Web Forum Motorcycle Society

Aside from motorcycle clubs and riding clubs, there's another level of motorcycle society built around web forums. Web forums focused o...

HarleyChatGroup PatchAside from motorcycle clubs and riding clubs, there's another level of motorcycle society built around web forums.

Web forums focused on motorcycle riding are attracting hoards of riders, or people who think they're riders, and then organize rides and events. Friendships are created and that evolves into circles of riders who ride reguarly. Ultimately, they create something of a club, without it having any kind of formal organization. They become riding clubs, without any structure.

HarleyChatGroup.com is a web forum that recently organized a poker run for its California-based members. The people who run HCG have organized other rides before. HCG even has a patch that members can buy and wear on their vest. The patch is small, and not meant to be worn as "colors".

HDForums.com and BikersBallRoom.com are other web forums that offer patches for its members.

HDForums.com has an on-going ride that has its members carrying a stuffed animal across the country on their bikes. Members post their photos and memoirs as they haul the HDForums mascot around.

The members of Road Star Gallery, who specialize in Yamaha Road Stars, have been setting up mini-rallies on both national and local scales where members get-together for rides and good times.

Many people are adopting their forum account names as their nicknames. As people join a web forum, they first have to create a log-in account. Often, they choose an account name that might incorporate numbers and abbreviations, without really thinking that everyone else on the forum will refer to them by that name as their nickname. Many of them go on to have name patches made of their account names, and wear them on their vest.

These forums also offer exclusive access to members who donate money. By becoming a "paying member" people get access to private forums, or get greater flexibility with their membership accounts.

And these web forums are not without their issues either. They have "political in-fighting" and "power struggles", especially as the forums grow larger and more influential.

And when these forums grow such large memberships, they offer their members benefits like discounts at various dealers and shops.

Historically, motorcycle manufacturers offered their customers club memberships like Harley HOG and Yamaha Star Touring. But web forums are rivaling these clubs with the same benefits, same cohesiveness, but without all the structure and organization. Will these forums create even more cohesiveness among its members that it will rival the riding clubs and motorcycle clubs?

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