TAK­ING IT TO THE SOURCE

Cycle World - - Cw -

Un­like most peo­ple’s vis­its to Deus Ex Machina’s Venice head­quar­ters, my first stop isn’t the cof­fee bar but the gray door around back. Be­hind it lies mas­ter builder Michael “Woolie” Wool­away and his two shop dogs, Bowie and Gigi. Woolie has been build­ing café rac­ers since be­fore they were cool, and his bikes are cre­ated with a del­i­cate bal­ance of beauty and brawn. Cu­ri­ous for his take, we asked him to take a break from the Hy­per he’s build­ing for next year’s Pikes Peak In­ter­na­tional Hill Climb (347 pounds full of fuel, 180 hp at the rear, and no trac­tion con­trol, and I get to ride it next week) to talk pro­duc­tion café rac­ers:

“Whoa, man, this thing is pretty [look­ing at the BMW]!” Woolie ex­claimed. “It’s crazy how good BMW’S de­sign team is; they just don’t miss a thing… well, al­most. That snoot of an air in­take I’ll never un­der­stand. You know I de­signed a bike for them once, and their only piece of crit­i­cism was that it was miss­ing that snoot? I was like, yeah, it’s for a rea­son.

“Se­ri­ously, though, we keep talk­ing but that thing just keeps catch­ing my eye. It’s weird see­ing it next to our build­ing and the Tri­umph and your hel­met be­cause it shows how blue the white re­ally is; it’s so unique.

“Over­all, though, I’d still pre­fer the Tri­umph. I know peo­ple give it crap for the fake fins or fuel in­jec­tors that looks like carbs, but I think they did a great job with both of those and ac­tu­ally like them. I pre­fer the mo­tor con­fig­u­ra­tion and the stance for sure; it’s just way more ca­pa­ble.

“Be­tween the two, I’d opt for the Thruxton to do a café racer build on. Strip it down and cut those ex­haust lugs and the gauges and ev­ery­thing else you don’t need, and give it some spe­cial treat­ment vis­ually and per­for­mance-wise, and that thing would be in­sane!”

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