The Real Reason The Hells Angels Usually Ride Harley-Davidsons

Harley-Davidson motorcycles have long been associated with motorcycle gangs — particularly the Hells Angels. The group was formed on March 17, 1948, in Fontana, California, and is now considered one of the most popular biker gangs in the world. When Hells Angels was first established after the war, motorcycle parts were abundant and sold at an affordable price, allowing motorcycle club members to build their own vehicles. Per Time, most of the initial members of Hells Angels were war veterans who didn’t have anything to do and wanted a sense of adventure.

There are a few rules that Hells Angels members have to follow. According to One Percent Bikers, one of the requirements of being part of the gang is owning a Harley-Davidson. There may be rare exceptions to the rule, but generally, members are encouraged to use this brand. Buell, which is also owned by Harley-Davidson, is also an acceptable motorcycle. Per Hot Cars, members are also expected to have a Harley-Davidson that’s at least 1,000 ccs, although the model is entirely up to the member’s budget.

Why they choose Harley-Davidson

The first members of the Hells Angels were former military personnel who fought in the war, and they were extremely patriotic. For that reason, they were strongly supportive of American-made products. Unlike today, Harley-Davidson motorcycles were cheap in the post-war years. Considering they were also made in America, it was the obvious best choice for the Hells Angels (via Hot Cars). And because the Hells Angels — and other motorcycle gangs — use Harleys as their ride of choice, the relationship between the company and group has grown over the years.

Hells Angels members are loyal to Harley-Davidson to this day. In fact, when Harley-Davidson moved their production overseas because of former President Donald Trump’s trade policies, the group’s members still backed the motorcycle company. A former member of the Hells Angels, Lorne Campbell, told Toronto Star: “I’ve been riding them all of my life, even when they were s**t bikes in the ’60s and ’70s. Harley riders are loyal — even when they leaked oil.”