Motorcycle clubs have existed virtually since motorcycles became generally available to the
public. On 7 September 1903 (same year that Harley-Davidson produced their first machine),
the Kings County Wheelmen in Brooklyn, New York, met with variety of well known
motorcyclists (such as George Handee of Indian) to establish the Federation of American
Motorcyclists â€“ a forerunner of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). This club, along
with many others, supported early tours and races during the first decades of the 20th
Century. Following World War I, clubs became highly organized, family oriented activities with
expanded tours, rallies and races normally sanctioned by the AMA. It was during this period
that the Jackpine Gypsies (formed in 1937) began what is today the Sturgis Rally in 1938 that
featured flat track racing and a tour to Mount Rushmore.
Motorcycle clubs changed in form and function following World War II when returning GIâ€™s
attempted to retain their sense of military brotherhood and esprit by forming or rejoining
clubs. The â€œoutlaw imageâ€� first popularized in the Wild One (1954), expanded in 1960â
€™s B-Grade movies and confirmed in Easy Rider (1969) underscores the idea of an
independent, rugged anti-hero voluntarily committed to a unique lifestyle and brotherhood.
That image, in generally, remains intact today. Politically, true â€œlifestyleâ€� bikers tend to
be libertarian. Spiritually, they tend to be somewhat mystical, influenced by Native American
Since World War II, bikers have generally been categorized into two groups â€“ â€œlifestyleâ
€� bikers, whether members of clubs or independent bikers; and â€œrecreationalâ€� bikers
â€“ those who generally ride on weekends, and if in a club, it will be a â€œmom and popâ€�
operation. To these have recently been added the â€œRUBsâ€� or â€œrich urban bikersâ€�
defined as guys who spend $50,000 on a bike and ride them about 25 miles a year (at
Sturgis, Daytona, Laconia, etc.).
However, all bikers are people in need of salvation. As indicated in the Cycle Disciples By-
Laws, our purpose is to minister to bikers of all types, regardless of club affiliation, lifestyle or
gender. We do this at shows, rallies, races or other venues where bikers gather.