Are Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs a dying breed?

If you ride motorcycles long enough you will encounter, possibly even just in passing local or regional motorcycle club riders who wear back patches on their jackets or on their waist coats (Vests/Cuts).

The 1% clubs were those that chose to live outside of the society’s rules and embraced the outlaw lifestyle, however 99% of other riders are completely ‘law abiding’ citizens who just love riding bikes.

All other motorcycle clubs may not embrace the outlaw lifestyle or wear the 1% diamond patch but may be either supporters of these ‘superior’ clubs within their hierarchy or may follow similar kinds of internal rules and structures.

However, times are changing and people’s notions of what it takes to be a motorcycle club member are also changing. Many riders have been asking themselves for some time why anyone needs to follow the rules of these ‘top’ clubs and why anyone wishing to start their own club should doth their collective caps to the dominant clubs of the region?

Over recent years there has been a new wave of motorcycle club or club member that does not believe in the traditions of the past and label themselves ‘Law Abiding Clubs’, almost pointing the finger at all other clubs and tarring everyone with the same brush.

Outside of the motorcycle club world, 99% of riders, bikers, motorcyclists…or whatever term you wish to use, have been asking similar questions and perhaps even losing any respect or even admiration for this club lifestyle.

Whether the internet has empowered non patch wearing club affiliated bikers to be so outspoken is unclear, however the information available now and the impact of social media has opened the eyes of many bikers out there and many with any prior leanings towards club life have turned away from it…or have sought out to form their own kinds of clubs with their own rules and not seeking any permission from any dominant traditional club.

In some quarters, some would have us believe that ‘winter is coming’ and that a crescendo of opinion on each side of the divide will finally lock horns, whether on the street or most likely across the keyboards. However, more likely is there will be a greater emphasis towards apathy from all parties.

More people will just do their own thing and clubs will become less territorial perhaps. This is not a case of throwing in the towel…far from it, but it is purely a numbers game. In certain regions, motorcycle clubs appear out of nowhere, and usually only last a few years, but the initial hierarchy was envisioned to keep internal order within the club society. But this appears to be not so manageable now. The politics gets deeper, the nonsense swells and the division between traditions and new club order becomes wider.

Most clubs are finding it increasingly difficult to find the right calibre of member and many who fail to get into clubs, sometimes form their own as some kind of retaliation too.

Times are changing for all and the new breed of rider and potential club member may be looking for a new path and have different ideas that counter those of the past. Everyday non club bikers have looked a little closer at the reality of club life, possibly after being sucked in by the SOA phenomenon, and thought this is not for them.

Whatever the future holds for the long established clubs and the new breed clubs, one thing is for certain…people will not shy away from pursuing that which fuels their passions. The question is whether the modern biker and future generations will continue to have a passion for club life and the so called ‘brotherhood’? Only time will tell.

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