Is an MC right for me?
If Motorcycle riding is a part of your lifestyle, it is natural that you would look at organizations that center their existence around motorcycles, riding, and associated activities. There are however, many types of motorcycle organizations. Being correctly informed can lead you to the correct type and specific group that is right for you
Motorcycle Associations (MA) are groups that center on motorcycles, but have a specific purpose behind that affiliation. Members do not necessarily have to be riders. Most, if not all, are very beneficial to the motorcycling community, and have a considerable history. Many have accomplished a great deal to further the interests of the motorcycling community. The American Motorcycle Association, the Christian Motorcycle association, and Motorcycle Associations with geographic, ethnic or specific motorcycle interests such as the Southern California Motorcycle Association, the Latin American Motorcycle Association (LAMA) or the Modified Motorcycle Association are but a few examples of these. Membership is dependent on different criteria within each association, but they are generally not very exclusive. Their members are drawn together by a common interest within the motorcycle world.
Riding Clubs (RC) appeal to those that want to go on rides occasionally with a group, but do not want a deep personal commitment to the other members or to the collective. Pay your dues (or buy the right brand of bike), sign up online, and you are in. Make a few friends, have a good time, learn a little about riding and your machine, go on some group runs, maybe even have a fundraiser or two. Decide that you don’t want to be in anymore, or sell that bike, and you go on with your life.
Motorcycle Clubs (MC) are the pinnacle of the motorcycle community. They command respect through the consistently mature and professional conduct of each of its members. Members are chosen by the organization. Many may be invited, but only a few will be asked to join. Members of traditional MCs must demonstrate a level of uncommon personal commitment and self-discipline. Motorcycle Clubs relate to other clubs through mutual respect and protocols. They are proud of their brotherhood, their colors, and their club.
Recognizing that an entire club can be stigmatized by an inappropriate act of a single individual flying their colors, new members generally go through a probationary period where they learn the protocols and expectations of the Motorcycle Club community before they are awarded the full colors of that Club. Individual who lacks respect for themselves, their brothers in the club, and other members of the MC subculture will not find a place in any true MC.