History of the Czysz Family
Founder's Great Grandparents, First Generation Bikers.
Motorcycling has been part of the family for nearly as long as there have been motorcycles. Pictured (L to R) Great Grandmother Anna and Great Grandfather William Jefferson (Jeff) Powell, in Colton, California. Anna and Jeff Powell were Michael's grandmother's (Betty Czysz) parents; his grandfather’s (Clarence Czysz) parents were also motorcyclists. The passion for motorcycling comes from both sides of the Czysz family.
MotoCzysz Founder, Michael Czysz age 4
I never grew out of the inherited love for motorcycles, fortunately, I did grow out of the inherited family proportions. - MC
Front page news- Don Evans wins the 1948 Daytona AMA 100
Front page news- Don Evans wins the 1948 Daytona AMA 100 on a Czysz Norton and sets the 100 mile record in the process.
Clarence Czysz (grandfather), Don Evans, rider, and the #1 Norton Manx Daytona 1949.
Clarence is photographed “in the pits” draining fuel from the bike. Sand contamination was a constant problem due to the race being held literally on Daytona Beach.
MOTORCYCLIST May, 1952 “Clarence Czysz not only tunes ‘em but rides ‘em.”
When Clarence Czysz (grandfather) took delivery and modified America’s first Featherbed to Class C racing requirements MOTORCYCLIST was there to report, “Clarence Czysz, one of America’s greatest tuners is owner of this creation.” The photo above ran as a side bar piece to the main article stating “Not a bad riding position, either, considering the proportions of Clarence.”
Grandpa should have dialed in a little more “proportion compensating” rear preload. - MC
Ritchey Canyon California Field Meet Clarence Czysz (R) (grandfather) on his “special” dirtbike.
“Special” was a term commonly used to define a motorcycle that was custom built or so heavily modified by an individual that it could no longer be identified or connected to a manufacturer, often more “rat” than “special.” However this dirtbike was more “special” than most, the engine - a dual overhead cam Norton Manx.
Buddy Parriott and the Czysz Norton Featherbed featured on the cover of the Official Norton Brochure
Buddy autographed this brochure for Michael “Mike” Czysz when he was a young boy. Buddy was Michael's first race hero, he remembers the honor and thrill of helping to push Buddy's race bike up to the grid for a race at WSMC.
Buddy was a diabetic so my grandmother baked a cottage cheese pie/torte he could eat when he came over. It is still one of my favorite deserts and my grandmother makes it for us nearly every time we visit. Even my boys love it, though my wife usually will select the alternative, any alternative. - MC
Racing Harleys, Terry Czysz (father) stands behind his bike and rider Bobby Skipsteed, 1964
The bike- a Harley Davidson KR45, the track- one mile flat track near Sacramento, California.
Clarence Czysz, Swede Savage and Terry Czysz
(L to R) Clarence Czysz (grandfather) 2nd generation, racer Swede Savage (racer, family friend) and Terry Czysz (father) 3rd generation
Czysz's Aermacchi, supplied by Harley Davidson, turned 12,500 rpm around Ascot’s 1/2 mile track, circa ’61. In his rookie year (note the R on the plate), Swede raced flat track and later matured into a highly celebrated racer. In the 1973 Indy 500, Swede tragically lost his life in a devastating accident just laps after leading the race. Rest in peace, Swede Savage.
The tragedy of death in the pursuit of victory is great - But quality of life in the pursuit of victory is even greater. -Michael Czysz
1965 USGP- BUDDY PARRIOTT on a CZYSZ NORTON FINISH SECOND
Before the world's best Grand Prix racers and machines ever turned a wheel at Laguna Seca, they raced twice at Daytona. In 1965 the United States hosted the second USGP as part of then, a ten race series. That year, the teams traveled to some of the most historic tracks in the world- Assen, Nurburgring, Spa, Sachsenring, Brno, Monza and the biggest single race of the series, the Isle of Man- but it all started at Daytona.
This race was one of the last great victories for the Czysz Norton singles; shortly the new Norton twins would outpace the Manx. Terry Czysz (father) made up a special exhaust pipe and intake for the GP event. The pipe diameter was increased and the overall length was reduced and fitted with a reverse megaphone. Similarly, the carburetor was fitted with a large wide mouth intake that curved continuously from the opening to the carburetor. These “top end” modifications seem obvious today, but in 1965 they drew much attention from the competitors. The bike was also fitted with a new type of brake, an Al Gunter single sided disk.
In 1965, a Czysz Norton competed against the best motorcycles in the world and beat all but one- Mike “the bike” Hailwood on his factory MV Agusta. Will history repeat itself? This time with a Czysz built American bike? We are betting it will.
Michael Czysz endurance racing a Ducati Supermono
Colin Jensen had the idea to endurance (4 hour race) his Supermono and asked Michael to co-pilot. They were friends, Czysz was the 250 champion and never crashed- it seemed like a good idea. During warm-up, 1 hour before race, Czysz went out first to scrub in the race tires, first lap, first corner.. bam!
This motorcycle gave me my first experience of riding and crashing very expensive machinery. MC