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The Pros and Cons of Joining a Motorcycle Club

The Pros and Cons of Joining a Motorcycle Club

If you are a motorcyclist, you are probably familiar with motorcycle clubs or may already be a member of one. Motorcycle clubs are groups of motorcycle riders with similar interests. A group is formed based on different factors, including location, culture, social background, gender, etc. Some motorcycle clubs are formed for riders who love a specific motorcycle brand. There are also motorcycle clubs for specific demographics.

For example, Dykes on Bikes is a well-known motorcycle group in the gay and lesbian communities. The Harley Owners Group is a motorcycle club for Harley Davidson riders, while the BMW Motorcycle Club was formed for BMW riders.

Before discussing the pros and cons of joining a motorcycle club, it is important to understand the difference between a motorcycle club and a riding club.

1. The Difference Between a Riding Club and a Motorcycle Club

A riding club is when you ride with a group of people for fun. You can join a riding club whenever you like and leave without notice. You can ride whenever you want and go home whenever you please. There are no obligations to the riding club.

Meanwhile, a motorcycle club requires you to be loyal, committed, and responsible to be a member. In a motorcycle club, there are formal meetings, roles, hierarchy, and rules to be followed.

2. The Pros of Joining a Motorcycle Club

2.1 Larger Social Circle

When you join a motorcycle club, your social circle grows as you meet new people that share the same interests as you. You may find yourself befriending people who belong to your community, have the same cultural and social background, and share a fondness for riding a motorcycle.

2.2 You Can Learn

Before joining a motorcycle club, you should do research and run a background check on the motorcycle club you want to join. This way, you will learn about the motorcycle club’s reputation, and whether its members are involved in illegal activities or not.

You do not want to join a motorcycle club consisting of just beginners. You should join a motorcycle club that also has experienced riders who can help you improve your riding skills.

2.3 You Can Save Money

With the help of experienced riders in the motorcycle club, you can learn how to provide maintenance to your motorcycle. Also, most motorcycle clubs have their own garages where they provide parts and tools that you can use. Learning how to repair your motorcycle on your own rather than going to a mechanic will help you save money.

2.4 You Get Exposure

Motorcycle clubs regularly arrange meetings and events where the president, sergeant at arms, road captain, secretary, enforcers, patched members, and prospects of the motorcycle club are all invited. If you are a prospect, these events can help you to get exposure and learn how to become a patched member.

2.5 You Can Become a Part of Social Work

There are motorcycle clubs like the Patriot Guard Riders that offer services like funeral escorts for military personnel. These motorcycle clubs also organize charity events to collect funds for different causes. Some motorcycle clubs are formed to raise awareness of a disease or some social issue.

2.6 Sense of Safety

There is a sense of safety while riding with a group of people rather than riding alone. Imagine riding an expensive motorcycle on a road at night and your motorcycle breaks down in the middle of a road where there is no one to help. If this happened while you were traveling with a group, you would have their support and may be able to work together to fix your motorcycle. Some motorcycle club members will also support you financially if you get into an accident or your motorcycle is broken beyond repair.

2.7 It is Like a Family

Being a member of a motorcycle club makes you a part of the family. A member of a motorcycle club is expected to be loyal, committed, and adhere to the rules of the motorcycle club at all times. A member is expected to prioritize the motorcycle club and fellow members over everything else.

2.8 It is Fun

Joining a motorcycle club is fun. You get to meet new people and learn about different motorcycles. There are events organized by motorcycle clubs in which motorcycle riders from different regions gather and demonstrate stunts.

3. Cons of Joining a Motorcycle Club

3.1 Huge Responsibility

Being a member of a motorcycle club is not as much fun as it sounds. There are responsibilities you need to fulfill to remain a member of a motorcycle club. You are required to be loyal, committed, and expected to prioritize the club over your work and personal life. If you have a busy work schedule, then consider joining a riding club instead of a motorcycle club as you are expected to attend meetings and events. If you are a prospect, you will be asked to do different tasks.

3.2 Requirements to Stay a Motorcycle Club Member

There are motorcycle clubs that require you to ride a specific number of miles per year to stay a member. If you do not travel the required miles in a year, you are no longer considered a member.

3.3 Difficult to Join or Leave the Group

There is no specific procedure for becoming a member. You have to look for a member of the motorcycle club in your area and ask how you can join the motorcycle club.

Joining a motorcycle club is not easy. An individual has to go through various steps, overcoming many difficulties to become a patched member of a motorcycle club. It can take 3–12 months for a prospect to become a patched member.

Leaving a motorcycle club is equally as difficult as trying to join. Most motorcycle club members take offense when you decide to leave the motorcycle club. Since leaving can be interpreted as an act of betrayal, the other members will cut ties with you. Only patched members who have served for years and are looking for retirement get to leave.

3.4 People May Consider You Unlawful

There are notorious motorcycle clubs known as 1%ers who are involved in drug trafficking, violence, and other crimes. Motorcycle clubs like the Bandidos and the Hells Angels are why many people perceive motorcycle club members as violent criminals. Make sure to learn well about a motorcycle club before joining. Join a motorcycle club that does social work, has good motives, and is considered legal.

3.5 Rivalry

You cannot start a new motorcycle club if there is already a motorcycle club operating in the same area. Although you can start a riding club since most motorcycle clubs do not see riding clubs as rivals.

However, a motorcycle club perceives another motorcycle club in their territory as a rival, resulting in intense rivalries. Some members take such rivalries too far, which can result in violent conflicts.

4. Takeaway

If you are passionate about motorcycle riding, then joining a motorcycle club may be the best way to express it. However, you should first learn about how motorcycle clubs work and what their requirements are. If you evaluate the pros and cons of joining a motorcycle club, you can decide whether the motorcycle club is good for you or not.

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