MAG leave FEMA over "gutless betrayal" of European motorcyclists amidst decarbonisation row

Harley-Davidson Livewire at charge point
Harley-Davidson Livewire at charge point

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) have announced they have left the European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) amidst inaction to resist “forced electrification”, stating that the group no longer represents the interests of motorcyclists. 

MAG chair Neil Liversidge cited a “gutless betrayal” of the average motorcyclist as the reason for the departure. 

Contention between MAG and FEMA can be traced back to 2017, when the UK Government first announced a proposed 2040 ban on fossil fuel driven vehicles, before eventually revising the date – which is still yet to be finalised, to 2035.

Zero charging

From the off, MAG say they have opposed the decision, claiming that their response has been “robust and unequivocal” in resistance to the ban. This, the group claim, aligns with “independently confirmed bikers’ overwhelming opposition to any ban on the sale of petrol-powered motorcycles.”  

MAG claim that despite constant calls to enact a hard-line approach to government policy, the FEMA board has obstinately resisted MAG’s position, instead opting to support policy which supports the fazing out of petrol powered bikes – a move MAG say is at odds with the interest of most motorcyclists. 

In a controversial move, FEMA recently entered into a three-way agreement with the FIM (the governing body of world championship racing) and ACEM (who represent European manufacturers) which fully supports decarbonisation goals inline with 2050 EU climate goals.

Electric motorcycle charging

The FEMA board then reportedly presented these rulings to member organisations, with Wim Taal, FEMA’s General Secretary, stating that he would “not have discussions” on the matter, outlining that “it’s not a discussion paper, it’s fixed,” according to MAG.  

This most recent decision by the FEMA board has proved to be a bridge too far and one which MAG could not condone. Following a unanimous vote by its UK National Committee, the group withdrew from FEMA with immediate effect.  

MAG Chair, Neil Liversidge, commented: “No way does this document accurately represent the vast majority of riders’ views on forced electrification. FIM has concocted it, ACEM has watered it down, and FEMA’s Board has waved it through with no involvement from FEMA’s National Member Organisations. 

Harley-Davidson Livewire

“What it does make clear is that democracy is dead in FEMA, and with it the independent European Riders’ Rights Movement. For ten years FIM has connived to control FEMA. It has now succeeded through the agency of self-interested people who have subverted it for their FIM paymasters. Now FIM will do what big business always does; adopt the path of least friction with governments and supra-national authorities, selling riders out in the process. 

“MAG is proud of its achievements for European riders in the 35 years since we founded FEM. We shall not be putting our name to this gutless betrayal.”