How to start a motorcycle club? How do MC make money?

How to start a motorcycle club? Motorcycle clubs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are motorcycle clubs recognized by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), as well as “1 percent” clubs, also called outlaw clubs or MCs.

Over the years, subgroups have formed often based off of the type of bikes, or for demographics of people, such as the Women’s International Motorcycle Association, the Christian Motorcyclists Association, and clubs for gays or lesbians, among others.

Riding Club or Motorcycle Club?

It’s important to know that there are two types of groups that are sometimes referred to as motorcycle clubs: riding clubs and true motorcycle clubs, often called MCs.

How to start a motorcycle club

MCs are extremely tight-knit organizations with formal rules, hierarchical leadership, dues paying and a closer-than-blood familial bond among members. Joining an MC is a commitment for life and is never done lightly. MCs wear the classic three-piece biker patch, which non-MC members shouldn’t try to imitate.

Most people don’t start a totally new MC for themselves because it requires the input of existing MCs in the area if you don’t want to create discord between your club and theirs.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume you want to start what’s actually called a riding club: A group of people who get together with the purpose of riding motorcycles and hanging out. Being a member of a riding club gives you an opportunity to meet and bond with other riders without having to play politics with other motorcycle clubs.

How To Start a Motorcycle Club?

If you reside in an area with very few options for a motorcycle club, and you’ve tried a hang out with a traditional club or a one percenter/outlaw group or in your area and didn’t feel like a fit, there are some options to starting your own.

One of the first things you will need to do is contact the leader of your local MC club and discuss your idea with them. In the motorcycle community, it is considered disrespectful or in poor taste to begin your own club unless it is a very niche group that does not already exist where you live.

This can be seen by older members as a way of trying to avoid learning respect from the existing clubs or getting out of paying your dues among these “brotherhoods.”

With the younger generation, perhaps thankfully, some of these overly traditional and territorial ideas will inevitably change, and more clubs will form with a less questionable history or ties.

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The Purpose and Types of a Motorcycle Club

The most substantial club in America is the American Motorcyclist Association or AMA. There are hundreds of thousands of active members and well over 1,000 chartered clubs under their umbrella. They were founded in 1924, and for the first couple of decades had a whites-only membership.

One percenter motorcycle clubs, sometimes called outlaw clubs, are what many people think of as the counterculture group of motorcyclists. In part, these groups formed to go against the archaic origins of the AMA.

Today, outlaw clubs do not all necessarily have ties to criminal behavior at large, but many have been recognized as being involved with crime families, gangs, and drug smuggling. The general persona of these clubs is a rejection of authority. However, many MCs have their own hierarchy of authority and unfortunately, do take part in illegal activity.

Other subgroups such as the Harley Owners Group or BMW Motorcycle Owners of America band together with a shared appreciation for their specific brand of bikes. Different demographics based on gender, religion, and sexual orientation exist for those who either feel uncomfortable in the two groups above or wanted a more specific niche to ride with.

How to start a motorcycle club

Naturally, bikers will join a club for a sense of camaraderie and shared interest in their demographic or type of motorcycle. Before jumping to start your own, see if one that fits your interests already exists.

If you have another reason for wanting to start one, take a thoughtful look at your “why” and consider whether it will be disrespectful to other existing clubs in your area, or whether it makes sense for both to coexist harmoniously.

Region, Niche, Colors

You will need to define where exactly your club will be based out of and the region it will cover and what other motorcycle clubs are that exist in your area. You also want to research what their colors are (patches they often wear on the back of jackets).

You will need to do your research on the local colors of clubs and if you decide to have some for your own if any former clubs were disbanded that may have used these colors. Some could have been parted for dishonorable reasons.

Check online for the most popular clubs in your area or ask at local motorcycle shops and find out their requirements for joining their club. Some are a bit secretive, and the only way to get thorough information is to become a member.

Rules of a Motorcycle Club

The provisions of a motorcycle club will vary depending on the organization. Many will include regulations for members such as respect for the organization and dignity to represent the club well.

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Other rules often surround what it takes to wear club colors, what level of participation is expected, and attendance to meetings. Examples of different club rules are occasionally available online.

Support from Existing Clubs

If you are starting a group, you will likely begin with a Riding Club. As mentioned, most MCs will accept Riding Clubs that are in a niche outside their own. In some areas, you might only get that, tolerated, and nothing more. You will likely find more luck from fellow Riding Clubs who operate in a niche different than yours.

Bikes Accepted

Many clubs will dictate what kind of bikes are accepted, although this may not necessarily be the case if the organization is based more on gender, religion, or orientation. You will need to decide if this is going to be a factor for your club, or if you will have sub-groups within your club for people who ride similar bikes—such as sport bikes or cruisers.

Will your group be newer bikes? Or will it be for people who hold vintage, used motorcycle values and an appreciation for old machines? A general Riding Club is not what you want to aim for. Be specific and carve out a niche if possible.

Membership Fees

The membership fees for motorcycle clubs can vary quite a bit. Some could be as low as $25 a year, while other clubs could charge $600 annually. If you are going forward with starting your own Riding Club, you will need to realistically factor in all of the costs to run the organization.

Cost of a Club

You want to be fair with club members, but you also don’t want to go into debt to keep your group going. Consider the cost of recruiting members, holding events, the time you will spend running the club, and all of the small items, such as having patches made for members to wear colors on jackets if you choose to do this.

Prices of motorcycle club operation will probably be more than you expect, so it’s reasonable to track all of the potential expenses.


Recruitment for motorcycle clubs is changing rapidly. This is thanks to; you might have guessed it, the internet. There is a lot of debate about the internet and its use for recruitment. There are more traditional thinkers, or “protocol believers” who dislike the use of the web and think clubs should stick to the old ways (in person) route for membership.

The web is admittedly much more accessible in many cases to find new members, though. If you go this route, just do so very wisely. It’s recommended you require a hang out period for potential members after meeting or Skyping online, and meet a few times before giving colors (patches) to anyone.

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The same goes for potential members—never agree to wear colors for a biker club without knowing who is running it or what kind of people they are. You need to remind yourself these are people from the internet. They could be cool but find out before officially joining or bring new members on board.

Starting Your Motorcycle Club

How to start a motorcycle club

When it comes to starting a motorcycle club, there’s no one right way to do it. But here’s the short and sweet version:

  • Learn about the MCs and riding clubs in your area. Find out if there’s already a club similar to yours and think about how you’ll differentiate your club.
  • Get your core membership together. Ask your rider friends if they’d like to become a charter member of your new club.
  • Come up with your name, logo and branding. This is important for attracting members, so put some thought into creating something that everyone likes. Remember not to make anything too similar to existing club colors in your area.
  • File your paperwork to become a registered non-profit organization. This will let you apply for liability insurance and give you other official capacities your club may need.
  • Hold your first meeting (virtually, if necessary) and plan your first ride together.
  • Host and/or attend riding events. Many clubs do events like charity rides or bike shows to promote themselves and engage with their communities.
  • Stay in touch when you’re not on the road through club social media channels.

Note that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic might restrict some activities like in-person club meetings. Always follow the guidance of local health officials on whether it’s OK to have gatherings in person. Bluetooth motorcycle helmet systems can help club members keep in touch during rest stops without the need for face-to-face communication.


How do motorcycle clubs make money?

Sometimes motorcycle clubs organize events to raise money. These events can be big or small depending on the size of a motorcycle club and how much money they are willing to spend. These events include concerts, motorcycle races, and fun days. Motorcycle clubs charge an entrance fee to earn income from the attendees.

Are motorcycle clubs dying?

Almost every club has seen a decline in membership. A few clubs have folded due to lack of interest, dwindling funds, increased costs, aging members, and other factors that eventually bring the club to its knees.

Is it hard to start a motorcycle club?

Beginning your own motorcycle club is entirely possible, but you will need to do research, and it is smart to take the proper steps in doing so. Before going down the path of starting your club, research options available in your area.

Above is information about How to start a motorcycle club? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of The purpose and types of a motorcycle club. Thank you for reading our post.

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