The formation of the FAM can be traced to the New York Motorcycle Club, whose members in early 1903 saw the need for a national motorcyclist organization and assembled a committee to study the interest level in such an organization. Further momentum for the creation of this organization was provided by the enactment of a New York City law requiring registration of motorcycles as motor vehicles.
On September 7, 1903, the FAM was officially formed during a meeting of 93 enthusiasts at a clubhouse in Brooklyn. The meeting was chaired by George H. Perry, and one notable attendee was George M. Hendee of the Indian Motocycle Company, who brought 109 membership pledges from the New England area.
A constitution was drawn up, and officers appointed, with R.G. Betts of New York as president. Article I, section 2 of the constitution of the newly created FAM stated: "Its objects shall be to encourage the use of motorcycles and to promote the general interests of motorcycling; to ascertain, defend and protect the rights of motorcyclists; to facilitate touring; to assist in the good roads movement; and to advise and assist in the regulation of motorcycle racing and other competition in which motorcycles engage." The constitution also recorded annual membership dues of $2, and named several committees, including: Membership; Legal Action; Competition; Roads, Touring and Hotels; and Transportation and Facilities.
During its 16-year existence, the FAM developed competition rules and rider classifications, dealt with restrictive ordinances in cities like Chicago and Tacoma, Washington, and wrestled with funding and membership concerns. The FAM listed 8,247 members in 1915, but with World War I draining potential members, the organization went out of business in 1919.
|1903||September 7-10||Brooklyn New York (NY City Alpha & NY Motorcycle Clubs)|
|1904||July 5-8||Cambridge, Maryland [view gallery]|
|1905||August 8-11||Waltham, Massachusetts|
|1906||July 3-5||Rochester, New York|
|1907||July 31-August 1||Providence, Rhode Island|
|1908||July 1-4||New York City, New York|
|1909||August 12-14||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|1910||August 8-12||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|1911||July 10-15||Buffalo, New York|
|1912||July 19-21||Columbus, Ohio|
|1913||July 23-26||Denver, Colorado|
|1914||July 14-19||St Louis, Missouri|
|1915||July 21-24||Sacramento, California|
|1916||July 25-29||Providence, Rhode Island|
Sources: 1. americanmotorcyclist.com 2. Herb Glass (Pine Bush, New York - Collector of antique motorcycles and memorabilia)
View AllCOME AND VISIT