The biggest win and the smallest road

The Big Win

So challenging is the IOM TT Snafell course that to be competitive three consecutive years in a row is difficult; winning 3 consecutive years in a row is a rare feat indeed.

In 2010, the first year the TT Zero had official TT status, MotoCzysz introduced our first proprietary D1g1tal Dr1ve, this was a big upgrade to the previous brushed DC motor, the result was complete domination, our first TT win and a new lap record.  In 2011, we returned with a completely all new 011E1pc electric grand prix machine including another big advancement in the D1g1tal Dr1ve.  We also brought back an upgraded 2010 E1pc as is was so far ahead of the rest of the field just the previous year. That year MotoCzysz won, for the second year in a row and set another new lap record. The old 2010, now a 2010.5, was still strong enough to beat all the others and MotoCzysz took second place as well.  In 2012 we knew competition was coming and it did.

Sometimes there are moments in time that are so definitive there is a before and an after, from that moment on.  In 2011 electric motorcycle racing had one of those moments. By the time the 2011 TT Zero race rolled around electric motorcycle racing had been holding organized events for two years. Needless to say electric motorcycles were still in their infancy and compared to highly evolved internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles were poorly constructed and … very, very, slow. In those early years there was little to no interest in the racing and those who actually did see the racing spent most of their time snickering if not outright pointing and laughing. We all experienced self-deprecation.

During the very first practice of the 2011 TT Zero, the MotoCzysz took off from the starting line like 600cc, proper road race bike, and took the audience by complete surprise, that was only the beginning. Not the best strategy to start off the lap with such a consumption of energy but we wanted to improve “the show” and it was a fine start.  Halfway thru the same lap Rutter reached 150mph at Sulby straight, faster than some of the ICE motorcycles, “the moment”, though building came at the end of that lap. Up until 2011 most e-starters did not finish and those that did often were walked across or finishing a crawling speeds. On this pivotal lap Rutter crossed the start finish line doing an remarkable 122mph! It is not that the E1 was faster than a “normal” race bike, it is in fact that it was similar to a “normal” race bike that made it so exceptional. Never before had the fans seen a “lecy” run the entire course at nearly a 100mph, reach 150mph at Sulby and still finish the race at a 122mph.

That was the moment… At that very point electric motorcycles (at least on the island) earned some respect and a few more fans. One of those fans who witnessed that lap was John McGuinness. In 2012, (now 20 time TT champ) John McGuinness went from fan to competitor… And a major manufacturer brought a specially designed weapon for his use.

Mugen, a Japanese company founded by Hirotoshi Honda, son of Soichiro Honda, founder of Honda… (yes that Honda) came to the Island like his Dad did over 50 years ago and Honda has dominated the TT almost ever since. Mugen and McGuinness were strong right from the start. Though new to the island the rider and bike were already familiar with each other, in contrast I brought two new bikes for our riders to ride for the first time. Mugen/McGuinness were fast as expected but the E1pc with Rutter was just a little faster.

That day Mark Miller on the his MotoCzysz broke the highly anticipated 100mph lap and stood on the podium in third place. John McGuinness on the Mugen also broke the 100 and placed second but it was Michael Rutter that earned the second defining moment- when MotoCzysz won the TT Zero for the third time in a row, setting another new lap record, fastest at Sulby and will forever be credited as the first electric grand prix motorcycle to break the coveted 100mph lap.

(the little path) 
After a racer completes a lap at the IOM he/she slows down and makes a 180 degree turn onto a very narrow return “path”, just a few meters wide. Fans line up shoulder to shoulder on one side, leaning and reaching out, hoping to touch greatness and as the bug covered riders return from battle all go straight, thru the pits and up to park ferma where the teams are waiting. However, the first three have one stop to make first.

For three years now I have followed a route that puts me in different locations to collect different data during different parts of the race (now superstition) and have had the unbelievable fortune to walk down pit lane and watch every MotoCzysz bike we have entered in the TT Zero slowly come home up the tiny, fan lined, rock wall, were we meet face to face, time slows down (wish it could stop) then we enter victory circle.

MotoCzysz is now the winningest American motorcycle manufacture at the IOM.  Mark Miller and Michael Rutter are my heroes and I look forward to more meetings on that tiny path.

MC

29 Responses to “The biggest win and the smallest road”

  1. Matt Hubbell says:

    That was a great picture you just painted with these words. I would call that painting ( Passion ).

  2. Steve Stout says:

    So very glad to see the USA represented so positively. This is true herowork. I hope some small part of what you have accomplished can trickle down to future motorists (especially me!).

  3. Tyler Calvert says:

    I just wanted to say that I will tell anyone and everyone about you guys. I have been following you since 2006, when you where working on the C1 990, fell in love with the design, the sound, and the determination.

    When I heard you make the switch towards electric, I was apprehensive at first, but gradually came to understand why the switch was made. Rules, ugly rules.

    I began to become enamored with your determination to break the 100mph barrier. So much in fact, that I actually forgot about the C1 when the 2011 bike, with it’s pushrod suspension, was debuted.

    I watched headlines with extreme excitement when I heard you had an entirely new design again this year. I checked headlines on the IOM TT race hourly before the race, and every minute available while I waited with baited breath to find out if the ton was broken.

    I was giddier than a school girl with joy and laughter.

    Fast forward to now, and following talks with a few people on ducati.ms, I ended up on here re-living my simple memories of press releases, etc. I watched the “Birth of a Racer” yet again, only to be left with a hanging feeling.

    On part 7, at the 2 minute mark, it is said that “I don’t think there is a lot of gray area. I think what really happens to us is in 2 years, we are gone. Or in 2 years we are in this paddock racing head-to-head against these manufacturers.”

    http://motoczysz.com/images/uploads/video/BirthOfARacer_MotoCzysz_Chapter7.mp4

    You guys, are doing it. Right now. On a different level. Changing what the future of Motorcycles are more-so than what could ever be done with an ICE.

    You make me, as an American, proud of my Heritage, but more proud to say that you are a fellow countryman. With dreams, successes, and failures that are far greater than anything I have had the opportunity to experience. You are a reminder to all of us that hard work does pay dividends. And for that, I am thankful.

    Now when can I buy a road-going version of the C1 or the 2011 E1PC :)

  4. ludofrenchalpes says:

    BRAVO,BRAVO,BRAVO,BRAVO !!!! ;-)
    beaucoup d’émotions à la victoire de votre firme , de vos comparses & partenaires qui ont rendue cela possible.
    que cela gomme un peu, les soucis de santé ,et ouvre les portes ,les yeux de ceux qui doutent …
    goodspeed Michael !!!
    que Mr turpin & rapp donne aussi le champagne au E1pc13 !!
    de grâce, ré-ouvrer le shop !

  5. Robert says:

    Congratulations on another win Michael!!!!!!!!
    Now make me a electric bike for PDX riding.

  6. Jason says:

    Best race of the week. Absolute edge of the seat stuff. Far better than the petrol races. Ok, the senior was pretty good and a close second. John tried his heart out to beat you and it was so close. I was pleased for John that he got the consolation prize of the Senior win. Congratulations to everyone involved. TT racers are amazing, leccy or petrol.

  7. Loni Hull says:

    Congratulations on the dramatic win against the giant, Michael. I hope your health is improving by the day and you’ll be at the Isle to make it 5 in a row at 115+ mph next year!

    Regards,
    Loni Hull

  8. Tim Clark says:

    Just watched your story on Netflix. Had totally ignored electric racing.

    You guys are amazing! Was so happy when you won second time out.

    You are real pioneers. Determination, passion and making it happen.

    Inspiring. Brilliant. Thanks.

    I am a total fan now.

    TC

  9. I also just watched “Charged” on Netflix and was truly inspired. My son and I watched it together. He’s a Mechanical Engineering student at Virginia Tech and I think it was encouraging for him to see you guys work through your challenges. Way to hang in there and come back victorious. No amount of funding can guarantee that. It took vision and determination. Again, really inspiring. . . . Thanks so much.

  10. Russ Norman says:

    Been following your path for many years. I was very sad to see you leave the combustion area for electric but…

    In watching a recent promotion video for solidworks you talk a great deal about weight saving. Then I see your running boat anchors front and rear??? By this I mean those steel brake rotors??? I think WTH??? Why on Gods green earth would you be running HEAVY steel brake rotors when you can be running Brake Tech rotors that weigh 1lbs complete vs 4lbs each for the front?? It can’t be rule issues or price or that they don’t work because I’ve been running them rain or shine and they are incredible!!! And they don’t need to come up to temp, work rain or shine unlike carbon rotors and they are not $$$$$$$$$$$$..!!! So what’s the deal Mr. Czysz??? And no I am not associated with Brake Tech!!

    Kind regards,

    R. Norman

  11. Jim Murray says:

    Michael,

    I hope you are feeling better and hope to hear from you here.
    Do you ever talk with Erik Buell or help him with his teams bike?
    If you would like to talk to him let me know by E mail.

    Happy New Year

  12. What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of
    valuable know-how concerning unexpected feelings.

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    ???…

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  14. ludofrenchalpes says:

    Axiomatique Property LLC a acquis le bâtiment flex à 911-915 NE Davis St. à Portland, OR, l’ancien emplacement de Motoczysz, pour $ 2,55 millions $, ou environ 140 $ le pied carré, de Super Mosca LLC. L’immeuble 18 158 pieds carrés a été construit en 1947 sur 0,4 hectares dans le sous-marché Lloyd District de Multnomah County. Il dispose 8172 pieds carrés de création de bureaux sur deux niveaux et 9157 pieds carrés d’entrepôt. Il est situé à une courte distance de la route 84/Route 5 échange, et est à deux rues de Field Park Buckman. Motoczysz libéré la propriété au printemps de 2013.

    beaucoup de peine à la lecture de ceci . Monsieur czysz je vous souhaite vraiment le meilleur pour votre santée,votre femme,vos enfants , votre pére.vos partenaires ,collaboratteurs de génie qui au court de votre aventure ont fais d’un réve d’idée ,une réalitée de réve pour beaucoup de temps dans le marbre .
    j’ai eu la joie de suivre la naissance de votre ligne grace à un bon magazine français (moto-jounal) gloire à eux ;D !! qui est depuis encadrer ,ainsi que votre casquette czysz ,je suis vraiment passionné par votre/vos concepts ,vos réalisations digne de grandes firme .
    de l’émotion à chaqun de vos post ,photos sur ce blog ou la toile ,car ils sonnent juste , compréhensible de votre vision .que l’ont soit pour ou contre ces avis. cela me manque .
    quel est /sera l’avenir de votre enseigne ?! de BAJAJ “dream” venture ? de TAC motor le E-stark ?
    de vos brevets ,du moteur C1;C6? ,le 6X-flex ,du D1-11 VDR et D9 de vos prototypes bien alignés dans une belle vitrine ducati . cela est presque triste . ces machines ne doivent pas prendre la poussiére de l’oublie ,cela serais injuste.
    l’inspiration que vous avez déployé, tout comme bien des hommpes avant.
    serviront à d’autres pour un futur qui est en déjà en route
    de grace ,donnez quelques news sur le czysz’s spirit :-)

    que les rayons du soleil de portland brille sur vous, bien plus que ceux des soins produits …

    forza ,Mr michael czysz !! . #BL

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