A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £31,275
Liquid-cooled 899.5cc four-stroke, DOHC inline-three (12v). Six-speed transmission Only 7km from new. Serviced with fresh fluids, new battery and full safety check Absolutely delectable in Panache Green and Black One of only 100 road bikes built with very few in the public domain Fresh from storage and one of the very few on the market As Erik Buell will tell you, starting a motorcycle company is no easy task. Even if you're offering a solid product, getting marketing, a dealer network, and infrastructure set up can often make or break a company's shot at success. The latter is essentially what happened to the short-lived motorcycles division of Petronas. Only 150 units (50 for racing, 100 for public sale) were produced in 2003 with the first 75 being produced in the U.K. and the remaining half being made in Malaysia, making it the first ever 'superbike' to be produced in the southeast Asian country. Despite Petronas' lack of success, it nonetheless developed and delivered 150 ultra-exclusive machines with (at the time) top of the line performance and a truly beautiful appearance. When the ambitious project began, the aim was to create a machine to compete in Moto GP but at some point developing a premier class racer was abandoned and the new focus became building a WSB (World SuperBike) racer. Carl “Foggy” Fogarty – four-time WSB World Champion – teamed up with Petronas to form “Foggy Petronas Racing” with Troy Corser and James Haydon joining the team and completing a trio of world-class riders aiming for success in the 2003 WSB Championship. Unfortunately, the regulations changed with a capacity increase to 1000cc rendering the 900cc bikes a bit off the pace, however, they managed to nab a couple podiums in their handful of years in WSB but despite a £30 million outlay all Petronas had to show for it was a number of (admittedly stunning) road bikes. The elite FP1 (Foggy Petronas 1)was manufactured for Petronas by the Essex-based engineering firm MSX International and was built around a Suter Racing liquid-cooled 899.5cc four-stroke, DOHC inline-three (four valves per cylinder) engine married to a six-speed transmission. Fitted in the road-going FP1s, the Austrian-built three cylinder was good for a cool 127.4 hp at 10,000 RPM and 67.9ft/lbs of torque at 9,700RPM. This particular example is brand new with only 7km on the odometer and was purchased from Petronas as part of the entire stock of bikes by Momoto. Of the 100 units made available to the public, three livery options were offered: Misty Grey, Exotic Black, and Panache Green which this example is sporting. The road-going spec of the FP1 did a remarkable job of retaining the race bike appearance of the competition FP1 that was obviously designed first, and even with its clean, stacked, flush headlights, the FP1 is unquestionably a race replica in the truest sense. The street FP1 was naturally less powerful (127bhp) than the 185bhp developed by the full-race bikes, although at only 181kg (399lbs) the streetable FP1 is still an impressive machine even sixteen years after its creation. Foggy once stated: “There is no doubt that this will be the most beautiful bike on the roads. It combines cutting edge technology with real elegance and has set new standards at the top end of the road bike market,” and quite frankly it’s hard to disagree with him. The FP1 has been sculpted with a craft-knife and the smooth flowing lines and heavily race-derived appearance combined with the state of the art Ohlins, digital dash display, and the three pipe under tail exhausts, makes the whole creation look good enough to eat. This lovely example has only covered a delivery mileage of 7km yet our vendor has chosen to fully service it, fluids have been changed, a new battery installed with all major components checked and readied for use. The body-work has been cosmetically restored to the highest possible standards with the Petronas livery re-applied by the company who were responsible for the original branding on the bikes. The electronic dash is fully functional, the bike starts and runs cleanly, and holds good oil pressure. A very attractive, well-engineered 'superbike' from a bunch of rather optimistic enthusiasts and all the better for it, it's rather unlikely that you will see another one, comes complete with Type Approval documentation and NOVA.