The July 18 press release from MotoCzysz was interesting, if a bit curious:
Limited-Edition C1 990 Race Replica - Accepting Deposits
[On] the eve of the 2006 USGP, MotoCzysz will begin accepting deposits for 50 limited-edition replica versions of the C1 factory racebikes being unveiled [that] weekend. This will be the first opportunity to own what will be known as the most technically advanced motorcycle ever made in America. The non-street-legal replica C1 will share many of the specs as the factory racebike, including carbon-fiber frame and sub-frame, 6X Flex front suspension, DUO rear suspension, and, of course, the longitudinal, twin-crank, triple-overhead-cam, 990 Z-Line 4 engine. With horsepower figures of 200-plus and weighing less than 375 lbs., the replica C1 is a stunning example of America's ability to produce a world-class racebike. The bikes are offered at $100,000 and will begin delivering in early 2007.
Several questions came to mind as we read this, the most obvious being the firm's use of the phrase "factory racebike." We're fairly certain none of the MotoCzysz prototypes pictured in magazines over the last two years have been tested in competition, so what actual racebikes these 50 proposed second-generation motorcycles are replicas of is open to conjecture. On the subject, the firm's Web site (www.motoczysz.com) states, "Own your own slice of motorcycle history; place a [10 percent] deposit down on one of the first 50 MotoCzysz C1 990 MotoGP Replicas." Now they're talking about a "MotoGP replica," which further darkens the waters. Is it real, or is it Memorex?
OK, enough skepticism. The MotoCzysz prototype shown at Laguna Seca in July looked wickedly trick, with loads of newfangled-and patented-engine and chassis technology the Japanese and European manufacturers have yet to figure out. Indeed, in the extensive feature story we published more than a year ago, European Correspondent Alan Cathcart had plenty of positive things to say about the original prototype, despite its slow-revving, 120-horsepower engine and chunky, 401-pound dry weight. "We're going to build the company slowly while staying out of debt," designer Michael Czysz told us last year. "I want to be known as the guy who built an American motorcycle company, not just a single bike."
There are plenty of doubters out there who question MotoCzysz's motorcycle technology and its development model, which turns on its head the traditional process of designing, prototyping, performance testing and building a new motorcycle before offering production models for sale. Still, with seemingly a bank vault of money behind it, a cleverly designed prototype or three in its Portland, Oregon, factory and several $10,000 deposits reportedly in hand, MotoCzysz seems poised for the next step-actually building and selling motorcycles to the public. It'll be interesting to see what unfolds.