On July 17 1960, with the M1 still in its infancy, the Federation of National and One Make Motorcycle Clubs (FNOMCC) was established. It would later be renamed the BMF.
When the FNOMCC was founded, riders didn’t have to wear a helmet, speed limits meant going as fast as you dared and motorcyclists accounted for 20% of all motorists in the UK.
- Concerned with the new ten-year MOT tests for vehicles, the rise of insurance and how to get better deals for riders.
- We vehemently oppose the 1961 Cronin Bill that proposes passenger insurance.
- Legislation implemented in 1961 restricts learner riders to motorcycles no larger than 250cc.
- The compulsory wearing of helmets is debated in parliament.
- An action plan is produced, promoting riding at reasonable speeds.
- The Fellowship of Riders (FOR) set up to cater for non-club members - soon membership stood at 10,000.
- Public attitudes toward riders begins to grow colder and the motorcycle industry is in decline.
- In August, the FNOMCC changes its name to the British Motorcyclists Federation. A new constitution is drawn up - elements of which still exist today.
- 70mph limit is introduced on all roads in Britain.
- The entire motorcycle industry is under attack - insurance and the notion of banning bikes altogether comes to the fore.
- Membership doubles as we continued to oppose raising the minimum age of motorcycle riding to 17. Motorcycle registrations continue to fall - even with the rise of Japanese bikes, the public still preferred to use cars.
- The BMF continues to grow its membership and gains an admirable reputation.
- Compulsory passenger insurance is introduced - we look to campaign over its unreasonably high cost.
- The British motorcycle industry struggles with the rise of Japanese machinery.
- The BMF campaigns against restricting 16-year-old learners to 50cc mopeds. A petition of 23,800 signatures is presented to Downing Street – though sadly to no avail. By the end of the year we had also achieved representation on the influential RAC Motorcycle Committee.
- Helmets are made compulsory in June 1973.
- We work tirelessly to negotiate better insurance premiums.
- The BMF Rally moves to Peterborough.
- The 1970s was a busy decade for us at the BMF, but through it we established ourselves as a force to be reckoned with.
- We are regularly consulted by the government.
- Record motorcycle registrations are achieved.
- Riders are reported to be 30 times more likely to be killed than a car driver. The government quickly introduces safety measures, including random breath testing and the points system to deal with road offences. We introduce a Nine Point Action Plan and ensure builders’ skips have fluorescent and reflective markings.
- Discrimination against riders is discussed alongside insurance premiums. The need to teach school children road safety is highlighted.
- We set up the Rider Training Scheme, training more than 10,000 riders by 1984.
- Motorcycles are reported to no longer be the 'poor man’s transport' but rather the rich man’s plaything.
- Our activities broadened further, particularly with the growth of the RTS and regional events.
- We successfully campaign in Europe for test candidates to be able to take their test on up to a 125cc vehicle.
- We ensure that riders over the age of 21 can be given direct access to a motorcycle of any capacity upon completion of their test.
- We oppose the introduction of a second motorcycle driving test.
- Type Approval regulations are opposed and it continues to be legal for owners to be able to modify their own motorcycles.
- We secure a victory that ensures there won't be a continent-wide ban on motorcycles larger than 100bhp. Notoriously known as the ‘100bhp Proposal’, we joined forces with FEM and EMA to reject the proposal. The motorcyclists secured absolute majority victories and when the proposal came under review in 1997 it was found that “there was no scientific evidence to assume that engine size is to be a major factor in motorcycle accidents”. The proposal was then dropped.
- We ensure the two-year limit on the duration of a provisional motorcycle driving licence is repealed.
- We oppose a ban on dark-tinted visors and sponsor the KillSpills anti-diesel spillage campaign.
- Our campaign on bus lane use continues, we lobby against an EU driving licence directive and on proposed bans from National Parks and closures of green lane access.
2010 and beyond!
- We fight to improve access to motorcycle tests after a poor implementation of EU rules cause a catastrophic fall in test candidates. We also work to ensure the best deal for riders over new Type Approval rules.