Over the long weekend, Asphalt & Rubber got the chance to swing by Portland International Raceway for MotoCzysz’s first track test with the 2010 E1pc electric race bike. It’s hard to believe, but this was Michael Czysz’s first time riding his creation on the track. The session was prompted by Czysz’s need to get ready to race the E1pc at the up-coming e-Power Championship race at Laguna Seca. Czysz had hinted to us several months ago that he might pilot the electric race bike at Seca, and now has confirmed that intention to race the bike himself. .
Getting to tag along during the new E1pc’s first actual track test, we got to see how the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc compared to ICE track bikes while lapping at PIR. Observations, photos, and two videos that prove we need to get a proper camcorder in the A&R office are awaiting you after the jump.
The weather was perfect for a day of testing at PIR, as Cascade Tracktime played host to not only MotoCzysz but also a small group of amateur racers and die hard track day enthusiasts (you’d have to be a track junky to take a Tuesday off from work). Having seen the C1 and both E1pc’s now in person, we can say that the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc retains the same level of attention to detail as its predecessors; however this was the first time we’ve seen any of Czysz’s creations running in-person. Always in pristine condition, you’d think the E1pc was a gallery piece on loan from the MOMA, if it weren’t for the battle scars found on the underside of the bike’s belly pan (a carbon fiber pan with more clearance is in the works for Seca).
If it weren’t for the blue LEDs that glowed ominously from the side of the E1pc, you’d be hard pressed to spot the electric bike in the pack as the riders went by us. Mixing it up with a group of liter bikes, the only way you could spot the E1pc was after it passed you, leaving behind a tie-fighter screech from its electric D1-10 motor. Powering out of the corners and down the front straight, the MotoCzysz E1pc appeared to be on par with the ICE bikes, despite Czysz’s butt dyno telling him otherwise. Watching the first sessions, it became clear that while electrics still have some distance to go in their development, here was a bike nearly beating them at their own game. “If someone says ‘electric drive is not the future’ they simply have not experienced what I have,” declared Czysz.
In the first session alone, Czysz and the E1pc were about seven seconds off a “good time” around PIR, and that was in traffic. Not the fastest bike on the course that day, but certainly not the slowest, Czysz and E1pc were easily holding their own as they readied for Seca. On the first day of testing, the Portland track ran its “festival corners”, a chicane on the front straight, which adds roughly 10-15 seconds to a rider’s time off the normal course. PIR is already known as a technical course, and with the added chicane it is an analogous gauntlet to what MotoCzysz can expect at Laguna Seca later this month.
Coming in from the first session, the MotoCzysz team set about to take the E1pc from its Isle of Man configuration (which still lapped an impressive 1’34), and began adjusting the suspension, gearing, and firmware to suit a track environment. The last part of that list was surreal to watch as it became obvious that in the future, track day enthusiasts would spend as much, if not more, time mashing keys on a laptop than turning a wrench on their motorcycle to make it go faster.
On the second day of testing, Cascade Tracktime ran the standard course, which played to the E1pc’s strength’s even more so than on Tuesday. This allowed Czysz & Co. to take the E1pc to approximately 13 seconds off the track record, with a time in the 1’19’s. Concluding about the testing session, an ecstatic Czysz said, “today we concluded two days of testing in preparation for Laguna Seca — they were the greatest two days I have ever experienced on track. We consistently ran our tests at a little over 10 seconds off the track record, but it felt like I was riding 30 seconds off the record — surreal!”
Leaving PIR, MotoCzysz looks in-form for the up-coming race at Seca. “The connection I felt with our electric bike was a connection greater than I have ever felt with any bike — by a large margin,” said Czysz. “Besides the eerie (frightening actually) sound of the bike under high re-gen, which I could hear bouncing of off the T7 wall, the ride was pure zen.”
Concluding Michael stated, “I can’t wait for Laguna!” Judging from the crowd that gathered around the MotoCzysz tent during lunch, it seems race fans are equally excited about the up-coming race, and from what we know about the field the track will host, we’re excited too.
Title Photo: © 2010 Eric Näslund / Näslund Studios – 503.853.3228