Harleys, Hondas, and Haas

The Haas Angels may look like a rugged motorcycle gang, but they’re really just 28 MBA students at the Haas School of Business who discovered that riding mean two-wheelers make for the perfect study break.

Whether they’re blazing the bumpy terrain in the Berkeley Hills or on the road to Yosemite, the Haas Angels say riding together is an opportunity to bond with other students and enjoy the diversity of California’s landscape. “Driving up in the hills is awesome and I couldn’t afford a car,” says Mateo Bueno, MBA 12.

Haas Angels member Philipp Ebert, MBA 12, is from Germany and rides a Honda VFR. Joining the Angels enriches Ebert’s experience as a Berkeley-Haas student and also validates his decision to come to the West Coast, he says. “I am seeing places I would never normally visit,” says Ebert.

The group formed in August 2010. At first they were going to call themselves the Haas Motorcycle Club, but they decided that wasn’t gritty enough. Moritz Plischke, MBA 12, is only half kidding when he talks about the group’s name: “I have this fear that the real Hell’s Angels might want to beat us up.”

The Angels usually plan three rides a month, mostly on weekends. So far no women have joined the group but the Angels say female business students are welcome. So far, the women just like hitching a ride with the Angels.

In the spirit of Beyond Yourself, one of the school’s Defining Principles, the Haas Angels raised $500 last year by auctioning a six-person ride for Challenge 4 Charity, a fundraiser for the Special Olympics.

Several members of Haas Angels show off their bikes at Haas.