San Francisco Motorcycle Club

Est. 1904. Where the Motorcyclist is always welcome.

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1904
In November of this year, the SFMC holds its first official meeting at the Thor Motorcycle shop. Twelve charter members were in attendance. These included: C.C. “Daddy” Hopkins, James Tormey, George Payton, Joe Holle, Harry Rockwell, and Al Freed.

1906
April 17th, the club holds its first dance in a new hall on Jefferson Square; five hours afterward, on April 18th, the Great Earthquake shakes the city, and fire ravages the SFMC clubroom with all of its possessions. Not to be deterred, four weeks later the club holds a “reunion run” to Centerville.

1907
The club finds a new clubroom at 25th and Mission Streets just outside the earthquake & fire damaged area.

1910
The SFMC becomes the first motorcycle club to admit women members. Women could vote in our club rooms well before they could vote in either state or federal elections.
Road Captain Volney Davis sets a new transcontinental record riding his Indian from San Francisco to New York and back.

1911
The membership of the SFMC hits its peak with over 500 members including San Francisco’s mayor P.H. McCarthy.

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1912
SFMC President Harry Hodges heads up the newly formed Western Federation of Motorcyclists.

1913
Dudley “Red” Perkins Sr. joins the SFMC, a spirited rider, he gains recognition as a champion hill-climber aboard his Harley-Davidson. One year later, he opens a Harley Davidson dealership.

1915
SFMC member and famed aviator Lincoln Beachey loses his life in a demonstration of “upside down flight” over the Bay, as a part of the Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE).

Outmaneuvering a motorcycle policeman after a “twelve-mile tilt in which he refused to stop even when six shots were fired at his tires”, Gus Chelini “finished the last lap of the transcontinental motorcycle relay race, when he officially delivered dispatches from the War Department and President Woodrow Wilson to the Presidio” also as a part of the PPIE.

1924
San Francisco Motorcycle Club joins the American Motorcycle Association as Club Number 142. Dud Perkins wins the National Hill-Climb Championship. The Club also wins big at Motorcycle Polo, led by Pat Speer.

1920’s-1930’s
Tom Sifton, Jack Cottrell, and Ray Eddy dominate local racing during this period, especially T.T.Racing.

1936
The first Hap Jones Birthday Party, a tradition that will last well past WWII, is a favorite with the local riders. It’s said that they would bark for weeks after, from consuming so many hot dogs.

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1937
Hap Jones, also noted as a champion T.T. Racer rides then pushes his Indian Chief through the crowd of pedestrians to become the first to cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

1941
The SFMC wins its first Performing Drill Team trophy in Pittsburg, CA.

1944
At the 40th Anniversary Banquet of the SFMC, a white haired gentleman delivers to the club a box containing the original club gavel thought to have been lost in 1906. The man, C.C. Hopkins, tells a story of how J.S. Tormey went into the burning clubroom and rescued the gavel.

1947
Hollister – The SFMC was there with its T.T.Racers and Drill Team. Sadly, motorcyclists will never be looked at quite the same way. The SFMC finally get a real home by purchasing an old blacksmith shop located at 2194 Folsom Street. Work begins immediately to transform it into a thing of beauty.

1949
The SFMC holds an auction, with the members bringing in things to disburse. H.L. Lausing brings in a 1904 Curtiss motorcycle. That day, no one was willing to bid on it so H.L. Lausing donated it to the club. Today it holds a place of honor on the wall of the SFMC.

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1950-1956
The SFMC sponsors the 20 Mile National Championship at Bay Meadows Race Track where racers like Joe Leonard and Dick Mann win big.

1960s-1970s
The SFMC sponsors some events at Champion Speedway but most of its attention turns to social riding.

1985
Fire again strikes the SFMC damaging the clubhouse and destroying many of its possessions. The SFMC rallies and rebuilds its clubhouse.

1987
Hap Jones, after years away from the club, returns to again lead the 50th Anniversary Crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge. Hap is 83 years old and this time doesn’t have to push the Henderson sidecar rig he is piloting.

1996-1999
In 1996, David Schiller wins the Top Rider of the Year Award in AMA District 36 Road Rider Division becoming the first and only SFMC member to do so. He repeats in 1997 and 1998 to accomplish the feat 3 years in succession. After a long drought, a clubracing Championship Trophy comes to rest in the SFMC Trophy Case as John A. Sweeney wins the AFM’s 500 Twins Class for 1999.

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2004: Our Centennial Year
In 2004, we celebrated our 100th year of continuing existence as a motorcycle club. It was a blast, with motorcyclists from around the globe dropping in to make it a fantastic year of celebration.

2006-2009
David Schiller wins his 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Top Rider of the Year Award in AMA District 36 Road Rider Division.

2009
After only 105 years, the SFMC celebrates the election of Tegan Hetzel-Dobbins as its first woman president.

2010
The Pasadena MC and the SFMC join forces to renew a 90 year-old tradition, hosting the Pismo Beach Motorcycle Classic.

Maybe you too, would like to be a part of this history?

Copyright 2013, San Francisco Motorcycle Club Inc.