Early 2000s optimism meets post-recession reality.
Are you interested in that most elusive of motorcycle subtypes, the American superbike? Do you like extremely rare things with strange stories behind them? If so, you’ll probably be interested to learn all about this 2009 Fischer MRX650, which is currently up for auction and looking for a good home. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it, because we’re about to tell you the story.
The year was 2001, and Chicago-based AMA roadracer and former Aprilia Cup competitor Daniel Fischer decided that he wanted to create an all-American superbike. Well, all-American in design, at least—but we’ll get to that. Although American companies would prove instrumental to chassis and overall design of the thing, there was never a plan for an American engine to provide the beating heart of this particular bike.
Still, as most motorcycle fans know, modern motorcycles source a wide variety of their components from all over the place. There is no such thing as a bike that is entirely the product of any one country. It might be assembled in one place, but its constituent parts come from all over the world. Only when those pieces get to their assembly plant are they all fitted neatly into place, ideally working in seamless harmony to provide a great riding experience to the end user.
Anyway, back to mastermind Daniel Fischer, who’d worked out a deal with Rotax to use its V990 60-degree V-twin. At the time, that engine was only being used by Aprilia, in bikes including the Tuono and RSV Mille. Fischer dubbed its initial design the MR1000 due to the Rotax deal—but that iteration of the bike wasn’t to be.
Once Aprilia got wind of Rotax’s intention to supply those engines to a competitor in the same segment, the company wasn’t pleased, and it made that fact quite clear to Rotax. Thus, Rotax pulled out of the partnership in 2003—which was pretty late in the game, since Fischer planned to start production of the finished bike in 2004.
Prior to Rotax’s swift heel turn, Wisconsin-based engineering firm Gemini Technology systems (which was responsible for the frame design of the Harley-Davidson VR1000) crafted the sturdy Trellispar frame upon which the Fischer would be based. This supremely unique design was a single piece, rather than multiple pieces welded together. What’s more, the trellis part was located inside the spar part. Balancing rigidity and flex in any bike to optimize handling is a tricky business, and this was Gemini and Fischer’s way of tackling the problem. According to Odd Bike, riders reported that it worked pretty well.
Gallery: 2009 Fischer MRX 650
Despite events literally ripping the heart out of the planned machine, Fischer simply went back and regrouped. The small company was confident in its chassis, and wanted to see it hit the road in some form. Eventually, it found a new engine supplier in Korean company Hyosung, which had only just started to make what Asian markets would term “big bikes.” Crucially, it had also just entered the North American market. The company’s 647cc, 90-degree V-twin has often been compared to the powerplant found in that era of Suzuki SV650, but reportedly differs in several details, including bore, stroke, and displacement.
Thus, the MRX 650 was born, and Fischer swiftly changed tack from its former patriotic American marketing spiel to instead touting the merits of its “affordable exotic.” When the finished bike finally saw the light of day, the Hyosung engine was pretty much untouched. While the optimistic prototype boasted some high-spec components including a full Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes, the production version wasn’t so high-flying with its parts choices.
There was still an Öhlins rear monoshock, but it was paired with a fully adjustable 43mm USD Daesung front fork. Several other bits were sourced off the Hyosung Comet, including the brakes. Goodridge stainless steel brake lines came standard, as did a Brembo master cylinder. Later versions of the bike also upgraded to Brembo front brake calipers. MSRP was $7,999, for a bike that was sold directly from Fischer as it worked to build out its dealer network.
Prior to the Great Recession of 2008, Fischer made around 30 of these MRX650s in total. Despite additional plans to build out a dealer network and ramp up production, the economic downturn pretty much quashed the entire enterprise. A supercharged prototype version was in the works as well, but it never materialized.
According to email correspondence with Fischer himself from the current owner, this specific bike is one of the first MRXs ever built. It has 6,959.8 miles on the odometer, and has no known mechanical issues, according to the seller. Pre-sale service included new brake fluid, coolant, oil, and oil filter. Other items serviced include: a new air filter, new lithium battery, shifter seal, chain, vacuum fuel petcock, vacuum fuel pump, fuel and vacuum lines, a full carb rebuild and sync, and a new battery tender plug.
If you’re interested, it’s currently up for auction on Iconic Motorbike Auctions. As of June 8, 2021, the bid is up to $6,399, and the auction ends on June 10, 2021. As far as production bikes go, if strange and rare bikes are your jam, this should be right up your alley. For a truly exhaustive history that goes into much more detail than the overview we’ve provided, check out the Odd Bike link in our Sources.