The Fédération Internationale de Motorcyclisme (FIM) is the highest governing authority and sanctioning body for the sport of motorcycle racing. The federation represents over a hundred national motorcycle federations and these are divided into six regional continental unions. FIM oversee six categories within the sport and each have several disciplines. The categories are circuit racing, motocross, trials, enduro, rallies and track racing. Motocross includes snowcross, while rallies include cross-country and bajas. Track racing also include grasstrack and speedway. Apart from overseeing the management of federations who oversee the championships within each of the disciplines, FIM also do a great deal of involvement with non-racing activities. These activities further promote the sport globally and raises public awareness of the very important aspect of safety.
In December 1904 the Fédération Internationale des Clubs Motocyclistes (FICM) was established in Paris, France. It was dissolved two years later, but reborn in 1912 with the headquarters moving to England. In 1949, the federation changed the name to Fédération Internationale Motocycliste. It also became the same year for the inaugural Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix, now better known as the MotoGP World Championship. In 1959 the federation moved to Geneva and by 1994 settled in Mies, Switzerland. Four years later, the name was changed again to what we are familiar with today. It also became the year where FIM was given provisional status of recognition by the International Olympic Committee. Full status was gained at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. There is a total of 74 disciplines of motorcycle racing each with its own annual championship, making it an incredibly diverse sport. FIM continue to also add to the diversity by bringing in more championships for women.
The first steam powered motorcycle can be traced to 1867. It was called the Michaux-Perreuax steam velocipede. Earlier Pierre Michaux, a blacksmith living in Paris, built the first bicycle with pedals, called a velocipede. Nearly thirty years later the Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first series production motorcycle. This was also the first time it was called a motorcycle. The first motorcycle race was held in France in the late 1990s over a course of about 400 km. On Tuesday, 28th May 1907, the now-famous Tourist Trophy (TT) was first held in Britain and motorcycling became more and more popular across Europe. The Tourist Trophy became the most famous of all European races. Racing also began in North America in 1903 and quickly expanded to other parts of the world. Today FIM continue to promote and uphold the values of the sport making it one of the most popular.