You might think that the title of King of Motorcycles might go to one of those uber-hip builders, perhaps some motorcycle celebrity or even a motorcycle racer (pick your favourite discipline) but the king of motorcycles may in fact be Stephan Schaller. Now Mr. Schaller may not be a household name but he is the newly elected king or more precisely President of the IMMA. The IMMA is the International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association which is a global association made up of regional motorcycle associations including Canada’s own MMIC. The United States, Europe, Asia, Indian and Australia also have regional bodies belonging to the IMMA. But what does the IMMA do you ask? From their mission statement, three main things:(a) pursue a common study of questions which concern the development of the world’s motorcycle industry in general and legislation in particular, (b) determine the most beneficial line of action to be adopted by its members on appropriate matters of common interest and (c) represent the members in all matters where common action is adjudged necessary, in particular in the promotion and formulation of global technical regulations.
Founded in 1947 another main objective of the organization was to harmonize technical requirements for motorcycles around the world so that you as an enthusiast can jump on a motorcycle made most places in the world and find all the controls pretty much where you would expect them to be. The headquarters for this global body is where you might expect it to be – Switzerland. Although not fortified and perched on the top of a mountain it seems to be on a pleasant street. Mr. Schaller who was previously the Vice President of the IMMA has a two year term as President which will keep him busy as his regular job is head of BMW Motorrad.