I’m on the FBI’s motorcycle “gang member” list. If you own a motorcycle, you are too.
There’s an article on this subject floating around the internet that looks and reads very much like a news story. It claims a government official has confirmed that anyone who bought a motorcycle or obtained a motorcycle license since 1994 is on an FBI list and classified as a “gang member.”
This is a HOAX. It was written as a joke by the National Report, a fake news “satire” internet site apparently famous for starting alarming rumors that sound just plausible enough to be real. First published on March 25, 2015, the article had a lot of people fooled because it was later republished on a site that looked like the Washington Post, but wasn’t. It was then reposted by a respected automotive blog, which, when it realized it had been punked, set the record straight.
Among the claims made by the “government official” interviewed in the story was that ”… the truth of the matter is that those that own and operate motorcycles are 67% more likely to be involved in illegal or criminal activity than those that do not own or operate a motorcycle.” I’ll bet the “one percenters” – which is what real outlaw gang members call themselves in reference to their portion of the biker population – were shocked to read about their competition.
I also imagine this hoax started circulating again after last May’s Waco shootout, allegedly between two rival motorcycle gangs. The arrests of 177 bikers – most of whom were innocent bystanders – was definitely an over-reaction by police. But the incident reawakened the tired stereotype of most bikers as fringe-dwelling outlaws.
The article was sent to me by a friend who knows I blog about motorcycles and motorcycle riders. A quick check with snopes.com confirmed what I suspected – that somebody was pulling our collective legs. (By the way, Snopes.com is a great site for debunking fake claims or confirming true ones on the internet.)
So rest easy, fellow gang members. We’re all on a list somewhere. Just not on the FBI’s for owning a motorcycle.