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Presidents new year’s address

Anna Zee – (picture: Wim Taal)

In the year that lies behind us, every discussion, every conference and every political meeting seemed to have the same subjects: semi-automated cars, connected vehicles and futuristic scenarios in which the rider or driver has no real role to play anymore.

Too often it seems that ‘the powers that be’ are looking at the future of personal transport without taking into account the wishes and desires of people like you and me, motorcyclists. But then I talk to the FEMA staff, General Secretary Dolf Willigers and Communications Officer Wim Taal, and I know that they take every opportunity to let the voice of European riders be heard in those conversations.

Thanks to our staff’s unwavering commitment, FEMA is able to make a real difference and to make sure that the ‘visibility’ of motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers is now part of the development and testing of ADAS, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems in cars.

Another subject that’s always on the agenda now is promotion of ‘clean’ energy, i.e. electricity, in personal transport. Within FEMA we are fully aware that this one of the ways to reduce the need for natural resources, and we support these developments. However, as an organization that has its roots firmly planted in the European motorcyclists’ community, we talk to you, the riders, and – more importantly – listen to you and hear your concerns.

Coming from a generation of riders that secretly love the smell of petrol and that aren’t scared by a bit of oil dripping from the engine case, I understand the hesitation to embrace clean, electric bikes. So if asked about our future and when people want to know whether there will be room for the motorcycles that we know and love, it’s best to quote Dolf Willigers, as he says “FEMA sees a future for electric motorcycles and motorcycles with an internal combustion engine side by side”.

FEMA will keep fighting for the ride to ride whatever motorcycle, wherever and whenever you want. Not just because we want to preserve the growing fleet of vintage and historical motorcycles as a testimony to the human spirit of ingenuity and technical innovation, but because we strongly believe that all motorcycles, however they are powered, deserve a place on the road – together with you, their riders.

That’s what FEMA’s about – it just remains for me to wish you a 2018 full of two-wheeled fun!

Anna Zee,