July 22, 2018

The changing face of Australian bikies: From beer-swilling bearded blokes with mullet haircuts to tattooed young gym junkies who pose with bikini-clad Instagram stars

Australia's first 'one percenter' motorcycle gangs were formed in the mid 1960s
  • Early clubs were more interested in riding bikes and rebelling against society
  • Law enforcement paid little attention to the clubs until 1984's Milperra Massacre
  • Outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs) have become organised crime syndicates
  • The new breed of Australian bikie doesn't necessarily own or ride a motorcycle
  • Modern bikies pose on Instagram and engage in social media wars with rivals

  • The image of the hairy, beer-swilling bikie cruising back roads in a formation of Harley-Davidsons is as dated as the notion they are all harmless social rebels.

    Today's outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) members are more likely to be found posing on Instagram (link is external) with bikini-clad babes than playing pool in clubhouses with their mates.

    Where once alcohol (link is external) and cannabis were the drugs most associated with bikies the gangs are now major distributors - and sometimes users - of substances such as methylamphetamine, or ice.

    OMCGs still outwardly insist they are 'clubs', 'family' and 'brotherhoods' rather than 'gangs' but many are considered sophisticated international crime syndicates.

    In an era when OMCG members in some Australian jurisdictions are no longer allowed to be seen together in their club colours, bikies are perhaps more visible than ever.

    One senior bikie who found himself blocked from re-entering the country even turned to crowd-funding - offering PayPal to supporters who wanted to buy T-shirts and keyrings - to help pay for his legal fees.
    Long hair and beards were the order of the day for Australia's early bikies. Pictured are members of the Gypsy Jokers, including leader Brownie (in T-shirt), at Stroud, NSW, in 1981
    Long hair and beards were the order of the day for Australia's early bikies. Pictured are members of the Gypsy Jokers, including leader Brownie (in T-shirt), at Stroud, NSW, in 1981


    Australia - BN.
     

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