Momoto MM1 is Foggy-Petronas under a new paint job
THE fate of the Foggy-Petronas FP1 superbike has long been something of a biking myth. After all, 150 of the superbikes were made – with photographic proof – and inspected to gain homologation for the race version, but then the seemed to disappear instead of going on sale.
The truth is that while Petronas had paid for the bikes to be built, that's just the start when it comes to being in the motorcycle business. You need dealers. You need to provide spares backup (for at least 10 years after production ends, according to EU law) and you need to make sure they meet all the legal requirements to be sold and used on the road, with rules often varying from one country to another. In short, it was easier and simpler to just take the financial hit and stash the bikes away instead of selling them to the public.
But now it seems another Malaysian firm, a new company called Momoto, has bought some or all of those 150 machines and is now planning to sell them worldwide, although it may be even more ambitious than that as according to the company's website (momoto.com.my) it claims to be 'manufacturing' the bikes and says there will be a second, naked model – called the 'Cafe Racer' – to go along with the faired 'Prize Fighter' MM1.
The firm says it plans to sell the bikes in the UK as well as France, America, Germany and Japan – a fairly ambitious aim since all those markets have their own distinctly different hurdles in terms of emissions laws and construction and use regulations. France, for instance, has its 100bhp power limit, Germany the tough TUV testing scheme, while America and Japan both have their own sets of laws that differ from those in Europe.
There's no sign of a price yet, but the firm's website does mention that its business model is to make “collectors' items” aimed at “high net worth individuals” so we're guessing the RRPs are going to look like phone numbers.
As a reminder, the FP1 had a unique inline triple engine, with a reverse-rotating crankshaft and a reversed cylinder head – intakes at the front, exhausts at the rear. The engine's origins lay in the shelved Suter-Petronas MotoGP project of 2002, while rest of the bike was developed in the UK by MSX International. Production was intended to be done by Malaysian firm Modenas, although many, if not all, the 150 homologation bikes were actually made by MSX in Basildon, Essex (where some are believed to remain, under lock and key, to this day).
Although the bike achieved a couple of podiums in WSB with Troy Corser on board and Carl Fogarty as team manager and figurehead, the 900cc triple, designed to rival 750cc fours and 1000cc twins, was quickly made obsolete when the regulations changed to a blanket 1000cc limit regardless of configuration.
Via Asphalt & Rubber
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