Portraits of Baltimore’s Untouchable ‘Twelve O’clock Boyz’

Beginning in 2011, Noah Rabinowitz has been traveling from NYC to Baltimore with filmmaker Lotfy Nathan to photograph the Twelve O’Clock Boyz as well as young riders as they were being ‘mentored’ by more experienced riders.

The Twelve O’Clock Boyz – so-called because of the vertical wheelies many of the dirt bike riders pride themselves on, sometimes ride in packs 100 strong through the poor and run-down neighborhoods of Baltimore, creating a new improvisational urban sport that has become legendary in the city. They disregard traffic laws, roadblocks, and the police, who are forbidden to chase the bikes for fear of endangering the public. I hope these images capture a sense of urban Baltimore and the youth’s desire for inclusion in the pack.—Noah Rabinowitz

Noah Rabinowitz is an American photographer and filmmaker based in New York. He is a graduate of Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication in Athens, Ohio, where he also studied urban geography. Aside from his frequent portraiture and reportage commissions, Noah now serves as Art Editor with Guernica Magazine, a journal of art and politics.

Noah was a staff photo editor with The Wall Street Journal from 2009-2011 and has since reported dozens of A1 and National stories throughout the United States.

noah_rabinowitz twelve o'clock boys

noah_rabinowitz twelve o'clock boys

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  • How in the heck do these “kids” pile up enough money to purchase an eight thousand dollar dirtbike?

    These bikes aren’t cheap, and have to be maintained like an Indy Car. You let the valves get out of adjustment, and KAPOW, scratch one engine.

    Also, the OEM suggests about fifteen hours on the motor before a FULL REBUILD is in order. That costs around three grand.

    Something fishy here, and it’s not just the fork oil.

  • Cleveland


    Banshee stolen in CLEVELAND and two black boys pulled a gun on their 17 year old kid. Took four wheeler to them, they wanted to test drive and they took off with it.

    Stolen another four wheeler on January 18, 2014. Black guys didn’t have a truck, wanted atv brought to them….went to test drive it and took off with it again. We want them back.

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