By guest writer Ian Lee.
The Italian language is a beautiful thing. It takes words we would usually find dull, like four-door, snail and cheese, and turn them into quattroporte, chiocciola and formaggio. The problem is changing Italian words back into English, once translated you are left with a plain sounding term that doesn’t quite sound so sexy. When Deus US motorcycle design director, Michael Woolaway, needed a name for his new project, he settled on ‘Moto Grigio’. A passionate sounding name, until you discover it basically means ‘grey motorcycle’ in English. But this is definitely not your standard ‘grey’ motorcycle.
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Bali is known as “the island with a thousand temples” but there’s only one temple most moto monks will be interested in visiting on their spiritual pilgrimage to Bali, and that’s the ‘Deus Temple of Enthusiasm‘ – it’s the place of worship for those that bow their helmet to the ‘God in the machine’. And the latest machine from the Bengkel boys is this dirty back track Suzuki DR650. Compared to most countries like Australia and America, the DR650 is not a very common bike in Indonesia. As the saying goes ‘they are rarer than rocking horse poo’, thanks to the strict Indonesian import laws making the importation of larger displacement bikes a very expensive venture due to the huge import taxes. So when one comes up for sale, Deus try to snatch them up.
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Bali is one of the most famous islands in Indonesia. Famous for it’s amazing surf breaks, tough drug laws and strict low displacement bike laws. So when we recently received some photos from the guys at Deus Bali, we just guessed it would be another sweet little Yamaha Scorpio they do so well. But when we opened up the photos of their latest project we were pleasantly surprised to see a completely unrecognizable Honda NX650 Dominator. To say this size bike is rare in Bali would be a huge understatement — there’s only one other 650cc bike and it also happens to be a NX650. So someone at some stage has paid ‘the right people’ to get it on the island and on the road. Anyway, this is not a story about how it got there, we’re just glad it did. To tell us the tale of how this Dominator transformed into the ‘Dominari’, I’ll pass you over to Tom from Deus…
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How’s this for some kind of record. I dropped into the Deus ex Machina V-Twin show on Saturday and took some snaps for you all. Now let me define terms here. I took my first shot at 2:37pm, and my last at 3:57. In that time I took exactly 939 photographs. That’s 939 photos in 80 minutes, or about 12 shots a minute; one shot every 5 seconds for eighty minutes. I could have sworn I saw smoke wafting out of my camera afterwards and I’m only just regaining sensation in my right index finger.
See how much we love you guys? Heaps. That’s how much.
P.S. Yes, we know that some of the bikes aren’t v-twins. Despite my many loud protestations to the Deus management to have all non-Vees impounded on sight and their riders brutally interrogated, they refused and many different bikes mixed together in a crazy kind of engine configuration orgy. So, so dirty.
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As winter approaches here in Australia, the thought of migrating to a tropical climate is very appealing. A place like Bali would be the perfect location; not only is it balmy for most of the year but thanks in part to Deus they have a very sweet bike and surf culture. And with beautiful bikes like this Deus SX225 Street Tracker that keep rolling out of their Bengkel workshop, one could only assume that things are going to stay pretty warm over there for a while yet. Here’s how Deus Bali describe the build, “this Yamaha SX225 Street Tracker has literally been rebuilt from the ground up. The frame to the engine, and everything in-between has been modified, rebuilt or replaced to fulfill the specs laid out by our customer and friend Alex. What he wanted, he got. Including the short wheel base – seems he has a liking towards the wheelie.”
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When it comes to building a custom bike, the humble Honda CB100 probably doesn’t sit very high on many peoples list. Unless you live in Indonesia, where thousands of these bullet proof singles are ready for a rebuild — and that’s just what Deus Bali are doing. “This is one outcome of the ‘CB100 range’ we are working on” Tom from Deus mentions. “We have rounded up a gaggle of 1970’s CB100’s and are putting a different twist on each one.” The bike has been named ‘The Prospect’, because it was a while before they work out what to transform it into. It finally all came together when Deus Sydney sent them a chrome alloy ‘Peanut’ tank and “as soon as the reflective orb hit the frame the other parts just seemed to gravitate towards it, until finally the general idea was complete.”
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After all the hoo-har of the Deus bike build last weekend I was flicking through my photos of the event and realised that amongst all the bikes entered in the competition, there was a new Deus on display. The whole gig had forced it into a bridesmaid sort of role, but none-the-less we thought it was more than worth a few pixels of Pipeburn’s time.
The custom Harley Sportster trend is something we’ve duly noted here at Pipeburn, as I’m sure you all have. More and more we are seeing custom shops and individuals turning their attention towards this particular type of Milwaukee metal. And as a card-carrying member of the “I’m Not Really Sure About Harleys” Brigade, I’m finding myself more and more intrigued.
Summer is most definitely here in Sydney. I spent a few hours yesterday at Deus checking out the entrants in their 2010 bike building comp, and shit a brick it was hot. Like 35 degrees Celsius hot – or about 500 degrees Fahrenheit for all our non-metric readers. Bad news for my sweat glands, but good news for the photos as most people there were more interested in cooling off in the shadows than getting up-close and personal with the machinery.
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Yesterday the guys at Deus Ex Machina put on their ‘Parallel Universe‘ day – a festival celebrating all Parallel Twin motorcycles. Andrew Jones our resident photographer/writer dropped by and took some snaps of the goings-on. We hope you like them.
Indonesians are truly amazing at using whatever resources they have to create ‘silk purses out of a sow’s ear’. You see, due to the heavy import tax in Indonesia bikes like TW200’s, W650’s and SR400’s are not available, so they have to think outside the square when building classic looking motorcycles. This time the donor bike is the uninspiring 2009 Yamaha 225 Scorpio. When I first laid eyes on this little hill climber I immediately thought it was a TW200 but was pleasantly surprised when they told me it was a Yamaha Scorpio. “The ‘Bali Dog’ is a distant cousin of Deus Australia’s ‘Drover’s Dog‘ – all dick and ribs just like the barking mutt trotting around the temples at night” Deus tells us. Felix the head of the Deus Bali workshop designed and built this bike with the help of his team. Everything is either custom made here or imported from Japan. For a small bike the spec list is large; including a Harley Davidson Headlight, Daytona 36cm rear shock, customized W650 Chrome back Fender, Nitro Head Studded seat and Chrome Scrambler bars just to mention a few. The end result is the perfect custom to transport you down to the local surf reefs while turning a few ‘wax heads’ on the way.