Michael Czysz has a reputation for bucking trends and marching to the beat of his own drum. After creating his own gas-powered superbike, then an electric version that lapped the 37-miles of the Isle of Man TT at an average speed over 100 mph, Czysz’s motorcycling career has seemingly been one of David trying to topple the OEM Goliath and beat the odds.

Today, however, Czysz is flying. Astride his Ducati Superleggera, number 211 of 500 (even when he accepts convention, he chooses the rare and slightly unconventional among them), he banks hard right into turn 9 at Portland International Raceway – his home track – knee on the deck, elbow not far behind. The thundering V-Twin is booming as he gets on the gas, the full Akrapovic exhaust system shouting the Ducati’s intent at a roaring 103 decibels, way over the track’s sound limit.

Nobody cares. Those at the trackday hosted by MotoCorsa (which was awarded the number one Ducati dealer in the U.S. later that night), staff and participants alike, are simply happy to see Czysz back on two wheels. He’s a little thinner now, and only has the stamina for a handful of laps, but he’s beaming and fast as ever. Still, there’s a sense of relief each time MC comes back from a session. While always a significant moment in time, it has a deeper meaning now. Repeated over the course of multiple trackdays Czysz has run with dear friend and MotoCorsa bossman, Arun Sharma, the act of seeing Michael return from battle (in this case, with his 200 hp Italian stallion) gives a sense of hope that he can find his way back from anything. But Michael Czysz’s biggest battle is far more intimidating than a Ducati Superleggera.

Czysz embraces long-time friend, and six-time OMRRA champion, Shawn Roberti. “He’s one of a few guys I trust implicitly to be inches from my rear wheel,” Czysz says.

Czysz embraces long-time friend, and six-time OMRRA champion, Shawn Roberti. “He’s one of a few guys I trust implicitly to be inches from my rear wheel,” Czysz says.

Michael Czysz is dying. Diagnosed with pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma (also known as anaplastic rhabdomyosarcoma), RMS affects skeletal muscle and is extremely rare in adults. “The death usually comes from the cancer metastasizing to your lungs, and at that point it just burdens your organs,” says Czysz. “Now I have this softball-sized tumor that’s pressing up really hard against the return blood vessel into my heart.”

Rude Awakening

Czysz discovered the news at a point when he was seemingly on top of the world. Nearly a decade ago, Czysz parlayed the wealth he’d accrued designing mansions for the likes of Cindy Crawford, Lenny Kravitz, and a number of A-list celebrities through his design firm, Architropolis, into his second love – motorcycles.

With the desire, and now the means, to go toe-to-toe with the world’s best, Czysz created MotoCzysz, his motorcycle company dedicated to building what he called a “real American superbike.” Yes, that’s a jab at Erik Buell. The result was the radical MotoCzysz C1, a complete ground-up design, powered by a petrol engine of his own design, built to take on the world. Unfortunately, constant rule changes in World Superbike and MotoGP shuttered his early attempts at racing and the project was eventually scrapped (stay tuned for a future article with more in-depth details on the MotoCzysz story).

Czysz, a severe claustrophobic, was traumatized by having to have his entire body, including his head, immobilized and strapped to a board for nearly an hour as scans were being taken.

Czysz, a severe claustrophobic, was traumatized by having to have his entire body, including his head, immobilized and strapped to a board for five consecutive weeks, for 40 minutes each time, as he received radiation treatment.

From there, the designer-turned-anti-establishment-motorcyclist shifted his attention to the fast-growing electric motorcycle movement, “even though I hated –HATED– electric motorcycles at the time,” Czysz says. However, he embraced the fact electrics would play a part in the motorcycling landscape for years to come and rekindled his dream of taking on the world with his own creation.

Czysz eventually made history at the Isle of Man, winning the inaugural TT Zero electric motorcycle race in 2010 and then backed it up by winning the next three after that. Michael Rutter, aboard the MotoCzysz E1pc, was also the first to “break the ton” and record an average lap speed over 100 mph (104 mph, to be exact) in 2012. All on a motorcycle designed by Czysz himself. Things were going good. Then, in 2013, despite Mark Miller and Rutter again piloting the E1pc at the Isle, Michael Czysz was several thousand miles away. At home in Portland, fighting a battle much more formidable than the Mountain Course.

In 2011, Czysz came down with an intense sore throat. It wasn’t unusual for him to get sick, but this was weird. “I had the ability, when I knew there was a deadline – like the five-month Isle of Man deadline – I could work every single day for five months and never miss a day, never get sick. Never.” Then, like clockwork, the day the deadline was met, MC would fall ill. Says Czysz, “So, I came back [from the Isle of Man] and got sick enough I had to go to the doctor’s office, which is super rare. I didn’t have a good relationship with the doctor because I never got sick. So he didn’t really know me, I didn’t know him, he didn’t really know the deal. We just talked about it and he gave me antibiotics, which is normal. I took the antibiotics, two weeks later, I’m fine. I figured, of course; I’m in those planes, surrounded by people, of course I picked up something from them.”

After his first operation, Czysz scribbles notes to try and retain some semblance of his normal life. Note the mention of a track day and the Isle of Man at the bottom.

After his first operation, Czysz scribbles notes to try and retain some semblance of his normal life. Note the mention of a track day and the Isle of Man at the bottom.

To be safe, the doctor sent him to an ear, nose, and throat specialist who wanted Czysz to undergo an MRI. “They assured me it would be an open MRI,” says the severely claustrophobic Czysz, “but I got there and it wasn’t. They just lied. I just wasn’t mentally prepared for it that day. So I didn’t go.”

The following year, 2012, Czysz again fell ill after the TT was over. Only this time the sore throat was almost crippling. “During the [TT] awards ceremony, I got so overwhelmed I had to leave before Mark [Miller] and [Michael] Rutter could get their trophies,” he says. “I just couldn’t do it. I had to go back to my room and rest.” He eventually returned to the same doctor, was prescribed the same pills, but the sickness was stronger. The pills didn’t work. This time Czysz had no choice. He was getting an MRI.

The results actually came back encouraging. Doctors thought the growth in his throat was a cyst because of its symmetrical growth pattern, however after seeing a specialist at Oregon Health and Science University for a biopsy, the prognosis was much different. “He called me with the bad news, said it was a very rare form of cancer and a very fast growing cancer, and that I needed to get on the most aggressive treatments possible.”

To think, if only Czysz had gone in for an MRI the year before, doctors could have seen the tumor in time to dramatically increase his chances of survival. Instead, doctors were simply removing a tumor in his throat in order for him to breathe again. The cancer had already metastasized, and seemingly overnight Czysz’s condition was elevated to stage 4 cancer.

Ever the Valentino Rossi fan, Czysz loves to impersonate his MotoGP hero at every opportunity, including how he greets the camera.

Ever the Valentino Rossi fan, Czysz loves to impersonate his MotoGP hero at every opportunity, including how he greets the camera.

Since then, Czysz has had chemotherapy non-stop for the past year, and at his lowest weighed 130 lbs, 50 lbs. less than normal. “They loaded me with as many chemicals as they could to kill the tumor yet still keep me alive,” he said. “Eventually the doctors said, ‘this is as far as we can go. We have to stop and see what happens.’” It didn’t work. The tumor kept growing, doubling in size every three months. “That may not sound like a big deal,” says Czysz “but it means it goes from a pea to a walnut in three months, from walnut to tangerine, then tangerine to softball. That happens every quarter. Now, I have one metastasized tumor spreading to my lungs and that’s usually how you end up dying.”

In hindsight, Czysz recalls two instances which stick out as being warning signs things weren’t right. “The first was telling my wife Lisa after I came back from the Isle of Man that my tongue felt swollen and I was talking like Drew Barrymore. You know how she has that baby talk?” he laughs. The second came from a most unusual source. “I had this dog, this Great Dane, for about 10 years, and he was the most amazing dog. That dog would look at me right in my eyes and put his nose right up to my mouth, like he was checking me out and saying, ‘are you alright?’ I can’t beat myself up over it, but I kinda can because this is life or death stuff. This isn’t a ‘oh, I wish I invested in company A instead of company B,’ kind of mistake. This is ‘we can’t cure it now, but we probably could have then.’ Yeah, it’s fucked up, man. It’s been a year of me recognizing where I’m at, but you can’t change it.”

Where he’s at is a point in life where he can simply live in the moment. Before, Czysz would be designing the next iteration of the E1pc on his flight back from winning that year’s race. Now, he admits he would have taken the time to celebrate the victory. As we’re talking from the backyard of his beautiful waterfront bungalow in Portland, seemingly on cue an osprey lands on a tree branch above and Czysz’s attention shifts. He recognizes the bird, tells me it comes every day, and how it usually drops down to the porch to say hello. On this day, it simply flies away. “That guy is so funny,” he says.

He may be a bit more relaxed these days, but Czysz can't help but pay attention to the details.

He may be a bit more relaxed these days, but Czysz can’t help but pay attention to the details.

Second, Czysz, ever the perfectionist, stopped sweating the details. “I just really strove for a lot of perfection, and it was self-inflicted perfection… but that’s hard on people.” On this day, the bike and gas can are loaded and filled on the way to the track, which is conveniently located less than 30 minutes from Czysz’s bungalow. Still, we arrived at the track as the first session was about to begin. That would have never happened before.


Czysz still juggles with the range of emotions associated with a life event like this. From a professional standpoint, the diagnosis meant the writing was on the wall for MotoCzysz. “That was sad because I know starting a motorcycle company is a struggle and is really hard, but I didn’t want to be a reason why it wasn’t going to be successful, and when you decide you’re going to start winding it down, which was the right decision, it’s like, you just wrote the death of your dream. So that was pretty tough.”

More importantly, his biggest sorrow will be missing his sons Enzo (17) and Max (15) mature into adulthood. Czysz is incredibly proud of his kids, tearing up as he admits, “I just don’t want to let them down.” The two boys are aware of their father’s condition, but MC equates his situation to his 96 year-old grandfather’s.

Like many riders, Czysz goes through his pre-ride rituals before heading out on track. Mentally, his spirits are trending downward, but being back on the bike helps lift him up.

Like many riders, Czysz goes through his pre-ride rituals before heading out on track. Mentally, his spirits are trending downward, but being back on the bike helps lift him up.

“He’s one of the best men in my life, and he always has been, but he has to go to bed with diapers. Now that’s not good enough, so he has to sleep on pads. I have to tell you, I have no interest in being him. Zero. So I tell my kids, I don’t want to be 96. I don’t want to die at 50 either. I’d like to die somewhere in the middle.” Ever the motorcyclist, Czysz, a huge Valentino Rossi fan, draws parallels to another MotoGP legend. He says, “It’s rare, but I’d rather be [one of] the Casey Stoners of the world, that step out at the peak of their life, than be in my grandfather’s position.”

Ironically, Cysz is paranoid about death. “Because, fuck, that’s forever. Forever. For eternity,” he says. “I don’t hold the same beliefs my grandparents do, who truly think they’re going to the pearly gates. I don’t believe that. After a while, the burden is too heavy, and I’ll end up not fighting as hard because I’ll just get tired of it and say, ‘well, that’ll be a good rest.’” The mental fatigue is starting to wear on Czysz, as he admitted he’s experiencing his lowest mental state so far. Physically he was at his worst during the constant rounds of radiation and chemo, when his hair and nails were falling out, he was eating and breathing through tubes, everything hurt and he couldn’t do anything about it. Still, he stayed motivated because he believed those steps would provide an answer. “I believed tomorrow would eventually be better than today,” he said.

With an empty racetrack at his disposal, Czysz stretches the legs of his Ducati Superleggera.

With an empty racetrack at his disposal, Czysz stretches the legs of his Ducati Superleggera.

“I’m probably getting close to my mental lowest now because I’m on this trajectory [hand motion downward], and I can’t get the up-tick,” Czysz continues. “We have a track record now, a year of scans, we’re seeing all this shit and there’s just no stopping it.”

Moto Therapy

While he was bringing his business to a close, Czysz sold all his personal bikes during the liquidation process. “When I thought I couldn’t ride anymore, the desire left me 100 percent,” he says. “I then looked back and thought I should be totally happy. I had a great run, I spent a lot of time with dudes like Freddie Spencer, he was my personal coach – how many people can say that? I didn’t get hurt. I’ll take it. Perfect career. That was it. I was done.”

By chance, Arun Sharma came over for dinner, the first time the two had seen each other in three months. “That was the longest we hadn’t seen each other,” Czysz says. Sharma was blown away by his friend’s dramatic improvement in appearance. So much so that he got Czysz to consider a return to the track. “I didn’t want to actually,” Czysz says. “I didn’t want to be that slow guy at the track and have that juxtaposition to show how bad I am.” However, Arun got Czysz so convinced he figured he’d show up and give it a shot again.

The Superleggera has no shortage of power to leave a darkie as Czysz comes onto the front straight. Consider it "throttle therapy," if you will.

The Superleggera has no shortage of power to leave a darkie as Czysz comes onto the front straight. Consider it “throttle therapy,” if you will.

Riding a borrowed Honda CBR600RR from dear friend, Shawn Roberti, it didn’t take long for Michael to make up his mind. “The second lap I touched my elbow down and I could see where I wanted to go,” Czysz said. “I thought, I can do this!” Despite all the medications and treatments being pumped through his body, nothing compared to old fashioned adrenaline. “I felt really good that day,” said Michael. “I could only do half a day, but when I was on that bike I felt almost like a normal dude again.”

From there the wheels were in motion. Czysz drew an instant attraction to the Ducati Superleggera, and he tag-teamed with Sharma to bring one home. “He wanted one but in the long term, and clearly I was looking for the short term, so it worked out perfectly.” The Superleggera provided Czysz with an other-worldly experience. It was fast, it was beautiful, but most of all, it allowed Michael Czysz to simply ride a motorcycle for fun. There was no pressure, no instructing, and no testing of experimental parts drawn up in his own office. He could finally turn his brain down a few percent and instead of worrying about prototype part failures, all he had to do was ride.

Chemotherapy and radiation may take away his strength, but Czysz is still as fast as ever.

Chemotherapy and radiation may take away his strength, but Czysz is still as fast as ever.

Then of course, with double the displacement of the Honda he rode previously, “I certainly didn’t feel the adrenaline pump from the 600 that I do from this [the Ducati Superleggera],” he says. “I mean, it’s scary fast. Today was a prime example, I was in the back of a group, then pulled out and passed like 10 people down the straight. Well, that’s fucking exciting, man!”

In talking to Czysz, it’s clear that rush of acceleration was all it took to lift his spirits. He could only run a handful of laps per session, and he looked tired and nauseous at the end of each stint, but the racetrack was his sanctuary. “I don’t have the strength to do anything anymore,” he says, “but I do have the strength to roll the throttle on and feel that thrust, and that feels powerful. That feels good.”

Czysz recalls the first trackday he rode just a week after being diagnosed with cancer. The storm of emotions had him considering cancelling his reservation, but he decided against it. With nothing more to lose, he credits this day at the track as “the single greatest trackday of my life. Bar none.” His inhibitions were free, released from having to maintain the small cushion in reserve he’d been so used to riding with. He felt more relaxed than ever on the bike, dropping two seconds off his personal best lap time. “It was a dramatic jump that day,” he says, “everything was so perfect. I slammed every apex and wheelied out of turns, leaned over. That’s what excites you. It was just amazing.”

With his elbow kissing the tarmac and good friend Roberti flying in close formation, Michael Czysz is cherishing living in the moment.

With his elbow kissing the tarmac and good friend Roberti flying in close formation, Michael Czysz is cherishing living in the moment.

Czysz continues, “And that was just from saying ‘So, I crash? What’s that going to do? It’s not going to hurt more than the cancer is hurting. It’s not going to shorten my life any. And if it does, what’s it going to shorten it by?’ That was an incredibly liberating experience.” An experience he credits as being one of the few positives to take away from his condition.

The Message

Ultimately, Michael Czysz is going to die before his time. However, just because he’s accepted death doesn’t mean he has to stop living. And that’s where the motorcycle comes in. He makes mention of those who golf to bring them joy. Then references others who hike to see a canyon or river or peak they’ve never seen. “Still, none of those things compete with a motorcycle,” he says.

Despite his world crumbling around him, fleeting moments like this give Michael Czysz peace.

Despite his world crumbling around him, fleeting moments like this give Michael Czysz peace.

Pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma is an extremely rare disease. According to Sarcomahelp.org, there have been only 400 reported cases of adult RMS throughout the United States and Europe in the past 20 years. Considering this, Czysz doesn’t see much of a point trying to raise much awareness for it. Instead, he hopes to motivate others in similar positions to keep living.

“I’m not in great physical shape anymore,” he says, “but nowadays I feel more normal on the bike than I do even walking up stairs. It’s amazing we can get such power by just twisting your right hand, and as long as you can do that, as long as you can still get that thrill, you’re living.”

  • DickRuble

    Best piece I have read on MO.

    • Jeffrey Degracia

      What he said. All the best Mr. Czysz

      • TroySiahaan

        Thank you both. I really appreciate it.

  • Mathew Cannava


  • Pedro Luna

    Thanks for sharing this story Troy. Michael is such an amazing guy. I cried through the whole thing. Thanks and great job my man

    • TroySiahaan

      Thank YOU, Pedro, for capturing some great moments during our day with MC. I’m touched to hear this story reached you in such an emotional way.

  • Sunny Soral

    deeply stirring…sad and yet, one incredible piece to read. Mr. Michael Czysz, Respect to you Sir, Total Utter Respect.

    That’s how you bid a Good bye.

    Proud of You

  • Luke

    Yesterday I saw an old gentleman riding a harley trike. On the back was his wheel chair. A motivational sight to be sure. Motorcycles do things to us I think. “as long as you can still get that thrill, you’re living” – great quote and a great story.

  • Rob Lore

    I remember the first time I saw a MotoCzysz E1pc and thinking how groundbreaking it was. Michael was and is a true visionary and will be a great loss in our community.

  • kwh


  • Eric O’Day

    I am sure Michael has a great support system of family and friends, but if there is anything I can offer to help I would like to convey my contact info – racerxz51@gmail.com
    I really understand bike therapy. I had a lump on my neck and it came back not as a cyst but as stage 3 non Hodgkins Lymphoma, now currently back in remission. I rode my bike to every round of chemo getting home before I was sick, always thought it might be my last ride. I’ve been fortunate to see remission twice and the support of my friends ,riders and cagers both went a long way. Everyone copes differently but I just want to offer my support and friendship. I’ve followed Michaels story since the first inklings of an American superbike started leaking out. His is an incredible life of accomplishment and my best to Michael and his family.
    Eric O’Day

  • John B.

    Well done Michael. You too Troy.

  • robersonphoto

    So so sad to read this. We’ve never met, MC, but I’ve been to pretty much every event your bikes have been to in the Portland area (One Shows, etc.). It’s times like these I wish there was an actual God/deity that could touch you and cure you – and all those who suffer as you do. I wish you all happiness – and a miraculous recovery, as all things are possible. Thank you so much for all you’ve given to Portland and to motorcycling. I was alway proud to show non-riders your incredible creations and add “and this guy is in PORTLAND.” Take care and thank you for the reminder to enjoy life and that our problems are small in comparison.

  • Scooter

    I’ve been riding with Michael for more than 10 years as an instructor for PSSR and I was recently overjoyed to see him at a track day in Shelton. He was thin but looked good with that unmistakable look in his eyes. I understand why he continues to ride at the track and will do so until he can no longer.

  • Domenick Yoney

    I’m a big fan of Michael Czysz – always will be – and it was great to finally be able to read something about his current situation, even if it’s not exactly what I hoped to hear.

    Despite not having a yet another new electric superbike to stand in amazement of, Michael continues to impress. It’s one thing to overwhelm odds at the track, quite another to share with the world your most difficult personal struggle. It was good to hear there are some enjoyable times possible despite the situation.

    Thanks, Troy, for writing this.

    • TroySiahaan

      You’re welcome. Thank you for reading it.

  • Backroad Bob

    What a story. I knew of Michael’s condition, I didn’t know Michael, but I feel like I do now. The greatest stories are about people, not things. This is one of them.

  • Ryan Frey

    This was difficult for me to read through, but It makes me remember why I started riding in the first place. To ride is to escape the day to day trials we all face in life and to enjoy the few precious moments where we are not shackled by the darker moments. Michael, you will be an inspiration even when you are gone. Take a lap on that Superlegerra for me and never give up fighting.

  • JMDonald

    It has to be comforting to do something you love when faced with a life threatening illness. Czysz is an inspiration. Ride on Mr. Czysz.

  • Ania Mitros

    “winning the inaugural TT Zero electric motorcycle race in 2010”? I was there, and I was unmistakably pregnant, and I’m pretty sure my baby was born in 2009.

    • TroySiahaan

      What you saw in 2009 was the TTXGP electric race at the Isle of Man. The first TT Zero race (different sanctioning body) was indeed in 2010. Confusing, I know.

      • Ania Mitros

        Oh, I see. I wasn’t there in 2010 and didn’t know they renamed the event. And, come to think of it, Agni motors won the race I watched, and the Czysz bike DNF’d. Sorry for the thoughtless post.

    • Derek J Hanbidge

      Hi Ania, the quoted win is correct. The ‘first ZEV’ Race was called the TTXGP and that was held at TT2009. Michael’s gorgeous ZEV Racer did not last the lap, sadly. Of course he came back, new designs, better Riders and he WON! RIP Michael Czysz.

  • SRMark

    Be sure to live today. It’s the only day you have.

  • Richard Hatfield

    Well written and thoughtful article, Troy. Michael, you have created a legacy that has been an inspiration to many others.

  • Tony Radford

    Thank you for your contribution to motorcycling, Mr Czysz. You’re an inspiration to us all.

  • Tod Rafferty

    Always hard to witness the best and the brightest shut down early. The parallel with John Britten is obvious here. For Michael, whose range of achievement puts him in that pantheon of rare creative forces, his narrative fits the classic definition of tragedy. We can only take encouragement from his decision to face it on his own terms. Keep a good thought. Nicely done, Troy.

  • jack nielsen

    the last paragraph made me choke up.

  • Murat Oğuz Kanpak

    This story hit me like a ton of bricks. I hope he enjoys his last days with his family and riding his bike. He’ll be in my thoughts…

  • Jack Meoph

    That is amazing and sad. I watched the Isle of Man TT documentary on the Zero TT, which heavily featured Czysz, and was amazed at the intense level Czysz and his crew (a very small crew btw) were going at it to prep the bike for the TT. It was just non-stop intensity, with problems being solved on the fly because it was all new. I also remember seeing the MotoCzysz Superbike at the hotel display in Monterey CA during….um MotoGP I think, and was really impressed by that bike, knowing how much effort it takes to bring something like that to reality. And it was done by a guy with a vision not a corporation that had been doing it for decades. I immediately thought of John Britten and the vision and innovation that he had brought to motorcycle racing in the 90’s. And now I’m thinking the parallels between these two guys are just weird. Czysz should be proud of his many accomplishments, well done sir.

  • Craig Hoffman

    What a personal and well told story. There is something about high performance motorcycles that transcends, at least for a little while, everything else. I hope MC gets to experience that transcendence a little longer on his Ducati.

    Amazing writing, amazing photos and completely blown away by MC’s willingness to share the innermost details of his struggle with the rest of us. I am just saddened to the core and blown away. This is the best feature story I have ever read in any publication, hands down. Motorcycles are but one minority facet of interest in our great sport. It is the people they attract and inspire that are really fascinating. So tragic this fascinating man is being taken away far before his time. All the best Mr. Czysz, I wish you peace.

  • Jeff Clark

    Mr. Czysz has been a hero of mine for many years. His contributions to the evolution of the modern road racing motorcycle are truly inspiring. I had the pleasure of meeting him briefly at a race he won on his E1PC at Laguna Seca a few years ago. He and his father were both incredibly kind. He will continue to be my hero. Thanks MC for sharing this very personal story. Thanks to you Troy for writing it.

  • Jarrod Holmes

    What a beautiful article. Very sad but I am glad he is spending the last of his time doing what he loves.

  • Mark Adams

    Great writing Troy! My heart goes out to MC & family,and that they will find there comfort and peace in The Lord Jesus.

  • matt

    I am VERY saddened to hear about Michael’s ordeal. I remember reading about his 1st bike and consider him as one of my heroes; he was able to turn his dream into reality being a complete under dog. Reading the part about his sons, not getting to see them grow up, made me cry; I have 2 kids. The only comfort that I can find is the saying “a candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long”.
    My heart & best wishes to to Michael and his family.

  • Gil

    I could not believe my eyes when I read the title/subtitle of this piece. After not hearing much news about Michael in the past 2 years, I am stunned to find out that this is happening to him. Immediately I was taken back to around 2001, when I first began to ride, and engulf myself with every reasonable article on motorcycling. I remember being at a Barnes & Nobles, with an adjoining Starbucks, and reading CycleWorld’s article about Michael Czysz. Not to mention, the fabulous picture of the C1 on the cover. I found myself unable to stop thinking about this guy, and the task that he was trying to achieve. I was one of the people that hoped year after year, that he would somehow get in to MotoGP. Even though I have never met Michael in person, I am crushed by this news. I feel as though a Hero now knows that he is dying. I am relieved to hear that he has not given up though. A true Hero would not, and this is what we normal people need to see of our Heroes. Thank you Michael for all that you will continue to give to those of us that have not achieved a position such as yours. Troy Siahaan, great job on this piece. Definitely would like to read more from you. I found this article from a post on Google+ thanks to #MotoAmerica. Hopefully, you are on Google+, so that I may follow you.

    • TroySiahaan

      Hi Gil,
      Thank you for commenting. Judging by all the comments, it’s clear Michael has touched the lives of many people. Yes, I am on Google+, but honestly, I don’t use it much. Best way to follow me? Keep reading Motorcycle.com. We have a great editorial staff here that I’m happy to share the digital office with.

      • Gil

        Thanks Troy. I look forward to reading more from you even if it is only on Motorcycle.com. Cheers.

    • Josh Voss

      That same cycleworld was on of the first motorcycle magazines I read.

  • Felix

    Troy, I forgot someone wrote this as I was reading it. That’s how well you wrote it. Good job but it took me this long to accept this as truth. Depressing and inspirational at the same time.

    I gave up motorcycling in 2012 and stopped following the TT and motorcycling in general so as to avoid temptation. As luck would have it, this story found its way to me and has inspired me to go back to it.

    Be “you” as long as you can MC. Leave nothing behind just as you always have in everything you have done and cherish every moment. You are still inspiring people and I am one of them. Thank you both for sharing this story.

  • Greg Strom

    I directed a documentary for the Discovery Channel on the early years of Michael’s MotoCzysz C1 quest, and consider Michael (and his beautiful wife, Lisa) dear and lifelong friends. My heart is broken from his situation; it’s a tragedy. He’s one of a kind. Outstanding story, Troy – you’ve captured the lion heart of Czysz.

    • Enus Perro

      I just watched CHARGE on Netflix. Greg, where can I watch your documentary?

      • Hi Enus. The documentary was commissioned by the Discovery Channel. They’ve aired it numerous times throughout the years. If you contact them they might be able to give you the next showing time. I don’t believe they sold it as a DVD or put it on Netflix. It is called “Birth Of A Racer.”

        • Oluseyi

          @greg_strom:disqus I’ve seen Birth of a Racer; great film. Sad that we’re making these connections under these circumstances.

  • Michael

    Good luck Mike. I was wondering why I hadn’t heard from you (in the press) in a while. Are you going to ever let Eric Dorn at EDR prep your track day bike? haha… take care man. I survived (renal) kidney cancer in 2011/12 and without my bike or the means to get one, have been bored out of my socks trying to rebuild. I spend a LOT of time in the gym or working out doing yoga, cardio and weights. I’m probably as happy for you as anyone reading this article. Hats off to “Motorcycle” for the great article. Peace my man.

  • Daytona Ben

    Well written. Don’t worry there are Ducati’s in heaven too. Whether you believe or not is not the question, the Hound of heaven is still after you. God speed Michael. The sunrise this morning was meant for you. Some would give all to see another one.

  • ant nate

    Extremely disappointed that another visionary is going to be cut short of his full potential. I fully engaged during the John Britten years. Seeing what he was able to build, seeing that bike in person, etc. I never thought I would see something like that again. Then Michael Czysz is in the picture and makes a similar impact, so I get to enjoy that ride.. and now I see this and just find it hard to understand how unfair life can be sometimes. Michael Czysz, you have impacted more people that you will ever know. I usually do not comment on news articles, but felt I just needed to express my gratitude for the example you set. Pure momentum in a positive direction. Thank you, keep that throttle hand strong!! Ant from NJ

  • Pete M

    Ironically I’d watched “Charged” last night on NF. I was wondering why Michael hadn’t returned for the 2014 race. Now I know. Michael I wish you and your family the very best. Troy thank you for a well written article.

  • Excellent writing Troy, nicely done Sir. But how sad this is. I’ve met Michael a few times and he’s a really good guy.

    • TroySiahaan

      Thanks Arthur. Means a lot. The whole situation is definitely sad, and simply being there with him was hard at times.

      • Absolutely, and I’ll bet. The comments posted here are wonderfully articulate as well.

  • Sean Black

    I just did a search on MC to find out how he was doing. I found this fantastic article. I know MC doesn’t believe but I do send my prayers your way to you and yours. My wife is slowly passing from a congenital connective tissue disease and will pass well before her time as well. I was always one of your fans back when the C1 was still prototyping and World Superbike and MotoGP kept changing the rules on you. I was there jumping up and down at 4am in front of my TV watching the ’13 Isle of Mann TT when your electric bike set the 104 MPH speed record for the group.

    Keep your knee and the rubber down, and keep the shiny side up. Roll through the gates going backwards at 200 MPH with your hair on fire. Hoo-Rah.

  • Oluseyi

    I was casting about for information on Michael and MotoCzysz on Twitter, having heard nothing for a couple years, and I spotted this article mentioned on their official account. Heartbreaking. Like everyone else here, I have nothing but the highest esteem for Michael. I don’t know him personally, but I’ve been impressed and inspired by his drive, imagination, persistence, passion and joie de vivre—and I’m utterly crushed learning about his losing battle with RMS.

    Thank you for writing this, Troy, and the very best wishes to Michael, Lisa, Enzo and Max.

  • bikerferlife

    Been wondering for a while about his condition. Sad to hear this. But pretty damn amazing openness about impending death.

  • Kevin Ludwig

    Thank you Troy Siahaan for writing such a wonderful story. Michael Czysz was an inspiration for me back in 2006 and is now an inspiration beyond words. As am i’m currently working through chemotherapy for a grade II astrocytoma brain tumor. This sentence brought smiles to my face in hope and Joy, “is going to die before his time. However, just because he’s accepted death doesn’t mean he has to stop living.” I am proud to have framed a poster that I bought from Motoczysz a decade ago and will gladly donate it to any organization, family member, or community that can use it to create a historic collection/gallery that Michael deserves.

    • TroySiahaan

      Thank you for reading the story, and best of luck in your journey. I’m glad I could provide a tiny bit of hope and joy during your battle.

  • James Alan Groome

    I learned about and was fascinated by him years ago… I was upset when the rules were changed just as he was getting everything geared up… they were never going to let him beat the MaJOR manufacturers… well they were going to throw every roadblock possible in the way. Really innovative designs which were ahead of the rest.