A man made famous by his radical and innovative electric superbness that stormed to four consecutive TT Zero victories, Czysz first after trying to create an all-American MotoGP motorcycle in 2006. Michael Czysz was trained and worked as an architect, but found his calling as a racing motorcycle designer, leading a team that created seven unique and inspirational bikes under his Motocsysz brand.
In 2006 the American motorcycle press exploded with the news of an American MotoGP. The still-born 990 C1 was a completely new motorcycle, using a proprietary in-line four cylinder motor, mounted longitudinally in a carbon fibre frame. It also featured a bespoke, adjustable fork that combined elements from telescopic and girder fork designs.
The project was never realized due to lack of funds and rule changes in MotoGP, but the C1 became the basis for the E1pc line of battery-electric prototype racing motorcycles. The first one was designed and assembled in a matter of months,and shipped to the Isle of Man for the inaugural TTX all-electric motorcycle race. Motocsysz failed to finish due to reliability issues, but the finish quality and potency of the bike while it ran served notice to many.
Michael Czysz’ exploits in that TT are immortalized in the documentary Charge.
The following year, Motocsysz won the TT Zero (as it was renamed) easily outclassing contestants from other countries including well funded, venture backed teams. Csysz would go on to win three more times, increasing the average speed of electric race bikes by 30% to nearly match those of 650cc gasoline equivalents.
Michael Csysz was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and Troy Siahaan wrote a beautiful column about it on motorcycle.com. In it, he pretty much sums up the kind of attitude that enabled him to do the things he did.
Michael leaves behind a wife, two children, and a not insignificant impact on 21st century motorcycle design.