Homoto Motorcycle Club
Welcome to Homoto Motorcycle Club!
Homoto was founded with the idea that motorcycling should be fun and safe, and that motorcycle clubs should be about meeting new friends, building skills, and having great experiences on a bike. We strive to provide a safe place for our queer and queer-friendly motorcyclists to learn and ride with like minded people.
Homoto’s mission is:
- To ride!
- To have fun doing it
- To be safe and promote safety in our sport
- To mentor our brothers and sisters new to the sport
The purpose of this manual is to provide you with the history of our club, how you can become a member, describe what you can expect as a member, and present important advice on how to prepare for and safely participate in our rides. We are happy you have found us and look forward to seeing you at a ride or event soon!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WHO WE ARE 3
Our mission and history 3
Club leadership and Bylaws 3
How to join Homoto 3
What to expect as a member 4
RIDING WITH HOMOTO 4
Homoto’s calendar of rides and events 4
Guidelines for Homoto Rides 5
Homoto’s Rules Of The Ride 5
Before Homoto Rides 5
On Homoto Rides 6
After the ride 7
In between rides 7
Motorcycle Gear Guidelines 8
Preparing yourself and your motorcycle for a ride 9
T-CLOCS detailed inspection list 11
WHO WE ARE
Our mission and history
Homoto Motorcycle Club was founded in 2009 by a spirited group of riders looking for camaraderie on the road. Skilled, safe riding has always been an important focus of the club. The 2019 Board would like to acknowledge the founding members of Homoto MC. They were Jay Larson, Gaylen Gunther, Patrick Van Amringe, Keith Foote and Keegan Paterson. The 2019 Board has unanimously awarded each of them the status of Legacy Member to thank them for starting the club that we are all enjoying today.
- Homoto MC is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization with a focus on motorcycle riding, education, and providing a service to our community.
Club leadership and Bylaws
Riding is the most important thing we do as a club, and Homoto has a dedicated team of board members elected yearly who insure our club runs smoothly and our calendar is filled with rides and activities. Should you wish to learn more about the bylaws governing our organization, feel free to review them at this link, or reach out to any Homoto board member with your questions.
How to join Homoto
Homoto is a membership-based organization, and new members make our organization stronger and more diverse. We welcome like-minded motorcyclists with a valid motorcycle license to pursue joining Homoto, and we value the friendship and riding experience that new members bring to our club. While we encourage scooter riders to join us at our social events or maintenance classes, you must ride a 250cc or larger motorcycle with 16” or larger wheels to join our rides and pursue club membership. Here are the steps to follow if you’re interested in joining us.
- Join our meetup group, after which you’ll become a guest of Homoto, with twelve months to try us out and attend our events.
- Join us for at least three rides, or two rides and a social event, so both you and our members can decide if we are a good fit for each other
- After we all get to know each other, you may ask to become a member, or may be approached regarding membership. A full member can nominate you for a membership vote during one of our monthly meetings
What to expect as a member
Our club membership fee is $50 per year, and the fee is collected near the end of calendar year for the following year. Since Homoto is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization, this membership fee is tax deductible. This membership grants you full privileges as a member governed by our by-laws (review them at this link). You will also receive a Homoto email address, which is used for all internal communication. Every new member also receives one Homoto T-shirt and one Homoto badge, and additional patches or t-shirts are available for purchase by members.
As a member, you are welcome to join, propose, or even plan a ride. Homoto hosts two regular monthly rides on a Saturday and a Sunday, and we also plan several multi-day rides yearly, for a total of up to 30 rides and events planned through the year. The club members will occasionally receive discount from shops and service centers as a way for businesses to engage with our community members. These are shared over email with full members.
RIDING WITH HOMOTO
Homoto’s calendar of rides and events
All of Homoto’s rides are listed on .com. To access the rides, you must join the meetup group (https://www.meetup.com/Homoto-Motorcycle-Club/). The number of rides vary based on season and availability of ride leads. In general, each month we have one club meeting which may include a ride or lunch after, as well as a Saturday day ride and a Sunday day ride. Summer months see over three rides - one multi-day ride and two local day rides. The club has had four overnight rides per year historically. These are planned months in advance and members are provided with recommendations on hotels and room sharing. We also occasionally list rides from other friendly clubs (like Gay Sportbike Riders) as well as track days that some members might be attending. These are not club official events, but are listed to share information. You can also find some of this information on our website homoto.us, which sources information from meetup.com.
Guidelines for Homoto Rides
Safety is important to us. That’s your safety, the safety of all other riders on a Homoto ride, and the safety of all other people sharing the road and air with us.
Homoto was founded on the idea that riding should be fun, and safe. Skillful riding is a precondition for safe riding. The better your skills are, the more you can enjoy each and every ride. Worry less, enjoy more.
Homoto rides are designed to be joyful group riding experiences in the great scenery of California and adjacent states. Typical Homoto rides offer plenty of opportunity to have fun, hone your riding skills, socialize with riders you can ask for coaching, or exchange riding tips with.
By participating in any Homoto ride, you accept and abide by Homoto’s Rules Of The Ride and accept this Homoto MC release of liability form. Read them, know them, apply them.
Homoto’s Rules Of The Ride
Before Homoto Rides
- Ensure you and your motorcycle are street legal and in good working condition. Do the T-CLOCS check before every Homoto ride (actually, anytime before getting onto your bike, really). Homoto reserves the right to refuse your participation in a ride if you or your bike are deemed not safe for the ride.
- Know the route. Program it into your GPS device or print out the map with turn by turn directions (if you can find out how to do it without breaking a sweat).
- Be on time for the safety speech. It’s typically given about 15 minutes before “kick-stands up!” (KSU).
- Motorcycle: Yes, please bring one with you. Homoto defines a motorcycle fit to partake in Homoto rides as a motor-powered vehicle with two in-line wheels. Minimum displacement: 250cc. Minimum wheel size: 16”. Electric powered motorcycles need to be able to keep a sustained highway speed and completed the ride on a single charge.
- Have a valid license, and insurance to ride it. Arrive with a full tank of gas.
- Gear: On Homoto rides Homoto mandates that you wear proper gear head to toe. This is for your own protection. We want you to continue riding with us for many years. Since we can never predict what may happen, we insist that we plan for the worst and hope for the best. Wear proper gear, always!
- Choose a buddy before the ride. Exchange names and mobile phone numbers. Check on your buddy at rest stops.
- On rides in and to the North and East Bay we may need to use toll bridges, so you may want to consider signing up for Fastrak if you haven't already done so.
- If you’d like to work on particular skills during a Homoto ride let the ride lead know before the ride which skill you’d like to improve and he or she will find a skilled rider to follow and observe you. Please accept their advice as a gift, not as criticism. You may want to hone one skill at a time. Try to learn in baby steps, don’t push yourself.
On Homoto Rides
- Do not ride under the influence, on any substances or drugs that may reduce your ability to sense, focus, concentrate, or to control your bike. Any Substance = under the influence. Do not ride angry.
- You are responsible for the rider behind you: At turns, ensure the rider behind you sees you turn. In doubt, wait for them where you are visible to them and where it is safe for you to do so. Make sure it's the same bike that was behind you, a random motorcycle may have passed the biker behind you. No worries, you won’t be forgotten either. The rider in front of you will wait for you, too.
- Ride your own ride, well within your comfort zone and skill level, and leave room for bad karma. Caveat: On freeways, it is safer to ride in a group formation which makes us more visible to others. If you are concerned about keeping up at highway speed levels above posted limits please let the ride lead know upfront. In either case, know which highway exit(s) to take.
- Homoto ride leads will maintain the pace according to road conditions with safety of all riders in mind. Be mindful of others in the group.
- Homoto ride leads may pass slower traffic when it's safe. You don't have to. Remember, someone will wait for you at turns, so just relax and have fun.
- If you intend to pass traffic in your lane, first make sure you have space available after you passed traffic. Only pass if oncoming traffic will not be affected by your pass. Only pass on the left. In doubt, don’t pass. We will wait for you and we don't mind waiting.
- Let faster riders get ahead of you by moving to the right and signaling them to pass you on the left.
- And if you want to pass the rider(s) who are in front of you, make sure to do so safely, without startling them, and only pass on the left.
- Ride staggered in straights with lanes wide enough for it. In staggered formation try to keep a distance of about 2 sec to the rider in front and 1 sec to the rider diagonally to your left or right. In twisties ride single file and 2-3 seconds apart. In doubt, leave more space, not less.
- Do not share a lane, do not ride two abreast, it is not safe. At stop signs or red lights it is acceptable to pull up next to a rider, but please resume correct formation after the stop.
After the ride
- As a courtesy, check in with your buddy and make sure he or she got home safely.
- Let your buddy know you got home safe and sound.
In between rides
- Riding a motorcycle requires skill. Homoto approves of your desire to hone your street riding skills:
- Riding positions for better control, especially when it matters
- Vision, focus, anticipation
- Confident Cornering and good lines
- Confident Braking
You can learn these and more skills in Alameda County Sheriff Academy Civilian Motorcycle Basics, or all over the US at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Homoto offers dedicated skill-builder workshops. Check out the Homoto calendar on Meetup.
If you always wanted to add some variety to your riding, and were looking for a great pretext to get another bike: “Dirt skills improve your street riding!” Here are some dirt riding drills your road riding can benefit from:
- Slow “racing”
- Acceleration / Deceleration drill
- Locking up your rear brake remaining straight, or to initiate a turn
- Locking up your front brake and sliding
- Cornering in the dirt
- Tight slow turns
- Overcoming obstacles, like ruts, bumps, potholes
You can learn dirt skills regionally at Doc Wong’s Dual Sport riding clinics, or at Rich Oliver’s Mystery School, or for more adventure bike oriented folks, at Raw Hide BMW Off-Road Academy
- Some skills improvement books by professional motorcyclists trainer Keith Code are available for you as a member in the Homoto library at headquarters free of charge. One of his disciples, Doc Wong, holds riding clinics here in the SF Bay area, most of which are free of charge.
- Doc Wong riding clinics are on Meetup.
- Be merry and gay, and keep riding (with) us!
Motorcycle Gear Guidelines
Gear should be protective and comfortable in any weather. Homoto believes in wearing all protective gear on all rides, “All the gear, all the time.” Protective gear consists of
- A motorcycle helmet with visor. Full-face helmets obviously protect better than ¾ or half shells. Replace after each crash, drop, or other significant impact of any type. Or every about 5 years. Visors protect your pretty face from rocks, and insects like no hanky can. Make sure the helmet fits comfortably. Helmets come in different shapes and sizes to fit differently shaped heads.
- A set of motorcycle gloves. They allow for your piano player, revving and clutching hands to stay nimble after a crash. Replace them when they fall part. The gloves. As we may ride in different riding conditions, you may want to consider having gloves for cold and wet weather as well as hot and sunny days. A set of motorcycle boots. The point of those boots is protecting your ankles and feet. Hiking boots are usually too flexible and too short to properly protect them.
- A motorcycle jacket, ideally with removable protectors for shoulders, back, and elbows. Layered jackets are great for multi-season and multi-landscape riding, something we do multiple times a year.
- Motorcycle pants with knee, hip and tailbone protectors. Please wear pants on most Homoto rides. We’ll announce the ones where pants are optional! But seriously: Your motorcycle has a number of hot parts the contact with which can cause serious burns to your pretty skin. Wear long pants, ideally made from a material that slides well on asphalt. Like leather (don’t you look awesome in those slacks), or some thick cordura-type material. For the multi-... rides, you may want to consider long johns underneath. Knee protectors are available to be worn inside or outside the pants.
- For rain have rain gear ready. For cold weather layer up and/or use heated vests, socks, gloves.
For further recommendations and considerations on gear ask a Homoto member, and check out this detailed pamphlet of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Preparing yourself and your motorcycle for a ride
- Do the T-CLOCS. Not the dance, but the check. What dance, anyway?
- Bring water. Dehydration on motorcycle rides is common and a major factor in losing focus. Drink plenty. We’ll stop for pee breaks.
- Bring snacks if you tend to get hungry or need to control your blood sugar levels. While motorcycling the way we usually do it may burn many calories, riding with an empty stomach takes away your focus from the road. Eat before you’re hungry.
- Bring essential tools and spare parts fit for your bike. Add a few zip ties, some duct tape, they keep a bike together better than a loose screw.
- Fix water, snacks and tools in a closed container or bag on your bike. Make sure all items are secured to your bike. Anything falling off your bike is considered a safety hazard.
- Bring a fun-loving mindset, a spirit of joy and camaraderie to Homoto rides. When we all do, it will be fun.
T-CLOCS detailed inspection list
WITH BIKE ON STANDS / ENGINE OFF
Tires Condition: Tread depth, wear, weathering, evenly seated, bulges, embedded objects.
Wheels (Spokes): Bent, broken, missing, tension, check at top of wheel: “ring” = OK — “thud” = loose spoke.
Wheels (Rims): Cast cracks, dents, out of round/true = 5mm. Spin wheel, index against stationary pointer.
Bearings: Grab top and bottom of tire and flex: No freeplay (click) between hub and axle, no growl when spinning.
Seals: Cracked, cut or torn, excessive grease on outside, reddish-brown around outside.
Brakes Condition: Check pads and discs for wear.
Levers & Pedal Condition: Broken, bent, cracked, mounts tight, ball ends on handlebar levers, proper adjustment. Pivots lubricated.
Cables Condition: Fraying, kinks, lubrication: ends and interior. Routing: No interference or pulling at steering head, suspension, no sharp angles, wire supports in place.
Hoses Condition: Cuts, cracks, leaks, bulges, chafing, deterioration. Routing: No interference or pulling at steering head, suspension, no sharp angles, hose supports in place.
Battery Condition: Terminals; clean and tight, electrolyte level, held down securely. Vent Tube not kinked, routed properly, not plugged.
Lenses & Reflectors Condition: Cracked, broken, securely mounted, excessive condensation.
Wiring Condition: Fraying, chafing, insulation. Routing: Pinched, no interference or pulling at steering head or suspension, wire looms and ties in place,connectors tight, clean.
Oil Levels: Gear oil
Shaft Drive Transmission: check rear drive, shaft.
Hydraulic Fluid: Brakes, clutch, reservoir or sight glass. Coolant Reservoir and/or coolant recovery tank — check only when cool. Fuel Tank or gauge. Leaks Engine Oil Gaskets, housings, seals. Gear Oil, Shaft Drive Gaskets, seals, breathers. Hoses, master cylinders, calipers.
Coolant: Radiator, hoses, tanks, fittings, pipes.
Fuel: Lines, fuel valve, carbs
Frame Condition: Cracks at gussets, accessory mounts, look for paint lifting.
Drive Chain or Belt Tension: Check at tightest point.
Lubrication: Side plates when hot. Note: do not lubricate belts.
Sprockets: Teeth not hooked, securely mounted.
Fasteners: Threaded Tight, missing bolts, nuts.