Unlike our familiar world in its constantly expanding universe, a racers world resides in a unique universe- it is forever collapsing.  A racer’s single goal is to go faster and faster and by doing so a racer compresses both time and space… that is until he/she arrives at Bonneville.

Road racing is a very complicated, precise ballet conducted at lethal speeds.  Road racing is full, populated with stimuli, road racing is Rachmaninoff; ten thousand notes and no pause.  Bonneville is not road racing and challenging the salt on an electric moto is something entirely different.  Bonneville is solo and white, purely singular, Bonneville is single note; played once and held for two minutes.

Bonneville is exactly as you imagine; white, flat and vast- simply like no other place on earth.  The history is palatable, brave men and spurred-on machines working together, trying to go faster… faster than anyone else… ever.  It is both not important and very important at the same time.  Bonneville calls the individual, the tinkerer and the small team to battle and try to become victorious over the invisible but sizable foe- resistance. It is a battle for all but resistance plays fair, letting the slower warriors off with less effort saving its strength for the faster more worthy opponents.


Family affair; Terry Czysz (father) on the rear wheel, Max Czysz (11) on the seat, Ryan Taylor (MotoCzysz GM) on the bars and Enzo Czysz (13) contemplating his Bonneville debut in 2011

Zen on the Ghost Track

The track marshal cues his radio, “This is an FIM return run for a world record attempt, MotoCzysz bike #3, ready to launch.” Although the MotoCzysz E1pc is 100% ready, is it also dead silent, I hear the response over the nearby radio.  “FIM return trip, world record attempt, track is clear, bike #3 is a go for launch.” The marshal looks directly at me, simulates closing his imaginary visor then points his green flag at me and waves it.  In front of me lies nothing… a huge 5 mile track that is all but invisible, for sure not a turn in sight.  The track is so long and the salt is so flat that you can actually detect a slight rise in the middle of the track, created from- the curvature of the earth!

Riding at Bonneville your focus is myopic… your task so singular… the whole experience, transcending.  In preparing the E1pc to go as fast as possible we also virtually eliminated every way of slowing it down- no gears, no engine braking and no front brakes, all that was left was one very small (and very ineffective) race rear brake.

Shoulders and elbows as narrow as possible, knees and feet tight against the machine, one hand on the fork leg and even little fingers tucked away neatly.  Seat up, head down, so low you have to strain your eyes upward to even partially see down the track.  It is hard to breath in this position, it is very uncomfortable.  However, your most effective weapon against your enemy, resistance is to try to sneak by without being seen and in our case also heard.

The electric machine is at home on the salt.  The electric motor is pure, creating little more than torque, certainly no unwanted distractions masking the deep zen experience of speed.  No unnecessary noise, no ridiculous vibration and no depressing interruption in acceleration for another gear changes.  On the salt every other non-electric motorcycle sounded and looked dated, even antiquated, this was unexpected but very reassuring. In the future- ALL ICE  land speed records will fall to challengers using electric drives!

The MotoCzysz E1pc is a road racer and in 2010 won the two biggest electric road races in the world, even setting track records at both races.  On our first pass down the salt broke the E1pc broke what was the current land speed record.  We calculated we could achieve 160mph, my goal was 165,  ultimately we reached 163mph, so the results were very positive and right on target.

2011, 2012

Like most teams on the salt for the first time, MotoCzysz did not set a LSR… so we are very eager for our second try in 2011, in fact- enthusiasm is running so high that we have even put into motion some plans for an EPIC attempt in 2012!



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49 Responses to “Bonneville”

  1. Matt Hubbell says:

    Hey man, you are starting to sound like Obi Wan Kenobi, but I get it. When you are at high speed and there is no sounds, it is like a different world. I have had the same feeling on Downhill race skis, and I can’t wait to ride a bike like the E1pc. The only bad part I can for see are the speeding tickets :)

    Stay Hungry!!

  2. ludofrenchalpes says:

    la moto, est un sel dans la vie ,bonneville en est un étalon de platine ,163Mph cela permet de voir défiler beaucoup de choses
    de tous les détails à re-vérifier encore et encore …
    bravo pour votre performance !
    à votre inspiration de maitre d’œuvre,à votre team spirit, la relève est en place ;)
    bravo pour votre passion , et pour notre grand plaisir !!!
    beaucoup vous envie

    #ps# une mis à jour de la boutique ?

  3. Baron says:

    In the ‘ICE’ world we usually ‘congratulate’ the winner so let me be the first to offer a hearty congratulations to Lightning Motorcycles, the fastest production electric motorcycle in the world as observed by the FIM and the AMA. 173.88 MPH!!!!!! There top speed one way was an astounding 176MPH

    All the best with next years effort, the race is on!

  4. Isaac says:

    Reply Baron: So, you speak for MotoCzysz now? =oS

    Yeah those guys won ‘this’ year…but let’s take a look back at TTIOM ’09 and what happened. Then let’s take a look at this year….MC dominated. I am sure that next time at the flats the very same will happen.

  5. baron says:

    I was not speaking for MC, just speaking for my small internal combustion based paddock on the salt. I found the following comment by MC to be awkward, particularly after he was so graciously welcomed by all:

    MC stated;
    “On the salt every other non-electric motorcycle sounded and looked dated, even antiquated”

    What kind of racer makes such a statement after losing his race and having never competed in the non-electric classes?

  6. Michael Czysz says:

    I agree with you about the gracious warm welcome and genuine camaraderie from all the participants and workers at BUB speed trials- it was awesome and one of the real reasons we will be back next year.

    That said, I am very familiar with the torque curve and power delivery of non-electric motorcycles. I also listened and witnessed dozens of ICE riders run slower times/speeds than ours while loosing traction. This was not meant to be a dig on any non-electric competitor, the non-electric racers had some of the most fascinating/unique motorcycles I have ever seen- but our electric torque/drive is different.

    I was amazed by how perfect (though not high enough) our wheel speed traces were; an ideal parabolic ramp up to top speed within a few hundred yards of mile marker 2, nearly dead flat speed (within one mph) for the timed mile, then a perfect linear line back to zero. No interruptions in power deliver due to wheel slip or up shifting- just a perfect seamless building speed to mile marker 2.

    While never riding a non-electric at Bonneville before, I am quite certain no ICE machine could come close to matching an electric motors drive on the salt. This is the basis for the antiquated comment. No disrespect intended- just my perspective based on the data that I was uniquely privy to.

    As far as “losing”- OK. The “winner” did not set a LSR their first time to Bonneville either; fortunately BUB will run the speed trials again next year for all the “losers”.

    We had a goal of 160mph based on our calculations and empirical data and achieved 163mph. We would not be very good engineers or understand our motorcycle very well if we had a result that varied far from our estimate. We did not go there hoping for some baseless 200mph miracle. We were very happy with our run, it was dead on target and we all really enjoyed our first attempt. Next year we will simply elevate our target and design for that result.

    See you in Bonneville.

  7. AGA says:

    It would be really intresting to see a clip from on board mounted camera when this machine is on the track just for one hot lap. Without any restriction in controller. Or just pure acceleration from 0-100mph vs 600cc bike. Just to imagine how powerfull it can be. There are couple of videos in the track but I don’t think it shows 100 % potential of this machine.

  8. Matt Hubbell says:

    I need a IOM TT Winner 2010 Motoczysz E1pc t-shirt with the green number 3, with the number 1 inside. Can you get on that? I am an XL.


  9. Mike Spoelker says:

    So Michael, if I read the photo correctly, how much courage needed to be mustered to run 160 on a bike which apparently has no brakes??? Great effort, I love it.

    One of your June 2010 SBR/KTM students

  10. Arnaud says:

    Hello Michael,

    that reminds me some Indian story… I well remember “the world fastest Indian” film that we have seen in Kelly’s Olympian (December 2007). That was my last day at Motoczysz, nice memories. I guess that was very emotional as an experience. Well done.

    Keep going!


  11. Camille says:


    I’d eat a whole gearbox to fill what you experienced 2 weeks ago!

    When I take the high speed train, now I seat in the Zen area, just to hear the air whistling when we reach the 200 mph, dreamin I’m on the E1pc ;-)

    Anyway, I’m always impressed to see you’re as fast in engineering developement as you’re on the track.

    Any guess of what could be your speed target next year???

  12. ashwinchander says:

    good luck in 2011. i am eagerly waiting. i first heard about c1 and caught ur show on discovery turbo in india. i lowed the effort , the enthusiasm and the whole team. i would love to see the working and the making of the E1pc . discovery turbo may not air it soon. so what i as a fan suggest is that u upload the videos on ur site for people like me. when u describe ur experience in words my blood pressure rises my heart beats faster. but at the same time as a growing engineering student i would do anything to see the working of this machine. till next time………..

  13. Tyler Calvert says:

    Again I come to this blog and continue to see innovation and progress, where others have given up. I am truely amazed, and eagerly await a chance to own a bike such as the E1pc or the C1. Keep up the hard, and fascinating work.


  14. marc says:

    Lightning Motorcycle a great bike a pioneer for sure
    but NOT a production motorcycle

  15. marc says:

    i agree gassers are old fashioned
    when I tell people it costs me 80 cents to commute to work all week
    on my electric motorcyle, they are impressed
    right away they think EV’s are a good idea
    as they know they are spending $20 to $30 a week in their gasser
    they don’t mind at all i say why would i ride an old fashioned gasser?
    great picture on the flats
    MC what was your Wh/mi at IOM?
    I can’t figure as you added secret weapon to 12.5 kwh pack

  16. Isaac says:


    I am starting to feel the same way now. Every time I look at the MotoCzysz E1 other bikes look, well, look ancient. His design is a fresh and I really love the minimalism of it. It’s sad that he has no plans to produce this beautiful machine however I am glad that he wants his technology to be licensed. I’d love to see a Tesla roadster powered by a MotoCzysz motor and batteries. In fact I saw one in downtown Seattle last week. His bike will no doubt be featured in a museum and it should be too.

    As for the C1, yes I’d love to it compete in Moto GP 2012. I have no illusions that with the right rider he will dominate. Now if Dorna, SL made an eGP series……and Michael ran – I’d just go insane! Keep up the fantastic work you’re doing! Oh, I finally caught ‘Birth of a Racer’ on HD Theater. I have so much more respect for you learning all you have been through. You an inspiration me, truly.

    - Isaac

  17. Isaac says:

    Oh snap almost forgot:

    Happy Thanks Giving everyone!

  18. ludofrenchalpes says:

    ok ok ok ; une mise à jour du site devenais nécessaire ….. mais argh :(
    ce n’est une “révolution ” , juste un nouveau habillage … plus média bientôt ??
    bien conscient que l’équipe web est réduite au mini …
    fini le e-shop ,pour vous soutenir avec vos couleurs ? c’est dommage …
    un c6 ! , quel C6 ? ou est il !?
    je suis un fan , mais je ne peu assouvir , je veut faire grandir ma joie de voir votre firme pousser les murs !!!
    donnez des réponses pour nous tous :)
    en route pour un soleil radieux sur les projets à venir .
    que devient le C1 ? quelle % d’évolutions depuis le spec 2006 . a t’il vraiment rugie au bio-diesel ? une chance pour le saint Graal du MOTOGP ou SBK , AMA , que dit la dorna ?
    que donne la F.I.M au sujet du (E-power ) car ,il ne semble pas prévue de session 2011 ni à laguna , ni aux US . donc ??? ……… TTXGP ??
    votre collaboration depuis BAJAJ , qui as des parts de KTM … le élec “free-ride” motorized by czysz … utopique ??
    990 adventure KTM devient mavizen TTx N°03
    moi, j’aimerais tant ,un pack D1 dans vieux 600XT ténéré 87′ ;)
    l’obstination de votre marque à avoir un coup d’avance sur les prochains standards ,mérite le soutient .
    que ,le père noël ,vous comble de belles choses pour cette année à venir à vous Monsieur , votre famille ,vos collaborateurs & team R&D ,vos partenaires & autres anges
    mais surtout la santé ,dans le corps ,la tête & dans le cœur ;)
    de belles fêtes de fin d’années à tous !!! XXX

  19. Matt Hubbell says:

    The new web site looks wicked good Mike, nice job!!!

    Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to all you guys


  20. ludofrenchalpes says:

    heureuse et belle année à tous !!!
    des nouvelles sur les projets en cours ??
    il n’y a plus de magasin de souvenirs ???

  21. Matt Hubbell says:

    The MotoCzysz 2011 race schedule should be on this web site. I have to say, I am looking forward to the E-bike racing more than MotoGP this year. Everything is really heating up and some of our competition is looking good out there. As fans we need to know what are team is planing for this year, so we can be ready for your full support.

    Please don’t tell me you girls already posted this on Face Book :)


  22. Matt Hubbell says:

    FIM E-Power + TTXGP= Victory! Let the ass kicking begin boys :) Tell me we are in it to win it. If not don’t talk to me.

  23. ludofrenchalpes says:

    F.I.M & TTXGP vont avoir un “deal” ensemble !? triste constat que peu de couverture médias
    le calendrier va prendre des dates de courses ou ? , qu’elles formats ? votre avis ? qu’elle risque ? beaucoup de “spots” apparaissent dans le monde pour fournirent du spectacle , autant d’écueils qui ce forment …
    Mr czysz vous avez des nerfs d’acier ! pour assimiler ces mise à jour !!

    une expression dit que : ” la vie est une dure lutte ”
    vous ,votre firme , votre team avez des poing de titane !
    donnez nous de l’étincelle de news car il va bientôt être le printemps de beaux jours pour vos projets ;)

    Rémy motor ont t’ils vraiment calmer télémécanic ?

    que le soleil brille sur portland !!!

  24. Matt Hubbell says:

    TTXGP to race in Portland! Will we see MC Hammer ride again on his home track. I hope so.

  25. Only a few blogger would discuss this topic the way you do.~.,;:

  26. Isaac says:

    I’m getting really antsy waiting to see the new ’11 E1. I cannot wait for the TTIOM this year. I wish you the best of luck Team Czysz (not that you need it) and may you dominate again this year!

    Oh and Michael…please license your design out to Tamiya Model Co. I’d love to have a 1:12 scale kit on my mantle.

  27. Keith says:

    Can someone please tell me if there is any information on MotoCzysz racing the 990cc bike in MotoGP next season? I was crushed when I found out that there was not going to be a American MotoGP team a couple of years ago. I have been antsy since MotoGP anounced they were going back to 990cc in 2012. I, along with many others, would love to see an American rider on an American bike and team. It would be beyond words. Besides, the bike looks amazing and it needs to be seen on the track and TV. I can’t imagine the amount of pride that I would feel seeing the MotoCzysz bike flying around the track at the Indy GP.

  28. ludofrenchalpes says:

    des news ?????? F.I.M va présenter la 1er liste d’invités pour 2012 !!
    avez vous, votre carton d’inscription !?? MOTOGP & MOTO2
    allez vous proposer le “6X-FLEX” pour eux ou, le moyen mortel comme nous autres ?
    le soleil brille t’il sur PORTLAND ? je l’espère vraiment … ;)
    des news serait les bienvenues , des vidéos ou images du E1pc 2011 TT race , du C1 civil , du C6 , du D1-D10 “valise” du ……… je m’emballe !! :)
    bref , Mr czysz mettez nous “au courant ” de vos projets !!!
    à tous, vos collaborateurs & partenaires
    le soutien est à l’écoute :)

  29. ludofrenchalpes says:

    donc des news de l’extérieur :) :

    avec les rider : mark miller & Michael Rutter !! pouvez vous confirmer ?

    de la joie à savoir que 2 prototypes czysz , seront sur la piste !
    vivement des nouvelles de votre firme !!
    ps : terry ,garder votre pompe en sous-régime ;)
    que la force soit avec vous et votre team !!

  30. Brad says:

    With the 2011 IOM coming up, I would just like to wish team Motoczysz good luck. A special thanks to Michael Czysz for keeping innovation alive on this side of pond. We need more leaders like you. I can’t imagine it’s been easy by any means. Go get them Mark. A warm welcome Michael Rutter. I expect a 1,2 finish from the team this year. Cheers!

  31. ludofrenchalpes says:

    la patience, est une qualité …

    la nouvelle mouture de votre firme ,me pique les yeux !!!
    le “floutage partiel” de votre prototype sur la vidéo ,dois faire soulever les spéculations !!!
    - sans maitrise , la puissance n’est rien .
    l’évolution de votre firme est impressionnante ,bravo :)
    le banc de test doit ,prendre beaucoup moins de place dans le local technique .
    le 8 juin ( si le temps le permet ) beaucoup de choses ,ne seront que spéculations , vous contre les autres .
    seul le chrono le dira ,le champagne est déjà mérité
    Mr Miller & Rutter , prenez bien soins de vous !! vous êtes des sur-hommes !!!
    que les E1pc 10.1 & 11, ainsi que le D1-11 VRD ,devienne un standard pour les temps futur .
    que le soleil brille sur l’ile de man ;)

  32. Sultan says:

    That’s a thunderlicious flashback up there ^ .

    Hopefully Motoczysz at I.O.M. will sound like that.

  33. Sultan says:

    Great Isle of Man TT radio coverage here:

    Remember there is a fairly large time difference for listeners in the U.S.

    Isle of Man TT race schedule here:

  34. Jim Williams says:

    Picture of Michael Rutter aboard the 2011 E1pc during practice round on Saturday.

  35. Matt says:

    For all of you non twats like me, you need to get on twiter to keep up.

  36. Sultan says:

    Twits ‘R’ Us.

  37. Sultan says:

    For twits and non-twits:

    Live I.O.M. TT Zero radio coverage at 9:15 AM, PST today(6/9) here:

  38. ludofrenchalpes says:

    tout simplement bravo , chapeau bas !! à l’homme qui dit qu’il aller tout faire pour réussir , la sueur remplie la coupe à bout de bras ;)
    BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO à tous le team & partenaires

  39. matt hubbell says:

    PIKES PEEK, if you need a 2nd rider for that one, you have my number.

  40. ludofrenchalpes says:

    bravo à vous & à votre firme pour ce podium !!
    BIG UP ! ;)

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