This custom Deus x Zero electric motorcycle is a carbon fibre beauty

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Ever since Deus Ex Machina revitalised and reinvented a motorcycle sub-culture to the western world, they have remained at the cutting edge of “cool”, seemingly one step ahead of trends, or at the very least adding a very specific brand flavour.

This time it’s (now ex) Deus fabricator Michael “Woolie” Woolaway who has applied his talent to not a thumping single, but a Zero Motorcycles SR/S—an electric motorcycle. 

It’s easy to be cynical, and this could’ve turned out to be some kind of kitsch, retro steampunk, or cyberpunk undertaking but it isn’t, or rather hasn’t turned out to be like that at all. Instead it’s managed to be electric without shouting “Hey everybody, look how different I am!” which was never going to happen given the basic proportions of the bike. 

Woolie has kept the fuel tank in place and the front cowling is reminiscent of most bikes from the 1970s. In fact there are quite a few classic design cues all the way around the bike and this is what helps us to connect and identify with it. 

I really like the fact the the fuel tank shape is there, after all the bike needs to be ridden, and the tank is an important part in making sure the rider has proper control. All too often electric concept bikes “of the future” virtually remove the tank to once again, show that it doesn’t need one to operate, forgetting the ergonomic and human factor. 

Sure there are a few pieces Woolie has added not through extensive testing and development but simply because he thought it was cool such as the winglets with end caps created from a winglet from a formula one car. That’s ok, this bike isn’t about commercialisation, it’s simply a design expression and very much in keeping with the way Deus do things.

There are also interesting collaborators along the way who have helped made the bike what it is such as engineers from Lockheed Martin, Glen from Zero Gravity who crafted the windscreen, and Paul Taylor from Taylor Made Racing who did all the carbon work.

The bike goes to show that retro and electric can mix without it ending up as a contrived brand mash up. It works.

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