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Nr 2/2017 - March-April




Snowmobile Safari



Youthstream and FIM Europe suppoert IRP at Bal de Printemps

Management Council in Fiumicino


The special story of Ulla


The opening of the new headquarters of OEAMCT in Vienna

27 34

Touring Activities


Chief Editor: Fiammetta La Guidara Photos: Dorna, Youthstream, Phototrial, R. Pairan, M. Zanzani FIM EUROPE Via Giulio Romano, 18 00196 - Rome Italy  E-mail:  Ph. +39 06 3226746 FIM Europe MAG #2 March-April 2017 The articles published in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the official position of FIM Europe.  The content of this publication is based on the best knowledge and information available at the time the articles were written. The copying of articles and photos even partially is forbidden unless permission has been requested from FIM Europe in advance and reference is made to the source (©FIM Europe)


Photos @John Chatterton-Ross

FIM Europe welcomes decision by EU to act on the Vnuk case The decision in the Vnuk case* has serious implications for the future of motorcycle sport in Europe. FIM Europe has learned that action is expected in the next six weeks with publication by the EU Commission of draft amendments to the Motor Insurance Directive. Welcome news is that this will be done specifically to address the problems raised by the Vnuk judgment and overall revision of the Directive will be kept separate. As the EU institutions will have to agree, a full process will be required with public consultation, impact assessment and approval by the EU Parliament. So how did we reach this position? The case had nothing to do with motorcycle or motor sports. Mr Vnuk was injured in a fall from a ladder in a farmyard when the ladder was struck by a trailer pulled by a tractor – an industrial accident. The European Court of Justice decided to award Mr Vnuk legal protection by extending the FIM Mag 2/2017 3FIMEurope Europe Mag 2/2017

scope of the Motor Insurance Di- Director of Public Affairs, John rective. There is no appeal be- Chatterton-Ross added: cause the ECJ is the highest «This is one of the most comcourt in the European Union. plex issues we have ever faced In framing their judgment the in our sport. Jurisdiction in perJustices extended the scope to sonal injury litigation is a matthe point where many other ac- ter for national law. In this case tivities (including motorcycle the Court of Justice used EU and motorsports) are now affec- law to remedy what it perceived as a defect in the national ted. Commenting, FIM Europe Presi- law of Slovenia. FIM Europe will contribute to the consultation dent Dr Wolfgang Srb said: process and assist the EU insti«We have sympathy for Mr tutions to resolve this». Vnuk. We hope that the unintended consequences of this judgment can be resolved by the EU institutions by quarter four of 2017. This will be a Mr Vnuk was knocked from a year later ladder by a passing tractor the accident had no connection than original to motorcycle sports. ly planned. FIM Europe will attend to each stage in the process and do everything to assist in obtaining a resolution». FIM Europe


From the left: Kurt Lungqvist SML Secretary General, Alessandro Sambuco FIM Europe Secretary General, Martin de Graaff FIM Europe 1st Deputy President, Juhani Halme FIM Europe Vice-President, Janne Tapio 2004 and 2005 Snowcross World Champion, Dr. Wolfgang Srb FIM Europe President, Valto Ristimella BRP Finland Director, Sales & Marketing, Tapio Nevala SML President

FIM Europe and SML met BRP Management for Snowmobiles Sporting Activities IIn Rovaniemi, Finland, the BRP Finland hosted the meeting with the representatives of the FIM Europe and the Finnish Federation (SML). On the table several issues concerning the sporting activities involving the snowmobiles (Snowcross and Enduro): what is the state of the art and how to develop the sport for snowmobiles at national, regional and continental level was discussed. «Snowmobile sport and also snowmobile leisure and tourism is very important to SML and of course for whole Finland. We are happy that BRP management gave us the opportunity to visit the factory and thankful

for the very interesting discussions and new ideas for developing the snowmobile sport», stated the SML President Tapio Nevala. «Snowmobiles are very important in the Northern part of Europe; for business, leisure as well as in sport. The visit of the BRP factory, where Lynx and

Ski-Doo snowmobiles are produced, was most interesting. It is our aim, together with the Federations and the manufacturers, to give a boost to the sport. I am grateful to SML for arranging the meeting», stated the FIM Europe President Dr Wolfgang Srb at the end of the meeting.

From the left: Valto Ristimella BRP Finland Director Sales & Marketing, Dr Wolfgang Srb FIM Europe President, Tapio Nevala SML President 4


FIM Europe at the European Snowmobile Enduro Cup “Giant” in Finland

FIM Europe President Dr Wolfgang Srb, the Deputy President Martin de Graaff, the Vice President Juhani Halme and the Secretary General Alessandro Sambuco attended the European Snowmobile Enduro Cup “Giant”, which was held at Kemijärvi, in Finland. In the picture from left, Juhani Halme, FIM Europe Vice President, Alessandro Sambuco, FIM Europe Secretary General, Santtu Sorsa, FIM Europe Mag 2/2017

winner of the Junior Class, Tommi Haavikko, winner of the Veteran Class, Martin de Graaff, FIM Europe Deputy President, Hanna Pihlajaviita, winner of the Women Class, Henri Marttinen winner of the Senior Class and of the overall and Dr Wolfgang Srb, FIM Europe President. The event was also the opportunity for a “Snowmobile Safari” (see following pages). 5


Snowmobile safari in Finland

The FIM Europe President Dr Wolfgang Srb, the first Deputy President Martin de Graaf and the Secretary General Alessandro Sambuco experienced the snowmobiles in Finland in a great trip to Lapland

Dr Wolfgang Srb «From Helsinki (visiting the SML office) to Rovaniemi (situated at the arctic circle and home of Father Christmas), onwards to Kemijärvi (European Snowmobile Enduro) and finally to Pyhätunturi for a day of Snowmobile Safari - what more can 6

you ask from a trip to one of the most beautiful parts in the north of Finland. Snow, as white as snow can be, blue skies and a brand-new Rotax powered 600cc Lynx sled make you feel close to heaven. «Then, the next day back to Kemijärvi for the award ce-

remony of the Enduro where the FIM Europe medals were presented to the winners. The day after again in Rovaniemi, this time at the BRP factory where the famous Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles are produced and where multi-times Snowmobile Champion Janne Tapio gave


Below, from the left, Dr Wolfgang Srb, Alessandro Sambuco and Martin de Graaff



explanations. All in all: an experience second to none; for sure to be repeated!» Martin de Graaff «After riding on all kind of motorcycles in several disciplines, the snowmobile experience was special and wonderful. Discovering the Finnish white landscape on these vehicles gives an extra dimension. «The combination of visiting the SML headquarters in Helsinki, watching the European Championship Snowmobile Enduro at the other side of the Polar Circle and enjoying to sledge on the powerful snowmobile was amazing. «We were guided by professionals and friends from the Finnish federation in this great trip to Lapland, which feels like a complete new world for us». Alessandro Sambuco «Everything about motorcycling and all its disciplines attracts and involves me, but to dive or better to sledge on a snowmobile in this white candid reality was a unique emotion! «I believe that it is right to share with our colleagues


experiences of their places, also in order to perform better our service function: to know better, to serve better. «Moreover it has been also an occasion for going ahead with the meetings about the best practices of the FMN Administrations. In fact, we had the occasion to visit SML headquarters in Helsinki and to appreciate its “MOTTI” Ad-

ministration System, a management system slender and complete, in terms of information and procedures».

On the opposite page, the FIM Europe visits the SML office

FIM Europe Mag 2/2017



FIM Europe Management Council in Fiumicino

From the left, Jean-Marc Desnues, Silvio Manicardi, Silvia Monatti, Alessandro Sambuco, Dr Wolfgang Srb, FIM Europe President, Michal Sikora, Nina Birjukova, Martin de Graaff, Juhani Halme, Michel Turk, Tapio Nevala, Laurent Delbroek and Rodolfo Romeo

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FIM Europe Mag 2/2017


The meeting of the Auditors, at the FIM Europe Headquarters in Rome. From the left, Silvia Monatti, Andrea Diamantini, Tapio Nevala, Laurent Delbroek, Michal Sikora and Vadym Kopylov

The FIM Europe Management Council meeting was held in Fiumicino, near Rome (Italy). Many important topics have been discussed, like the report of the President, the report of the Secretary General, the report of the Chairman of the Sporting Council, the report of the Chairman of the Non-Sporting Council, as well as various reports from the other Vice-Presidents. During the FIM Europe Management Council meeting, special attention was given to the report of the Treasurer, as well as the report of the Auditors. The 2016 Balance-Sheet was unanimou-


sly approved and so was the 2017 Budget. The preparation of the FIM Europe Congress in Rome, Italy (June 28th – July 1st 2017) is proceeding according to plans. The event was preceeded by the annual meeting of the Auditors for the usual internal auditing, which took place on March 31st at the premises of the General Secretariat in Rome. «During the meeting, we verified the very good results for FIM Europe in 2016, and its perfect organization in financial matters. There is a very good cooperation in the team», stated Laurent Delbroek, President of the

FIM Europe Auditors. «The accounting system gives us a lot of information and this is helping us very much in our job», added Tapio Nevala, member of the FIM Europe Auditors. «Also this time, thanks to the team work, we have obtained an extremely positive result regarding our 2016 balance sheet», said Alessandro Sambuco, FIM Europe Secretary General. «I have to say that my staff and I feel closely integrated and attuned with the Governance of our Organization. «To see the efforts of a whole working season realized - for the control of ex-

FIM Europe Mag 2/2017


The meeting of the Management Council

penditure and the creation of the right conditions to get new income - represents undoubtedly a great satisfaction and source of motivation to do always better and better». «I am very happy with the results of the meeting», stated FIM Europe President Dr Wolfgang Srb. «Sporting as well as Non-Sporting activities develop very well, European Federations, organisers and clubs are working very hard to achieve their goals. «A lot of important decisions have been taken: as in the past, the Management Council unanimously approved the possibility to let the

FIM Europe Mag 2/2017

riders participate to the European Championship/Cup events also if holder of a FIM World licence, not meaning the International free of charge licences of course. «The Management Council unanimously decided to implement this principle with immediate effect, but of course after having harmonized with FIM the necessary rules and procedures as well as the technical aspects of the FIM extranet. «Therefore Federations and Commissions will be informed officially, at a later stage, about when this new rule will start to come into effect. «A decision has also been

taken concerning the promotional contract for the European Supercross Championship. «We are increasing our activities in the field of road safety and public policy and education, while continuing to organise sport events on top level. Our administration is doing an excellent work and I am satisfied with it also because it is a well respected and competent service centre for the European Federations. They work most efficient and cost effective», concluded Dr Wolfgang Srb.



Youthstream and FIM Europe Support IRP at Bal de Printemps The prestigious ‘Bal de Printemps’ event was held on 21st of March in Geneva, Switzerland where both Youthstream Group and FIM-Europe took part. Organized by IRP (International Foundation for Research in Paraplegia), the glamorous evening is an annual event to collect funds for the research of Paraplegia. Youthstream has partnered with IRP since 2016 and continue to help raise funds for their important work. The mission of IRP is to provide funds for basic and clinical research in the field of paraplegia in order to contribute to improve the lives of people affected by injuries to the spinal cord. FIM Europe Mag 2/2017

I the other page, from left, Wolfgang Srb, Philippe Boissonnas, Giuseppe Luongo and David Luongo. Below, David Luongo presenting the cheque on behalf of Youthstream to Philippe Boissonnas – General Secretary of IRP, International Foundation for Research in Paraplegia. In this page, above, from left, Wolfgang Srb, Marc Ristori and Giuseppe Luongo

IRP organizes numerous activities and projects throughout the year aimed at: • Raising funds for financing projects in the field of paraplegia; • Identifying the most promising research teams and projects, both in Switzerland and abroad; • Encouraging young scientists to focus their work on research into paraplegia; • Promoting the exchange of information and cooperation between researchers in Switzerland and abroad; • Increasing public awareness of the progress of research and its applications; • Working with other institutions, FIM Europe Mag 2/2017

especially universities, pursuing the same goals; • Providing support for other activities related to paraplegia, which are otherwise neglected. Giuseppe Luongo, President of Youthstream, said, ‘IRP’s work is impressive and already the scientists are making encouraging steps forward. I invite everybody to visit IRP’s web-site ( to see what they do more in detail. Youthstream is very sensitive to these important researches which IRP is doing and we will do our best to continue to support them. We are very proud to be a partner of this active foundation and we are also proud to be partners with Wings for Life and Road 2 Recovery.’

Wolfgang Srb, President of FIM-Europe, stated: «This is a most important initiative which deserves our full attention and permanent support. A lot has already been achieved; however, there is still so much more work to be done. Research is going on and one day the dream will come true: to stand up and walk again». Youthstream and the FIM-Europe recognize the importance and value of such research along with the success of the related foundations and gladly continue their support.



From left: Dieter Porsch, OEAMTC CEO Oliver Schmerold, Hermann Tomczyk, Wolfgang Srb, Thomas Voss, AMF Secretary General Kurt Wagner

Meeting of FIM Europe with ADAC in Vienna A meeting was held on 2 March at the brand-new modern headquarters of OEAMTC (Oesterreichischer Automobil-, Motorrad- und Touringclub) in Vienna between top representatives from ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V.) and FIM Europe, following the last meeting held in November 2014 in Munich. Various areas of cooperation have been discussed as well as a general evaluation of current activities in Road Racing, Mo16

tocross, Supercross, SuperMoto, Track Racing, Enduro and Trial was carried out. ADAC is the largest automobile club in Europe with around 19 million members and holds important sport activities in car racing as well as motorcycles. The national motorcycle Federation of Germany is the DMSB (Deutscher Motor Sport Bund e. V.). OEAMTC is among the largest clubs in Europe with more than 2 million members. The AMF (Austrian Motorsport

Federation), the sport department of OEAMTC, represents Austria in FIM as well as FIA. ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk stated: ÂŤWe had a constructive meeting with a productive exchange about our common goals. In cooperation with FIM Europe we try to sort out the future possibilities for supporting young talents in motorcycle racing and provide them with a platform for their activtiesÂť. FIM Europe Mag 2/2017


ÂŤI am very happy about the meeting, as Germany is a country with a long standing tradition and so many activities in multiple areas of motorsport, with a large number of clubs, organizers, teams and riders as well as thousands of volunteers. We are looking forward to an ongoing excellent cooperationÂť, concluded FIM Europe President Wolfgang Srb. From left: FIM Europe President Wolfgang Srb, ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk, Director of Motorsport and Classic Thomas Voss, Head of Motorcycle Racing and Motorcycle Coordination Dieter Porsch.

Dr Wolfgang Srb awarded for the support to Romanian Federation On the occasion of the Congress of the Balkan Motorcycle Union in Sofia FIM Europe Presi dent Dr Wolfgang Srb received a badge for the constant support towards Romanian Mo torsport.

In the photo, from the left: Nicoleta Olariu, vice president of Romanian Motorcycle Federation, Dr Wolfgang Srb and Ionel Pascota, vicepre sident of Romanian Mo torcycle Federation. FIM Europe Mag 2/2017



FIM Europe at the opening of the new headquarters  of OEAMTC in Vienna


The new headquarters of OEAMTC (Oesterreichischer Automobil-, Motorrad- und Touringclub) in Vienna. Photo @OEAMTC/Toni Rappersberger


Above, from right: Kurt Wagner, AMF Secretary General, Wolfgang Srb, Werner Kraus, OEAMTC President, Jan Štoviček, ACCR President, Tomàš Kunč, ACCR Vice President Sport, Zrinko Gregurek, President FIA CEZ, Lana Gregurek, Dušan Koblišek, President SAMS. Below, from the left, Thierry Willemarck, President FIA Region I, Wolfgang Srb. In the other page, from right: Anton Breznik, President AMZS, Wolfgang Srb, President FIM Europe, Slavko Tušek, President HAK. Below, Aside, OEAMTC President Werner Kraus during his speech.


The brand-new modern headquarters of OEAMTC (Oesterreichischer Automobil-, Motorradund Touringclub) in Vienna was officially opened today in a ceremonial act. President Werner Kraus welcomed some 250

guests, including representatives from the Austrian Government (Wolfgang Brandstetter, Minister of Justice as well as Wolfgang Sobotka, Minister of the Interior), FIM and FIA Federation Presidents from nei-

ghbouring countries of Croatia (Hrvatskog Autokluba – HAK; Hrvatski Auto I Karting Savez HAKS), Czech Republic (Autoklubu České Republiky - ACCR), Slovenia (Avto-Moto Zveza Slovenije – AMZS) and Slovakia (Slovak Association of Motor Sport – SAMS); Harald Hertz, AMF President (Austrian Motorsport Federation), Kurt Wagner, AMF Secretary General; Thierry Willemarck, President FIA Region I, Wolfgang Srb, FIM Europe President. OEAMTC is a founding member of FIM as well as FIA. OEAMTC CEO Oliver Schmerold informed about the period of planning and construction; 800 staff members (including AMF staff Kurt Wagner, Eva Nebenmayer, Eva Lachmayer, Michaela Landauf, Alexander Letitzki, Ingo Partsch and Martin Suchy) work in modern offices of total 27.000m². The overall costs were EUR 76 Mio. 21


Maggiora Park & Ottobiano Motorsport join  to create 8M Sport Group SpA Youthstream has announced two of the most well known Italian venues for Motorsports events, Maggiora Park & Ottobiano Motorsport have merged into a new society: 8M Sport Group S.p.A. dedicated to all Action Sports at both the national and international levels starting the next 24th and 25th June for the MXGP of Italy.

8M Sport Group S.p.A will be the result of the two societies with outstanding numbers:

- 8 tracks for different action sports and multiple facilities: Motocross, Minicross, Enduro, Freestyle, Supermoto, Quad, MiniGP, Pit bike, Kart, Auto, Oval, Scooter, E-bike, Big Airbag and Pump Track

- 500.000 sqm surface The 2017 MXGP of Italy, initially scheduled at Maggiora Park will - 55.000 sqm Paddock surface now be held at the internatio- - 100.000 annual entries nal circuit of Ottobiano, Pavia. - More than 50 events per seaThe new society structure of son 22

In particular this project will help the reach of productive financial synergies between the two societies and a more efficient overall management. The final goal is to create a big network of facilities dedicated to Action Sports in order to have a higher level of organization and infrastructure with international standards.

Giuseppe Luongo, Youthstream Group SAM President stated: «This project between Maggiora and Ottobiano is fantastic for our sport, we have FIM Europe Mag 2/2017


always believed the union could create strength. We are sure with the two structures and the know-how of both societies we can organize spectacular events. Besides the MXGP events we can start multiple projects focused on the growth of Motocross and the Youth activities, essential for the future of this sport. We wish to have great cooperation with 8M Sport Group S.p.A. starting from this 24th and 25th of June for the MXGP of Italy».

«We are pleased to announce this new partnership», Luca Gualini, 8M Sport Group Manager said. «Today a big business project comes, unique in its kind, based on the willingness

FIM Europe Mag 2/2017

to innovate and promote the value of Motorsport and the territory alike. We also have the great pleasure to organize the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship which represents a challenge for us and to whom we will dedicate our best resources and commitment up to the expectations of all the MXGP fans. In the meantime we will go ahead to improve and increase our offers onsite for all the action sports followers».

Maggiora Park and for the possibilities of new future initiatives too. With Ottobiano Motorsport we have many elements in common, first of them is the vision of the sport as a unique experience. We are also working on the bureaucratic matters that are around Maggiora Park in order to have it open shortly».

Shortly more details on ticketing will be available, in the meantime follow the links below for more information

«With this merge we reached an important result», Stefano Avandero, 8M Sport Group Ma- nager stated. «For us this for sure is an important step in this moment to give a burst to 23


From the left Rezso Bulcsu, FIM CCR Director, Joseph Nadgany, MAMS, FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission, Victoria Corredoira, FIM CCR Coordinator, Job Heezen, KNMV, FIM Europe Drag Commission, Peder Eneroth, SVEMO, Palle Lind, DMU, Chairman FIM Europe Drag Commission and CCR Member, Jari Halonen, SML, FIM Europe Drag Commission. Below, Ian King, the 2016 European champion.

F IM Eu ro pe D ra g Ra ci ng C omm issi on me e t s F I M C CR a t Bud apes t , in Hu n ga r y On Friday 17th February the FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission invited FIM CCR at the MAMS office in Budapest to a meeting. The purpose was to discuss future cooperation between FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission and FIM CCR, in view of the FIM Drag Racing World Cup which is scheduled in 2018. The meeting was held in good atmosphere and all participants got a better understanding on how FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission and FIM CCR manage their corp business and day to day work.

MACEC  General Assembly  in Chișinău,  Moldova


In the picture, from left, FIM Europe Honorary Vice President Andrzej Witkowski, Sport Vice Minister Ivan Florean and FMRM Secretary General Aleksandr Briuhov.

The 12th General Assembly of MACEC (Motorcycle Association of Central European Countries) was held on 11th March 2017 in Chișinău (Moldova). MACEC member Federations are from the following countries: Belarus (BFMVS), LMSF (Lithuania), FMRM (Moldova), PZM (Poland), FRM (Romania), SMF (Slovakia), FMU (Ukraine). FMRM General Secretary Aleksandr Briuhov welcomed all the participants of the General Assembly in Chisinau – among them Vice Minister of Sport of the Republic of Moldova Ivan Florean – and was happy to host this important meeting. Minister Ivan Florean expressed the full support to FMRM activity and his satisfaction for the international motorcycle conference - under the auspices of FIM Europe - held in Chisinau

for the first time in history. The letter of FIM Europe President Dr Wolfgang Srb addressed to MACEC President Andrzej Grodzki was read. The FIM Europe President expressed his appreciation for the activity of MACEC member Countries. During the meeting the results of the 2016 MACEC Cup in the disciplines of Speedway, Motocross Individual (85cc, MX2, MX1), Team Motocross, Enduro (Junior, E1, E2, E3) and Trial (Group A, Group B) were evaluated and approved, as well as the calendar and the MACEC Cup regulations for 2017. As for the 2017 regulations it was decided to implement a new class in Motocross Cup: 65cc for riders above the age of 10. Simultaneously the initiative was taken to spread the MACEC

activity in moto tourism. Honorary FIM Europe Vice President Andrzej Witkowski gave an update on the current development in FIM Europe and invited everybody to attend the 2017 FIM Europe Congress from 28th June to 1st July in Rome (Italy). «It was a very well organized MACEC General Assembly. I am very glad with the results of the meeting. Special thanks to Moldova for being an excellent host», said MACEC President Andrzej Grodzki. «I am very happy to announce that the next meeting of the MACEC General Assembly will be held in March 2018 in Lublin (Poland)», said MACEC General Secretary Aleksandra Knyszewska.


F IM Eu ro pe a t t he Meeti ng o f C ONU Presi den ts in G eneva

On the occasion of the 2017 Conference of FIM Commissions in Geneva, a  meeting  was  held  of the CONU Presidents of FIM  Europe,  FIM  Asia and FIM Africa with the President of Association

Mediterranéenne  de Motocyclisme,  Mr  Abdallah Laraichi and FIM Honorary Deputy President  Mr  Jean-Pierre Mougin.

In the photo above, from left to right,  Ray  Wilson,  Afif  Trabelsi, Wan  Zaharuddin,  Dr  Wol f gang Srb, Jean Pierre Mougin, Abdellah  laraichi,  Imane  laraichi  and Nejib Ouriemi.


The special story of Ulla by Fiammetta La Guidara

Her name is Ulla Kulju and she is a 30 year old special rider from Finland. And we mean “special” in every sense of the word, because she is the first paralysed woman to race in motorcycling. Furthermore, she races in Snowcross and in Road Racing. But before, she did many more things: at 15, 6 months after her accident, she went back to the slopes with monoski. On the same year she won a gold medal in Finnish Championships in Slalom. Next year she raced against able bodied females in giant slalom and slalom, and conquered the third position in Finnish Championships. During her four years of alpine skiing in the Finnish Alpine Ski Team she achieved the European Cup silver in

Giant Slalom and the European Cup Bronze in Slalom. At 2003 and 2005 she was nominated as an athlete of the year in Finland. She was also awarded as the most positive person in Northern Finland on the year 2005. And her story is a great lesson of life. When did your passion for motorcycles start? 

«My passion for motorcycles started at 15, when I got my own scooter. At the same time my boyfriend had a 125cc motorcycle and I used to ride with that even if I didn't have the license and I knew my parents would've not approved». When  did  you  have  your accident and how? «My accident happened on


26th of March 2002 in Ylläs Ski resort just before I turned 16 years old. I jumped with my snowboard and landed on my back breaking two vertabraes, T11-12. «After my accident in snowboarding (in 2002) I thought I couldn't ever ride motorcycles… trikes were so expensive and then I think that a motorcycle has to have only two wheels. In 2007 when they launched the Can-am Spyder I was very interested in buying one but I never had enough money for it! So it took me 12 years to actually make my dream come true… In 2014 I bought my first motorcycle, a Honda CBR 600cc of 1993 and I started to convert it so that I could ride it even I'm paralysed. The next year I got it approved for road use in Finland. I got to ride trackdays and I fell in love with riding! After that a dear friend of mine asked if I had thought of racing. On my first track day I met a guy from 3M Finland and he introduced me to his bosses of and so in just 3 months after that I bought my racebike Yamaha R6 with the help of my first and biggest sponsor 3M Finland. That was so amazing!»

And your first races? «I had my first race in Botniaring 28th of May 2016. I was so nervous but when I got to the grid it was just the best feeling in the world and then when the lights went out and it was a go for start, I wasn't nervous any more». Which  were  your  main difficulties and how did you overcome them? «I have to say that I didn't face much difficulties. People were so helpful and cheered for me when they heard about me building a bike for myself. I only faced difficulties with money: building a bike isn't the cheapest hobby... and racing certainly isn't cheap, and with my relationship, because my boyfriend doesn't like me racing. I did have doubts of myself when entering the first race... I was worried how other racers would see me and treat me, but then they were all super nice and helped me and I consider most of them as

Photo @Prosky Photography


cing/riding my profession».

What do you do in your life besides riding? «Besides racing I work as a design engineer in a company called Etteplan in Hyvinkää and I mainly design elevators. I'm also a mom of two beautiful kids, Miko, 8 years old, and Helka, 2 years old. If I'm not racing I'm with my kids and working».

How do you feel being the only female paraplegic motorcycle rider? «It is an honour to me. It is by far my greatest achievement and I love that I can show to the world that anyone can do anything… that dreams can become true when you work hard enough and don't let anyone say youcan't».

very dear today».

What are your hobbies? «Crossword puzzles and tattoos. And alpine skiing with sitski in wintertime». What are your aims in motorsports? «Someday I want to be on the highest step of the podium. I also hope that I would have a chance to do ra-

What message would you like to send to our readers? «I want to thank anyone who have read my story or shared it in social media.. without my followers and supporters I wouldn't be where I am today!»

Photo @RenaudHenry Photo


F I M E u r o p e M o t o To u r Assistant Course: a successful story


FIM Europe Mag 2/2017


The first Professional Level Moto-Tour Assistant Training Course was held on September 3rd at Honda Safety Center in Barcelona, Spain.After theoretical training provided by FIM Europe Touring Commission members – Nils Freivalds, Laurynas Baltrunas and Panagiotis – Panos – Kalaitzis on tour organization, all the attendees warmed up for motorcycle practice training. The Honda Safety Institute instructors are also experienced off- and on-road riders and kept an eye on all trainees – MotoTour Assistants to make sure they improved their riding performance. The list of FIM Europe Certified Moto-Tour Assistants who completed the Professional Level Training Course has been published FIM Europe Mag 2/2017

in FIM Europe official website. Two Motorcycle Tour operators in Greece "advertise" in their websites their FIM Europe Tour Assistant Certificates: MotoVoyager: Alternative Road Trips: In particular, the Alternative Road Trips got the Africa Twin Raid over a "rival" company because they produced the Moto Tour Assistant Certificate that was obtained in Barcelona by their tour leader, Mr Dimitrios Sakos. In the following pages, the story of their 9days-tour. 35


Visiting Greece in 9 days with the Alternative Road Trips Company by Panagiotis Kalaitzis Photos

The Alternative Road Trips Company is made up of a team of motorcycle enthusiasts for alternative travelling, with vast knowledge not only of Greece which is our homeland, but also the whole Europe, Asia and Africa.This knowledge derives from our personal motorcycle travels and is imbedded in our own business ventures. We were one of the few “chosen� ones to attend and successfully complete the First Tour-Assistant Training Course orga-

nized by FIM Europe at the Honda Safety Center in Barcelona, which gave us an even better insight on safely escorting motorcycle groups. After several successful years in private motorcycle tour operating, one of our overseas clients recommended us to a local DMC who was in need of a professional, alternative motorcycle roadtrip planner, to assist in a-one-of-a-kind incentive motorbike trip around Greece for Honda Moto Swiss most valued dealers FIM Europe Mag 2/2017


all within nine days. The organization of this guided motorcycle tour made us face with many challenges during the months of this trip preparation, bearing in mind that our client was Honda: one of the largest Manufactures of motorcycles worldwide and this was the first time that anything of this grandeur was going to be organized in Greece. Our task was not limited to finding routes from point A to point B, instead we searched for the best possible routes with spectacular FIM Europe Mag 2/2017

views, ideal photo stops, fun activities, cultural tours as well as distinguished venues for lunch and dinners. Numerous hours were spent over maps and notes, we pre-scouted all the routes several times to make sure that roads where not closed-off due to weather conditions or unplanned roadworks, we stayed always a step ahead of any unexpected mishaps and altered aspects of the trip accordingly. The final journey included additional details besides the routes, such as refuelling stops,



asphalt quality, weather predictions, emergency rooms and hospitals, spareparts shops and alternative routes for everyday to be used in case of emergency.

The logistics of bringing 36 motorcycles from Switzerland is itself a challenge - it was arranged in cooperation with Honda Swiss, which took care of the dispatch from their side and our team, along with 2 mechanics, took over the Africa Twins once they arrived in Greece. The size of the group was demanding, so we separated the riders into 3 groups, all with Alternative Road Trips staff as leaders (“MarFIM Europe Mag 2/2017

shalls” as the Swiss would say) and 3 “sweepers” to chase-after the last riders of each group. So the journey began in late September. Our on-site team from Alternative Road Trips consisted of 3 motorcycle tour leaders/guides, 3 moto tour assistants, our action photographer, 2 support vehicles, a mobile workshop with mechanics, a

van with luggage, 2 cameramen and of course 36 Honda Swiss dealership owners: the Africa Twin Raid Greece 2016! Day 1, 17th September Our guests arrived from Switzerland with afternoon flights and were immediately taken to view Athens most known landmark - the Acropolis. In the evening, a briefing was held in their


hotel meeting room where we shared important information about riding in Greece, as many of our guests had never experienced Greek roads before, let alone rides in such large numbers. Our evening ended with a welcome party on the Athenian Riviera. Day 2, 18th September Just after sunrise we met our riders in the hotel parking area and each of our 3 team leaders took charge of their "followers". We left the busy capital behind us, stopped briefly for a few photos on the Corinth 40

canal and after enjoying the coastal spiral downhill road, we reached the ancient theatre of Epidaurus. Snacks and refreshments awaited our guests, followed by guided tours in both French and German, in the magnificent ancient theatre and soon we were on the road again. Lunch was arranged at the fishing village of Astros and after a scenic ride along the Eastern coast of the Peloponnese, we reached the picturesque village of Kosmas were we enjoyed a brief coffee stop under the luscious green skyline. Sunset found us descen-

ding towards Monemvasia Castle, which was the final destination of the day. Day 3, 19th September After breakfast our visitors were offered the option of spending the day on the beach with various water sports and a BBQ lunch or riding their motorbikes for a short visit to the Greek "fjords" named Gerakas. Both activities were separated. The afternoon found us enjoying a luxury dinner within the fortress of Monemvasia under a light Autumn rain. Bus transportation was arranged to and FIM Europe Mag 2/2017


from the castle, as with all evening outings, so as not to jeopardize the wellbeing of any rider. Day 4, 20th September Our morning departure was once again with rain showers but left us dry until the ancient city of Mystras, where a guided tour in both languages was arranged. FIM Europe Mag 2/2017

From there we continued through Argos, passing through the green landscapes of Chrysovitsi, to reach our lunch destination, the stone built village of Dimitsana. We continued for Kalavryta town, on the beautiful Helmos mountain which was chosen for our overnight stop. A walk to a nearby traditional Greek ta-

vern ended another fulfilling day. Day 5, 21st September - An early departure marked this day but with a flare of excitement as an off-road route was at a short distance, waiting to test our riders’ dirt road skills. At the end of the route a snack and refreshment station was ar41


ranged whilst riders enjoyed views of the Corinthian Gulf. Our journey soon led us over the Rio Bridge which joins the Peloponnese with the Western mainland of Greece. We rode with views of lake Trichonida leading us through winding tree covered roads, to our stop just outside Prousos village. After 42

removing motorbike gear, our guests enjoyed a picnic lunch by the riverbed and soon after geared-up again, to begin a river trekking activity named Via Ferrara to the Black Cave. After the activity, we made our way to Karpenisi, where we would spend the night. The evening concluded with a dinner at a

small tavern with freshly caught and cooked trout, traditional dancing and a lesson in smashing dishes like the Greeks! Day 6, 22nd September - A challenge awaited us the next morning: the heavy rain from the previous evening continued till dawn, accompanied by thick fog, forcing us to follow a (preplanned) alternative route. We passed by lake Smokovo and continued for lake Plastira with next to nothing visibility. Our lunch stop was a pleasant break to dry off before continuing via Elati to our final destination for the day, Kalabaka, home of the Meteora rocks. The evening found us gazing at the stars after a hearty portion of moussaka and a lit fireplace. Day 7, 23rd September The early risers where taken to descend via rappel the lower of the Meteora rocks and once completed, they met the rest of the group for a guided visit of the Meteora monasteries. We continued our last riding day at the footsteps of Mount Olympus, with an incredible ride, leading us to our final destination of the day, the seaside town of Plaka. The African Twins where then lined up waiting to ascend into the giant truck before returning to their home in Switzerland. The arrival of our VIP

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guests who joined the riders in Plaka was a highlight in itself, Mr Nomura Hiroshi - President of Honda Swiss, Mr Jean-Christophe Muller - Director of Honda Swiss and Mr Horst Frerichs-the Honorary President of Honda Swiss, all were eager to greet and express their gratitude to the A.R.T. team of Alternative Road Trips for organizing and safely escorting this “Premium” motorcycle roadtrip. A farewell dinner-party at the Hotel sealed the seven-day motorcycle adventure with wonderful remarks from our guests making us feel proud to have successfully completed and to have been part of this wonderful motorcycle travel event. Day 8, 24th September - After a late breakfast, our group bid us farewell and continued by coach for a brief encounter with the 2nd largest city of Greece, Thessaloniki. After touring the city highlights, an evening at one of the most popular restaurant-bars was arranged for our guests’ final dinner. Day 9, 25th September - Smiling faces board the plane back to their Swiss homes. This event was most challenging on every level - body, mind and soul, more than we could have ever imagined. Would we do it again? Yes in a heartbeat! The conclusion is that we organized, planned and executed an exciting guided motorcycle travel event for a demanding group in size and essence, yet every detail was planned to perfection, combi-

ning tradition with luxury, ancient to modern, sea to mountain, travelling from South to North, keeping always in mind our guests’ needs. The Honda African Twin Raid was indeed a unique event for Greek motorcycle tourism. We believe that Alternative Road Trips may have opened the door to many more similar events to be hosted in Greece. Visit our YouTube channel to see the day by day videos of our latest Motorcycle Travel Event, Africa Twin Raid Greece for Honda Moto Swiss. If you need any further information, please feel free to contact us. Alternative Road Trips Private Guided Motorcycle Tours in Greece | Motorcycle Travel Events | Business & Organization Groups Guided Roadtrips Website: Contact: Facebook: YouTube: Twitter: https: //



FIM Europe Mag 2/2017

FIM Europe MAG 2 2017  

Official magazine of FIM Europe, the Continental Union recognised by FIM (Federation International de Motocyclisme), that represents 47 Nati...