About The ACU
The Auto-Cycle Union is the Governing Body for motorcycle sport throughout Britain. It is recognised by the Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme (FIM). The ACU was a founder member of this body in 1904.
The role of the ACU in British motorcycle sport may be summarised as follows:-
- The main objective of the ACU is to provide all participants in motorcycle sport with enjoyable, safe and competitive days of sporting action. With over 630 clubs divided into 20 Centres, there are many opportunities available for interested parties, irrespective of age or ability.
- It sets the rules for the various aspects of the sport.
- It ensures fair play. It trains stewards, marshals and observers to ensure track safety.
- It sets, checks and revises safety standards, which ensure that motorcycle sport is an insurable commodity.
- It retains a body of medical advisors. It tracks the progess of national championships and contributes to the wider world of motorcycling that makes international competition happen.
- It is in constant contact with many Government departments to defend and develop the sport of Motorcycling.
- It remains independent from the many commercial pressures which inevitably shape and redirect our sport.
A Short History
The ACU was founded in 1903 as the Auto-Cycle Club with the aim of developing motorsport through clubs and arranging touring facilities for individual members. It was renamed the Auto-Cycle Union in 1907 and organised a series of Quarterly Trials and National Six Day Events before the end of that decade.
The motorcycle was utilised to good effect during World War One, so much so that it created a trade boom during peace time and within six months 18,000 new members joined the ACU. By the end of 1923 the ACU had been divided into 14 centres.
Many enthusiasts would designate the inter-war period as the golden age of motorcycling: club life had many facets; and there were hill climbs most weekends on the public highways. These were days of competition and conjecture, not monotonous runaway victories and predictable winners.
But then came disaster - World War Two. After the hostilities, when the ACU had again helped the armed forces with the provision and training of despatch riders, the organisation's membership had been reduced to 10,000 by 1946.
However, by the time of the ACU's Golden Jubilee seven years later, the number had risen to 54,000, with 750 affiliated clubs. The strength of the ACU in the post-war years may be evidenced by the success of British competitors on an international stage and it’s standing in the world of motorcycle sport and leisure today.