MotoCzysz E1pc | First Ride

Riding the Digital Superbike

By Alan Cathcart, Photography by Kevin Wing

They say: “Ready to win.”
We say: “We’re ready for a production version.”

The chance to ride Michael Rutter’s TT Zero-winning MotoCzysz E1pc came at the eBike’s home circuit, Portland International Raceway, a 1.97-mile road course with a drag strip front straight that allowed for full exploitation of the aerodynamic advantages of the wild-looking, winged bodywork.

The MotoCzysz is surprisingly slim but quite long, which allows you to push yourself back in the seat in a straight line to minimize drag. The view from the bridge is subtly distinctive. The large-diameter steering head is embossed with the Digital Superbike slogan and stamped E1 1/11, denoting that this frame was first used on the 2011 bike then adapted for use in 2012. In front of you is an AIM digital dash with a square LED “fuel gauge” across the top that reads from 99 to 0.

To boot up the MotoCzysz, simply pull the toggle switch on the left of the dash out and upward and then press the red button on the right clip-on just as you would on an internal combustion-engined motorcycle. Now you’re live, so just twist to get some arm-straightening acceleration.

Power builds smooth and steady all the way to the 10,000-rpm limiter, but the motor’s massive, 162-lb.-ft. dose of torque meant I destroyed a brand-new Pirelli 200-section rear slick, identical to what Rutter used to win the TT Zero race, in just 16 laps! The eBike’s acceleration is awesome, and all delivered to the sound of silence. The MotoCzysz floats along silently at more than 160 mph, producing zero emissions and also zero noise. All you hear through your helmet is the hum of the Pirellis over the tarmac, plus a little chain noise.

Winding the throttle wide open exiting the final right-hander onto PIR’s pit straight saw the MotoCzysz hunker down as the substantial rearward transfer of 525 pounds drove the rear tire into the pavement, easily out-accelerating a 1098R Ducati I came across. To my surprise, the portly MotoCzysz decisively outbraked the Italian V-twin into the double right-hander at the end of the straight, the great bite from its radial Brembos aided by regenerative braking.

In response to Rutter’s request, this latest-generation E1pc is fit with a four-way switch that allows the rider to vary the amount of regen available or switch it off altogether. It’s important to adjust the regen on the go with your left hand while keeping the power dialed in with your right. Otherwise, when adding regen, you may find the bike will slow abruptly unless you have at least partial-throttle dialed in.

The one-speed bike was ultra-stable even under the heaviest braking because you don’t have to bother slamming it down through the gears. And the single best ingredient in the E1pc handling package is the Czysz-designed (and patented) oval-section carbon fiber fork with an adjustable-rate link operating on a monoshock. The Czysz fork delivers supreme confidence thanks to a perfectly damped Race Tech shock, which helps it deliver fantastic feedback without stiction-induced vagueness. And the fact that suspension response is separated from the steering means you can trail-brake deep into the apex of a turn without any fear of the fork freezing or failing to absorb bumps. Rutter’s a fan, too.

The best compliment I can pay the MotoCzysz is that it’s an impressive sportbike that just happens to be powered by an electric motor rather than a gas engine. Handling is on another level, due to the extremely low CG and user-friendly architecture. This makes turn-in under braking more intuitive and practically indistinguishable from a normal bike. Moreover, the Portland-built eBike is composed during turn-in, on the brakes or off, and requires less labor to flick from side to side at the end of the long back straight.

I hope the MotoCzysz is headed to a country road near you or, preferably, near me! With a maximum quoted range from a single charge of 150 miles at street speeds, the MotoCzysz has enough practicality to be the ultimate Sunday morning ride. And a range of 100 miles at track speeds, as I confirmed at PIR, is sufficient for owners to have fun. So here’s hoping that Michael Czysz’s business plan includes a Michael Rutter Replica E1pc fit with all the accoutrements to make it street-legal. If he can sell it for Bimota prices, I reckon it will find willing customers. A sexy-looking bike that beats Honda—sorry, Mugen—to win Isle of Man TT races? Stick lights and a horn on it already, Michael!

Tech Spec

Evolution
Incremental improvements in aerodynamics, cooling efficiency, and chassis geometry make the E1pc better than ever.

Rivals
Brammo Empulse RR, Mission R

Tech
Price na
Motor type l-c permanent-magnet brushless DC
Motor controller D1g1tal Dr1ve
Battery Dow Kokam lithium-ion
Battery capacity 12.5 kWh
Battery voltage 330
Clutch Direct drive
Transmission na
Claimed horsepower 201.0 bhp @ 8000 rpm
Claimed torque 162.0 lb.-ft. @ 1 rpm
Frame Carbon fiber twin-spar
Front suspension MotoCzysz carbon fiber fork/Race Tech shock with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping
Rearsuspension Race Tech shock with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping
Front brake Dual Brembo four-piston calipers, 320mm discs
Rear brake Brembo two-piston caliper, 245mm disc with regenerative braking
Front tire 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Superbike
Rear tire 200/60ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Superbike
Rake/trail 22.5°/3.5 in.
Seat height 31.5 in.
Wheelbase 56.5 in.
Claimed range 150 mi. street/38 mi. race
Recharge time 4 hours @ 240V, 8 hrs. @ 110V
Claimed curb weight 525 lbs.
Color Silver
Available na
Warranty na
Contact MotoCzysz
915 NE Davis Street
Portland, OR 97232
1.503.546.6686
www.motoczysz.com
Verdict 4 out of 5 stars
This electric IOM-winner can keep pace with an 1198R. Any questions?

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