If you have been a keen motorcycle rider for several years it may have occurred to you to join or create a motorcycle club—a group of riders that meet up at designated times and ride together in a group on a predetermined route.
Whether you want to start your own (or join an existing chapter), being part of a motorcycle club can be a lot of fun, providing the opportunity to share new experiences with other riders, meet new people and perhaps make a friend or two in the process. There are also some benefits that you can gain from starting a motorcycle club.
How to Start a Motorcycle Club Chapter
Before forming a motorcycle club you have to decide upon the nature of your club. Will your club be:
- 1. Limited to one bike make, or open to any make of motorcycle?
- 2. Local or national?
- 3. Informal (e.g., family and friends) or an Affiliated Club of the British Motorcycling Federation
Being a part of the BMF has many advantages. They offer support and guidance and assist you in connecting with like-minded motorcycle riders in your area. Members also benefit from special insurances and other advantages. There is a good level of support available and the BMF will provide help and information on things like organising your ride outs and how to support local charity events.
If the official club creation route is not for you then you always have the option of creating a more local, informal club of your own. This may simply be your own group of friends or family that go out for rides. Of course, there will be no extra benefits as with the BMF but if you want to remain small and select then this might be the route for you.
How to Join a Motorcycle Club
Check your local motorcycle groups and chapters on the British Motorcycling Federation website.
Using the website you can locate the motorcycle riding clubs that are available in your area. Make sure you check the entry criteria, some groups are restricted to specific makes of motorcycle, these are known as National and One Make Clubs (NOMC) while others are happy to welcome anyone that would like to join.
Several clubs are created to welcome people from specific areas or careers. For example, there are motorcycle clubs set up exclusively for members and ex-members of law enforcement. If you have not worked on the police force or similar you will not be permitted to join so check the entry requirements before applying.
Once you have selected your club, contact the organiser and register your interest. The application process is usually a simple sign up form with some basic questions about you and your motorcycle, and an initial membership fee. Typically there will be nominal monthly dues to pay as part of being a club member.
Benefits of Motorcycle Clubs
There are many safety, financial and social perks to being part of a motorcycle club. For example, there is safety in numbers and riding in a group improves the visibility of riders on the road. There are also insurance, meeting, and event benefits available to members of official clubs.
Safety: The obvious advantage of a riding club is the safety aspect. Riders are vulnerable on the road and presenting as a group in a large pack or riding column makes motorcyclists so much more visible to other motorists.
Ride-out planning: Many bike clubs can benefit from the experience of the older riders when it comes to planning trips and rides. Organisation of events and proper management will enhance the riding experience.
Insurance: Membership of any officially registered BMF club will come with automatic participation in their ‘Civil Liability Protection’ scheme and Employers Liability Cover is also included.
Discounted Equipment and Spares: Being a BMF Motorcycle club member will also allow you to receive discounted rates and cover for any needed spares or equipment that you need for your motorcycle.
Event Space: At special events or motorcycle shows many clubs will have specially reserved spaces and exhibitor passes. This means you can promote your club to other interested motorcyclists.
Education: Those looking to learn more about their bikes and motorcycling—from mechanical issues to the best wet-weather gear—will find fellow club members offer a wealth of knowledge and experience.
There are no special legal requirements when creating or joining a motorcycle club.
You don't need special insurances or any other legal requirements to start a motorcycle club. However, each individual rider is responsible for the road worthiness of their vehicle and ensuring that it meets all necessary legal standards. Full MOT, road tax, and motorcycle insurance are required along with appropriate motorcycle protective wear.
Each rider is accountable individually for any issues, accidents or damage caused during a ride or when riding alone. The club will not be responsible for any fines, fees or penalties incurred by a rider.