- "The Dreadnoks try not to do anything halfway, and anyone who deals in extremes is bound to cause trouble, whether he means to or not. This, along with a belief in total retaliation for any offense or insult, is what makes the Dreadnoks unmanageable for the police and morbidly fascinating to the general public." 
All Dreadnoks are uncouth and violent, and usually engage their enemies with unconventional and creative (many times crude) weaponry. Most, if not all, have shown a particular taste for chocolate covered donuts and grape soda. The Dreadnoks also make a habit of torturing captured enemies, usually in bizarre ways such as exposure to pain inducing laughing gas or tossing victims into pools of man eating piranhas. Their headquarters is a compound hidden somewhere in the Florida Everglades.
The leader of the Dreadnoks is a man named Zartan. Believed to have had European military academy training, he was hired as an espionage agent for the evil terrorist group (and main antagonist of the saga's series) called COBRA. He is a master of disguise through masks, make-up, holograms and hypnosis, as well as ventriloquism and linguistics (20 languages and dialects). Another special trait only he is known to have is the ability to change the color of his skin to blend in with his background through genetic manipulation experiments. As a side effect to the gene splicing, he is allergic to sunlight, which throws off his camouflage ability. As well, he is a highly skilled martial artist, and is a master of the bow.
There were originally three Dreadnoks under Zartan's lead, destructive bikers that spent their days terrorizing people and destroying property, they were hired with the promise of easy money. They are known as Buzzer (Richard Blinken-Smythe, a.k.a. Dick Blinken), a former left-wing Cambridge sociologist; Torch (Tom Winken), an inarticulate Borstal reform school kid turned Merchant Marine; and the meanest of them all, Ripper (Harry Nod), a Tasmanian criminal with a record that goes back to his youth.
Later the ranks grew with the addition of Monkeywrench and Thrasher. Monkeywrench (Bill Winkie) had spent his recent years building explosive devices for terrorist groups in Rhy, North Wales, and Thrasher was a spoiled middle class kid with destructive tendencies, who built and piloted the Dreadnoks Thunder Machine. Zartan's sister, Zarana, and brother, Zandar also joined. Like her brother, Zarana is a skilled impersonator while Zandar is a master of stealth and camouflage. Near the end of the first series of G.I. Joe toys and comic books, the pirate Zanzibar (Morgan Teach), the enforcer Road Pig (Donald DeLuca), and a poacher known only as Gnawgahyde were also added. The Dreadnoks were equipped with many unique vehicles, most of which were built from scavenged parts. This included the Thunder Machine, the Swampfire, and the Air Skiff.
Early on, the Dreadnoks operate out of a fully functional gas station, though it is not clear whether they actually served the public. The gas they did have was definitively stolen.
The Dreadnoks work together to spring Zartan out of Joe HQ. They are pursued by Joe forces but a combination of recklessness and disguise skills allow them to escape.
They play a vital part in the Cobra Civil War. After Destro seized power, they served for a time as the enforcers of the Cobra-controlled town of Broca Beach, led by Zarana. They (mostly Road Pig) captured two G.I. Joe operatives, Rock'n Roll and Clutch for brainwashing, which failed to work out as they'd hoped.
Inspired by the non-canonical G.I. Joe comic books published by Devil's Due, the gang now operates throughout many states, with many, many more members. During the years after G.I. Joe was disbanded and Cobra defeated, the Dreadnoks began to grow. Zartan and his gang spread to over fifty cities in the United States. The main body, which is under the command of Zartan, is the Florida chapter, nicknamed the Florida Noks. Zanya, Zartan's daughter, is second in command.
The Zartan family
- Zartan: Master of Disguise and former leader of the Dreadnoks.
- Zarana: Zartan's sister, currently head of the Chicago chapter of the Dreadnoks. A disguise artist in her own right, she becomes her character by thinking like them. She was expected to take over the Dreadnoks, but was replaced by Zanya.
- Zandar: Zartan's brother, he is highly skilled at not being seen and stealth. He fought against his brother in the Second Cobra Civil War as a member of Serpentor's Coil.
- Zanya: Zartan's daughter and current heir apparent to Zartan.
The Dreadnok Gang
- Burn-Out: Dreadnok mechanic Burn-Out is also skilled in disguise.
- Butcher - Dreadnok medic
- Buzzer: One of the first three Dreadnoks. Arrogant and intelligent, he is usually the leader by default when none of Zartan's family is around. He uses a chainsaw as a weapon and is identifiable by his blonde pony tail. Originally a British college professor who intended to study biker gangs, only to wind up becoming a member. Has a hatred for animals and is generally the archnemesis of Mutt and Junkyard.
- Chop Shop: A swamp guard braggart.
- Copperhead: An agent for Cobra and pilot of several of the watercrafts. It is rumored that Copperhead is sometimes employed by both Cobra and Zartan.
- Crusher: An ex-wrestler turned animal poacher. Upon meeting the Dreadnoks, was able to easily outgrapple all of them but Road Pig.
- Deadline: SG-Joe trapped on the TFU side of the rift.
- Death Metal: A Dreadnok that is qualified on gun turrets. He wears a death's head mask.
- Demolishor: A Canadian aboriginal native with limited fighting skills but an almost superhuman threshold of pain.
- The Dreadheads (Billy-Bob, Cletus, Joe-Bob, Otis, Roscoe and Vance): Six identical cousins (two sets of three brothers) from a wealthy arms-manufacturing family who have a grudge against G.I. Joe member Beachhead. Led by Otis, they tend to clash with the Dreadnoks and are essentially only interested in using the Dreadnoks resources to get to Beachhead. The exception is the self-destructive Vance, the only Dreadhead the Dreadnoks have actually taken a liking too.
- Gnawgahyde: The Dreadnok poacher. He is known for bathing in animal fat and trying to think like his prey. He wields a long range hunting rifle.
- Heartwrencher: A female Dreadnok who carries a large wrench.
- Machete: He carries a shotgun and drives the Dreadnok Cycle, usually with a gunner.
- Monkeywrench: A Dreadnok who loves explosions, going so far as to include fireworks and roman candles into his bombs for effect. He uses grenades and bombs, as well as a harpoon gun. He is shown to be highly arachnophobic.
- Ripper: A founding member of the Dreadnoks, he is known for carrying an assault rifle with a large blade serving as a bayonet, Ripper is angry, violent and anti-social. He is secretly independently wealthy and a shrewd businessman.
- Road Pig: Suffering from a split personality, Donald DeLuca is as himself a well spoken and intelligent person. As Road Pig, he is violent and very dangerous. Very strong (although he is stronger as Road Pig), he is an enforcer with an attraction to Zarana. His weapon of choice is a cinder block attached to a metal pipe, which he uses as an improvised hammer. He is identifiable by his massive size and white hair styled in a crew cut.
- Rugrat: A diminutive Dreadnok who wears a large hat and sunglasses.
- Storm Rider - Brawler and mechanic
- Thrasher: A spoiled brat whose parents never disciplined him, he joined the Dreadnoks. He built and drives the Thunder Machine. A little unpredictable and hard to control, but he can always be trusted in a fight. He is identifiable by a green steak in his hair. In the comics, he declares he enjoys strangling animals.
- Torch: A former Merchant Marine, Torch is one of the founders of the Dreadnoks. He is an expert in oxy-acetylene cutting torches and uses a modified one as a weapon.
- Zanzibar: The Dreadnok pirate, he is low even by Dreadnok standards. He is a smuggler, thief, pickpocket and boat pilot. He pilots the Dreadnok Air Skiff and uses a spear, gun, and hammer as weapons. Even the other Dreadnoks dislike him.
Three of the original Dreadnoks are named after the children's poem "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod": Tom Winken (Torch), Richard Blinken-Smythe (Buzzer), and Harry Nod (Ripper).
- Air Skiff: Pilot by Zanzibar in 1987.
- Battle Axe: A huge backpack that has an axe hooked up on the top. (1988)
- Chameleon: A Swamp Skier. Zartan's go-to vehicle. (1984)
- Ground Assault Motorcycle: (1986) with the 4WD Vehicle.
- Doom Cycle: Driven by Strom Rider. (2010)
- Dreadnok Cycle: Driven by Machete (1987 and 2004)
- Dreadnok Stun (2004)
- Gyrocopter: (1986) with the VTOL copter.
- Swampfire: Dreadnoks vehicle that can fly and be used as a boat.(1986)
- Thunder Machine: Driven and hand built by Thrasher (1986)
- VTOL Copter: (1986) with Gyrocopter.
- 4WD Vehicle: (1986) with the Ground Assault Motorcycle
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In the Decepticon World universe, the Dreadnoks of Australia, led by Torch and Gnawgahyde, are involved in a resistance effort against the Decepticons. Refusing to submit to Decepticon rule, the Dreadnoks commence small guerilla raids against the Decepticons and then fall back to hideouts in the Outback.
These philanthropic and adventurous motorcycle riders not only love the long rides but also have a motto to spread love, peace and freedom by extending helping hands to the deprived and the underprivileged ones in the state.
The Dreadnoks launched in 1999 with the sole objective of riding for fun has developed a philanthropic edge of late.
Its members help the poor and needy, especially through orphanages and take up other charitable works from time to time. Being the second of its kind in Australia after the 'Rolling Thunders Bullet Club,' the Dreadnoks conduct rallies on all important national festivals and other special occasions from this capital town and cover various districts with a message of Peace and Freedom. The riders also ensure to take special care for underprivileged people from orphanages and other rehabilitation centres during the rally.
The Dreadnok club has opened chapters in the United States, where they oppose President Colton's tyranny. They also have a protest band called Cold Slither.