Motorcycles were invented in the late 19th century. The very first motorcycle was actually a motorized tricycle built in 1884 in England. The first mass-produced motorcycle was a two-wheeler made in 1894. It was also the first vehicle to actually be called a "motorcycle."
Motorcycles became quite popular, so it was inevitable that people would form clubs around them. One of the earliest was the New York Motorcycle Club that merged with the Alpha Motorcycle Club of Brooklyn to form the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) in 1903. The FAM's main concern was improving driving conditions for motorcyclists. As many of its members were sent overseas to fight in World War I, FAM collapsed in 1919. The Motorcycle and Allied Trades Association (M&ATA), which represented and regulated motorcycle manufacturers began taking on FAM's activities like sponsoring tours and races or registering new clubs. The M&ATA did not consider this an ideal situation, as they believed motorcycle riders should have their own organization separate from that of motorcycle manufacturers. To that end, they registered all of the motorcyclists and listed them as members of the M&ATA's Rider Division.
In 1924, when there seemed to be a sufficient number of motorcyclists, the Rider Division was renamed the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and thus became a separate entity. It is currently the largest motorcycle club in the U.S.. It has over 200,000 members and over 1200 charters. The AMA has the stated purposes of protecting the future of motorcycling and promoting the accompanying lifestyle. It was originally an all-white organization and didn't begin admitting black members until the 1950's. During that time, the term "outlaw motorcycle club" was applied not just to groups like the Hell's Angels, but also to motorcycle clubs that admitted blacks and other non-whites.
The oldest outlaw motorcycle club appeared in 1936. It was originally called the McCook Outlaws and came from Cook County, Illinois. The club eventually changed its name to the Chicago Outlaws and then to the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. Members enjoyed racing and drinking lots of booze. The Hell's Angels, another outlaw motorcycle club, dates back to 1947.
1940 saw the birth of the Motormaids, the first all-female motorcycle club. Ten years later, the Women's International Motorcycle Association (WIMA) was established. It is based in England.
The end of World War II saw the rise of a number of "outlaw motorcycle clubs." They were outlaws in the sense that they were not sanctioned by the AMA, did not work with the AMA, and did not follow the AMA's rules. The end of the war saw young servicemen returning home, many of them afflicted with what is now known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Their condition and their wartime experiences made them a poor fit for conventional civilian life. They needed an outlet, and joining an outlaw motorcycle club was one such outlet. The Hell's Angels were one such group. Other groups included the Pagans Motorcycle Club in Pennsylvania, the Bandidos in Texas, and the Sons of Silence in the Mid-West.