THE FEDERATION OF AMERICAN MOTORCYCLISTS (FAM)

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.

FAM CONFERENCES

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)

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