Joining a motorcycle club (MC) will require going through some hardships for some time but if you have your heart set on it, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. During your time of prospecting, you will need to give a lot of your time and 100% of your effort. You will also need to spend a significant amount of time with each member so they can get to know you and so that you know what you are getting yourself into.
In this article, we go through the basics of what you need to know when joining a motorcycle club or MC for short. We won’t be going into how to join other types of clubs like MCC’s or RC’s in this article.
We will discuss the following:
- What is an MC?
- A member’s cut
- The Ranks in a Motorcycle Club
- Questions to ask yourself before joining
- Stages of becoming a member
- Some smart tips
- Some other very useful information
What is an MC?
Let’s first take a look at what the MC, an MCC and RC initials stand for.
- MC or Motorcycle Club refers to a group of members that all ride motorcycles and wear an identifiable patch with the letters “MC” next to it. New MC’s are evaluated and confirmed only by existing MC’s in that specific area or region.
- MCC also stands for MotorCycle Club but has significant differences from MC’s regarding club rules, membership and authority.
- An RC or Riding Club is generally a group of motorcycle riders that meet for the purpose of riding motorcycles. Riding clubs cannot wear patches unless approved by the dominant riding club or motorcycle club in that area or region.
In this case, we will be taking a look only at MC’s and how to join an MC club. Note that not all clubs are the same and have different rules, traditions and terminology. MC’s also differ across various regions in the world, even within the same club.
A member’s cut
A member’s cut is ultimately the most valuable item that he can carry on him. It is important that you know at least what these pieces are called and that you do not touch any of the pieces on a member’s cut without him telling you to do so.
The below image is for demonstration purpose and represents an MC cut in general
The backpiece is most often in this specific layout and is the most important part of the cut. The front of the cut varies in many ways depending on the club.
- Top rocker representing the club name
- Club patch
- 1%er flyer / No flyer
- MC flyer (for MC’s only)
- Bottom rocker representing the territory
The Ranks in a Motorcycle Club
Below are the ranks within a traditional Motorcycle club with a brief description of each.
A Founder is the person or persons that start a particular chapter within the club.
The President is the Chairman and also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the chapter.
The Vice-President is the second in command after the President and assumes all the duties and responsibilities of the President in his absence.
SGT at Arms
The SGT at Arms defends and protects the club members and prospects and makes certain to uphold all the laws and rules of the club.
The Road Captain plans all club runs. He is the ranking officer if the President and Vice-President are not present and therefore leads the club formation on the ride.
The Secretary is responsible for keeping all of the club records, written reports and correspondence between outside organizations.
The Treasurer keeps all the financial records of the club and collects the income from all operations and is responsible for paying all the bills.
The Enforcer makes certain that the club laws and rules are followed by all members.
Members have earned their patch after being a Prospect and have the right to wear the clubs colours and attend club meetings.
A Prospect is a person who would like to join the club but still needs to earn his patch.
Below: video from DibberInTheWind explaining the difference between MC and MCC
Questions to ask yourself before joining
Why join an MC?
This is probably the most asked question; why join an MC? There isn’t a general answer to this question. If you ask it specifically to a member, prospect, yourself, or whoever you want, you are going to get different answers from each person.
Not everyone is in an MC for the same reasons. Though it is important to ask yourself this question. If you are doing it to look cool, show off or to get your name written down somewhere; you are doing it for the wrong reasons.
If you don’t know why you are doing it, you better find out because that question is going to be asked.
Are you up for it?
I don’t mean your physical strength or resistance to pain (it’s not the army). I mean can you manage your time, putting the club first before everything else.
And yes, this includes a lot of your time away from your wife and kids. This is really important to think about. You will have to spend a lot of time doing stuff for the club, and that makes it hard to have a healthy relationship with your spouse and children.
Make sure you are making the right choice.
Do you know who they are?
This would seem obvious, but I’ve seen some weirder things. Make sure you know more or less what you are getting yourself into. This is somewhat difficult as the media has portrayed MC’s in the frame that they want you to see; not showing the full picture or a very fuzzy one.
But you have time to ask members after getting to know them better. The important thing is to know if what you believe and do clashes with what they believe and do.
It’s best to find out as soon as possible, so you don’t waste their time or your own. I’ll explain this in the way that someone once explained it to me.
You only get two types of laws and only three categories of people. The first type of laws is civil laws. Civil laws are made by society to protect the people in the society (which would be everyone). The second type of laws is moral laws. Moral laws are “what’s right and what’s wrong”. They are the laws that give each one of us a conscience.
Now, the first category of people are those who obey civil laws no matter what their conscience is telling them. The second category of people are those who are willing to break civil laws to upkeep the moral laws. And the third category of people doesn’t give a damn about any of the two laws.
So you have to know in which category you fall into and which category the club falls into. If it is not the same, you might have a problem.
Stages of becoming a member
You need to know that contacting a club on email or Facebook isn’t the right way. Rather find out where they are going to be and go to the event.
If you find a gap to introduce yourself without announcing that you want to join their club on the first day, do it. Let them know who you are and get to know them better before you pick a time to ask them.
Friend of the club
The first task that you have to set out for yourself is getting them to become used to your face. Don’t think they’ll remember you after the second weekend or so.
What you really want to do is gain the status of “a friend of the club”. This means getting to know the members’ names, talking to them, and just being there and having a good time.
You don’t get a cut or stickers or whatever they might have when you are a friend of the club. You have no obligations towards the club; you can come and go as you please (as much as they let you, rather).
Depending on the club, this could be a few months. If they like you a lot, they might even ask you what your plans are regarding clubs (and maybe a suggestion of joining them).
But you would most likely have to ask them, and you should make sure the person you are asking does like you. If they decide to give you a chance, you move to the next stage, as hang around. It is also possible to just stay a friend of the club.
Hang around time
For some clubs, the “friend of the club” period and “hang around” period is in one go. But as the name suggests, you hang around the members and clubhouse.
You might have to get a cut for being a hang around, and if you do, don’t put anything on it you were not told to put on. You also don’t have any obligations really, but as a pro tip, do something if you are serious about joining that club!
You can expect to be a hang around for a few months before moving up to prospect.
Being a prospect is all about “how bad do you want it?” Unlike being a hang around you have obligations, and you will probably lose a ton of sleep in the 6 – 24 months of prospecting.
The duties would normally be stuff like working behind the bar, cleaning the clubhouse or even polishing the bikes in some cases. The important thing to know is that a member would not ask you to do something they are not willing to do themselves.
Remember that by the time you become a prospect, you should already be certain about joining the club or not. Being a prospect is the stage where the members make a decision about you, and they will test you.
It’s not something you have to worry too much about; they might set up a situation for you to show what you have in you. I remember an incident where some “random” dude started provoking a member because his bike was loud.
I knew that we, as “pathless” hang arounds or prospects, are supposed to neutralise the situation before it gets out of hand and if necessary teach them a lesson.
I failed because I thought he’s got this. I was supposed to protect the member and the patch from any potential harm; physical or not (like the media).
Some smart tips
- Don’t be a smartass
- Never be on time, be early
- Don’t forget a members name
- Be polite and show respect
- Greet everyone properly
- Observe details about each member
- Let members have their private conversations (without you)
- Don’t call members brother if they don’t call you brother
- If you want them to be your brothers, don’t give up
- Don’t ever post pictures of members in their cuts, or the clubhouse on social media
- Make yourself useful in the clubhouse
- Get to know members better on a personal level
- Don’t touch a member’s cut unless they tell you to
- Keep your bike clean and filled up
- Be yourself in front of members
- Never lie to a member
- Don’t refer to yourself as a member if you are not one
- Do not use the word “gang” when referring to the club
- Do not get a tattoo of the club patch/don’t be a dumbass
Below: video from DibberInTheWind shedding some light on prospecting for a club
Some other very useful information
Firstly, if you want to join an MC just because you watched SOA and maybe didn’t even own a bike until then, you probably shouldn’t join an MC.
Secondly, if your father or grandfather was in a club, don’t wear their cut. That patch was worked for and earned, and you do not have the right to wear it out in public.
You don’t need to burn it though, just frame it nicely and hang it in your study where you can look at it in private.
Some clubs may require you to do some travelling, and this can take a huge cut out of your budget. Ask the members about the major travelling costs so you are prepared for it.
If you are planning on doing the MC life, you need to do some serious research on the club you are joining and think about the implications it will have on your life.
A club will expect you to give your 100% all the time. If you cannot do that, there is no point in trying.
Note that I do not refer to any singular club throughout any of my articles and this content is meant for general education purposes. I also do not represent any club at the current time of writing this article. I hope this article was helpful to you.
I always try to keep my articles interesting and informative. And I’m always thankful when they are shared on social media platforms or Pinterest.