The Big Car Database

Motoczysz Motorcycles

MotoCzysz is an American motorcycle company based in Portland, Oregon that intended to compete in MotoGP. 


The C1 prototype engine was designed with perfect balance not needing a balance shaft. Some of the patented innovations included a slipper clutch with twin clutches, and a unique front suspension. The business also developed a successful electric racing motorcycle, the E1pc.


MotoCzysz was founded by American engineer and former motorcycle racer, Michael Czysz who died in May 2016. In June 2009, MotoCzysz raced in the world's first zero-emissions motorcycle grand prix. The race took place on the Isle of Man TT course. This race was the subject of the 2011 documentary Charge where the MotoCzysz team were referred to as the "swaggering American hotshots". In October 2009, MotoCzysz and Bajaj Auto announced a joint venture to create a green automobile. Analysts speculated that the vehicle could be a hybrid vehicle. MotoCzysz teamed with Remy Electric Motors LLC to develop an electric drive system for four-wheeled vehicles. The company then signed a deal with TAC Motors of Brazlia in 2012 to supply those drives for TAC Motors' Stark SUV.

History of the Czysz Family

Motorcycling has been part of the family for nearly as long as there have been motorcycles. Pictured (L to R) Great Grandmother Anna and Great Grandfather William Jefferson (Jeff) Powell, in Colton, California. Anna and Jeff Powell were Michael's grandmother's (Betty Czysz) parents; his grandfather’s (Clarence Czysz) parents were also motorcyclists. The passion for motorcycling comes from both sides of the Czysz family.

I never grew out of the inherited love for motorcycles, fortunately, I did grow out of the inherited family proportions. - MC

Clarence is photographed “in the pits” draining fuel from the bike. Sand contamination was a constant problem due to the race being held literally on Daytona Beach.

When Clarence Czysz (grandfather) took delivery and modified America’s first Featherbed to Class C racing requirements MOTORCYCLIST was there to report, “Clarence Czysz, one of America’s greatest tuners is owner of this creation.” The photo above ran as a side bar piece to the main article stating “Not a bad riding position, either, considering the proportions of Clarence.”

Grandpa should have dialed in a little more “proportion compensating” rear preload. - MC

“Special” was a term commonly used to define a motorcycle that was custom built or so heavily modified by an individual that it could no longer be identified or connected to a manufacturer, often more “rat” than “special.” However this dirtbike was more “special” than most, the engine - a dual overhead cam Norton Manx.

Buddy autographed this brochure for Michael “Mike” Czysz when he was a young boy. Buddy was Michael's first race hero, he remembers the honor and thrill of helping to push Buddy's race bike up to the grid for a race at WSMC.

Buddy was a diabetic so my grandmother baked a cottage cheese pie/torte he could eat when he came over. It is still one of my favorite deserts and my grandmother makes it for us nearly every time we visit. Even my boys love it, though my wife usually will select the alternative, any alternative. - MC

The bike- a Harley Davidson KR45, the track- one mile flat track near Sacramento, California.

Czysz's Aermacchi, supplied by Harley Davidson, turned 12,500 rpm around Ascot’s 1/2 mile track, circa ’61. In his rookie year (note the R on the plate), Swede raced flat track and later matured into a highly celebrated racer. In the 1973 Indy 500, Swede tragically lost his life in a devastating accident just laps after leading the race. Rest in peace, Swede Savage.

The tragedy of death in the pursuit of victory is great - But quality of life in the pursuit of victory is even greater. -Michael Czysz

Before the world's best Grand Prix racers and machines ever turned a wheel at Laguna Seca, they raced twice at Daytona. In 1965 the United States hosted the second USGP as part of then, a ten race series. That year, the teams traveled to some of the most historic tracks in the world- Assen, Nurburgring, Spa, Sachsenring, Brno, Monza and the biggest single race of the series, the Isle of Man- but it all started at Daytona.

This race was one of the last great victories for the Czysz Norton singles; shortly the new Norton twins would outpace the Manx. Terry Czysz (father) made up a special exhaust pipe and intake for the GP event. The pipe diameter was increased and the overall length was reduced and fitted with a reverse megaphone. Similarly, the carburetor was fitted with a large wide mouth intake that curved continuously from the opening to the carburetor. These “top end” modifications seem obvious today, but in 1965 they drew much attention from the competitors. The bike was also fitted with a new type of brake, an Al Gunter single sided disk.

In 1965, a Czysz Norton competed against the best motorcycles in the world and beat all but one- Mike “the bike” Hailwood on his factory MV Agusta. Will history repeat itself? This time with a Czysz built American bike? We are betting it will.

Colin Jensen had the idea to endurance (4 hour race) his Supermono and asked Michael to co-pilot. They were friends, Czysz was the 250 champion and never crashed- it seemed like a good idea. During warm-up, 1 hour before race, Czysz went out first to scrub in the race tires, first lap, first corner.. bam!

This motorcycle gave me my first experience of riding and crashing very expensive machinery. MC



The C1 features a carbon fiber frame that exhibits more stiffness than most other motorcycles. The frame also serves as the bike's airbox.


The 990 cc four-cylinder engine is mounted to the frame longitudinally, rather than transversely as on most similarly configured motorcycles. A transverse arrangement fights a bike's gyroscopic tendency to stand up when leaned over and applying throttle. The C1, in order to negate the resulting gyroscopic forces of the longitudinal orientation, has its lengthwise-mounted inline 4 engine cut in half, with the resulting crankshaft halves counter-rotating. Thus, the bike handles with no noticeable gyroscopic force from the engine.

Two of the bike's four throttle bodies are controlled mechanically, while the other two are controlled electronically by the ECU, hypothetically smoothing power delivery. The ECU-controlled throttle bodies can be adjusted by computer for refinement of the throttle curve.

Unfortunately for the company, the FIM and Dorna reduced the engine capacity for a MotoGP class to 0.8 litre (800 cc) for the 2007 season, rendering the C1's configuration ineligible for competition in that class. Michael Czysz commented in a blog post that they were looking towards racing the bike in either AMA or WSB competition.


As of mid-2010, MotoCzysz was offering to take down payments towards 50 MotoGP replica bikes offered for $100,000. A production date was unspecified.


The C1 was recognized with Robb Report MotorCycling's 2007 Achievement in Design Award.


Main article: MotoCzysz E1pc

The E1pc all-electric sportsbike was announced in June 2009 as an entrant for the TTXGP but did not finish the race. In 2010, it took first place in the 2010 TT Zero event at the Isle of Man TT, and set a new course record.

For the 2011 TT Zero Race, MotoCzysz riders Michael Rutter and Mark Miller took first and second places and for 2012 the same riders finished first and third.

In the 2013 TT Zero Race, Rutter again won at a new record race-average speed of 109.675 mph, with team-mate Miller suffering breakdown.