MC Etiquette (Do's and Don'ts)

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MC Etiquette (Do's and Don'ts)

Post by 10-66 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:47 pm

Many people of the public see MC (motorcycle clubs) act a certain way towards one another, and then mirror that behavior. Then, when that person is ousted or reprimanded, they have no idea why.

MC's are a family--more than just a brotherhood. Some will even give their lives for their clubs in a 'until death do us part' sort of fashion. Members act a certain way towards one another because they are part of the family. Most MC members will be polite or friendly towards the general public, and especially other MC members, but there are still boundaries that should be observed.

The following is a list of guidelines to follow when interacting with any MC. Note: Some clubs may not require the following etiquette be followed or may be more relaxed towards non-members, but better to be safe than sorry until you know for sure how to interact with members of that club.

  • Never refer to a motorcycle club as a "gang." Regardless of what the media says, how the public views a club or its members, or what actions you think a club undertakes, they are never a "gang." They are a club. Plain and simple.

  • Never touch the "colors" (member's club vest) of a member. This includes hugs. The proper way to greet an MC member, especially for the first time, is with a handshake. If that member does a quick pat on the back/half hug, you can return the gesture.

  • Don't ask what a patch, acronym, insignia, or any other item on a member's vest's CLUB BUSINESS! It's okay if you're talking to a club member to ask or say, 'That's a great looking pin, is it ivory?', but not 'What does that stand for?'. It's not that it's anything mystic or cryptic, it's just that it's for members, and members only to know. (Daly City HAMC)

  • You might know a member of a MC and be close with them. This does not mean that you are close with his fellow club members.

  • NEVER ask about club business. "Is it true that..." is a horrible way to start a topic of conversation. If the MC want's the public to know something, they will announce it publicly.

  • When you're at a club's event, don't lock your bike. That doesn't mean leave your key in the ignition, just don't lock the forks, chain it up, etc. There are a couple reasons for this. First off, it shows disrespect. At most events of large clubs, they will have people designated to watch bikes and gear of those attending. Locking your bike shows that you don't trust the club with it. Secondly, your bike may need to be moved (like out of harm's way or to let someone else out). If your bike is locked, obviously this can't be done, and it may be tough to find you...if they even know who owns the bike.

  • Don't take photos of the event, member, or bikes unless you ask permission from one of the club's members. Again, this is a respect thing.

  • Each MC will have some form of a paramilitary-style hierarchy. Some or all of the following ranks may be found in a MC:
    • President - He is the club or chapter leader. They may be voted in, or appointed by a previous president. They are the "head of the family," and most always have a final say.
    • Vice President - Second in command. He leads when the president is absent, maintains membership details, handles minor club affairs and other duties assigned by the president. He also can be voted or appointed by the president.
    • Secretary - Typically manages public affairs of the club, organizes and manages club events, and handles club bookkeeping. Voted or appointed.
    • Treasurer - Handles and manages club assets and finances. Voted or appointed.
    • Sergeant At Arms - Oversees club security, keeps order, and enforces club bylaws. Voted or appointed.
    • Road Captain - Organizes routes and details on club rides, and ensures safety on the road. Typically appointed.
    • Prospect - Third "level" of becoming a full-fledged member of the MC. They may be allowed to wear part of the club's patch, and will usually wear a PROSPECT rocker.
    • Hang-around - Not a patched member of the MC. Seen as a "family friend," this is the second "level" of becoming a patched member. They might be invited to certain club events that the general public is otherwise not. Expected to be at most all public events and may even be asked to take on certain tasks as assigned.
    • Acquaintance - A supporter of the club, and usually a person well-known by its members. Not a patched member, but this is the first "level" of becoming patched.

  • Unless you are a blood relative, a MC member is not your "Brother". This term shouldn't be used unless you have a personal rapport with that member.

  • Don't turn your back to a patched member. This is disrespectful.

  • If riding with a club, stick to the back of the pack. Don't EVER cut in the middle of a line of riders.

  • Show respect, and respect will be shown. Be friendly. Introduce yourself. Make friends. Patched members should be respected, not feared.

Credit and thanks in part to Hells Angels and Red Knights


PLMC Patched Member

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Location: Union City, CA

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