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Background of Ulysses Club


Discuss about the Practical and Research Project for Ulysses Club.

The Ulysses Club is situated both in Australia and New Zealand, formed for the motorcyclists over and above the age of forty. This club cropped up in Australia in December 1983, in response to a letter from the present day redundant magazine of Bike Australia editor, Peter Thoeming (Morandin, Bagozzi & Bergami, 2013). The name ‘Ulysses Club’ was the proposal of Rob Hall, while the motto of the club, “Grow Old Disgracefully” was initiated by Pat Lynch, Rob’s then girlfriend. The “old man” logo that is being still used as the emblem of the club was sketched by Peter Thoeming. The club has made use of the original hand-sketched form of the logo that was made by Peter. The club’s introductory meeting was apprehended in Sydney on December 6th, 1983, when five people who were present in the meeting permitted of the draft constitution and the Ulysses Club was duly created. This meeting gave birth to a draft constitution along with the formation of the three primary purposes of the club:

  1. In providing ways where the old motorcyclists can get along together for camaraderie and shared support.
  2. In showing through example that motor cycling can be pleasurable and a practical movement for the riders of all ages.
  3. In drawing attention of the private and public institutions to the requirements and opinions of the older riders.

These unique purposes are being entrenched in the constitution of the club and have till date remained unaffected. This motor cycling club has been the biggest organization of its kind having 138 branches within Australia and existing globally in places like Italy, Germany, Austria, Vietnam and Norway. Furthermore, the partner of the member, who has conquered the age of forty, may also be divulged as a club member on prior application. Till a member achieves the 50 age level, he or she is considered to be a junior member of the club, however having full membership rights along with privileges.

This research would take into account the issue of declining membership of Ulysses Club in Australia and the reasons on why the club is not being able to attract any new members. The club states it is under no pressure and is in competition with none to increase the members. The club has been able to recognize that a few more of the existing clubs have been able to offer diversified experiences for the riders to select from.

A larger group of members of the club have in recent times expressed their concerns at the serious turn down in the membership of club over a period of three years. The recent official figures from the club management states that the use of the cycle has been falling as the percentage of the adults who ride at least once a month fell to 15 per cent the previous year. The decline of quite a larger section of the people was marked in Australia and New Zealand. The bike riding clubs or organizations have been blaming the government for failing to offer ample funding for the provision for bike riding transportation along with fears of safety on the part of would-be bikers. The membership of the club did manage to peak up in 2010, figures stating that 28,000 members were at the helm, though it declined in the next few years with figures suggesting the total under present circumstances is at 16,000 (Biezen, & Poguntke, (2014).

Primary purposes of the club

With due regards to the Ulysses club, the decline in the membership has been for reasons like the termination of the club Newsletter which has been one of the popular journal, predominantly enjoyed by many who have been the non-riding members. From the period from 2010 to 2015, the club did manage to generate fifty newsletters. However, with few of the important members leaving the club scene, only five newsletters have been produced in the last two years. Moreover, it was decided at the AGM that the generation of the Newsletter is not worth the exertion. This fact has been ridiculed by many of the club members on the sudden stop of the newsletters, which was once deemed popular. As suggested by some of the top members, one does not require articles, just the oddments and the one-off clipart that can easily be cut and pasted from the website of the club.

In every three month’s time, a run list is being shaped and propelled through posts to all the members of the club who are not having the broadband facilities. The only extra effort that is being required was in placing a piece of paper into the envelopes of the recipients. It took the club officials a maximum time of two hours in producing and posting the club newsletter to their members with the list of the run. At the time when the club was producing so many of the newsletters during the period of 2012-2013, the club comprised of 85 members who did not have the email amenities. It is of no coincidence that following the annihilation of the Newsletter, in the present scenario there is only less than half the figure of club members without facilities of email.

Another potential factor that might have resulted in the decline of the club membership is the decision in removing AUD $6 membership for the non-riders that was popular among many of the non-riding members (Berry & Wilcox, 2015). This is yet another of those reasons for those members who no longer are capable in riding with the club, not renewing their association with the club.

The information that is being required for addressing the issues that Ulysses Club is facing would require extensive analysis of both the primary and the secondary sources. The primary sources would be dealing with the members of the club through one-on-one interviews and questionnaires containing questions that would be based on the issues and challenges the club is facing. The secondary source of information would be gathered through club websites and other related articles over the database.

Current state of Ulysses Club membership

This research study would take in certain research questions that would assist the researcher in going along with the paper:

  1. What are the issues that are being faced by bike riding clubs like Ulysses Club in Australia?
  2. How can the issues faced by Ulysses Club be minimized for it to stay ahead of the competition?
  3. What are the possible recommendations through which new members can be attracted by bike riding clubs like Ulysses in Australia?

According to Biezen, & Poguntke, (2014), one of the major challenges that are being encountered by this motorcycle clubs is the age of the members. In most of the motorcycle clubs, the average ages of the members has been fifty, and under certain circumstances even sixty. In the coming twenty years, this clubs would not be having a lot of the members. As per Hung, et al., (2017), the largest factor of declining of motorcycle membership has been related to the demographic factor. In this research, a survey was conducted where it was found that the average age fifteen months ago was stated to be sixty-seven, with over 25 per cent of that population being over the age of seventy five.

As per Everett, (2015), even though the hobbyists pass on, their bikes linger. On previous occasions, the successive owners have joined the club, substituting the previous owner of the bike. However, regrettably this tradition is getting lost somewhere. One of the members of a motorcycle riding club stated that previously the turnover used to be same for the membership, with some of the new members joining in at the same time or at the augmented rate. However, in the present scenario, the rates of new members have gone down or are not increasing the way it used to at one time. According to Berry, (2015), the clubs are keen in finding the source of such issues and understand the obstacle that lies ahead, taking important steps in combating the membership issue that is on the decline. This research did take into account the method of increasing the membership through the benefit of modern technology and the ways of delivering information in cost-effective ways.

As per Launay & Dunbar, (2015), the Southern Cross Association has been offering technical resources on the website of its that has been saving their members quite a few dollars, adding the much required value to the membership due prices. The workshop manuals generally run upto 1000 pages and for obvious reasons it is costly in printing and mailing of the same, so the club shifted the whole process online where the members can download it for free. The internet has been able to bring in the diversion into the households of the potential members; many such clubs have been seeing this as the value of bringing the hobby off the computer monitor and onto the streets. According to Fishman, Washington & Haworth, (2014), several biker association have taken up the initiative in having a youth program. One of the things that they have been trying to perform is working with the trade schools for introducing antique bikes and relevant information about them into the prospectus.

Reasons behind declining membership

According to Fishman et al., (2015), attracting new members in the club has become one of the broader initiatives. In one of the surveys conducted within this research, members are of the opinion that when they joined these motorcycle clubs around forty years ago, it was much bunged society. However, in the present scenario, a particular motorcycle club is inviting the members of the other bike clubs to come in, visit them and have an experience. As per Hardiman & Burgin, (2013), several of the motorcycle clubs have been parking their Ducati sand Ninjas in the parking lot for the people to see and have a discussion with the owners. According to Bachand-Marleau, Lee & El-Geneidy, (2012), the bottom line for such an issue and to better the health of the club is to acclimatize with the needs of the members, through either socializing at the shows and events and on tours, for attracting new members to the club. As per Ricci, (2015), social media has been another reason for which the motorcycle clubs operations are being jeopardized. With the taking over of the social media, people are just going about posting, “I am riding tomorrow, want to go?” This fact has taken away the requirement and significance of the pre-planned group rides. People are not showing up for the rides they used to on previous occasions. As per McKee, (2015), taking up the role of the leaders in this motorcycle clubs are becoming a hazardous jobs and not much members are showing interest is such factors.

According to Morandin, Bagozzi & Bergami, (2013), the word-of-mouth is not the best way of communicating the news of the club to its members and to the candidates who are interested. Therefore the best way of communicating is to put together a newsletter that would be letting the people know when the organization is planning its next rides, events and other meetings. The website of the bike clubs needs to be maintained in the best possible way as a mean of communicating with others. According to Hardiman & Burgin, (2013), the success of the motorcycle clubs is primarily based on attitude. In order to take the member in serious manner, especially the one at the top, he should prepare himself with a sneer instead of a smile on his face. It is the attitude and the demeanor that attracts others towards the motorcycle clubs where associating with one particular group might augment the social status.

Research questions

There have been few gaps within these research studies that have been identified in the research work. Most of the scholars failed to mention the ways the new members would be attracted and the ways technology can be playing a vital role in bettering the overall situation. It is important to understand the way digitalization would be helping in enhancing the situation of these clubs that have been facing the ire of declining membership. The scholars have mainly discussed on the issues but not the solutions that might be followed by this clubs to gain more membership and tackling the issues.

This literature review part took into account the issues that have been mentioned in the articles of eminent scholars like losing out on the conventional ways of hobbying, social media playing a role in disrupting the process that used to happen previously, not letting people know through the newsletter what has been planned. Another way has been showcasing the bikes during the meeting and making people interested about the bikes on offer and the motorcycles they can experience if they become the members of a particular club.

A design of the research can be stated as the complete draft of the research work. The design of the research takes in the questions of the research, research issues, identification of the variables, data gathering method and the plan related to breakdown of data. Among the several research issues, this particular paper would take in the experimental study. For the purpose of the explanatory research, the research issues are being monitored taking in the data collected over time. Five of the independent variables are being taken in as reliability, empathy, responsiveness, assurance and tangibility. The questionnaire of self-completed nature would be dispersed making use of the feasibility practice of sampling to the members of the Ulysses Club for evaluating the membership decline in the club within Australia.

The approach of the research can be mainly divided into three sorts that are deductive, abductive and inductive. In case of deductive approach, the validity of the gathered data tests the validity of the assumption. On certain other occasions, the inductive approach takes in the new theories that would be developed. The abductive approach clarifies some of the other surprising specifics and sequences and with the subject for evaluation of the facts. 

This would witness the use of the deductive approach. It has cropped up with a research issue for monitoring the declining factor in membership of Ulysses Club and the ways of attracting new members. For doing the research work, the researcher would be performing the study based on drawn conclusions on certain specific facts and coherent base. Therefore, the deductive approach would be the best way of dealing with this topic.

There are generally two ways of gathering data which the researcher needs to taken in honestly. The survey method is being selected as the primary research principle whereas for the secondary research the data that is generated through other sources has been chosen. A researcher can take into account any sort of methods for the purpose of primary analysis of the data like questionnaire and interviews. Secondary sources take in the relevant journals and articles along with magazines where the researchers present those data with their own perceptions.


Bachand-Marleau, J., Lee, B., & El-Geneidy, A. (2012). Better understanding of factors influencing likelihood of using shared bicycle systems and frequency of use. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, (2314), 66-71.

Berry, J. M. (2015). Lobbying for the people: The political behavior of public interest groups. Princeton University Press.

Berry, J. M., & Wilcox, C. (2015). The interest group society. Routledge.

Biezen, I. V., & Poguntke, T. (2014). The decline of membership-based politics. Party Politics, 20(2), 205-216.

Everett, C. R. (2015). Group membership, relationship banking and loan default risk: the case of online social lending.

Fishman, E., Washington, S., & Haworth, N. (2014). Bike share’s impact on car use: evidence from the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 31, 13-20.

Fishman, E., Washington, S., Haworth, N., & Watson, A. (2015). Factors influencing bike share membership: An analysis of Melbourne and Brisbane. Transportation research part A: policy and practice, 71, 17-30.

Hardiman, N., & Burgin, S. (2013). Mountain biking: downhill for the environment or chance to up a gear?. International journal of environmental studies, 70(6), 976-986.

Hung, H. C., Chung, C. Y., Wu, M. C., & Shen, W. L. (2017). A membership pricing policy to facilitate service scale-expansion. The Service Industries Journal, 37(3-4), 167-189.

Launay, J., & Dunbar, R. I. (2015). Playing with strangers: which shared traits attract us most to new people?. PloS one, 10(6), e0129688.

McKee, S. (2015). The Effects of Group Membership on Judgments of Moral Violations (Doctoral dissertation, Wake Forest University).

Morandin, G., Bagozzi, R. P., & Bergami, M. (2013). Brand community membership and the construction of meaning. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 29(2), 173-183.

Ricci, M. (2015). Bike sharing: A review of evidence on impacts and processes of implementation and operation. Research in Transportation Business & Management, 15, 28-38.

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