The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) was founded on December 21, 1904, in the rooms of the restaurant Ledoyen in Paris, under the name of Fédération Internationale des Clubs Motocyclistes.
The Motocycle-Club de France organised a race called the International Cup in Dourdan, to the south-west of Paris, on September 25, 1904 with the participation of Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, and Great Britain. The race was won by France, but it became apparent that a sporting authority was needed to settle potential disputes arising out of international events. As a result, the sports clubs of the five countries put forward the idea of creating the Fédération Internationale des Clubs Motocyclistes (FICM).
However, in July 1906, on the occasion of the International Cup in Patzau, Bohemia, the delegates of the participating countries - Austria, France, Germany and Great Britain - unanimously decided to dissolve the FICM. In the event, the FICM was not formally dissolved but just remained dormant for the next five years.
The Auto-Cycle Union of Great Britain then took the initiative of convening a meeting at Olympia in London on 28 November 1912 which was attended by delegates from Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States. The FICM was re-established in order to control and develop the sporting and touring aspects of motorcycling and to assist all motorcycle users. Two weeks later, a Congress was held in Paris in which Germany, Austria and Switzerland also took part. These ten countries are considered as the official founder members of the FICM. The Marquis de Mouzilly St-Mars was elected Patron and the Honourable Sir Arthur Stanley MP President. The following year, the first international event held under the aegis of the FICM took place: the International Six Days Reliability Trial, forerunner of today’s International Six Days’ Enduro.
By the eve of the Second World War, the FICM had 30 affiliated members. In 1936 the first Speedway World Final took place in the Wembley Stadium. This was the first official FI(C)M World Championship and the first World Champion title was won by Australian rider Lionel van Praag.
In 1937, an agreement was drawn up by the FICM and the AIACR (the International Association of Recognised Automobile Clubs, predecessor of the FIA) defining their relationship and providing for very close collaboration between both organisations.
After the war, the FICM resumed its activities in 1946. In 1947 in the Netherlands, an event called “cross-country” was held with riders from Great Britain, Belgium and Holland. It was the first Motocross des Nations. In 1949, the FICM became the Fédération Internationale Motocycliste (FIM). That same year saw the launch of the world’s most prestigious motorcycling competition: the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix.
Photos FIM Archives - Caption from top to bottom:
FIM 1912: Delegates present at the Olympia in London on November 28, 1912 - "restart" of the Fédération Internationale des Clubs Motocyclistes, with the member countries. First row in the middle: Sir Arthur Stanley, FICM Chairman.
ISDT 1933 - start on the second day in Llandrindod Wells (Wales)
Charlie Collier at Patzau before the start of the International Cup on 8 July 1906.