Deus Ex Machina Set to be Sold

Using motorcycles in conjunction with lifestyle branding didn’t just start when Ducati released their Scrambler last year and while no one single person or company can really lay claim to beginning the somewhat recent cafe/hipster/retro/lifestyle trend in motorcycles, Deus Ex Machina can certainly be said to at least be among the pioneers. And it looks like they’re close to being sold.

Founder and owner Dare Jennings has walked this road before. He’s the same personality behind the once legendary surf wear brand Mambo which he sold to private equity investors in 2000 and actually used the money from that sale to start Deus. Perhaps unsurprisingly when people with lots of money buy into companies that have cult followings, Mambo quickly became  irrelevant with the departure of Jennings when the new owners began mass producing the brands clothing, selling them in department stores like Target and K-Mart.

For fans of Deus Ex Machina, that hopefully won’t happen this time around. Jennings says he intends to stay on in the business – at least for a while – even after the sale. Currently, L-Capital – the private equity arm of LVMH group (who owns brands like Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs), are most advanced in discussions to buy the company, though Jennings has stated that he is in negotiation with other companies as well.

Deus Ex Machina was founded in Camperdown in Sydney’s inaner-west and now has multiple locations in Australia, Bali, Italy, Japan and Los Angeles. While its main revenue comes from clothing, they’re active in the custom motorcycle scene and famous the world over for their bikes.

It’s estimated the company is worth around $25 million Australian Dollars. In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, Jennings said, “It’s time to take the company to its next stage and continue its global expansion, something that will require more capital. Pretty much every country in the world we’ve taken this concept to wants to participate. We’ve created the platform; the harsh reality is we need cash to grow from here.

Source: AFR

dare jennings deus ex machina

Founder of Deus ex Machina, Dare Jennings

Project Gemini Creates the Most Beautiful Speed Triples in the World

The Triumph Speed Triple is a modern classic, a machine that invented an entire category of motorcycles upon its release and despite coming under increasing pressure, still remains one of the best machines money can buy today. And now, they’ve become a whole lot more desirable thanks to Tony Scott of T3 Racing and Kevin Taggart, Spirit of the Seventies designer. From them has come Project Gemini, a limited release of 100 custom Speed Triples that are absolutely gorgeous.

For British readers, T3 Racing will probably be a recognisable name, having established a one make Speed Triple category in support of the BSBK series until last year. Scott then teamed up with Taggart, the duo having a desire to ride machines that looked as good as they ran. Looking at the pictures below you’d be happy with just a cosmetic overhaul as their designs and colour schemes are fantastic. But instead they went further and improved the bike mechanically as much as they could.

The front suspension gets a revamp, with the new units now contain modified rebound and
compression stacks and brand new T6 Billet Aluminium fork Drop-outs. The centrally mounted, single rear shock has also been upgraded to give the rider full adjustability
for compression, rebound, and pre-load. Stock brakes have been upgraded to include T3’s 6 pot billet calipers and performance pads. Only the best electronic will be fitted to the Gemini bikes,new dashboards, keyless ignition are just some of the refined electrical engineering you can expect to find on these purposefully built machines. The engine gets love too, with power bumped up to 160bhp.

How much? No one knows yet, but only 100 of these machines will be built – 50 Nakeds and 50 Indianapolis. It’s expected that no more than six machines will go to one individual country as well, so if you’re interested you’d better get in quick.


Yamaha Europe Dealers Try Their Hand at Yard Built

Yamaha’s Yard Built program has spawned some great creations, including a few motorcycles you can now buy or as in the case of the new XS700, in a few months time. Up until now the Yard Built series has had participation from a variety of dedicated custom bike builders, but now it’s the turn of dealers to show off their creative flair.

To prove this concept and show it’s not just the top custom builders who can do this, Yamaha’s official European dealers have taken up the challenge and are entered into the Yamaha ‘Dealer Built’ contest to see who can create the best custom from the Sport Heritage range.

The dealers have been busy over the last few months with some very simple rules; the bike needed to be from the current Sport Heritage range, no cutting or welding to the bike was allowed and a number of genuine aftermarket accessories had to be used. There’s some fantastic looking creations and it is a testament to how individual a motorcycle can be.

Yamaha is now asking for people to vote on their favourite dealer created machine which you can do here. Yamaha Motor Europe is going to award a special prize to the best custom build in each bike category, SR400, XV950, XJR1300 and VMAX. Voting closes on the 20th August the winning bikes will be shown at the Glemseck 101 show in Germany from 4th to 6th September. More exciting is that Yamaha will open up the competition to the public later in the year – so get thinking.



Indian Continues its Custom Series With the Black Bullet Scout

Indian Motorcycles has released the second bike in its Scout inspired custom series and it’s a beauty – the Indian Black Bullet Scout. Built by Jeb Scholman, the bike was pretty much built from scratch around a standard Indian Scout engine and the result is a hot rod inspired work of art.

Indian Motorcycles launched their custom built series in May and each bike in the series is designed to celebrate an important Indian Scout milestone or achievement since its debut in 1920.

The Black Bullet Scout’s metalwork is completely custom made and reflects designs of motorcycles made for going fast in straight lines from the late 50’s and early 60’s. Bikes with a similar design ethos took to land speed and drag racing tracks across the country in the day. Many will no doubt think of New Zealander Burt Munro and his land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats – which was made in 1967 and still stands today.

Other features of the Black Bullet Scout are a custom windscreen that wraps around the front of the bike to fair in the headlight. Tight clip-ons and footrests mounted to the rear axle makes for as streamlined a riders position as possible. The minimal seat, controls and shapes all lens themselves to the single mission of exploring this bikes top speed. It was created to be beautiful and fast. Scolman even cast a custom intake manifold to turn the throttle body sideways and allow for an even tighter engine packaging.

The Black Bullet Scout will be on display in Sturgis and is destined to see the salt. It was built to race and continue the tradition of an Indian Scout ripping across the Bonneville Salt Flats.


Create Your Own Custom Spidi Suit

If you’re serious about motorcycles you’ll probably end up at the race track at some point. And if your budget can afford it, you’ll probably go there a lot. Unfortunately, in addition to track fees you’ll need to open your wallet for a leather suit – not a cheap investment. Now at least you can make it a unique creation with Spidi’s innovative custom suit designer website.

Custom suits are obviously nothing new – many independent shops cater to riders wanting a perfect fitting piece of gear and even many of the major manufactures have allowed you to contact them requesting a custom fit, but we haven’t seen it done through a website which lets you modify not only the sizing, but the materials, appearance and color of the suit.

At the moment, Spidi is only offering customization on its Track Wind Pro Y 120 suit for men, although a version for women will be available soon. The base price starts at $1,499 which is $100 more than what it retails for on Revzilla. From there however you can choose to upgrade from cowhide  to kangaroo leather ($399), change the color of the suit to whatever combinations you want (at no extra cost), add logos for $15 each and finally, order the suit in either a standard size or customized exactly to your dimensions for $600 extra.

You can certainly get custom suits cheaper, but if you’re just after a standard sized piece of gear with your own choice of color and the addition of logos, it’s actually not too bad a deal.

Go ahead and make your own at SpidiCustom.


BMW Motorrad Japan Ignite Straight Six Project

In the past year, four known Japanese customizers have put the BMW R nineT spectacularly in show with their outstanding creations. By now, the project ‚Ignite Straight Six‘ follows, being created one more time by Japanese customizers. This conceals two radically modified BMW K 1600 GTL with six-cylinder engine of a displacement of 1649 cc.

Another two leading Japanese customizers, Kenji Nagai of Ken’s Factory and Keiji Kawakita of Hot-Dock Custom-Cycles, where in charge of interpreting the K 1600 GTL’s six-cylinder engine a completely different way.

The only retained relations to the original bike are engine and frame, and, in the case of Keiji Kawakita’s creation ‘Juggernaut’, the BMW Motorrad Duolever front suspension. Kenji Nagai’s creation named ‘Ken’s Factory Special’ relies on hand-made aluminum girder-type front forks raked out in chopper style using a modified headstock. The K 1600 GTL’s original full fairing was replaced by a small aluminum front cowl housing the headlight and the stock rear subframe and seat were replaced by a low positioned aluminum seat.

Kenji Nagai: ‘At first I had a bagger style in mind that grew out of the tourer image. But simply transforming a tourer into a bagger was a bit too obvious a choice. So I thought of a different approach. I settled on the digger style. The long, thin digger style would make the in-line six-cylinder engine look even more prominent.’

The illusion of a dramatically low seat height and narrow motorcycle is enhanced by the use of a 23-inch front wheel and a 20-inch rear wheel. More nicely manufactured details made from aluminum like covers for fuel tank and radiator or handlebars are completing Kenji Nagai’s artificial craftsmanship.

Keiji Kawakita’s ‘Juggernaut’ is a complete contrast by way of its dark, masculine stature. There’s no sign of minimalism here and the loud and proud appearance makes ‘Juggernaut’ rather looking like a synthesis of Mad Max metal and Jules Verne’s imaginations.

A skeleton of aluminum tubing broadens the naked K 1600 GTL’s chassis and instruments at each side of the fuel tank fit neatly with the military look. Reminiscences to the BMW Motorrad GS range are the dual fog lights and the front trail-like beak.

It’s a monumental feat and the desired custom finish was, according to Keiji Kawakita, inspired by history: ‘I found an old photograph of the cockpit of a convertible that looked like something from the near future, and I got the idea of making a bike that had that kind of atmospheric feel. Looking at the front forks and Duolever suspension, I thought I could do this with the K 1600 GTL. But the actual work was long and hard, a tough job to handle. Even when I finished, I still wasn’t really sure whether the work was complete. But that’s the thing about customizing, isn’t it?‘

In a spectacular way, project ‚Ignite Straight Six’ continues the engagement and the ideas of the customizing scene in the land of the rising sun. BMW Motorrad can’t wait to see the impetuses both the new creations are giving and what kind of new projects the future is going to bring.

More information on the project ‘Ignite Straight Six’ is available on