With The Devil’s Ride screeching onto Discovery Channel this week and offering a glimpse into the never before seen world of infamous motorbike club ‘The Laffing Devils’, we thought we’d don our leather jackets and rally up some insights into the inner workings of motorbike clubs in this week’s FACTS…
FACT 1: A Motorcycle club (MC) is an organised hierarchical club of devoted motorcycle riders who join together for socialisation, camaraderie, bike education and also strength of numbers. MC clubs have a reputation for illegal and thuggish behaviour though it is maintained that only one per cent of MC’s are the headline grabbers with the majority being hard working law abiding citizens.
FACT 2: Each club will identify itself by its club patch that is typically worn in the middle of the back of club members’ leather jackets. The patch will include a logo, the name of the club and the letter MC.
FACT 3: There are many Motorcycle Associations or Rider Clubs that distance themselves from the ‘outlaw’ image of MC clubs such as the Harley Owners Group for example which want to be distanced from the Hells Angels (who also ride Harley Davidsons). These associations wear patches on their backs but have made a conscious decision not to have the letters MC in their insignia. Subsequently any club with the letters MC on their patch embodies negative connotations even if their actions don’t merit them.
FACT 4: A typical internal organisation of an MC’s hierarchy consists of a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, road captain, and sergeant-at-arms before extending down to ‘full patch members’ and prospective members or ‘probates’.
A probate may wear a leather jacket with the club’s name but will only receive the full club patch when they are voted in as a full member.
FACT 6: It is common for probates to be subjected to a degree of hazing before being initiated as full patch members of a club. This can vary from them having to do menial tasks, or being the butt of boyish pranks to in some of the ‘one-per cent clubs’ having to do acts of crime.
FACT 7: Localised groups of a singular MC are called club chapters. The first chapter of an MC is often referred to as the mother chapter and the president of that chapter reigns as president over all of the chapters.
FACT 8: Members of MC’s are usually not referred to by their names but are given nicknames or ‘road names’ that they use within the Club.
FACT 9: Riding safety is taken very seriously in MCs with the club usually having a designated ‘road captain’ who works as a safety inspector and who will do safety inspections on the bikes. This is for club member safety and also to not give police any excuse to stop ‘the pack’ when the club are out riding.
FACT 10: The ‘Golden Rule’ among MC’s goes along the lines of: If you give respect, you’ll get respect, if you act with disrespect, you’ll be treated with the same.” How different clubs interpret and enforce this is changeable between each different MCs.
The Devil's Ride