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No creed, colours or hogs - Comanchero chief Mark Buddle doesn't have a motorcycle licence ... or a bike


Wearing bikie colours has become optional. Source: DailyTelegraph

Mark Buddle

Comanchero bikie gang chief Mark Buddle / Pic: AAP Source: DailyTelegraph


THE self-proclaimed national leader of the Comanchero bikie gang, Mark Buddle, doesn't have a motorcycle licence - or a bike.

Desperate to recruit and beef up their numbers, many outlaw motorcycle gangs are allowing new members to join even if they don't have motorcycles.

The current crop of bikie gang members are in fact car-driving criminals who have very little to do with the traditional bikie on the back of his Harley.

"Show a modern Comanchero a motorbike and he wouldn't know how to ride it," former detective Duncan McNab said yesterday.

"They are criminal gangs who sometimes get on a bike."

He said the move away from the traditional bikie stereotype started as far back as the 90s with the Comancheros, but even the gang's founder Jock Ross, preferred his ute to his bike.

At the Campbelltown funeral for slain Hells Angel associate Tyrone Slemnick last Friday, only a handful of mourners were on "hogs".

"The rest came in buses or cars," Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, head of the NSW gangs squad, said.

"The traditional bikie has changed dramatically. Many don't have bikes or even licences and get driven round by other members."

Old-style bikies hate the moniker but the term "Nike bikie" has gained prominence in recent years as more OMCGs ditch traditional rules which demand a member must have a bike before being accepted by a club. It used to be that the bikes were signed over to the club and if the member left on good terms, they got to keep the ride. If they were thrown out, they had to forfeit the bike.

"Clubs now recruit people for what they can bring to the club. That could be financial expertise, business acumen or muscle," Supt Katsogiannis said.

Another factor getting bikies off their Harleys is that they are a magnet for police attention and reprisals from rival gangs.

Supt Katsiogiannis said Strike Force Raptor, set up four years ago to combat bikie gangs, was the reason why many bikies had lost their licences with more than 2000 traffic offences following the arrests of 2000 bikies and associates as well as 5000 charges laid including gun and drug possession.

"It makes it hard for them to do business if they can't get around. We keep arresting them if they drive without a licence," Supt Katsiogiannis said.

Kings Cross police remember when former Nomads bikie boss Sam Ibrahim lost his licence and had to ride double.

"He wasn't happy,' a Kings Cross officer said.


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