American biker clubs. Never has a group of words meant so many different things to different people. For law-abiding U.S. citizens, forming or joining an AMC that abides by WADA’s rules and regulations, the American Motorcycling Association, is a fun ride. In more than one way.
For those who prefer a rebellious version, there are the American motorcycle clubs which are “outlaws” in that they do not follow anything WADA says, and each club has its own. set of rules and its own code of conduct. This type of American Motorcycle Club is one that most people place a lot of emphasis on unless they want to become a member. Or you want to get into trouble. Frankly, as a member of an outlawed American motorcycle club, you might run into some trouble. Or vice versa.
That said, all of the motorcycle clubs in America are trying to keep some stuff on the DL, even the ones following AMA. So what are they not telling the public?
Entry and exit are difficult
Do you know the one song that partly matches what American motorcycle clubs have become in recent history? This is “Hotel California”, by Eagles. And it’s because of that line in that song that says, “You can check in any time of the year, but you can never leave”.
Well when it comes to AMC you can never go, really, and even if you can, it’s not easy. But the point is, getting into one is also a tough nut to crack. Of course, each AMC has its own entry and exit rules, especially strict if it is an outlaw club.
Have a bike, will it roll?
Well, not quite. Keep in mind that not all American motorcycle clubs like all motorcycles in terms of make, shape, or size. In an AMC there really is no replacement for moving and many clubs have strict rules about what type of bike they will drop a new member on.
So if you thought your Royal Enfield 500cc was going to get you into a club that didn’t drive anything below a 750cc Harley-Davidson, think again. And never assume that a Japanese import, 750cc or not, will do.
This trip? No longer yours
While different American motorcycle clubs have different rules about this, there are many CMAs that basically require you to sign your motorcycle to them, and it then becomes part of the club’s property, on paper.
Of course, this does not mean that they will take your motorcycle from you and give it to another member to ride, but it does mean that they have your motorcycle as collateral. If you damage the club, the bike is gone. Of course, membership too.
Read the fine print
If you thought joining an American Motorcycle Club meant that you were a free man (or a woman, although we’ll talk about that later), and the road might draw you as much (or little) as you wanted, you’d be wrong. .
Each AMC has a set of club rules and a code of conduct that members must follow. Like never miss a club reunion unless it’s really life or death. And there is a required number of miles that you simply have to travel in a year to continue to be a member. Otherwise, you will be frowned upon to say the least, or at most rejected and blacklisted.
Fair? Well, not quite
So if you thought having the right motorcycle and a driver’s license was enough to get you in, well, hold onto your horses. While there are many fair membership clubs out there, most draw a line on sex / gender, race, and even professions.
No self-respecting outlaw MC will let a member of the police force in, and a lot of them are ex-military anyway. Likewise, many clubs are all Hispanic, all male, or even all white or all black, although many CMAs are trying to effect positive change.
Recidivist? welcome aboard
In an American motorcycle club, all the members form a fraternity and loyalty is most valued. Of course, if he is an outlaw AMC, then loyalty is sacrosanct and you must remain loyal to your brothers.
It doesn’t matter that many of your MC brothers may have discs as long as a roll of toilet paper. And once they get out of jail and join, or join the MC, some of them start bending the law again. Also, if he is an outlaw MC, sometimes illegal stuff can be sanctioned by the club.
Violence is a given
So even if the AMC follows the laws, at least according to the AMA laws and not what they call a “percentage,” too much testosterone in one room is likely to cause conflict. Most AMCs have their own territory and no other AMCs or AMC members are supposed to barge in with advance information.
Non-compliance means that sometimes American motorcycle clubs go to war. And by war, we mean a rowdy brawl. And sometimes even outlaw AMCs and legal AMCs oppose it, making local PDs harshly sought after.
Horse riders? An Oxymoron
Now the world is made up of half of both sexes, and that’s a given, more or less, of skewed ratios. But in an AMC, especially an outlaw motorcycle club, women don’t have a high level and they are never active bikers.
While they wear club colors, such as in monogrammed jackets, most are marked “Property of” followed by a club member’s name. So technically, in the outlaw motorcycle club, women are personal property. It is worse if they are just the member’s girlfriends, as a wife they always receive a minimum of respect.
American motorcycle clubs are controlled
With better technology and the latest equipment, local authorities are getting smarter. Biker clubs can no longer fight or do shady stuff without the authorities finding out. Police crack down on clubs, especially the outlaw AMCs with a vengeance.
Many clubs have been infiltrated over the years by undercover police and snowshoes have been dismantled. Life on the road is not as easy, exciting or romantic as it seems and with the current pandemic in place, interest in joining clubs is waning at this time.
Many AMCs are not that badass
So yes, being an American Motorcycle Club automatically puts you in the category of people most others avoid. Few people want to be associated with MC members, believing them to be violent and illegal.
But the truth is, many AMCs are run more like a business, and most of them are becoming legal as well. Hells Angels MC, for example, runs their own website and merchandising business, quickly making money from their infamy, but trying to be legal in all other ways. In fact, many of them do a lot of good things too much.
Sources: US DepartmentOfJustice, TheSandMountainReporter
Japan’s infamous Mid Night Club, or rather Middo Naito Kurabu, was completely illegal and yet idolized for its cars and the way they broke the law.
About the Author