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Fischer MRX 650: Would you buy one?

By George Obradovich, Jan. 08, 2005
Following hot on the heels of this reader's last submission concerning a certain formative American MotoGP project, comes an update on the all-but-forgotten Fischer MRX 650, due to see production this year.

Dan Fischer's vision of an American sport bike has been hovering in the ether for about three years now. And other than the occasional motonews-byte and brief glimpses behind the curtain at industry trade shows, the public's information about the development of the bike has been limited to something like the far-off whispers, sawing and banging noises accompanying the construction of Monty Python's Trojan rabbit.

Being that I've got nothing better to do during this chilly and thus-far wet January in New York, I got to thinking about what was happening in Chicago concerning the fate of the Fischer project. Some quick research uncovered a bit interesting info on the MRX 650 that is sure to inspire some debate throughout the MOnation. So light your torches you angry mob and start setting things aflame. Here's what I learned.

According to Dan Fischer, a production version of the MRX 650 is due as early as this spring. No doubt, some of you are familiar with the number of Fischer prototypes that have been popping up over the last three years, but for those who've missed it, the latest incarnation certainly looks the part. Penned by British designer Glynn Kerr, the styling is pure supersport with a mix of Japanese folding paper and hints of Italian exotica. You might love it, you might not. But the fact remains that it certainly looks like it could stand on a showroom floor next to any Japanese or European offering without cowering. Okay, that's a good sign.

Besides the superb aerodynamics of the bodywork, Fischer also claims that the chassis is world-class. Developed by Gemini Technologies in Milwaukee (of VR-1000 superbike fame--or infamy, depending on your perspective), the frame will be adorned with all sorts of top-shelf bouncy-bouncy stuff from the likes of Ohlins. Wow, this is starting to sound better and better, right?

Not so fast. No, really, I mean it. Definitely not so fast. Seems the heart of discontent with the MRX could be the heart that will be ticking inside all that shiny plastic and metal: The production MRX 650 will definitely be powered by a slightly tarted-up version of the Hyosung 650 seen in the most recent prototype. Not that the Hyosung motor is a bad one--early returns have compared it to the lovable SV650 lump it was modeled after. Still, will 77 claimed peak horsepower and 51 foot-pounds be enough to get a significant number of people scurrying for their wallets to pony up for low-production bike from a brand new manufacturer? Hmnnn... And doesn't the whole "American sport bike" thing sort of get cut off at the knees when the engine is a product of South Korea? Imagine a Hyundai-powered Corvette. Doesn't get your American-red blood boiling, does it?

In response to the potentially lukewarm reaction to the motor, Fischer maintains that the exotic chassis and suspenders will make for the best handling sport bike on the market. (Where, oh where, have we heard that before?) And he claims that combined with the wind-slicing profile, the MRX should hit a top speed of around 140 mph. Not exactly ZX-6 numbers, Dan buddy.

Help is supposedly on the way with a supercharged version of the 650. But that will take at least another year of development according to Fischer. They're focused on getting the initial version of the MRX ready for sale.

Still, the bike is obviously meant as primarily a street bike, and as we all know, a huge top end on the street is really only useful as an effective way to clean up the gene pool. But the sport bike market being what it is, I can't help but wonder who's going to buy this thing.

And speaking of buying, Fischer projects a price 15 % higher than comparable Japanese models or, roughly translated, $9995.00. Of course, I won't be the first to wonder what constitutes a "comparable Japanese model." I can't help but think an SV650 with some aftermarket suspension pieces will do about the same thing on the street.

All that being said, I'm rooting for Dan. I don't think there's really any good reason why an American manufacturer can't make great sport and sporty bikes. I'd love to see any of them succeed. It'll be good for all of us.

What say you, MOfos?

You can check out the MRX 650 at www.fischer1.com or read a recent interview with Dan Fischer at www.onewheeldrive.net.

P.S. Sean, how about getting a ride on this thing when it comes to production? I'm sure Dan Fischer would love any publicity he could get. I'd love to hear your impression.

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