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Our History

The Association began in the mid-1980s when a member from Austin began a club modeled after one he was a member of when living in Utah - the Utah Sport Bike Association. The new club, called the Texas Sport Bike Association, was formed. From there, the founder then moved to Houston, and started another chapter.

That Houston chapter enjoyed rapid initial growth. Originally the club had intentions of being politically active and campaigned on the helmet law in the Texas legislature in Austin. For these actions and attempts to project a positive model on sport biking, the Houston Chapter got a write-up in Cycle World.

As the club evolved, many steering committees were formed, covering various topics including political activism, racing, ride clinics, club rides, and so forth. However, as time moved on, such overhead took its toll on the club. With all of the work and formality that became associated with the club, its committees, and its activities, the original purpose of the club, which was to be a social club meant for everyone to have fun, was lost. Participation in the Houston TSBA began to suffer as a result. Now, with a clear focus on fun and safe sportbiking, Houston is once again enjoying strong growth and participation.

One of the early members of the Houston chapter, Gary Stoops, moved to San Antonio and met a bunch of excellent, safe riders. He proposed starting a chapter for the TSBA in the Alamo city, which now enjoys good membership and participation.

The original TSBA chapter, Austin, had lain dormant for a while. Thankfully, a past president of the Houston chapter moved to Austin, and restarted the chapter, and it has remained active since.

Folks in Dallas/Fort Worth started a chapter, which, in the years since the chapter began, has grown into the largest chapter and enjoys strong participation.

The Rio Grande Valley chapter is the newest member of the TSBA family, continuing the record of growth, friendship, and family the TSBA is known for.


What is the Texas Sport Bike Association?

The Texas Sport Bike Association is dedicated to promoting the enjoyment of safe and responsible sport bike riding. Through its monthly meetings in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, the Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio, the TSBA provides an informal social forum for like-minded sport bike enthusiasts to meet new riding friends, organize day rides and sport touring events, exchange tips and technology, and share in the enjoyment of sport bike riding.

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The membership ranges from mature, experienced riders, to new riders who desire to learn good, safe riding habits. Frequent weekend rides afford ample opportunity for fun and skill development for riders of all levels of experience. Everyone is encouraged to ride at his or her own safe pace. Since a good spot to eat is usually central to these excursions, ride to eat and eat to ride could be our motto. Many members of the TSBA also participate in CMRA and other motorcycle road racing organizations.


Safety guidelines

The club promotes safety and enjoyment of sport bike riding through rigorously adhering to safety guidelines. These guidelines have been established over time in order to provide a safe environment which in turn will promote the image and the enjoyment of sport bike riding.

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Some of the guidelines that TSBA encourages include the following:

  • Riders are encouraged to take the MSF courses.
  • Riders are encouraged to own and use the proper safety gear.
  • Never cross the center line! Treat the centerline as the edge of the road. If someone is riding across the centerline, they are over their head!
  • No passing in curves, and no passing on the right! If you want to race, go to the track.
  • Acknowledge faster riders, and allow them to safely pass. Don't hold them up in the corners just to make a banzai blast down the straights, keeping them from passing.
  • Everyone is encouraged to ride at their own safe pace. We strive to ride the Pace, but with many varying skill levels, staying within the limits of your bike, your skill set, and ambient conditions (traffic, weather, road conditions, etc.) is the name of the game.
  • When riding in groups, always ride in a staggered formation. You can easily go single file when the curves come up.
  • Always ride with skill in reserve. Don't ride 100% on the street, as there are too many things that can go wrong. Know your limits and ride below them.
These guidelines are generally spread among members in the form of tips and advice, as well as demonstrated by example. Again, it cannot be stressed enough that the goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for sport bike riding. We do not condone, endorse, nor tolerate unsafe behavior.

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Teaching individuals about limits is another thing the TSBA emphasizes. If you have someone in your group whom you feel is riding over his/her head, you should talk to them before they hurt themselves and ruin your day. Doing that can be awkward and sometimes difficult, but not as difficult as finding the words to tell their loved ones that they won't be coming home.


What will it take to start a chapter?

We are very excited about the possibility of new chapters. We all enjoy meeting new people who share similar interests and values.

The TSBA name is registered, and you must gain our permission to use the name. If you wish to discuss starting a new chapter, please contact Charles Nevle, who will work with you on the procedures and paperwork.

If you have never been involved with social clubs such as the TSBA, then you need to be aware that a small core group usually does most of the work and provides most of the motivation. Exactly how much work there is depends upon how organized you want the group to be. Lessons from the past have demonstrated that you should focus on the fun as much or more than the organizational structure itself.

We have very few guidelines as to how you run your chapter. In this aspect each group is largely autonomous. Most of our chapters elect a President, VP, Secretary, and Treasurer each new year. They also collect dues (usually around $25 a year) and maintain a bank account. Only paid members are allowed to post to the club's BBS.

In summary, the level of organization depends upon the desires of the membership. It does take some dedication to do the basics, which are:

  1. Find a place and set a time to hold monthly meetings. Restaurants with meeting rooms are usually excellent choices.
  2. Arrange regular times and places for group rides. Most of our chapters meet early on Sunday mornings, as this is normally a low-traffic period.
  3. Be willing to plan events for your group and disseminate the information. Having activities for your group to do is very important to keep members interested. Of course, they do not always have to be motorcycle related. While TSBA is a riding club, you end up making some great friends who share common interests in other ways.

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At times, organizing and maintaining the chapter can be a daunting task. Participation might fluctuate, being up one month and down the next. Some of this is seasonal, as motorcycle riding is an inherently seasonal hobby. Over time, you should work to identify your core members who can be counted upon to help maintain the smooth operation of the chapter.


What would be expected of you and your group?

A desire to see your organization succeed, and a willingness to put forth a reasonable effort to maintain your chapter. With that said, this is a social riding club, and we do not expect that it should interfere with your personal and/or business responsibilities. We expect you to share in our established values of enjoying SAFE sport bike riding. We expect any new chapters of the club to create and encourage a safe riding atmosphere for your members and individuals looking to learn safe riding techniques.


What you will get in return

You will be part of a well-established organization that has been around for several years and has many members. TSBA has an existing reputation with other clubs such as the Honda Sport Touring Association and CMRA.

You will be linked to individuals who are mature and already share safe riding values. We have planned mutual events to which all members are welcome, such as our annual tour of the Hill Country in the Fall. Posting-level access to our BBS.

You get the opportunity to meet new friends and share some great riding! There are few things more satisfying than to plan an event and have lots of bikes show up. Watching the whole line snake through the curves, listening to the excited banter that takes place later, and everyone going home in one piece with huge smiles on their faces just doesn't get much better!

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