This package has been put together, to give you a better understanding, of the new world, that you are entering and a better understanding of what is expected of you in your new role. Once you understand the scope of the task, you are undertaking, you should examine your feelings and question your motives, for wanting to become a member of a motorcycle brotherhood. There are many riding clubs, that require only casual participation from its members. Others require a total commitment to the MC lifestyle. Your degree of interest, will direct you towards an organization that you will fit into. Be certain, that you are both, willing and able, to commit yourself to the level, that will be required. Be certain, that your family understands the demands, that the club will make of your time, and that those demands, will continue to an even greater extent, once you become a Patchholder. If after reading this package you should have any reservations about being able to meet any of the requirements, it would be better not to consider moving forward at this time. Instead, either continue your present level of association with the club, until you feel, that you are ready and are confident of your success, or find a different organization that better suits your needs. Such a decision would be respected and would be to your credit.
The intent of this section, is to give you an overview of the structure and philosophy of the traditional motorcycleclub (MC). This does not necessarily express the feelings or priorities of any particular club, as all 1% motorcycleclubs differ in on some points. Regardless of the basic philosophy of your club, it is important, that you understand the perspectives of other clubs, that you may be associating with, from time to time. If your lifestyle is influenced by motorcycles, then you are part of the motorcycle community. Of all the types of organizations, found within that community, the traditional motorcycle club stands apart and ranks highest in stature.
A serious club, commands respect for one or both of two reasons – those who are correctly informed, recognize the deep level of personal commitment and self discipline, that a man has to demonstrate and sustain in order to wear a patch. They understand, that it is akin to a religion or vocation to that man. They realize that a club‘s „Colors“ are closely guarded and the membership process is long and difficult. Other factors notwithstanding, they respect Patch holders for what they have absolved by being able to earn and keep the patch they wear. This is respect born out of recognition of dedication and accomplishment. Those who are less informed, see only the surface. They see the vigilance of mutual support. They see the potential danger of invoking a response from a well organized unit, that travels in numbers and is always prepared for confrontation. They know, that no one can provoke one club member, without being answerable to the whole club, and that such an answer is a point of honor, that must come, to the last man. The type of respect, that this generates, is one born out of fear. We strive for respect for reason Nr. 1, not reason Nr. 2! This is especially true, as it pertains to those persons outside of the motorcycle community. This segment of society is by far the larger, and therefore represents a larger market for any fund raising activities, that the club might undertake. It stands to reason, that cultivating a relationship with these people is important and to be perceived by them as „Biker Scum“ would not be advantageous to the club. We therefore will conduct ourselves as upstanding citizens, in every way… „good neighbors“ so to speak.
The goal is to be admired and respected by the general public rather than feared. The serious club and all of its members and prospects, will always conduct themselves publicly in a highly professional manner. They will not go out of their way to cause trouble, or to present themselves as an intimidating force, without purpose or provocation.
The general public does not draw a distinction between different club colors. In many cases, they simply can‘t tell the difference: we‘re all „Biker Scum“ to them. If one club causes a problem, that touches the public sector, the offending club‘s identity is either confused or ignored and the heat comes down on all clubs.
Within a club, officers are usually elected to the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant at Arms. Another less traditional post is the Road Captain.
In most cases, the Patchholder was a Hangaround with the club for about a year. Before that, he was a long standing acquaintance and his attitude and overall conduct were well known. He then prospected for the club, for one to two years, before he got his patch. Of all things in this man‘s life, his loyalty and commitment to the well being of the club comes first above all else. There is never any doubt, what comes first. Though most things in life can let him down, he knows that his club and his brothers will always be there, because he is always committed to being there himself. To be sure, that this ideal and attitude continues on with any new member, he participates in teaching, conditioning, and even testing the club‘s prospects. The term „Prospect“ comes from the words „prospective member“. Before he allows another man to wear his colors, he is sure, that the prospect is as dedicated, as he is! A Patchholder has the attitude, that there are only two types of people, those who are brothers and those who are not. For this reason, he will not discuss any club business, whether it‘s about membership numbers, club activities, or any members personal information, with anyone outside of the club. He will keep his voice down, when discussing club business and he will be aware of any one coming, within listening distance. He understands, that he is a Patchholder 24 hours a day, whether or not he is wearing his colors. Everything he says or does in public, can affect the club or the brothers. He also understands, that if he gets out of line, that he is subject to be counseled by his brothers for his own good and for that of the club. Wearing a patch is more, than getting together for good times. It also means, getting together for the other times too. It constitutes a lot of work. It‘s committing yourself to a lifestyle in which you do not look for how your brothers can help you, but for ways, that you can help your brothers. You always look to give, rather than to receive.
All of this may seem very idealistic and in some cases it‘s just that. But it is an ideal, that all clubs profess and are always striving for, in principal and practice. You should be aware of the „Golden Rule“ of conduct, while traveling in club circles:
If you give respect, you‘ll get respect!
If you act like an asshole, you‘ll be treated like one.
It is important, that you understand, that it is the Patchholders, that run the club, not the officers. This may seem a moot point to some, but it can‘t be overstressed. This is not to say, that the officers don‘t deserve respect from the other Patch holders. These members have shown leadership qualities and have probably been in the club for quite some time. They are in office, to carry out the wishes of the membership, in a timely and efficient manner, as it is not always possible, to get the members together, to make decisions or take action. Officers are elected to act as spokesmen for the club and perform various responsible tasks, but they don‘t run the club. When they speak or act on club matters, it is in a manner that they believe that the members of the club would agree up on, if a quick vote was taken. If an officer doesn‘t understand the membership‘s feelings about various matters, then he is out of touch with his brothers and should step down. This is a critical point, because the strongest and most representative form of rule is one, in which the power comes from the bottom up. If things were the other way around and the leaders or officers continually dictated down the chain of command, a sense of apathy and non involvement would eventually set in. If this would happen, the individual Patchholder would have no intuitive, sense of his club‘s direction and would hesitate when he feels, that he should act in the best interest of the club. Having little or nothing to say in what is going on, destroys a man‘s motivation to get involved, or voice his own opinion. It would also drain his feelings of unity with his club brothers. Without such unity, a brotherhood can not exist. Remember, that the strength of a brotherhood rests with the membership at the bottom of the chain of command and is passed up. This is why, aggressive participation is such a prized quality, that is expected from the Patchholder and is looked for in the Prospect.
When a man earns his patch, it does not mean, that he has reached the ultimate goal and from that point on he can kick back and coast. Moving from Hangaround to Prospect, to Patchholder, is not climbing from the bottom to the top, but rather more like climbing a constantly tasc ending slope, and in time becoming a stronger and more committed brother. A man‘s prospecting rocker and later his patch, are merely presented in recognition, of what he has demonstrated along the way. In this fashion, the more senior the Patchholder is in the club and the more he experiences, the more of a brother he should be to all.
Prospecting is not an initiation, as you would find in a fraternity. It is instead a period of training, that is sustained, until the prospect, in every sense, conducts himself as a Patchholder. It‘s a time in which the man‘s attitude is conditioned so this way, that he displays a sense of responsibility and respect towards the patchholders of the club, without whom he will not develop a sense of brotherhood. He is educated in basic MC protocol and etiquette. He is given time to develop the habits, that are basic to good security and good communications. To get the man into the habit of participating. To give his family time to adjust to the demands of the club. To experience and learn an essential degree of humility. To become accustomed to trusting the judgment, at times blindly, of those patchholders, who will someday be his brothers. To break the man of habits, that are self centered and self serving. The list could go on, but the point here, is to demonstrate, that prospecting has definite objectives and that a prospect will go nowhere in the club, if he is not aware of this and does not apply himself to those ends.
It‘s not possible, to make a check list of what is expected from a prospect in all cases. There isn‘t any formula for success, but the key, is attitude. Everything else can be learned in time, but a man‘s attitude comes from the heart. The testing of a prospect may come in many ways. It may be planned or spontaneous. In any event, when a prospect is given a task, the Patchholder is going to be looking for the man‘s attitude and the spirit in which he carries out the task. The prospects should be alert and always attentive in looking for more to do. If he is ever in doubt of his priorities, or he can‘t find something to do, he should ask. The Patchholders know, which of the prospects hustle, and those are the prospects that are spoken of with the greatest pride and respect. It is also the way, by which confidence and trust are developed. These are the seeds of brotherhood! Remember that you will be prospecting for the whole club and not just for one individual.
Learn what different parts of our patch represent and what the different color combination of yours and other clubs represent. As you can see, there‘s a lot to think about. This decision is probably one of the biggest, you‘ll ever make.
Be absolutely sure this is the right way for you, and go for it!
1. The „Bandidos Motorcycleclub Membership“ is open to male individuals riding a „Harley Davidson“ motorcycle and being at least 21 years of age. Anyone who does not undertake to observe the statutes and rules of the „Bandidos Motorcycleclub Federation Europe“ and the statutes of the regional association, that his chapter is affiliated with, including the „Ethical Requirements“ cannot join a „Bandidos Motorcycleclub Chapter“.
2. In order to become a fully fledged member of a „Bandidos Motorcycleclub Chapter“, aspirants must go through the following stages:
a) „Prospect“ (12 months minimum);
b) „Probationary“ (6 months).
3. „Prospects“ will be promoted to „Probationary“ if the following prerequisites are met:
a) During his spell as a „Prospect“, the aspirant has participated in at least one „European National Run“;
b) the general meeting of the „Bandidos Motorcycleclub Chapter“ in which the aspirant is a „Prospect“ must come to a favourable majority decision as to the promotion of the aspirant;
c) the „National Vice Presidente“ of the regional member association that the „Chapter“ is affiliated with has determined that the minimum time requirement was met and expresses his consent to the aspirant‘s promotion.
4. In the case that the local „Bandidos Motorcycleclub Chapter“ is a „Prospect“ or „Hangaround“ Chapter of a regional member association, aspirants must go through the following stages:
a) „Prospect“ (12 months minimum);
b) „Probationary“ (12 months).
5. For a „Prospect’s“ or „Hangaround’s“ to be promoted to „Probationary“ in a „Prospect“ or „Hangaround“ Chapter, the following prerequisites must be met:
a) During his spell as a „Prospect“, the „Prospect“ has participated in at least one „European National Run“;
b) the „National Vice Presidente“ of the regional association has determined, that the minimum time requirement was met and comes to a favorable decision as to the aspirant‘s promotion.
6. Members of an existing motorcycleclub in a country, without member associations, may be awarded the „Probationary“ status straightaway, to which the
„Presidium“ of the „Bandidos Motorcycleclub Federation Europe“ must give its consent. The „probationary“ period prescribed for such members shall be at least 12 months, before full membership status can be awarded.
7. All neophytes must embark on a motorcycle trip to the first European „Bandidos Motorcylceclub Chapter in Marseille“, France. Said trip must commence within a period of not more than 18 months from the day the „Probationary“ status was awarded.
8. Every neophyte must be mentored by a senior member over a five-year period, which shall commence on the day the „Prospect“ status is awarded.
1. Membership in a Bandidos Motorcycleclub Chapter shall end:
a) If the member dies;
b) by voluntary retirement;
c) by exclusion from the Chapter.
2. Voluntary retirement is effected, by submitting a statement to the chapter‘s board.
3. A member can be struck from the role, by resolution of the board, if he is in areas with membership fees, despite having been served two reminders.
4. Members grossly violating the statutes, rules or ethical requirements, can be excluded from the chapter, by resolution, adopted by the board. Before such resolution is passed, the member shall be given the opportunity, to explain himself in person before the board.
5. Instead of having the member excluded from the local Chapter, the „Sgt. At Arms“ in charge may impose the following, less harsh sanctions:
a) reprimand of the member in question;
b) reduction of the member to „Prospect“ status for a period of not longer than one year.
6. As long as it hasn‘t been established, wether a member did indeed violate the statutes and rules, that member shall be presumed innocent.
7. If a member was legitimately excluded and relegated to „No Contact“ status, all other members of the local Chapter, as well as the members of all other „Bandidos Motorcycleclub Chapters“, are urged not to maintain further contact with that member.
8. When a member retires from the local Chapter on his own accord and in „Good Standing“, that former member shall be entitled, by the end of a one-year period and with consent from the president of his former local Chapter and of the „National Vice Presidente“, to re-join his former Chapter as an aspirant.