Motorcycle clubs vs riding clubs are often confused with each other, but there are some differences. If you aren’t a regular rider or know someone who is, chances are you probably do not know the difference between a motorcycle club (MC) and a riding club (RC). In fact, some experienced bikers still use the terms interchangeably. There are, however, some differences.
Just like the name suggests, riding clubs are a group of bikers who simply want to ride together. Members meet up regularly to enjoy rides as part of a group with fellow bikers but they have little in the way of allegiance or commitment to others in the group. Most of their meetups consist of riding together. Riding clubs have patches, but they are usually just a one-piece patch. Members can continue to wear their patch even if they have left the group. There is little classification or hierarchy among the members of the riding club, and non-members are generally welcome with open arms. For the most part, members are allowed to share the group with other bikers and can invite non-members to club events.
Riding clubs are meant to be social, group-friendly events that embrace others in the motorcycle community. They are inclusive groups that generally have a flexible, loose leadership. Since they are some welcoming, riding clubs can quickly increase in size and popularity.
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A motorcycle club requires a level of commitment that is not seen in a riding club. Members of a motorcycle club are considered family. Dues are required, and regular attendance and participation in group events is essential. Some meetings and events are exclusive to certain members, which may be based on standing in the organization. Prospects are generally limited in their ability to attend meetings and functions.
Motorcycle club members are more than just fellow motorcycle fans: they are brothers that share a special bond. Club members can be counted on not just as a fellow riding partner, but also as someone you can count on even when you are away from your bike.
Club members wear a three-part patch. The top rocker features the motorcycle club’s name, the bottom rocker has the name of the chapter or area of the organization. The center of the patch features the motorcycle club’s colors. Patches are considered to be club property and must be earned through commitment and devotion to the group. If a member leaves the club, they must surrender their patch or “colors.” Motorcycle clubs have a strong hierarchy within the group.
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Guests who are not club members cannot be invited to events without prior approval. Also, all bikers interested in the group should be referred to the proper authority within the group to learn more about how to become a member. Remember that in a motorcycle club, membership has to be earned and is a much bigger commitment than it is in a riding club.
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Both MCs and RCs share a love of riding. Neither should be considered better or worse than the other – they are simply different levels of commitment to a group. No matter which you choose to join, you can expect to share good times with fellow brothers (and sisters) who enjoy riding the open road. Whether you are a member of a motorcycle club or a riding club you can wear your patch proudly with the knowledge that you are part of a group of dedicated bikers.
The camaraderie shared between members of MCs and RCs alike is one that is rarely experienced in other hobbies. Even within the less-formal riding clubs, members generally take care of each other. If you are riding with a group, for example, you don’t have to worry about being stranded alone if you break down. Bikers from all walks of life are great about helping their own and contributing to the needs of others within the group.
Members of motorcycle clubs and riding clubs all understand they share a common threat. Riding on the road with distracted and dangerous drivers represents a potentially life-threatening situation that bikers may someday face. Ride safe with the knowledge that if you are involved in a crash, you have a team of dedicated motorcycle crash lawyers ready and waiting to help you. You can reach the team of Kass & Moses at 1-800-MOTORCYCLE anytime for a free consultation. Reach out today to learn more, or add 1-800-MOTORCYCLE to your cell phone in case you are ever in a crash.