The Bandidos Motorcycle Club, also known as the Bandido Nation, is a "one-percenter" motorcycle gang and organized crime syndicate with a worldwide membership. The club was formed in 1966 by Don Chambers in Texas. Its motto is "We are the people our parents warned us about". It is estimated to have 2,400 members in 210 chapters, located in 22 countries. The club considers itself to be an outlaw motorcycle club. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada have named the Bandidos an "outlaw motorcycle gang".
The Bandidos has over 90 chapters in the United States, 90 chapters in Europe, and another 17 in Australia, 1 in New Zealand and In Southeast Asia.
In North America
In the United States, the club is concentrated in Texas, but extends into Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Washington, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and several other states.
In Canada, the Rock Machine Motorcycle club in Montréal merged with the Bandidos in 2000; there was a chapter in Toronto, Ontario until a dramatic internal conflict led to their deaths.
The Bandidos are also found in Australia; aside from the non-locale-specific Nomads chapter, the chapters are located in Adelaide, Ballarat, Brisbane (Bayside, Centro, City), Byron Bay, Cairns, Geelong, Gold Coast, Hunter Region, Port Stephens, Ipswich, Melbourne, Mid North Coast, Mid State, Mission Beach, Noosa, North Victoria, Northside, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, and Toowoomba, and were acquired with much bloodletting.
They have attempted to establish themselves in New Zealand starting in 2012. An attempt in South Auckland in 2012 was stymied when their main contact, a former member of the Highway 61 gang, was recalled to prison for meeting them. In 2013 it was reported that some former Highway 61 members in Christchurch had aligned with the Bandidos.
The first European chapter opened in Marseilles in France in 1989, followed by chapters in Scandinavia, in Denmark in 1993 and Sweden in 1994. In recent years the club has also expanded heavily into Germany, Spain, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Luxembourg and the Channel Islands. As of March 15th 2014, the club has opened a new "Probationary Chapter" in Sittard, in the Netherlands. Additionally, it is looking into setting up shop in Russia and Eastern Europe and also in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The Bandidos are organized by local chapters, with state and regional officers, as well as a national chapter made up of four regional vice presidents and a national president.
Like the Hells Angels, The Bandidos also have a number of "support" clubs, who are used as proxies for both legal and illegal activities. These groups usually wear reverse colors (gold border with red background rather than the Bandidos' red-border--and--gold background). They also commonly wear a unique patch (known as the "Heart Patch") consisting of a round patch in Bandidos colors on the front upper left of the colors (vest), as worn by the member. Most of these clubs are regional.