Is the fire coming from the disco, or the Taco Bell?
Deus Ex Machina and Zero Motorcycles just unveiled Deus’ first-ever, all-electric custom build, and it’s a pretty gorgeous looking bit of kit. Based on the Zero SR/S, legendary customizer Michael “Woolie” Woolaway says he came up with this entire design completely by hand—no computers necessary. The end result is a thoroughly intoxicating mix of new tech and timeless design, inextricably intertwined.
Not only did Woolie opt out of computer designs, when discussing the project with Zero, he said he didn’t even use drawings to work out what he was going to do.
“I just reached back into sort of old shapes, and I started out with kind of a really old shape. And then as I came back through the motorcycle, I kind of transformed it into something I consider to be fairly modern,” he told Zero.
“The way I shaped the bike was just by hand, when I started with the gas tank and, and just worked from there forward to the fairing and then from there, back and from there down and it was all very organic. I didn't have any drawings. No computer work, nothing like that,” Woolie continued.
“Just, foam plastic, shaping tools and, measuring tools and transfer tools and kind of the old school way. I did it like really the way that it would have been done in the thirties or forties or, you know, early fifties for sure.”
Just because you’re using a classic design approach doesn’t mean you can’t also use modern materials, though. That bodywork is all carbon fiber, and involved no less than two engineers from Lockheed Martin collaborating on its design. It also sports Showa WSBK-spec suspension components, carbon fiber Dynamag wheels, and a custom thumb brake from Spain. There are also no foot controls whatsoever on this bike, which must take some getting used to for riders of modern piston bikes.
Other choice touches include a hand-blown windscreen from Zero Gravity, as well as little aerodynamic winglets that sprang forth from a repurposed Formula One winglet. Add in some decals that reference both old and new universal high voltage warnings, and you have a finished piece that’s exquisitely modern while also conveying a sense of visual timelessness. It might be a bike that couldn’t technically have existed until 2020, but those lines have been here forever, just waiting to be drawn out of the ether and given solid, rideable form.
Sources: YouTube, Zero Motorcycles