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Rare US-Korean Fischer MRX650 is an ideal sporting oddity for the curious biker

The Fischer MRX650 was conceived with ambitous intentions and a solid business plan... only for Aprilia and the Financial Crash to have its way

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Just as with any comedy routine, timing is everything when it comes to launching a motorcycle, more so when this is the first model to launch a brand and even more so when its aiming right for the top with a sportsbike.

And just like any comedy routine that just doesn’t quite find the right moment to land the punchline, the results are, well… you feel bad for them but you’re not going to break audience rank and laugh anyway. If you’ve watched a comedian bomb, you’ll know...

Which brings us to this mid-capacity sportsbike - little more than a decade old - that you may not have heard of before, one which showed great ambition and - reportedly - had plenty of promise, only to have Aprilia pull the rug under its feet before the Financial Crisis of 2008 brought the rest of the house down.

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This is the Fischer MRX650 and this is the result of a brief sojourn into the sportsbike business by a plucky American entrepreneur and - oddly - Korean manufacturer Hyosung.  It’s up for auction and if you’re a fan of motorcycling’s curios, you’re in for a treat here.

Before we get to the tale, we’ll just say outright, we’re rather taken with its sharp orange/yellow coated design with slashes and creases in all the right places, and rather sinister ‘Transformers-esque’ nose…. though we can’t tell if that seat would be comfy for one’s derriere.

So how did this American-Korean enterprise come to be… and why don’t we know more about it?

The brainchild of racer and businessman Dan Fischer, the MRX was conceived in the early 2000s to fill a potentially chunky gap in the market by producing an all-American 1000cc machine, thus giving the  US sportsbike community a domestic option if they so wanted.

The Fischer MRX had noble intentions in its design process and though it banged the American drum, the eponymous owner had a clear idea of what he wanted under the skin, turning to Rotax for its V990 60-degree V-twin which had been popularised through its use in the Aprilia Tuono and RSV Mille.

The MRX was all set to be unleashed onto the world for 2004, only for Rotax to pull out of the deal late in 2003 under the insistence of Aprilia who were unhappy at the prospect of losing the exclusivity of the engine to a bike occupying the same market space.

The company went back to the drawing board to find a new - yet cost-effective - partner and it duly found one from an unlikely source in Hyosung. The Korean firm had just begun dabbling in larger models having focused primarily on the Asian staple of runarounds and 125s, entering the US market with a GT model using a 650cc engine.

So the MRX lost some capacity - and some horses - but at least moved now with the American-Korean effort repositioned as ‘Affordable Exotic’.

However, Fischer was compelled to raid Hyosung’s somewhat unproven parts bin for various features, which dulled chassis’ potential. Production kicked off but moved at a snail’s pace, with only around MRX650’s rolling off the line and while there were plans for a supercharged version to get it nearer to the 1000cc-performance ballpark, the onset of the Financial Crash of 2008 proved the final nail in the coffin.

Roll on just over a decade and the Fischer MRX650 is potentially a bit of a collectors’ item for someone who knows what they’re doing.

This model - one of the first made - has only 6,959 miles on the clock, making it a bit of a find. It’s currently $6,499 for the top bid and - as of writing - there are just under three hours to go on the auction so (please delete as applicable) you’d better be fast/tough luck.

We’re a bit tempted actually. What can we say, we love an underdog?

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