2004 was the year of celebration of the Centenary of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (International Motorcycling Federation - FIM). It 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 organized a race called the International Cup in Dourdan, south-west of Paris, on September 25, 1904 with the participation from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, and Great Britain. The race was won by France, but disputes arose over the racing conditions. As a result, the sports authorities of the five countries represented joined together and put forward the idea of creating the Fédération Internationale des Clubs Motocyclistes (FICM).
The birth of this Federation was, however, premature. 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. But, for a question of procedure, the FICM was not dissolved but just remained inactive, the British Federation (ACU) being the only subscriber as from 1907.
Five years later, the Auto-Cycle Union of Great Britain took the initiative of calling a meeting which was held at Olympia in London on 28 November 1912. Delegates from Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States were present. The FICM was re-established in order to control and develop the sporting and touring aspects of motorcycling and to assist motorcycle users in those fields. Two weeks later, a Congress was held in Paris in which - beside the countries already mentioned - 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.
The number of national associations affiliated to the FICM went up from 10 in 1912 to 30 on the eve of the Second World War. In 1936 took place in the Wembley Stadium the first Speedway World Final, first official World Championship and first World Champion title for Australian rider Lionel van Praag.
In 1937, an agreement was drawn up by the FICM and the AIACR (the International Association of Recognized Automobile Clubs, FIA predecessor) defining their relationship and ensuring very close collaboration between both organizations.
After the war, the FICM resumed its activities in 1946. In 1947 in the Netherland, an event called cross-country was held with riders of Great Britain, Belgium and Holland: it was the first Motocross des Nations. In 1949, the FICM became the Fédération Internationale Motocycliste (FIM).
The FIM is also engaged in non-sporting activities – tourism, gatherings and leisure, mobility, transport, road safety and public policy, environment, and the place of women in motorcycling activities - or activities linked with sport, such as technical, medical and judicial aspects.