CARL FOGARTY road bike will be in our showrooms later next year after the four-times World Superbike champion announced one of the biggest deals in British motorcycle history last week.
He has signed a five-year contract with Malaysian-based fuel giant Petronas that assures him ownership of his own high-profile World Superbike team, but a huge spin-off will see a road superbike produced bearing Foggy’s name.
The 36-year-old will have input into the design and look of the new Sauber-powered machine that will be a 900cc three-cylinder producing close to 200bhp.
The road bike project is currently being costed by a company called MSX International. American-based with global offices in 23 countries including the UK, they are engineering and design specialists who service a variety of industries.
Foggy’s newly installed team manager Nigel Bosworth is the link-man between SPE and management company MSX.
Foggy said: " The FIM have yet to set a date for us when homologation of our bike has to be finalised. I expect it to be mid-season where we’ve got to have 75 bikes completed so I guess the road bike will be on sale towards the end of next year.
" The first ones are going to ultra-special road bikes because it has to be based on the Sauber race engine. There is a long way to go before numbers and the final look of the bike will be sorted out and where it will be assembled.
" MSX have a lot of resources in the automotive industry and in engineering in general. It’s their job to ensure we produce the road bike on time. They have an impressive CV. Ford is one of their clients. They saw the successful Ford Ka through from a clean sheet of paper to model launch. "
" I want the public to look at this bike and think that is absolutely awesome and want to give them something they love. "
Although still in the very early stages of development, one of the names already being touted around for the new bike is the Foggy FP1.
Initially the road version will be an exclusive model, before a mass production and more affordable machine hits our roads in 2003 to compete with top models from all of the other major manufacturers in the crucial sportsbike market.
It’s too early to speculate on how much early versions of the bike will cost, but despite a hefty price tag initially, the arrival is bound to be a sure fire hit with punters with Foggy’s name still one of the strongest brands in the worldwide bike industry.
Although news only broke last week that a Foggy road bike would be launched next year, two orders have already been placed for the new machine that is expected to feature top of the range equipment like Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes.