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Motorcycle Clubs: What are they and How to Join One


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One a great parts of being a motorcyclist is sharing the experience with other riders.

Motorcycle clubs are one way to do that.

There is a lot of variety within the world of motorcycle clubs, and a type of club focused or formed around just about everything.

Some are considered “outlaw” or criminal organizations, while others are based on riders with the same religious beliefs.

What is a Motorcycle Club?

A motorcycle club can describe any group of motorcyclists that ride and gather together.

Some clubs sponsor events, while others are a more social/recreational activity.

There are motorcycle clubs formed around all sorts of things including:

  • Types of riding.
  • Makes and models of motorcycles.
  • Religions and charities.

AMA Motorcycle Clubs

The AMA (American Motorcyclist Association), which is the largest motorcycle organization in America, is what distinguishes official clubs from “outlaw” MCs.

The AMA has over 200,000 members and over 1,200 chartered motorcycle clubs.

You can find a charter in your area on the AMA website: https://americanmotorcyclist.com/findacharter/

What is a MC or Outlaw Motorcycle Club?

From its start in 1924 up until the 1950s, the AMA did not accept riders of color into its membership.

Motorcycle clubs who either rejected the AMA’s rules or accepted riders of color formed outside of the AMA and were considered “outlaw” clubs.

Many of these MCs simply represented counterculture that was uninterested in the AMA’s rules, oversight, and regulation, while others were/are involved with organized crime.

Other terms for clubs outside the AMA include one percenters, MCs, and outlaw clubs.

Famous Outlaw MCs

Some of the most famous criminal MCs throughout history and currently active include:

  • Mongols.
  • Bandidos.
  • Outlaws.
  • Hells Angels.
  • The Pagan’s.
  • Sons of Silence.
  • Vagos.
  • The Cossacks.
  • Warlocks.
  • The Highwaymen.
  • Black Pistons Motorcycle Club.
  • Avengers.
  • The Breed.
  • Outcast.
  • Brother Speed.
  • Phantom.
  • Sons of Satan.
  • Devils Disciples.
  • Diablos.
  • Thunderguards.
  • Gypsy Joker.
  • El Forastero.
  • Iron Horsemen.
  • Sin City Deciples.
  • Peckerwoods.
  • Iron Order.
  • Night Wolves.
  • Rebels Motorcycle Club.
  • Rock Machine.

How to Join a Motorcycle Club

If you’re looking to join a AMA-recognized motorcycle club near you, you can use their website to find a charter.

From there, each club will have it’s own rules, membership dues, and application process.

If you’re looking to join an outlaw motorcycle club, your best bet is to get to know its members and ask how you can get involved.

How to Start a Motorcycle Club

You can also find all the forms you need to start your own AMA motorcycle club.

The application steps and requirements will vary depending on whether or not you’ll be holding events.

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