MotoCzysz – The American Motorcycle
The term ‘American Motorcycle’ is synonymous with large, 45 degree V-Twins made for cruising the highways. When talks about American, they mean Harley-Davidson or Indian. Recently there are a number of small, independent companies that are attempting to take back the performance motorcycle category which all this American iron founded at the beginning of the last century.
Everyone knows the story of Buell. Great ideas and interesting bikes but that Harley powerplant is the Achille’s heel. Having finally admitted that fact, they will soon be moving over to Rotax engines which KTM also relies on. There are, however, some that you probably have never heard of. Fischer Motor Company, for example, produces the Hyosung powered MRX (designed by Glynn Kerr, I believe). The company offers an interesting a la carte approach to building your new bike that I find appealing. You can pick up the base model for about $8k and build up from there. Order it equipped with Ohlins suspension and carbon fiber bodywork if you like, which is unheard of in dealerships for any other company. Unfortunately, I think they may missed class the day they taught “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” since their 650cc v-twin can’t compete in any national series. Due to this it must be considered a dedicated street or trackday bike. Don’t take this as being too critical as I have never even seen one of these in person, but it appears as though the Japanese sportbike monolith could crush them if it even glanced in their direction.
I turned my attention to racing in the last paragraph since motorsports drives the market offerings that are available to the public in the area of high performance vehicles. Fischer is dabbling at the entry level in a fiercely competitive market. On the other side of the continuum stands a man named Michael Czysz. He is taking aim at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and is possibly the best hope for putting an American bike at the top of the rankings. The MotoCzysz C1 990 obviously turns the Japanese formula on an inline-4 sportbike on it’s head. The company has patents on counter rotating “Z-line” engines which makes for a perfectly balance powerplant. The Flex forks allow wheel movement in a third axis to provide better handling when the bike is leaned over. The list goes on and on. . .
Obviously, this bike wouldn’t be legal in Superbike or any kind of stock series. That leaves only MotoGP, where pretty much the only technical limitation is displacement. MotoCzysz hasn’t been raced, but don’t throw it onto the motorcycle racing compost heap of history yet. Their C1 990 production model was the focus of some parade laps at the 2007 USGP at Laguna Seca proving to hundreds of thousands of people that there really is a working bike behind all the hype!
Tonight, the Discover Channel will air “Birth of a Racer” focused on the development of MotoCzysz . . . Tune in learn some more about the new “American Iron”. (It just sounds better than American Titanium).
(images are probably copyright to Fischer and MotoCzysz, but it’s not posted anywhere)