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Biker Club Keeps Us Awake With Roaring Engines and Parties, Neighbors Say

By Gwynne Hogan | January 8, 2016 2:34pm
 The Unknown Bikers opened a clubhouse about a year back on Division Place.
The Unknown Bikers opened a clubhouse about a year back on Division Place.
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Unknown Bikers NY MC/Facebook

GREENPOINT — A motorcycle club that recently moved to Greenpoint is driving neighbors crazy with loud parties and the roar of motorcycles racing on the street at all hours of the night, they say.

Neighbors called 311 40 times since April complaining about parties and engine noise from the "Unknown Bikers" clubhouse at 46 Division Place between Morgan and Debevoise Avenues, records show.

The area is mostly industrial warehouses save for a few scattered apartments. But those few residents who live nearby are at their wits' end, they said.

"It's so loud that stuff shakes in our house, it's over the top," said Susannah Smith, 36, who's lived on the block for three years. 

"You can't hear the person sitting across from you [at the table]. There were days I would get to work [and] I was just a zombie."

In warmer months, which this year included December, gatherings would spill out into the street and last until the wee hours of the morning, said Sophie Barrett, 35, who also lives nearby.

"If it hadn't happened to me I would be laughing about it," she said. "They made an outdoor dance club."

The Unknown Bikers relocated to Division Place about a year ago from a clubhouse they'd occupied for 20 years at 41 Maujer St. in Williamsburg, said a member of the group who declined to give his full name and asked go by his first initial G.

Their lease expired and the landlord wanted them out, G said.

"We were the first ones there before the neighborhood got gentrified," said G, who added he'd been a member of the Unknown Bikers for 15 years.

"We chased out all the drug dealers, all the tyrants off the block. We do the community a service."

They picked the Division Place location because it was further from residential parts of the community and there was ample parking for members who use the space every day, G said.

"We're not doing turnouts and tricks out on the street," G said, though he said that sometimes younger riders drive around the industrial zone practicing before they head to busier parts of the city. 

"We do try to keep noise levels down."

The Unknown Bikers have clubhouses all over the city, including one a few blocks away at 245 Russell Street.

While they once chased away neighborhood thugs, they now run toy and turkey drives and visit local senior centers, G Said. And the noise their motorcycle make is part of the package. 

"We ride motorcycles, that's how we get around," G said, adding he would bring up noise concerns at the next meeting.

The NYPD is looking into the noise concerns at Division Place, officials said. 

Meanwhile sleep deprived neighbors who've called 311, 911 and the local precinct dozens of times about the racket aren't sure where to turn.

"I get it, it's a bike clubhouse," Smith said. "But it's right where I'm trying to sleep."