”Historic” Motorcycling Manifesto Combines Bikers, Manufacturers, and Racers

A new manifesto has been published which combines representatives of real-world bikers, manufacturers, and motorcycle racing

MV Agusta Turismo Veloce

The FIM (International Motorcycling Federation), FEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations), and ACEM (European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers) have published a joint manifesto on the future of motorcycling.

The manifesto, described by FEMA as "historic", is published as a one-page document detailing how the three groups see motorcycles as a part of the European future. It considers how motorcycles should be included in transport policies, how to improve road safety for motorcyclists, the impact of motorcycles on the environment, the advancement of technology in motorcycling, and motorcycles in a sporting context.

The latter aspect is the most straightforward, as the manifesto wishes to promote motorcycle sport “as a driver of change”, and to boost tourism through safe and motorcycle-friendly travel routes. The manifesto says that motorcycle sport and motorcycle-related activities create €2.1 billion (£1.8 billion) in economic, cultural and social contributions to the wider society.

The manifesto also argues for more funding to come from Europe towards motorcycling innovation in order to take advantage of “the best engineering know-how already successfully deployed in motorsports.” The manifesto says that this innovation should be supportive of international standardisation of technology, such as with swappable battery technology.

Speaking of batteries, the manifesto advocates an approach of “technological neutrality to support zero emissions urban riding or carbon-neutral e-fuels for longer distances,” rather than an all-electric requirement. Additionally, it supports “tax incentives for low-carbon and carbon-neutral L-category vehicles.”

This is how the three groups see the value of motorcycling to Europe, and ask in return for European policymakers to include motorcycles in their transport planning. This includes “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), Smart City and other high-level transport policies and initiatives,” the manifesto reads, and it also advocates for motorcycle-friendly charging infrastructure such as dedicated charging stations for electric bikes, but also safer roadsides. 

Finally, the manifesto includes a simplification of motorcycle licensing in its road safety section. It says that licences should “[recognise] geographic and usage differences,” and says that there should be “minimum safety requirements for roads especially in the secondary network.”

On the publication of the manifesto, Michele Colaninno, ACEM President and CEO of Piaggio, said: “This manifesto showcases the social and industrial contribution of motorcycling in Europe. Especially in urban and peri-urban areas that gather 75% of the EU population, L-category vehicles can fill the gap between soft mobility, such as walking or biking, and the use of cars offering several benefits for daily commuting and small logistics.

“Through innovative, sustainable and high-quality mobility solutions, ACEM members will firmly continue contributing to Europe’s competitiveness.”

Odd Terje Dovik, FEMA President, added: “We hope the newly elected Members of the European Parliament will consider the needs of motorcyclists, especially where road safety is concerned. Of course, we will be on hand to offer advice and expertise whenever MEPs need us. Our three organisations represent the entire European motorcycling community: producers, athletes and leisure riders. We stand united in our commitment to continue working for our joint interests and rights.”

Finally, Jorge Viegas, President of FIM stated: “Research has shown that motorcycle sport is a key driver of tourism in the European Union. FIM is pleased that our three organisations have come together to draw attention to sport’s contribution to the economy of rural areas. 

“Not only is it economically important, but, as we have shown in the manifesto, it is vital as a test bed for new technologies that can drastically improve the quality of life of EU citizens and the wider world.”

The manifesto is mentioned by the UK Motorcycle Action Group in its announcement of departure from FEMA that was published last month.

Find all the latest motorcycle news on Visordown.