Motorcycle clubs (MCs) have been around since the early days of motorcycle riding. Originally, they were away for riders to band together and share resources, such as information about routes and parts, and to provide mutual support in the event of an accident or breakdown. In some cases, MCs also served as social clubs, where members could gather to eat, drink, and swap stories.
MCs have a long and colorful history, filled with tales of romance and excitement, as well as violence and tragedy. There have been countless articles written about what it means to be a part of an MC, but what does the average motorcycle rider need to know before considering membership?
Requirements for Joining A Club
While there are many different types of clubs, ranging from the historical “one-percenter” organizations like the Hells Angels (HAMC) to riding associations like ABATE, most club members share certain common traits. Motorcycle riders who wish to join a club should ask themselves if they can meet these criteria first:
Be able to ride: Most clubs require that new members be able to ride motorcycles. For some clubs, this means they must be able to perform a wheelie. While not all members may ride themselves, applicants must be able to prove that they are capable of learning if given the chance.
Be able to follow orders: Members are required to obey club rules and guidelines just as they would any military unit or motorcycle gang. However, many riders think that being part of an MC will mean living out their fantasy of being in a biker movie, but this simply isn’t true.
Are willing to defend the club: Even though most clubs have no problem with law enforcement personnel riding motorcycles, there can be no negotiation when it comes to defending the organization’s existence against rival gangs or other threats. Simply put, if another club challenges the authority of your group, you are expected to fight.
Any club worth joining will require an extensive background check before allowing a new member in. These investigations are usually performed by current members or other MCs that have common interests. Motorcycle riders who are interested in learning more about what it takes to become part of an organization should contact their local ABATE chapter for more information.
important to read: Are All Motorcycle Clubs Bad?
Pros And Cons Of Joining A Motorcycle Club?
The pros and cons of joining a motorcycle club can be debated on several different levels depending upon size, focus, and goals. However, some generalities can be made about the advantages and disadvantages of MC membership:
Pros of joining a motorcycle club:
Become part of a family: Most motorcycle enthusiasts feel more at home with other riders than they do in any other social situation. The camaraderie developed on the road is unlike anything else, and it puts people on an equal social footing.
Become part of an extended family: Even though the MC lifestyle is somewhat nomadic, many clubs take on a familial focus. This provides members with access to resources like emergency childcare and eldercare services if they are needed. These arrangements often come at no cost to the individual involved, making it easier for riders to balance their personal and professional lives.
Make friends who will be there for you: MCs are generally very close-knit organizations, even during periods of open conflict with other clubs or law enforcement agencies. While individual members may come and go regularly, the organization itself is usually strong enough to withstand these kinds of challenges.
Enjoy traveling: There is a reason that so many motorcycle clubs have traditionally been associated with the open road. the experience of seeing new places and experiencing different cultures is second to none.
Meet new people: Whether you are at a bar, a rally, or on the road, a good MC knows how to put itself on display. This makes it easier for riders to meet new people, even when they are traveling in unfamiliar locations.
Protect your interests: Most motorcycle organizations will take a proactive approach to protect their members from unfair business practices or competition that may attempt to offer lower prices. This is a form of insurance for members who ride and possibly do some side work on the side.
Cons of joining a motorcycle:
Membership rules are strict: While many riders will be hesitant to join an organization where the rules are too strict, it is important to understand that these guidelines exist for a reason. The motorcycle club does not want its members getting drunk and causing trouble inside the bar or having problems with other patrons while they are on the road.
Big Brother is watching: If you join a club, it is important to remember that you are a representative of the organization at all times. This means being respectful of local laws and regulations while on the road, keeping up with any required fees or dues, and following guidelines for permitted activities during rallies or parties.
Protection comes with a fee: To maintain the best possible level of protection, MCs will often require that members pay for their share. This can be in the form of monthly dues or by contributing to special events like barbeques and raffles.
While this may seem like a hassle at first, it is an important part of building and maintaining a strong community.
Gaining acceptance can be difficult: Even if you are already accepted as the “new guy” by other riders in your area, there will always be those who view outsiders with suspicion. This means that existing members may need to vouch for you before new people will accept you. This is an unfortunate part of the process, but it is something riders need to be prepared for either way.
Becoming a target: Even though motorcycle clubs are generally very sociable and supportive organizations, there may come a time when they are targeted by criminal elements or law enforcement agencies that are hostile towards motorcyclists. Members need to be aware that this could become a problem at any time, and they should do their best to be prepared for such an event.
Joining a motorcycle club is all about finding the right fit for your personality and lifestyle. Some riders will be more suited to individual riding, while others will enjoy working with others to build strong networks of support. It is also important to remember that even within the most established clubs, there are always newer members looking for an opportunity to prove themselves. As long as you are ready to contribute your share, there is nothing to worry about.
The article above speaks for itself, but I’ll leave my 2 cents in the end just to point out that these very crucial points MUST BE considered before joining or even creating a Motorcycle Club/Rider’s Group.
I hope this helps and once again.
if you have any questions feel free to ask me in the comment section below.