it comes to riding longer distances, and it’s a blank canvas that’s just begging to be modified and turned into something unique – and we all know how much they love riding their customized bikes.
13 H-D Fatboy
One of the most famous Harleys ever made, the Fatboy was designed by none other than Willie G. Davidson and Louie Netz. The name is said to come from the bike’s “massive presence”, and what self-respecting criminal doesn’t like that? It gained mainstream visibility via Terminator 2 and has also appeared in Sons of Anarchy, Wild Hogs and CSI: Miami
12 Triumph Rocket III
Seeing as it’s an absolute beast of a bike, only the toughest of criminals will get on the cult classic Triumph Rocket – it’s a handful. This is a bike people either love or hate, there is no in-between. Its 2,294 cc triple delivers monstrous torque, and with the bike weighing nearly 800 pounds wet, it’s needed. Triumph claims it used “the world’s largest production motorbike engine” to create this radical beastie.
11 BMW S1000RR
You might have to squint to tell the differences between the various generations of S1000RRs, but BMW has improved their fire-breathing superbike in every area with each generation. While most criminals love cruiser and touring bikes, this is the bike for the outlaw who needs to make a quick getaway – it’ll be gone before the cops have a chance to react.
Saxon Motorcycle Company was established in 2004 in order to build production custom motorcycles at a more reasonable price than the competition. The bikes look cool and are essentially “mass-produced” custom bikes… Yeah, we know that sounds wrong. Since they’re a U.S. based company, they should be allowed by those 1 percenter clubs who only accept American-made bikes.
9 West Coast Choppers
Jesse James who started West Coast Choppers had a bad boy reputation himself, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some of his customers might occasionally find themselves on the wrong side of the law. With the prices of these bikes, they must be pretty good at what they’re doing though.
8 Big Dog Motorcycles
Like Saxon, Big Dog Motorcycles make semi-custom motorcycles. Their bikes have a factory chopper-look and with model names that are dog-related, they’re in a great position to attract the pitbull-loving gangsters out there. Big Dog Motorcycles were particularly well known for their wide assortment of customizing options for their otherwise stock motorcycles, and what self-respecting criminal doesn’t like some bling?
What do you do if you’re in an outlaw club that demands you ride an American bike, but cruisers aren’t your thing because you love to get a knee down through the corners? You’ll get yourself a Buell of course. Built from various Harley parts, Buell was even owned by Harley-Davidson at one point – and we know how much H-D enjoy their status amongst outlaws.
6 H-D Road King
The Road King is the bike for the nostalgic outlaw biker. The stripped-down style of the bike can be traced back to the 60s – an era that some say was the heyday of biker gangs – a time when outlaw bikers were rubbing shoulders with celebrities, artists, and journalists. Those were the days.
Yeah, you read that right. Scooters! In the last couple of years, London has experienced massive problems with scooter riding criminals. They’ll steal anything that isn’t bolted down, in fact, since they carry angle grinders and other tools, they’ll steal things that are bolted down as well. It went so far that some people started arming themselves and the police started ramming scooterists off the road.
4 H-D Night Rod
It’s big, it’s burly… it doesn’t seem to be the bike of choice for the American outlaw. Maybe it’s because American Harley enthusiasts will only accept bikes that have a true Harley heritage? However, it is very popular with a certain type of rider in Europe. Perhaps it’s because they know to appreciate a good bike when they see it?
3 Indian Chief
Indians are good solid bikes as far as handling, weight, and carrying capacity goes. In most ways, they are equal to a Harley or other brands, in some ways, they are superior. They even have a few nice features unique to Indian. The Dark Horse version of the Chief looks sinister with its fully blacked-out design – which is perhaps why outlaws seem to love it?!
2 Indian Chieftain
The Chieftain is built to eat miles and swallow them like it was nothing. Being a bagger, it’s got plenty of carrying capacity, and that big fairing offers more than enough protection from the elements. American-made, powerful, lots of equipment… we can totally understand why the road-tripping outlaw would want one of these.
The main belief back in the day was that riding anything but a US-made Harley was “un-American.” Sonny Barger, the prominent Hells Angels member, addressed this in his book, saying he doesn’t like Harleys. He rode them because he’s in the club and that’s the image. Barger would later make the switch to Victory motorcycles. Enough said.
Sources: Ride Apart, Revzilla