Foggy Petronas FP1

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GENT
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Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by GENT »

Hello All,
A quick introduction, my names "Gareth" and i have a bit of a bike problem - and that problem is i like quirky old odd ball leftfield stuff and not enough garage space or money.
Based in the northwest of the UK and been around bikes a long time, i do seem to have accumulated some bikes that are quite varied in age and style. all of which do interest me for one reason or another - and more importantly all get used as intended albeit with limited use or inappropriately.

I have known Steve for a many years as our paths crossed on certain Ducati forums and other places and he has asked me if i would share my recent adventure with folk here.
Some may recognise the content as a "lift and shift" from somewhere else so apologies for that, i am quite busy and there is little point typing it all over again.

So here goes - are you sitting comfortably ? then i shall begin.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by GENT »

There is nothing wrong with a little green envy from time to time. Seeing nice bikes and other objects of desire (in the form of 2 wheels) give us some incentive to work hard and earn, and a goal in life i feel.
Back in the early days i was a huge Foggy fan and his retirement was a tragedy for many at the time. Peak of his career and of course just the best racing and bikes all made for great memories and good times.

One thing that came from the back of his injury was the venture with Petronas to build a bike and go racing.
So roll forward a couple of years and we all know how the ill fated project evolved and turned out, but we also remember the highlights which were many including dumping Hayden on the floor many times, setting him alight, setting everyone alight, setting the paddock alight, making everyone a lot of money and actually scoring little.
I think it would be fair to say that the only people to lose at this point were obviously the Malaysian backers - and James Hayden's career.

However if anyone remembers the unveiling of the bike and parade laps at Brands - then you will remember there being a lot of grit in the air that day and the emotion and love and moral support seeing these bikes for the first time and hearing them let alone seeing foggy back on 2 wheels.

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Alas with the project shelved and canned in 2006 that was that and the bikes were never to be actually officially released for sale to joe public and did anyone actually want one ? well i did.

Existing only as a old wives tale, where did all these supposed FP1's end up ? with the MCN "scoop" revealing the warehouse holding 75 new road bikes only for the story to vanish as quickly as it came, a couple of you tube video's revealing some bloke in a shed with some road bikes (and one catching fire) the elusive FP1 faded away in peoples minds and thoughts as quickly as it came.

Apart from mine that is.

around 2.5 years ago i had a lead on a bike for sale, and after some back and forth with the owner, i couldn't afford the asking price, and if being honest never felt it was worth as much as he was asking for it anyway for what was essentially an unprepared bike with no paperwork.
The same bike ended up at auction where it set the benchmark value wise - which was great as it showed i was not far off in my own valuation and the owner also found out its value.
So with the only bike for sale missed, a short time later another pops up on the bike specialists being sold as registered, and prepared with minimal mileage (7) and sold quickly for what i felt then was a fair price for once.
Damn it, that's 2 bikes missed.

So after another heads up on the source of some bikes, i make contact again, and oddly i feel this is the same person i dealt with before. anyway long and short of it, some back and forth with phone calls and messages just as lockdown #1 started - i agree a deal to secure a couple of FP1's which will be supplied in a prepared state when delivered.
We agree on paint, decals, fresh fluids and all NOVA and dating certs to aid registration, however while sold as "running" they will have the original tyres which are my responsibility to change to something i prefer.

Needless to say the coming months are quite nerve racking, sitting and waiting for updates, proposed shipping dates, frame and engine numbers detailed on the invoice and deposit receipt - it is actually becoming a reality - wow. Staying in touch with the seller gives me constant updates easing my concerns, a missed shipping date due to one bike being not in the cosmetic condition he had requested meant another bike was sourced and put in the next window to ship.
Sadly missing lockdown by a day in Malaysia meant a call from the seller informing me they were going to hold off or the bikes would be buried under a back log of items, he felt waiting a while would see the bikes here in the UK quicker.
However little did we know the Malaysian lockdown in October would last for over 3 months all told.

Seeing things like the 44 teeth video also gave me a warm feeling for a couple of reasons - mostly knowing the numbers they were asking for their bikes meant i had a veritable bargain. also seeing them being ridden and complimented also served me knowing they are actually usable and just how damn good these bikes look.
Keeping my secret purchase fairly close to my chest when asked by the few that were aware (including mum who actually lent me the money for bike #2) was hard explaining about the delay after delay and lockdowns and other issues. Funnily enough when the Evergreen blocked the Suez i jokingly asked the seller if we had been in front or behind - only to be informed the day after it was actually behind. God damn, another delay then.

So roll forward to early May 2021 i get a message informing me the bikes had landed in the UK and should clear customs and be delivered to him within a week to 10 days.
The coming weeks were intense. my bikes are actually here, when will i get them? how long will it be while they are painted and prepared ? he assures me they will be done quickly and the team painting them are geared up as is the guy that does the original decals, he is also ready to complete the bikes at the drop of a hat.
With a date agree early June to collect, last min i get a call informing me the painter had made a mistake the nose cone on both bikes, one worse than the other, some black bleeding into the panache green and while not obvious (unless looking) he was not happy so send them back to be done again but obviously this meant a delay in both the decals being applied and of course collection.
After some more hickups with decals and then me working the next available weekend - a new date agreed, i head south and collect my bikes.

Rocking up at the address, instantly i recognise the location where the googled FP1's are pictured and appear in video's so it all feel familiar and confirms my original deal that fell through was indeed with the same vendor !
He comes to greet us, we go through all the pleasantries, but i am keen to see my bikes after what feels like an eternity.
He opens this shitty up and over garage door barely staying on its runners, to reveal 2 jewels shining inside the dustiest dampest garage you have ever seen.

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Trying to play is calmly i casually walk in where he informs me on a few things.
"both bikes are zero mile which i thought was nice and you would appreciate - i hope that is ok" which i agree is perfect.
Also "look at the tail units" he says, "feel the logo on the back" which i do and they are lacquered over, "feel how smooth they are ? and see the blend lines are identical?" he says, "these were the only 2 seat units not attacked with a flappy wheel and had the logos removed as part of the original legal case and agreement, they must have missed these 2 being at the back, also the blend lines are in the same place meaning the guy who painted these back in the day probably did them at the same time and same batch" which is nice and quite rare he hints. some blend very early, some quite high up, some are barely blended - all are unique.

We fire the bikes up, #1 starts fairly easily and blows some smoke out before settling to a nice tick over and seems to respond nicely to partial throttle inputs and feels smooth
Bike #2 take a little more to start so we add a drop more fuel and it burst into life and again settles nicely but i notice the throttle is stiffer (cable seized a bit) and feels less smooth on partial throttle inputs.
We let them cool and you can feel the heat from the exhausts quickly - Panagale V4's have nothing on these.

With the bikes loaded up and secured for the long journey home, i take a moment to absorb the gravity of what i actually have in the back of my van. this is beyond money, this is beyond real, this really is quite a dream come true and i am very aware of just how lucky i am to be in this moment i am in right now, so i savour and relish it before remembering the negatives and appreciate those that had to happen to put me in this pinnacle of the moment.
I firmly believe you need bad moments in your life to appreciate the good, if life was all good you would simply not appreciate it. And without losing my Father, his foresight and generosity, and ongoing support of my Mother, then this picture simply would never have been !!

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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by GENT »

The journey home was long,
Still buzzing on the cargo in the back, i call my pal asking him if he could open up and fit a couple more MOT's in - which he agrees.
We unload the bikes from the van, and already word has spread and a couple of the mechanics have come in to see an FP1 for the first time in their lives.
Aware all eyes are on me, i try to act slowly and carefully and not the clumsy fucker i can be and drop one onto the other or something.

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He notes immediately the front indicators are missing on both bikes - ah yes i explain about the rubber mounts that had disintegrated to dust, so some strategic gaffa tape - both bikes are given an MOT and are now in the system meaning i can apply for registration

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The bikes are fired up again for all to enjoy, before being loaded back into the van and taken home so i can lick them all to myself - it has been a long day, that may need to wait until tomorrow.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by GENT »

The big picture for these is as follows
Both are being registered for the road
Keep one and use it and enjoy it through the cooler months. I am keeping the one i feel is a tad nicer on the throttle and seems a little more aged than the other one
The other will be kept as a new zero mile bike, registered, to use as a spares donkey if need be before selling it on when the market allows and dictates and pay the Royal bank of mother back what i owe her.

With the V55/5 forms filled in, Dating certificates, MOTs and NOVA forms and of course the fee and road tax cost - i now await for DVLA to lose these and return them with a "computer says no" reason before i go round and round this merry go round with them until i get the agent who is either having a good day / someone else not using the family brain cell.

In the mean time i made a start on bike #1 getting it ready for its first outing - which just so happens to be Anglesey Trackday this coming Tuesday.
Obviously with it being brand new it will be ridden even more like a poof woof, low revs, no apex's being threatened and just getting some miles on the clock and cooking my testicles.

Out come the stands, and off come the wheels.

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Being a true WSB obviously this takes only moments to strip the bike - with the right mechanic.
Yet with some ham fisted ape from the Cheshire / Welsh border oddly it takes an hour or so.
Revel in the captive spacers and ultra trick design - only to be battling with 18 year old seized spindles tightened up with "donny from ATS" with his rattle gun and some locktite all them years ago.
Fuck me, i needed a sit down after trying to slacken them off.

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and there we have brand new M9RR's fitted but i fitted a 190 55 rear so we may get some rubbing of the carbon hugger - ah well.

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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by GENT »

With a totally flat battery, and a chat with a mate stripping half the bike down to get an optimate lead on it before Tomorrow eve is just never going to happen.
So following the live down around the oil pipes and other assorted loose wiring, i find the starter terminal and i am seeing only 7v hmmm
So with the trickle connected to that starter solenoid lead and the engine, i am hoping 2 - 3 hours will see this closer to 12v and the bike come back to life.

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Seriously, i can really see why these things catch fire, the wiring is a bit loose and hanging, it can chafe fairly easily and just needs a little thought and some cable ties to secure things into place a little better which could result in all the difference - anyway that is for another day, i have a date on track and i ain't got time to piss about actually preparing the bike, i will take the trailer of shame and trackside humiliation if i get the chance to ride my FP1 on track even for just 1 lap i will be happy.

Making it back under it's own steam - or on the back of a truck - either way i am winning novice that day and i will have the biggest smile of anyone in wales for at least an hour i bet.

Anyway enjoy the view and pics

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not a tool kit no - but lift the frayed velcro to reveal

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That's it - reveal a ticking time bomb

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So follow that thick red lead - that takes you to the battery smack bang in the middle of the frame and engine and injector area.

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nice and accessible - not
Anyway the 80's called and Suzuki want's their idea back - looks a bit heavy duty i guess. hopefully less play in it than my old RG500 setup

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And from the other side

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Velcro straps for the win

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and where we add the glug

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weeksy
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by weeksy »

It's funny looking at it... it's almost like they spent 5 years sorting 90% of it... then the last 10% they did in an afternoon after the pub... It's like they said "oh it's nearly done, lets just lob the last bit of wiring in, no-one will ever see it"

but there's some absolutely lovely touches and parts to it.

Thanks tonnes for coming over and posting mate.. it's absolutely fab to see.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by MingtheMerciless »

Many, many years ago I actually saw one of these on the M23 heading south under its own steam as I was going north.

Fook me those electrics look "shocking". Maybe time to fit a Lipo (if it'll cope with the charging system) and move it somewhere less exposed to heat.
Last edited by MingtheMerciless on Thu Jul 29, 2021 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by GENT »

Well what a day of days.
I guess this may bring mixed feelings, and it did with myself if being honest, but like a child with a new toy on Christmas day, i was impatient and also desperate to try the FP1, and as the SXV550 blew its load all over my boot, and the new RS660 back in the dealer yet again, i felt it was time to just take a punt on it.

With a dry forecast, bike showing it was charging partially, last night i loaded the FP1 into the van for an early start to Anglesey this morning.
Occupying pride of place in the garage and keen onlookers i kit up for the first session of the day and the sighting laps on brand new M9RRs so no pressure there then.

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I feel if i get even a couple of sighting laps, or better still a full session, it would be fully worth it.



Queued up behind Whitham, he turns around, sees the bike and instantly jumps off and comes to look at it.
Says "it looks brand new" i reply it is, show him the 0 mile odometer which was met with a headshake and a smile and then a pat on the arm with good for you.
By now the bike temperature is climbing and i can feel the heat and the pressure, but soon enough we get a green light and we go.
Obviously the first couple of laps are really pedestrian which suits me just fine. the bike has 0 miles on it, and i need to be at least semi mechanically sympathetic with it after an 18 year lay up.
Even doing no more than 60 mph i still cannot believe i am actually riding a FP1 and not only that at one of the best places to ride one.
In we come to pit lane after 2 laps, and i am sent straight out at the front on my own.



With the first fly swatted i investigate the slipping clutch, i cannot release the brembo thumbscrew and back it off. i then notice that the clutch fluid is full to the brim - could it be that simple ??? yes it was. I remove a little fluid and sure enough i can now adjust the lever - and it fixes the slipping clutch. Happy days.

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Soon enough it is session 2, then 3 etc.
I sit out the session after lunch as my belly is still full from the chip bap i had but manage the rest of the days session on the FP1 - wow.

Obviously i am being pretty conservative riding it, no heroics, no risks, just keeping out of everyone's way, wave them past, or pass when loads of room, all to get some space and allow the engine to bed in without working it too hard.

So what is it like ????
Comfort and riding position i would actually put very similar to the 749R, in fact the height and width of the bike is actually very similar too.
Brakes are just astounding - possibly the best brakes i have ever used.
Performance - it is hard to say, but again fairly typical for 120 odd bhp, loads of midrange, smooth and free revving. Either way i think its quicker than i expected.
Handling - suspension again i reckon is the best on any bike i have ever ridden, firm and hard but in so much as i never noticed anything bad about it, it worked well as it was on track.
Heat - holy shit. my spuds are boil in the bag. after session 1 there was some smoke from the seat unit, old spiders and grot burning away. after that was fine. i can say one thing, on those hot summer days i will not be riding this thing. deffo a winter bike with build in heated seat.

It was an attention grabber for sure, a few unexpected showed genuine interest and disbelief and shock seeing an actual FP1 let alone it being used.
One of the instructors (cant remember his name) was quite keen and knew lots about them and the history but had never seen one in real life.
The guy in the control tower was apparently having a fit, he looked out his window on session 1, spotted the green, and heard the engine and nearly blew a gasket radioing to the marshals telling them what it was. He came over later to have a chat, really nice guy again knew all about them as he used to race, but had never seen a real bike before so was taken aback a bit seeing one here.
I tried to send my mate Chris out on it for a few laps but he was having none of it sadly.

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So i am now still coming down from a pretty incredible day, the bike still runs, nothing fell off, it never caught fire, but to be fair still doesn't charge its battery either.
It now has 67 miles on the clock and the tyres are nicely scrubbed in.

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That reminds me - i really should think about insuring it now i guess.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by GENT »

And another picture of a new FP1 on its first ever run out of captivity or some owners air tight dungeon
Note - no apex's were harmed while this picture was taken.

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I did have the biggest grin on my chops in wales that day for sure and think i am still nursing a semi too.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by GENT »

So far a month in it has not all been sweetness and roses.

A trip over to Kev Stephenson's as he offered to swap the battery out - if i took a look at his Mrs laptop to try and recover the files on it after giving it a drink of coffee.

So with the battery losing its charge over a day or two, i either have
A - a duff new battery
B - an electrical fault (on a FP1 surely not)
Hoping its option A we replace the battery.

It is a tight fit in there.

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Removal of the oil vent pipe, oil breather, and the oil vent canister, does reveal the battery, and after making the ends safe, there was only just enough room to slide it out with millimetres to spare.

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The new battery was a YT9B fitment so slightly smaller
Using the supplied Styrofoam spacer, wrapped in rape tape it helped lift the battery up to the desired height to stop arcwelding itself to the tray. Insulated with a proper new Yamaha rubber boot, confident now the battery is not only secure but unlikely to short out and torch the bike

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Refitting the oil breather guff is a reverse of removal.
Total time - 1.5h to change a battery.
Note the vague optimate lead - fairly redundant after noticing this little helpful feature added stealthily to the bike

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et voila

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Man this thing still gives me a stiffy visually.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by GENT »

Well that didn't fix it - Battery while poor was not the root issue

Turns out it was a knackered rectifire with a parasitical drain.
So simply "borrowed" the item from Bike #2 and jobs a goodun. works perfectly now, no drain, and it actually charges as its running which is nice.

This means bike #2 (the zero mile bike) is missing a reg reg, so a bit of cross refenceing i see its the same as used on a PIaggio X8 / X9 scooter.
Nice.
4 days later and £35 i get a new one through the post.
Identical size wise, and the 3 pin brown plug is also the same, but the 4 pin is slightly different.
I remove the pins from the old plug connector and simply put this connector on the new reg rec, and sure enough it works perfectly.

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a couple of extra inches in wiring length

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so before i chuck the bodywork back on, i poke its arse out the patio door to fire it up to test its charging - it is, much to the delight of my neighbours and Mrs GENT

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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by MingtheMerciless »

Nice write up and lovely bikes, as @weeksy said, it really looks like they designed and built the bike and then went "ohh shit, we've forgotten the electrics".
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by lostboy »

Loving this thread. Great to see a customer of the "rocking Reverend" enjoying his work.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by Supermofo »

Cracking bike that, I really enjoyed watching the 44 Teeth vid as they are so rare.
GENT wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 9:30 am SXV550 blew its load all over my boot, and the new RS660 back in the dealer yet again
You don't do reliable bikes do you! Have you considered a KTM :lol:
GENT wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 9:30 am RS660
We need more info on this! Interesting bikes them, not hearing the best on reliability front but would be good to know an owners experience. I'd love the Tuono version if it wasn't 10k and council spec vs the RS version.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by Yorick »

Great story.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by Skub »

Brilliant stuff,it's great to see someone having the balls to use the bikes as intended,rather than,as most would do,keep them at zero miles in a glass case.

I love to see folk's long term plans and dreams come to fruition too,loved the story man,thanks for sharing.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by weeksy »

Supermofo wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 11:44 am

We need more info on this! Interesting bikes them, not hearing the best on reliability front but would be good to know an owners experience. I'd love the Tuono version if it wasn't 10k and council spec vs the RS version.
His RS660 story won't help anyone and Louigi and Marco from Aprilia may be knocking on his door due to bad publicity :D
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by Desmodromic »

Thankyou for sharing, really nice read.
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by Nidge »

@GENT - thanks for sharing, great read!
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Re: Foggy Petronas FP1

Post by Supermofo »

weeksy wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:52 pm
Supermofo wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 11:44 am

We need more info on this! Interesting bikes them, not hearing the best on reliability front but would be good to know an owners experience. I'd love the Tuono version if it wasn't 10k and council spec vs the RS version.
His RS660 story won't help anyone and Louigi and Marco from Aprilia may be knocking on his door due to bad publicity :D
I notice even MCN's test bike has had a new engine.

Although so did their V4 Multi. Who said Italian bikes were now fine :D