By Mandi Bierly
May 01, 2012 at 06:00 PM EDT

On May 8, Discovery debuts The Devils Ride, a new reality show that follows the San Diego motorcycle club Laffing Devils. The network thinks of the show, exec-produced by The Wonder Years‘ Jason Hervey, as the real-life Sons of Anarchy. Watch our exclusive preview below, and see if you agree. “The local police department follow us because they think that we’re criminals,” says Laffing Devils president Gipsy, who, like half the guys in the club, is ex-military — they miss the brotherhood and adrenaline of the service and find it in the club. Adding some drama: San Diego has roughly 30 to 40 motorcycle clubs, which means you have to know what area you’re riding into, and of course, some members want to raise a little more hell than others… 

What do you think? As a diehard SOA fan, it’s hard not to compare the Laffing Devils’ badassery to the Sons’. I assume we won’t see them running guns, working with a Mexican cartel, and hiding a severed head in a pot of chili. But according to Discovery, there is dissension in the ranks:

The Devils Ride finds the Laffing Devils not only in open conflict internally but also at risk of losing their homebase. The Laffing Devils’ unofficial headquarters is the auto body shop owned by fellow member Hawkster but police pressure might force the club to find a new home. Moving is going to cost the club money so Gipsy seeks out security work for the Laffing Devils guarding a liquor store in a very dangerous part of town. Will their new responsibilities pit the club against one another?

Also promising for SOA fans, the women’s stories:

The Devils Ride also covers what would-be members must do to prove themselves to the club before they can be ‘patched in.’ In order to earn his spot, prospect Charles is out on an official club task of protecting some of the club’s wives and girlfriends, or ‘Ol’ Ladies’ on a night out. When a pushy photographer gets too close for comfort, blood boils and the situation gets physical. Will Charles’ actions protecting the women earn him the respect of the young blood and, more importantly, earn him his cut?

Discovery is also in business with Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. He’s exec-producing a new unscripted series called Outlaw Empire that premieres May 14. As EW first reported, it examines crime organizations such as the Crips street gang, the Irish Mob, a Latin American crime family, the Aryan Brotherhood and, yes, outlaw bikers, from an inside perspective.

Read more:

Kurt Sutter launching Discovery outlaw series: Makes ‘Sons of Anarchy’ look like ‘Sesame Street’ — EXCLUSIVE