A British firm in the business of restoring classic race cars has decided to include motorcycles in its sights as well. Lanzante Limited will soon post a stash of Malaysian Foggy-Petronas FP1 race bikes for sale. These bikes were previously tied up in red tape formalities that didn’t allow them to be sold. Apparently, Lanzante has found a way through this.
The history of the FP1 makes for a convoluted tale. Petronas initially developed the prototype litre-class (989cc) bike for MotoGP. The company changed its mind midway, deciding to compete in the World Superbike Championship instead. Conforming to the then prevalent WSBK regulations, the engine capacity was reduced to 899cc, though the bikes still put down an impressive 127hp.
The shift to WSBK could have had something to do with a partnership with series champion Carl Fogarty, leading to the formation of the Foggy-Petronas team. 150 bikes had to be built for homologation, of which 75 were made in England. Petronas built the rest in Malaysia.
Unfortunately for the team, WSBK increased its permitted engine displacement to 1,000cc in 2003. This was the same year when the ill-fated FP1 was fully homologated. The new regulations put the Malaysian superbike at a serious disadvantage. Ironically, the original 989cc motor would have been ideal for the series.
To put another twist to the tale, 60 units of the UK-made FP1 never made it to Malaysia like they were supposed to. This led to a heated legal dispute between Petronas and Malaysian distributor Momoto. The government also claimed its share by recovering unpaid taxes and duties. Those precious 60 bikes were all but lost, sitting somewhere in an impound lot.
Fast forward to the present day, Lanzante Limited appears to have secured a chunk from the ill-fated lot of race motorcycles. “All bikes are being put into full working order and made available with all spare parts backup,” says Lanzante’s Instagram post. Lanzante further clarifies in the comments these are not the 60 bikes that allegedly never made it out of the U.K. Another comment claims that these are not the FP1s that were to be sold in Malaysia through Momoto. The background of these bikes is muddy indeed.
What all of us can be sure of that once the stash of these Foggy-Petronas FP1s goes on sale, it will fetch a hefty sum of money to the finder.