Fancy owning a rare piece of motorcycle history? Your chance is coming up on February 23rd, 2019, as a rare Foggy Petronas FP1 road bike comes up for auction. And it’s the first time an example of the World Superbike homologation special has been on offer to the public.
For those not following WSB back in the early 2000s, the Foggy Petronas project teamed the Malaysian oil company with the British four-time WSB champion before he went on to I’m A Celebrity stardom.
Foggy Petronas Racing
The road bikes were produced to enable the Foggy Petronas project to meet the rules required for racing in the World Superbike series, beginning in 2002.
Beginning in 2002, the team spent a reported-£30 million budget and employed familiar names including Troy Corser, Chris Walker, James Haydon, Garry McCoy, Steve Martin and Craig Jones. Sadly it never won a race, and only achieved three podiums before the cost and lack of results mounted up. Chris Walker took the first podium by finishing third on a damp but drying Valencia, while Troy Corser took second at Misano to record the best result on the FP1.
The Foggy Petronas project was hampered from the start by a switch from a planned MotoGP project involving Sauber. But moving to WSB saw Sauber depart. This meant Suter would now develop the race bikes and engine development (and were replaced by Ricardo for 2004), with MSX International building road bikes.
And the other major issue was the delayed launch and rule changes in WSB. Originally planned to debut in 2002, the FP1 had an 899cc engine. But by the time it hit the track in 2003, the rules allowed triples to be 1000cc, leading to a big power disadvantage. Combine that with the mix of companies and major reliability problems, and it’s no surprise that the team struggled against the might of established manufacturers.
The Foggy Petronas FP1 Road Bike
The plan for the Foggy Petronas FP1 road bike was to manufacture 150 bikes at the highest specifications to satisfy the WSB rule book. And then 10,000 lower spec and lower cost motorcycles would be made available to the general public.
But after delays, the first road machine finally appeared in 2005. A total of 75 machines had been completed by MSX International, and a further 75 built in Malaysia have been stuck in legal limbo due to tax and duty issues.
The end result is that the Foggy Petronas FP1 is incredibly rare and exotic. It’s powered by a Suter Racing 899.5cc four-stroke triple putting out 127.4hp at 10,000 rpm and 67.9ft/lbs of torque at 9,700rpm.
And all the components are top spec, including Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, OZ Racing wheels and carbon bodywork.
The FP1 up for auction has been in private ownership and cosmetically restored with the green Petronas livery re-applied by the company who did the original race bikes.
It’s also only ever covered the delivery mileage of 7km. But before putting the bike up for auction it’s been fully-serviced with all fluids changed, a new battery and all the components checked. So the electronic dash is fully functional, the FP1 starts and runs cleanly, and the engine holds good oil pressure.
As it’s the first time a rare Foggy Petronas FP1 road bike comes up for auction, the sale price is hard to even guess. But Silverstone Auctions has estimated it should go for £30-35,000, which isn’t unreasonable for one of the rarest road-going superbikes in existence.
Roger Taylor, Classic Vehicle Consignor for Silverstone Auctions said: “The Foggy Petronas FP1 is a very attractive, well-engineered superbike that has become something of motorcycling legend. Despite being 17 years old, its stunning design and sheer rarity of this machine makes it an incredibly desirable bike for a collector or enthusiast.
“The example we have for auction is in incredible condition and comes complete with Type Approval documentation and NOVA. We are sure the next owner wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation to add to the 7 kms it has covered and hear its three-cylinder engine howl at 10,000rpm!”
The Silverstone Auctions sale on February 23rd, 2019 takes place as part of The Race Retro Classic Car Sale, held at the Race Retro International Historic Motorsport Show at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry. Viewings are available on Friday, February 22nd, from 9.30am to 5pm. And you can register to bid online if you can’t get to the venue. It’s one of just 3 bike lots in a host of hundreds of interesting cars if you’re also a fan of four wheels.
The Foggy Petronas FP1 project might not have ultimately been successful either on track or in the showroom, but that’s part of the reason why it stands out so much now. Test riders have praised the strong, linear power delivery and the way it stops and turns like a supersport bike, but probably the biggest attraction is owning something that few other people in the world would even have the chance to see in the flesh 14 years later.
If you’re the sort of person that enjoys standing out and attracting attention at any race meeting or bike meet, then you probably won’t find anything that will get people talking as much as the FP1.