Ever wonder what happened to the missing FP-1 homologation road bikes from the ill fated WSBK project around a decade ago?
Only a few teaser shots of a secret cache of the machines has surfaced in the last few years, reported to be located in a lockup in Essex. The very existence of the machines was kept under wraps due to various gagging orders imposed by the original Malaysian owners Petronas.
Well wonder no more. It has been revealed that the 150 or so homologation machines built to enable the 900cc FP1 race bike to compete in the World Superbike Championship have now surfaced, following a legal battle in Malaysia.
Petronas sold the entire stock of road-going machines to Momoto for re-branding and eventual sale onto the open market. This is where things have apparently got complicated. All of the machines have been seized by the Malaysian government, citing unpaid taxes and duty on the FP1 road bikes.
This has resulted in an $83M lawsuit filed by Momoto against Petronas.
“We took it for granted that Petronas Technical would have complied with the basic requirement of obtaining the APs and settled all dues to the government at the point of bringing the motorcycles into Malaysia,” a spokesman for Momoto said to The Malaysian Insider.
None of the turquoise 3-cylinder fire breathers ever made their way onto the market which makes them all the more lucrative to potential collectors and it seems the road bikes will be out of reach for a while yet.