You never know who you’re going to sit next to on the plane. And since Ed had hooked the three of us up with first class tickets for our recent Vegas trip (left up $550 :D, you rock Ed! ), I was unexpectedly treated to sit next to Michael Czysz, owner of Motoczysz.
When I sat down, I noticed a guy who looked like he had stepped right out of GQ magazine. Well groomed and well dressed, but kept to himself, which is typically just fine with me when I’m on the plane. But he soon noticed that we were all auto enthusiasts as the three of us talked about Clayton’s Lotus Elise. He proclaimed that it was a cool car, but it that it was slow. Of course I queried, “slower than what? It’s like driving a motorcycle.” Then I noticed his sportbike magazines and trade publications and realized he was a rider. We briefly talked bikes and I proudly exclaimed that I had ridden an 1989 Yamaha FZR 600 in college. He said he had a collection, including Ducati’s and Aprilia’s. I’m a big Aprilia fan, but have never owned one. I explained I had always wanted an RS250, which is not available in the U.S. — but is on every U.S. sportbike rider’s list. I had to demonstrate my knowledge of the brand and sport after all, since I was dressed in a strong hangover, jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt. Michael then went on to remark that he had owned a couple, including the RSV250 which was offered on invitation sale only. The RSV250 is a homologated race special. It was soon apparent I was not sitting next to your average enthusiast.
Turns out, Michael is in the final stages of producing his very own sportbike, of his company’s own design. The Motoczysz C1 990. Nothing on his bike is sourced from another manufacturer. A full carbon frame and unique suspension is just the start to what makes his bike special. The motor is of a design that I’ve never seen before. He explained that it was an inline four, but not like I was used to. The block is only six inches wide and sits longitudinal in the frame. He then went on to explain the engineering of it, which was well beyond my comprehension. The short of it is that it makes for a very narrow package in the bike and distributes the weight better.
He then reaches into the overhead and pulls out a Sony PSP (Hadn’t ever seen one in use before, what a cool toy!) He hands it to me and plays a promotional video featuring the C1 990 out on the track in Las Vegas. The video was shot late last year and features none other than Freddy Spencer, who is helping to sort out the bike, wringing it out around the track. Well as you can imagine, I’m in awe at this point. The amount of development, funding, marketing and vision being displayed was amazing. Michael explained his facility was only 15 minutes from Portland International Raceway and he has a staff of 25. They’ve designed everything in-house, and pieces are built around the world.
And here’s some pics and specs of the bike he’s working on:
This is the race tune version, which is good for 330lbs. He hopes to have everything ready for the 2007 SBK season. The production version is expected to be 350lbs and available next year.
Great meeting you Michael, good luck in SBK this season!