In the skin and the iron horse: live in Kharkiv bikers

Daredevils and criminals — as a rule, such associations have Everyman is the appearance of people on motorcycles dressed in black leather. And no wonder, because the terrible roar of the engine, chain, and skull can confuse anyone. And although the truth in the legends about bikers is, not all riders on “iron horses” are outlawed. Many of them coexist peacefully with society and pursue very noble goal. “Today” figured out why bikers do not leave leather jackets and how formidable attributes help them in their work.

First of all we should clarify that not every owner of the “iron horse” can be called a biker. The average motorcyclist only from time to time throws a “friend” out of the garage and is not in the club — Association of bikers in the organization with its Charter, a clear structure and allocation of responsibilities.


To debunk stereotypes, we went to the representatives of the Kharkiv club Iron Heads. Much to our surprise, the kids willingly went on contact and even showed their club house. Hero waited near the metro, and it was difficult for someone to confuse: at the appointed time on the chopper approached a man in a leather jacket, jeans and shoes. Ride with the wind, was in one of garage cooperatives. “Here we live. This is our club house where we gather and spend time,” — said the President of the motorcycle club Alex Kazachok.

Before us was a small garage with a grey metal door on which was seen the figure with the club logo — the skull in the helmet of a Roman Legionnaire. Frightening, but as it turned out, it was hiding a spacious room with spare parts, tools and dismantled motorcycles. Inside we waited a few members of the club. As it turned out, bikers have nicknames, so all the guys seemed to double name, the second part of which reflects Hobbies or associated with a person. For example, the President of the club got its nickname because of the enthusiasm of the Cossack theme and participate in thematic events. Vice-President Andrew “the Winds”, who is fond of motorcycles from a young age and at 13 years collected the first motorcycle, was perpetuated in the nickname of the deceased fellow rider Maxim Vetrov. The most senior member of the club, responsible for its protection, Vladimir, received the nickname “Uncle Vova”, which indicates the respect of the younger comrades. In the garage was also a rookie, or, as the saying among bikers, “support” Artem “Ozzy” who wants to join the club. Rookie dubbed so for a reason also: during one of the events he appeared in a manner similar to the well-known British rock musician Ozzy Osbourne. After meeting, we moved outside into a cozy gazebo, where we waited for tea and biscuits. “Tea will be? — asked Andrew “the Winds” and hearing a negative response, he added, — will, so we have not decided”.

Alex Kazachok. Manager in black leather jackets. Photo: archive of the Iron Heads

“Iron head”

In the club the boys teamed up just over a year ago to indicate itself in the motor-community and together engage in the development of motodvizheniya in the city. But, like all clubs, it has its own symbols, statutes and rules.

“We were called “iron heads”, because in order to achieve goals ready to head to break through walls,” explains Alex Kazachok. In the symbolism of the club use the skull, but, as they say motorcyclists, this is one of biker charms. As it turned out, bikers are very superstitious, and they realize that, each time sitting on the “iron horse”, putting your life in danger. The skull, in the opinion of the riders and protects them from death — when it comes to the crash site and sees the skull he thinks that was already here, nothing else to do, and goes with anything. The skull is dressed in the helmet of a Roman Legionnaire.

Symbol. Skull in legionary helmet. Photo: archive of the Iron Heads

“At one time they were an example of discipline, strength and endurance. Using this element in their symbolism, we emphasize the qualities of the members of our club,” says “the Winds”. Skull in legionary helmet adorns the flag for the club, and vests its members, thereby making it stand out among other bikers. “Bikers don’t take off your vest ever. For us, it’s the uniform, the pride, the sign that you belong to a certain motoseghe” — sharing the guys.

Iron Heads have their own constitutions and rules, but with strangers they do not discuss, say, club this information is not advertised. Does not apply information to representatives of the motorcycle club. Iron Heads, and all the traditional clubs, has a clear hierarchy and distribution of roles, as well as “avenues” and “supports”.

“I interesting club life, communication with other motorcyclists and bikers. In addition, I also want to contribute to the development motodvizheniya in Kharkiv”, — tells a potential member of the club, Artem “Ozzy”.

Members of the club Iron Heads hold meetings peacefully communicate with other bikers and ordinary people. They hope that in Kharkov will not be so radical to treat motorcyclists and to repeal the discriminatory law prohibiting driving on major highways, which greatly complicated the logistics of the movement of two-wheeled owners.

“The iron horse”. No way of movement, and a true friend. Photo: archive of the Iron Heads

The types of clubs

  • MG (MotoGang) — “gang” club with strict hierarchy.
  • MS (Motorcycles Club) is a motorcycle club with a strict hierarchy and rules: members are only men, possible racial and class limitations.
  • MCC (Motorcycles Community) — a simplified version MS are not required to hold bike shows and festivals, may not have their clubhouse.
  • MFC (Moto Fanats Club) — a club for lovers of motorcycles without restrictions. The candidate may not even be their own “horse”.
  • RC (Riders Club) — a club for lovers of riding on motorcycles, usually without hierarchy, clubhouse and hard rules.
  • FMC, WMC (Female Moto Club, Moto Club Women) — female motorcycle club with its Charter, rules and customs.

Motozuma: hierarchy and reciprocity

Despite the clear hierarchy, the clubs are often in a very family atmosphere. “The relationship in the club are based on the trust and reciprocity. We are always ready to support and to help each other”, — says Vice-President of the “steel heads” Andrew “Winds”. The guys from Iron Heads are seen quite often. They have a special club days in which they meet, communicate, plan trips and activities.

To better understand the life of Kharkiv bikers, we spent a couple of evenings walking through the city center. The atmosphere at these meetings is very friendly and warm. If somewhere they find out the relationship, it’s not here. On the “Glass” riders talk quietly and drink coffee. Club bikers at these meetings special relationship — all approach and be sure to say Hello.


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“Most of these people I don’t even know the name, but this way they show respect,” says Alex Kazachok. At these meetings motosredstva each other, whoever you were — biker or just a motorcycle. Anyone can leave their equipment and go for a walk on foot. “I can leave a bike or helmet and be peaceful, because I know that other riders will watch him. Do not even need to ask. As well and I’ll look after things two-wheeled counterparts, without thinking — automatically,” says the President of the motorcycle club.

Passers-by often react to motorcyclists. Many see motorcycles or asking to be photographed. One evening a boy of five, walking with my mother, saw the motorcycle, President of the Iron Heads and literally stuck to him with a look, not wanting to move away. When the woman tried to take him, the child began to resist and capricious. Kazachok first watched, and then he put down his Cup with coffee, took the baby and sat on the chopper, allowing them to play and take pictures, and finally even presented the young motolyubiteley keychain with the image of a motorcycle.

Traveling together — part of the life of the club. Photo: archive of the Iron Heads

HELP IN THE WORK. Surprisingly, the image of the biker seeping into everyday life. The guys assure that it does not harm, but on the contrary, it often plays into the hands. So, the President of the motorcycle club Alex Kazachok works as a sales Manager and represents the interests of some Ukrainian plants in the Eastern region of the country. To work the rider likes to go in his favorite black leather jackets, vest and jeans. “To any transaction expect to see a sales person in a traditional costume, a little nervous and fussy, and not a biker in leather and chains. So when I come to the negotiations who first lost and then start asking me about motorcycles. The majority of partners as a child were motorcycles, we pass on personal topics, and then razormanes successfully conclude a deal,” says the motorcyclist.

Family fully share Hobbies guys: any reason for joy or failure in the family of one of the members survive the entire club.

“I respect the passion of her husband. Anyone most importantly to meet the partner thinking, to try to understand and share his interests. I myself neformalka, addicted to role-playing games of the historical trends and often participate in various activities. Therefore, I understand that for my husband it means to spend a couple of hours in the garage to Tinker with the motorcycles, chat with like-minded people,” says the wife of the President of the club Anna.

Despite the solid experience of family life, the couple often rides together visiting various activities Mathematica. “In the middle of summer husband back from another motor festival in Odessa, came to Cherkassy, picked me up and together we drove clear across the country together on a motorcycle. It is an unforgettable feeling,” says the girl. Two sons also love the passion of the father: love to sit on a motorcycle ride. “This is especially interesting to the older. May you grow up and share the passion,” says Anna.

Gatherings. Bikers like to Tinker with technology and easy to chat over a Cup of coffee. Photo: archive of the Iron Heads

Party: clubs, seasons and festivals

In the world today there are five major clubs. It is interesting that, like big businesses, they have offices around the world. Among them American clubs Hells Angels, Outlaws, Pagans, Bandidos, Mongols, some are outside the pale of the law. Branches, or as they say in the biker environment, Chapter Hells Angels and Bandidos have in Ukraine.

In Kharkov, there are about a dozen clubs, among which are Night Hunters (MC), Jolly Roger (MCC), “a Free soul” (MCC), and they are all peaceful. In addition to club bikers, there are loners who are not included in these associations, as well as the usual motor-fans who ride on two-wheeled transport, but the representatives of the subculture are not.

The place of meeting. Newcomers boast equipment in the center. Photo: Social Networks

In Kharkov bikers traditionally meet in the center near the metro station “University”, which is popularly known as “glass”, and on the observation deck near the suspension bridge across the Kharkov river near the circus. There the riders “iron horses” come to rest, to talk, to boast about technology and coffee. “This party more interesting for young riders who have recently acquired a transport and want to join motodvizheniya. Those who long ago boiled at such meetings boring. Much more interesting to sit and chat in a close circle in the same clubhouse”, — says Andrew “the Winds”.

However, almost all bikers gather at the opening and closing of the season, and also arrange festivals. We have this “Modogoeva” in Staryi Saltiv. Try not to miss people in black leather and memorial Day bikers: 18 September, they gather in the center, remember lost colleagues, humming motors and light candles.

The day of remembrance. Light candles and humming motors. Photo: Social Networks

Starts: forgotten heroes

The first Association of bikers were the Hells Angels motorcycle club, who in 1948 organized an ex-military U.S. air force. According to legend, during the Second world war in the U.S. air force existed the same name 303 squadron of heavy bombers. After the war, the former heroes were left out of work. Without work, the attention of the authorities and the support of the state, they had no choice as to rebel, to ride motorcycles and to unite in the clubs. Since the first enterprises all clubs have a clear structure, hierarchy, and its members certain responsibilities. Each club has a President and Deputy Vice-President, head of the security service of the club Treasurer and is responsible for the road while traveling. All full club members are called “members”. In addition, there are “avenues” — a potential candidate for membership, and “tech support” — people who support the club and plan in the future to become part of it.

EQUIPMENT. With the army the last of the pioneers of motorcycle clubs associated and the appearance of the modern bikers. Traditional leather or denim vest is a shortened version of leather jackets with cutoff sleeves, which is very similar to the jacket of a military pilot. This is a mandatory element of the image of the biker. But additional attributes — chains, spikes, and terrible tattoos are optional.

The vests bikers can be considered a special stripe in the colors of the club, talking about belonging to a “motosega”. Stripe in back consists of three elements: the upper rocker — the name of the motorcycle club, located in the center of the emblem enterprises, and in the bottom rocker — the name of the city where the apartments of the club. Breast bikers wear stripes, trims, duplicating the information on the back as well as indicating the status of the owner of the vest.

OUTSIDE OF THE LAW. Bikers who defy conventional rules, wear special patches, one of which — the icon “1%”. It appeared after the speech of the head of the American motorcycle Association stating that 99% of bikers are law-abiding people and only 1% incorrigible offenders. Some riders disliked said and began to sew himself a “one percent” on leather jackets and vests, demonstrating that they live by their own rules, not really honoring the law. This can be attributed to the English obscene acronym ACAB and DILLIGAF, which in a more radical form demonstrate a negative attitude biker to the law and its representatives. But the number 13 in the resident demonstrates the love of marijuana because “M” is the 13th letter of the Latin alphabet.