I bought my 2003 Foggy Petronas FP1 last year from Drogzorvo's Sportsbikes in Croatia.
You may recall that it was they who bought up the entire stock of twelve road bikes when the FP team collapsed shortly after being taken over by Al Melling's Norton Nemesis consortium in July 2003.
It appeared to be a real bargain, £8,000 OTR including import duty and taxes compared to the original asking price of £22,000 had to be good. Admittedly, I needed to buy a few extras to make it a practical proposition for UK roads, but I got a couple of bargains there as well.
The engine from my mate's crashed Benelli Tornado fitted straight into the frame, and I was able to recover most of that cost by selling the solid block of sand-cast magnesium alloy it came with.
The lack of any sort of stand was also a bit of a problem, but I found that leaning on my former reputation was more than adequate to support the bike. I also had to get it registered on a Q plate 'cos there was some question about type approval when I went to the DVLA. Apparently they're not happy about the amount of hot air it generates and are concerned about global warming. Mind you, I managed to fool them into ignoring the noise the exhaust made by getting a load of me mates to stand around outside the testing station blowing air horns.
I haven't actually ridden it that much yet. What with getting me hair done, and all the bad weather I've hardly had time to trailer it down to Box Hill and Bassets Pole. I did get the chance to wobble round some back roads in Kent earlier on this week, but it was such a hot day I was worried that the engine might go into premature meltdown so I only did about 5.2 miles.
Happily, that was enough to dispel the nasty rumours that all FP1s actually run in reverse. Mind you, if it had the handy rear facing video cam system would've helped a lot. It was a great relief to discover that the failure of that system during the only two WSB rounds in which it competed was not a permanent fault (apparently the only thing it ever showed during the WSB TV coverage was another FP1 ??).
It's not all good news however.
Ever since I bought the thing I've been followed around by this little Irish bloke who claims to work for a soft porn TV company. He keeps sticking his microphone under me nose and asking me to say something clever. Thank God I've got the missus for stuff like that (Saying clever stuff, not soft porn. Mmmmm ? Now there's a thought!)
Spares and bolt on goodies are also a bit of a problem. Where do you get a double bubble screen big enough to get my head behind?
Still, at least it’s a modern machine with a racing pedigree eh? I could've gone for one of those fake classics like a Gold SR or even a Manx Norton like my mate Barry.