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Join the Club

A Look At The Variations of Motorcycle Clubs and Why You May Want To Join One...or Two...or Three

50 Years ago there were very few motorcycle clubs in the Northwest. Of course there were far fewer motorcycles running around too.

Today Puget Sound alone hosts more than 100 motorcycle clubs and chapters in the region.

Clubs come in all colors and sizes. Some are based on the type of bike you ride, others are built around your political stance, and some are open to everyone who owns, or even likes motorcycles.

Today we have cruiser clubs, off road clubs, scooter clubs, ladies clubs, vintage clubs, Honda clubs, Yamaha clubs, gay clubs, religious based clubs, sport bike clubs, touring clubs and even clubs for old Brit guys. We've got it all right here in our own backyard.

But then there are those of you who have been in clubs before, but no longer associate with any - or do you?

With the advent of the internet, there are thousands of enthusiasts clubs for everything from Suzuki SV650 owners, to Vintage Japanese groups and beyond. Much like the clubs of yesterday these online neighborhoods provide a place for people to share opinions, technical knowledge and information about upcoming events.

So the answer might be yes - you're still in a club if you're a member of a forum or meet up, even if you're not down at the vintage moto gathering each month, or ripping over every pass in the Cascades with the Concours Owners Group on whatever day of the month they do that.

Some of my best friends ride motorcycles and m ny of them I met in clubs. I have vintage friends from my association with past membership with the VME and scooter pals from my association with the Northwest Scooter Enthusiasts.

I might not always agree with the politics behind various clubs, I don't always see eye to eye with certain peoples views on some issues, but in the end I'd rather have these friends then be out there trying to figure everything out on my own.

A shocking thing happened the other day. I bought a 1972 SL350K2 Enduro, but I had no truck in which to fetch it. I mentioned it to a club friend of mine and he fired back the names for 5 club members, all who had trucks and could help me out. Ahhhh - a club advantage. And then you mention to these people you're restoring a motorcycle and they all want to chat it up and be your pal. Of course they'll all pay later when I continue to hound them to death about restoration tips and start calling them at home at midnight because I need a little guidance through the valve job or something - just kidding (heh-heh).

Bench Racing is always a lot of fun. Don't know the term? That's what you do when you start conversing with your club pals about motorcycles. "We did this, we did that. Remember when so and so rode straight down from Sunrise without using the switchbacks...and we were like just 15 years old." Yeah - fifteen years old and wearing a T-shirt that tells the world, "The older I get, the faster I was."  

Now that's bench racing and we all like to do it. It makes the day go by so much nicer.

New riders can learn a lot from people in clubs. Of course take everything you hear with a grain of salt and then work from the general consensus about whatever you're asking people about. Motorcycle safety, where to get the right clothing, what is the right clothing, best rides and so on can be batted around during club meetings and bench racing and you can learn a lot.

When I attend a motorcycle event, I'm often astounded at how many people are not in clubs. Whether you join one or two online, or in the real world, my take is it's worth it to do so.

We've updated our club directory and I hope you find it useful in your search for a club that's suitable to your needs.

TM/Summer 02 - revised Dec 2015


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