In the automotive world, you will rarely find anyone who takes motorcycles seriously. Sure, they have incredible culture, history, and reputation.
Any professional sport is not only famous athletes, expensive equipment, and full fan stands but also a whole layer responsible for the organization and constantly remaining in the shadows. Moreover, the word «organization» in this case, has a much broader meaning than it might seem at first glance since it is required to organize specific competitions and, if I may say so, the sport itself.
Every sport, in the same way, requires the creation of a rigid set of rules and requirements regarding all the main points: from requirements for participants and equipment used to competition rules, refereeing features, and, in motorcycle sports, even track markings.
Without all this competition, a particular discipline will never become a full-fledged sports direction but will remain at the amateur level.
In the case of motorcycling, the main body responsible for organizing at the highest level is International Motorcycling Federation.
What is International Motorcycling Federation?
The FIM itself is the most essential organization in the world of motorcycle sports, officially controlling 6 motorcycle disciplines:
- motocross (including snowcross – snowmobile motocross);
- road racing;
- moto trial;
- rally (including cross-country rally and baja);
In addition to directly professional sports, the federation pays excellent attention to other related areas: motorcycle tourism, the safety of motorcyclists on public roads, refereeing, and the medical side of organizing competitions.
It also became the first sports federation in the world to publish its environmental code, a move that was made back in 1994. And since 2007, FIM began to actively develop the direction of women’s motorcycling.
Major moto cycling events
The first prerequisites for the emergence of a new direction of sports arose almost immediately after the appearance of motorcycle – contests, where the first two-wheeled motors took part, emerged just a few years later.
In the 1950s, several significant events occurred. Firstly, the Union of International Associations (a non-profit organization based in Belgium and operating under the control of the UN) has officially granted FIM the status of a non-governmental international organization.
Secondly, the first general secretary of the Federation, Thomas Wynn Loughborough, who had served since the re-foundation, left his post. Thirdly, the headquarters was moved from England to Geneva, to Switzerland – a country with a more favorable geographical, political, and economic position, which is very interesting, given its «French roots».
And finally, fourthly, at the very end of the 50s, the FIM became an official member of the Geneva Federation of semi-official and private international institutions.
Significant changes related to the status of the Federation, and internal reshuffles did not prevent her from fulfilling her direct duties, expanding its influence, and, most importantly, developing motorcycling.
So in the 50s, there was a considerable emphasis on developing individual championships in motocross in the directions that are now mainstream. As a result, individual championships were reborn into full-fledged World Championships in 1957 and 1962.
The 1960s saw the heyday of the successors to motocross, moto trial, and enduro. Thus, the Trial European Cup that appeared in those years first turned into the European Championship and then, in 1976, into the World One.
Speedway developed along with them. So in 1966, the Individual Ice Speedway World Competition was organized first, and in 1971 the Individual World Speedway Championship was on the long track.
The following years, up to the present day, did not bring severe changes to the FIM but strengthened its position on the world stage, bringing new statuses and recognitions.
Currently, about 111 individual motorcycle federations operate under its command all over the world, divided into 6 groups by region. Through their joint efforts, about 65 competitions of various sizes are organized annually in all disciplines, including the most critical World and European Championships for the entire community.
However, such impressive achievements do not mean that the FIM has nowhere to strive, because new directions in motorcycling do not stop appearing. So, some authorities must take the organization of significant competitions in them and their further development under their control.