By James “Hollywood”Macecari
Insane Throttle wanted to play devil’s advocate in this article. We wanted to explore the subject of what it means to be a real motorcycle club. Throughout this article, I will be posting links to an informative website, one that many probably have already seen, unless of course, you are living under a rock somewhere. http://www.rcvsmc.net. It’s basically a real solid look at the motorcycle world, it has articles on the history of motorcycle clubs and other educational materials on the biker world.
So, let’s dive head first in this, shall we? Many out there in this internet age of keyboard warriors claim to know what a “Real Motorcycle Club” is all about. Most of them base their conclusions on what major 1% club they support, or most likely, what they hear from other people either in person or on the internet. These people will claim that if a motorcycle club that didn’t seek permission from a dominant 1%er club, is fake, or is just a cop club and so on. Trust me, Insane Throttle sees and hears it all the time.
There is a good article at http://ijms.nova.edu/November2005/IJMS_Artcl.Dulaney.html by a researcher William Delaney. It breaks down the history of the origins of the motorcycle club beginnings all the way to present. It really is from my point of view, a very informative piece that everyone should look at.
The area of motorcycle club history that interests me as an author of the biker lifestyle, is what Delaney called the Transitional Period. This period started right after WW2 when our heroes were returning from the war. Those returning from the war found life boring and started riding motorcycles with their buddies on the weekends. One popular sport that started all the motorcycle clubs was the “Dirt Track Racing”. Well everyone knows the racing was put together by the AMA. You had to be in a group that was chartered by them in order to race. This folks is your origins, of the motorcycle clubs. Motorcycle Clubs did not seek permission or follow some type of protocol to wear their patches, they formed motorcycle clubs so they could race in the AMA dirt races.
So, why do I bring up the origins of the Motorcycle Club? Well, it’s important to know the beginning if you are to explain to someone why they are actually dead wrong in their beliefs that everyone has to follow some kind of protocol to be a real M/C. One thing that the 1%ers did when they broke off the AMA, they did a good selling point to all those in the mid 80’s that wanted to start a club, that club had to follow a protocol set up by them. Think about that for a minute, did those clubs who were started back after world war 2, many of whom are major 1%er clubs today, ask any permission or follow protocol to start up?
I’ve talked to many old-timers over the years who have been lifelong members of big 1%er clubs. When I ask them about protocol they would sit there and laugh about the question. These old-timers would admit freely that the whole “Protocol” thing was about control and money. They would say it was all about making sure they knew who was on their side of the fence. It was also a good recruitment tool for them to draw in membership for their own clubs. The biggest SMH answer that I received concerning Protocol, the larger M/C really didn’t care about a new pop-up club even if they didn’t follow this protocol people put out there. So that led me to follow up with this old-timer. Then if the protocol doesn’t matter, then why is it made a big fuss when you hear about a new club forming? His answer was to the point. “It isn’t us that cares about some small non-important club, it’s all those outside our clubs who are not even apart of our clubs who bought into that bullshit that make the fuss”. He went on “Why would my club give a rat’s ass if someone starts a motorcycle club? Do you really think we need the added bullshit of cops holding us accountable for them? All that Protocol shit was done in the early territory fights between clubs, the territory was settled long ago, many brothers died and got locked up over that crap, damn right the lessons we learned back then are fresh for us and we don’t need to be held accountable for some joe idiot in another clubs actions”.
After sitting there talking to this Old-Timer, this is when I started to think about how to write this article. Now when I say old-timer, that’s exactly what I mean, he is a 40-year member of one of the largest clubs in the world, so you can say, his words held a lot of weight for me. So I said to myself, “If the main clubs do not really give a rats ass about other smaller clubs, then what the hell is all the fuss about?”
I just got done with a series of interviews with Blackjack, President of the Iron Order Elkhorn Chapter. I know that interview had to be hard on them to do, after all, I was the one out there bashing on the Iron Order all the way up to that point when I finally sat down with them. Now I just bring up Iron Order in this piece because they are the most prevalent of the clubs out there that many people bash for not following this protocol.
Iron Order with now, well over by some accounts, 2500 members worldwide. They are almost always bashed because they are a so-called “Cop Club”. (In upcoming articles about Ray “Izod” Lubeski and the Iron Legacy, Insane Throttle will dispel this by showing that when Ray “Izod Lubeski was kicked out on bad from the Iron Order and formed the Iron Legacy, the police within Iron Order followed him to Iron Legacy and thus Iron Order is now a traditional M/C). We do want to mention while we are at it, many clubs are now popping up all over the country that does not follow this protocol rule, Iron Order is the first to go mainstream against this Protocol Rule and put the subject of protocol all over the internet.
From the conversation that I had with the old-timer from a major 1% club on the issue of protocol, and seeing how clubs now are returning to their original roots of post ww2, you are starting to see a great divide with how being in a motorcycle club is now being perceived by those who ride. On one hand, you have one set of bikers who want to return to just being able to ride with those they consider brothers, have fun and secure that bond in the form of a motorcycle club. They do not wish to get involved in the territory or get involved with any of the politics of the 1%ers. This, after all, was the original origins of the motorcycle club.
Then pop in the other hand, you had the invention of the internet. Something that not only changed many industries, but it also changed how we all viewed motorcycle clubs. For instance, in the 90’s all the way up to 00 when I was riding with a club in support of a major 1%er club, I can never really remember being preoccupied with a new startup clubs. We really didn’t give a rats ass when new ones started up, it really wasn’t a big deal. Now inject the internet (See where I’m going with this?) this protocol stuff is being blown up not by the major 1%er clubs, but it’s being propagated by those who have a preference to which club they support, or even worse, a bunch of keyboard warriors out there pushing the crap who don’t even belong or never have belonged to a club.
For instance, there is a site on Facebook that claims to talk to all the clubs and gets information. (For one, I can tell you from experience with riding with a major M/C, we won’t go to some website, one that we don’t know who the hell is running it, to give information about someone or some other club on the streets) They then turn around and put that suppose information on their site and try to rile up the masses. See where I’m going with this? For one, this site will not list its administrators (That’s a warning right there, why hide if the information you provide is correct?) Two, going through most of their membership list, almost 90% of those who make comments are not in motorcycle clubs. ( So the site depends on mob mentality to spread its gossip.) Three, this is how this protocol rule is spread, the internet is a powerful weapon. For example, Insane Throttle averages 800,000 to 1,000,000 visitors a month. It’s a huge platform to spread information, this does not include the ability through many social media accounts to add to the numbers people could get information from this site.
What’s exactly the point I’m getting at? The internet has changed the way we bikers have become towards fellow bikers. I’m a huge believer in the premise of “Integrity and Responsibility”. With the platform that has been built over the last year or so, Insane throttle could have the ability to spread anything false it wants to, it could follow the example of some websites looking to stir crap up within the M/C world, even though those who are stirring crap up are not apart of the club life. The enormous amount of people that not only visit our site but who are regular readers of this site makes us take our responsibility seriously. We deal in subjects that could start wars on the streets and get people hurt, this is why we will always double and triple check information we receive from sources.
In an upcoming series about Ray “Izod” Lubesky and the Iron Legacy. We’ve spent hundreds of hours researching and verifying the information that will be put out there for hundreds of thousands to see. It’s information that will rock the M/C world as we know it. And let me put it out there now, Insane Throttle does not wish to put Iron Legacy out on front street. What Insane Throttle will actually be doing is giving the members of Iron Legacy an out with who is currently leading them and make their club something better. The information that we have comes not only from really reliable sources inside and outside of the Iron Legacy, but also from Ray “Izod” Lubesky himself. I also can say, if Iron Legacy after all the facts come out about this International President that leads them, continue under his leadership, deserve the reputation given to each and every one of them and in this authors opinion, are a bunch of cowards who have no love for their motorcycle club.
As I close out this article, as an independent biker and former patch holder, my point of view with this whole protocol thing is nothing more than political drama that really doesn’t have anything to do with clubs, but has everything to do with those who never wore a patch and those who play too much keyboard warrior over the internet. All you ask yourselves this question. Do you really think if this protocol mattered so much to 1%er clubs that all these pop-up clubs would exist? As the Old-Timer stated, “We could care less about who starts what, we have our own problems to worry about”. Think about it, if all this drama would turn into all of us bikers working against the real enemy.(“The Feds and Cops who wish at this very moment to infringe on the Mongols M/C trademark rights”) Every damn club right now, friends, enemies, pop up clubs or whatever, should be right now donating to the Mongols Legal fund. If the Mongols lose that case every M/C from 1%er to ABATE will be affected. The same shit that is happening right now in Australia ( People who wear patches can be locked up without any probable cause other than that patch) will happen right here in the United States.
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