Bandidos vs. Hells Angels: A Legendary (and Bloody) Biker Feud

The two gangs – one of which is the subject of a VICE documentary – have been getting on each other's nerves for decades.
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‘United Gangs of America’ airs Wednesdays at 9PM on VICE TV.

The Bandidos and Hells Angels have long been known as two of the largest and most notorious motorcycle clubs on Earth. It’s no surprise, then, that they’ve also spent decades dutifully maintaining a legendary — and incredibly violent — feud.

During the ‘90s, the Bandidos and Hells Angels found themselves vying for control of various territories in the US as they sought to expand their respective drugs and arms trafficking businesses. Drivebys and shootings became commonplace between the two gangs.


In March of 1996, members of both gangs were booked on the same flights home from a biker conference in Europe. When the Bandidos arrived at Copenhagen Airport, the Hells Angels were ready and waiting to ambush them. Half a dozen Hells Angels opened fire on the Bandidos in the parking lot, killing one and injuring three.

This sparked an all-out war between the two motorcycle clubs.

The Start of the Legendary Feud Between the Bandidos and Hells Angels

A few months later, the Bandidos planned to take their revenge at a Hells Angels clubhouse party attended by more than 150 members and non-members. There was nothing especially subtle about their retaliation: the Bandidos launched a rocket-propelled grenade into the clubhouse, killing two people and injuring 19 more.

Eventually, things became so intense that leaders of both gangs called a truce, as they realized the violence was not good for business. However, this didn’t sit well with Jeffrey Pike, a member of the Bandidos rising rapidly through the ranks. Pike eventually became Bandidos President in 2006. Along the way, a lot of people got hurt.

Resentment between the two organizations continued to grow when bikers rejected by the Hells Angels joined the Bandidos instead. At various points, the two gangs stole drug shipments from each other. As you can imagine, this did little to engender peace.

Today, both of these infamous outlaw motorcycle clubs are considered a national threat. The Hells Angels are still the largest motorcycle club in the world, with Bandidos right behind them. After a troubled and bloody past, the two rival gangs seem perfectly set up to enjoy a violent and murderous future together.

Watch VICE’s insider documentary on the Bandidos below (US viewers only).