After more than a decade of disagreement, Canada’s two major motorcycle non-profits appear to be working out a deal. On September 7, the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) announced a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Motorcycle Association, with both organizations cooperating on sending riders to this year’s FIM Trial des Nations.
Who are these organizations?
To understand what’s going on, it helps to know the players and their history. Here’s how we explained the situation last time we looked at it:
FIM: The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) is an international motorsports sanctioning body. Basically, the FIM makes and enforces the rules for international motorcycle racers (MotoGP, World Superbike, Speedway, Super Enduro, etc.). The FIM also lays out guidelines for regional or national motorcycle series that want to collaborate, through national affiliates. This makes it easier for racers to travel between countries; an American roadracer can move from MotoAmerica to World Superbike with little bureaucratic hassle because both are FIM series.
CMA: The CMA is Canada’s national FIM affiliate, and has been for many decades. This means that, for Canadian racers to compete in an FIM series, they must go through the CMA. Along with sanctioning offroad and roadracing competition at the national level, making sure they’re run safely and along with FIM guidelines, the CMA also has a role of promoting motorcycle safety and training and club-level motorcycle events.
MCC: The MCC was organized in the mid-2000s, when Canadian motorcycle industry insiders became unhappy with the CMA’s actions and level of activity. Right now, an MCC tribunal mediates grievances for most of Canada’s serious racing series. Currently, the MCC membership is made up of racers and industry insiders, but the MCC plans to introduce a membership plan for average Joe riders.
Where we’re at now
Last winter, the FIM voted on canning the CMA as its Canadian national affiliate. Although a majority of voters approved the motion, it did not have large enough of a margin to pass, and the FIM stayed with the CMA. Had the CMA been ejected, the FIM would have voted on replacing it with the MCC, and the vote never went that far. However, with some of the FIM’s biggest players backing the move, it was obvious that change was coming. After the vote, the MCC said it would continue to pursue its goal of becoming the FIM’s national affiliate. And then, longtime CMA big boss Marilyn Bastedo retired.
As we told you last winter:
No doubt this leadership change will influence where all this controversy heads. Over the years, there have been attempts at a CMA/MCC merger. With Bastedo gone, will that happen? If so, nobody from either camp has said anything to me about it, but I’d expect the FIM to push for this.
But one thing seems sure: Thanks to changes inside the MCC and CMA, the current situation will change in the coming months, no matter what.
Now, it looks like that’s happening. Here’s what the September 7 press release from the MCC said:
Today, the two organizations are making history with the announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding between CMA and MCC to work together. The first project is in support of the Canadian team participating in the 2021 Trial des Nations being held in Portugal. MCC has committed financial support to offset costs of transportation of machines, equipment and participants, accommodations, registration, and other expenses.
So, what’s going on here? Simple—the CMA has the keys to international racing, while the MCC has the money needed. With new leaders at the helm, it seems we’re finally getting. This Trial des Nations event is hopefully just the first step in a systemic overhaul, and hopefully we’ll see a much-improved situation by the FIM’s next general annual meeting. Canadian motorcyclists, particularly racers, deserve it.