It’s a lonely road out there for a biker.
But, it doesn’t have to be. Have you ever thought about starting a motorcycle club in your area?
There are probably dozens of other motorcycle enthusiasts that would kill for a time and place to meet up. Today, we’re going to give you 10 tips on how to start a motorcycle club in your town so that you can attract the right crowd and have a good time.
It’s a great way to meet up with like-minded people and compare your bikes, exchange knowledge, swap parts, and talk about your favorite routes to ride your bike on. A lot of towns already have motorcycle clubs, but if yours doesn’t, you could be the official motorcycle ambassador for your city.
Rev your engine and get ready to meet your new best friends.
How to Start a Motorcycle Club In Your Area: 10 Tips
Before you start recruiting members for your motorcycle club, you’ve got to do your due diligence. You don’t want to infringe on an existing club’s membership, so do a little bit of research about other clubs that might be in your area.
If there are other dominant motorcycle clubs in your area, you should contact them to talk about what their club represents and why you’re interested in forming your club. The last thing you want to do is invite some sort of competition between an established club and your new club.
Motorcycle clubs are usually protective of their location. However, if you’re outside of their radius and give them a good reason why you want to start a new club, they’ll usually allow it.
Once you’ve gotten the go-ahead from the established clubs in the area, you can get started with the creation of yours.
1. Know What Type of Club You’re Starting
There are two main types of motorcycle-centric clubs: riding clubs and motorcycle clubs. A riding club is a group of people that get together every once in a while to socialize for a bit then take a ride on their bikes.
It might center around a specific brand like Harley Davidson, Triumph, or Honda, but they’re usually pretty lax about who can join. This is more suited for people that want a casual meetup so you don’t need to put too much planning into a riding club.
A motorcycle club is a little bit more immersive. These are the ones where you see a group of people wearing vests with the club’s name and location. Being more serious, this is the type of club that would be protective of its location, so you’ll need to talk to other clubs in your area before starting your own.
When you start a motorcycle club, you’ll register underneath the blanket organization known as Confederation of Clubs. The COC acts as the liaison between different clubs and chapters.
2. Do Some Research
If there are other motorcycle clubs in your town, you’ll want to do some research before starting your own. You don’t want your mission statement to overlap another organization’s, so learn everything you need to to create a unique club.
Maintaining a peaceful motorcycle club environment is all about being respectful to those that were there before you. If you can do that, then you’ll never have any issues with any of the other COC organizations and you can go about your business privately.
While you’re researching, start outlining what you want your club to be about, the areas you’ll want to operate in or support, and the types of people you want to join.
Bikers are all about brand loyalty. One of the important things that you’ll need to uncover during your research is whether you want to be a club that supports a specific type of bike. The other, more dominant clubs in your area (if there are any) will help inform this decision.
If you want to have everyone ride the same type of bike as you, then, by all means, restrict your club to riders of that specific brand. However, there are no rules governing this type of specificity, so you can allow whoever you want to join.
It should be noted that opening it up to bikes of all kinds will result in more riders into attempting to join your club. If you want to keep it more exclusive, then keep the focus narrow.
4. Come Up With a Name, and Symbol
Now the fun part begins. Coming up with your name is going to be one of the more crucial elements of starting your motorcycle club. So, what’s in a name?
You’ll want to choose a name that’s representative of your image, your philosophy, and your location, among other things. You can be pretty straightforward and name it something like “The blank County Motorcycle Club”, which gets a specific point across about what your club is.
Let your creativity take hold if you want, though. A name like “The Hartford Highwaymen” lets people know where you’re from and what you all love doing. Once you’ve got your name, you can move on to your mission statement and symbol.
5. The Mission Statement
You can use your mission statement to set yourself apart from the other motorcycle clubs in your region. It should make your values and intentions clear, so sit down and write down three things that you want your club to convey and craft them into a sentence that’ll become your mission statement.
Once you’ve got your name and mission statement down, create a distinctive logo to represent your club. It should have visual elements of what you’re trying to convey in your mission statement.
There are lots of examples of great motorcycle club logos on the net, but you might want to commission an artist to take care of this part if you’re not artistically minded. Just tell them what you’re thinking and have them send you a couple of drafts to choose from.
7. Getting Initial Members
Recruiting your first members might be difficult if you don’t have a network of motorcycle riding friends. Trying finding local motorcycle enthusiasts groups online and send out a message to let people know that you’re starting a new club in the area for anyone interested.
When you know a lot of fellow bikers, you can draft a registration form to hand out or for potential members to pick up. Drop them off at repair shops and motorcycle dealerships to get some exposure.
If you’re having trouble getting members, put out an open invitation on social media, message boards, or a bulletin board where a lot of bikers might be. Eventually, some bikers will start heeding your call and you can officially start your club.
8. Creating Structure
Like any other organization, you’ll want to create structure within your motorcycle club. You don’t have to do this right away. It’s better reserved for when you get to know each person’s strengths and weaknesses.
If you’ve got a large group, you could name yourself the president, then hold a general election to fill the other positions. A typical club might have a president, a vice president, secretary, treasurer, a medic, a bylaw enforcer, a repair specialist, and a road captain.
The positions that you make available will depend on the size and organizational qualities of your group. It depends on how serious you want to get with it.
9. Find a Regular Meeting Place
Now that you’ve got all of the difficult parts over with, it’s time for you to find a regular meeting place for your club. When you’re first starting, it’s probably going to be someone’s house or the parking lot of a favorite restaurant or motorcycle shop.
As you grow, however, you might want to use membership fees to put towards a more permanent establishment. You can lease or rent warehouse space to hold get-togethers, talk about club matters, and choose routes for road trips.
10. Give Back
Unfortunately, there are negative stigmas associated with motorcycle clubs that are mostly unfounded in America. Subvert this assumption by actively participating in community engagement as much as possible.
You might even consider coordinating with the other motorcycle clubs in your area to organize and participate in fundraisers for the community to show them that you’re a lawful and respectful organization like any other.
Have Fun Out There
Learning how to start a motorcycle club is easy. Maintaining the structure and keeping people happy is harder, but as long as you’re having fun with your new friends, that’s all that matters. Like any organization, you’ll have ups and downs, but try to remember your mission statement and why you’re out there.