For many Motorcycle Gang members in France, riding a Harley-Davidson and living their parallel life is the best way to clearly display their personal choices and ideas, and the refusal to allow oneself to be ‘formatted’ by society. The MC Bikers of France contrast with the traditional bikers in many ways, notably in the recruitment of their members. In a MC, the rules of life, especially the solidarity in all circumstances between brothers require a progressive integration of new members. Some ride Choppers, modified and personalized, and stripped of some of their original accessories. In general this is a way to show the refusal of much of the conventional notions of the political and economic society they live in. MC Bikers want to be free, without constraints, but they are governed by drastic internal rules. Being part of an MC is a real commitment. Although some members might seem to live a marginal lifestyle, for the most part, they are actually integrated fully into the mainstream of society, with a regular family life, a job and career. The word ‘MC gang’ has a controversial meaning and often connotes a ‘criminal’ group or organization. This ‘gang’ terminology began after the coverage of a riot which took place in Hollister California, in 1947. This riot inspired the movie ‘The Wild One’ with Marlon Brando. After that event, 1% of the bikers, mainly MC Bikers were considered as troublemakers, lawless rebels versus the 99% of regular bikers. Today, only very few MC Bikers wear the diamond patch with the inscription ‘1%er’.
ZUMA Press Launches this week: “Les Bikers” Photography by © Pierre Pankotay.