Launched in 2006 in Australia as a custom motorcycle shop, Deus Customs has become a global lifestyle brand synonymous with the grease-smeared, denim-clad cafe bike culture. Though their bourgeoning empire has expanded to a line of clothing, bicycles and coffee bars, the core of what they do still revolves around motorcycling, Their recent Boundless Enthusiasm Bike Build Off event was held simultaneously on four continents, at their locations in Sydney, Bali, Milan and Venice Beach. The rules were simple: make the most with the least; the entry must run (i.e. kick over and idle); must be rideable (i.e. roll under own power); display creativity in design or construction; display ingenuity in design or function.
The US winner? A scrappy little machine that excelled in all of the criteria, Bixby Moto‘s Death Dealer II. The components are all salvaged scrap, from its Honda Z50 (Mini Trail) frame found in a dumpster to the GY6 engine from a crashed Chinese scooter. The project went from junk to genius in a mere five days of wrenching, welding and sweat.
The resulting roughshod assemblage of misfit parts, ingenuity and tongue-in-cheek humor rebelliously resists categorization. It’s a 180cc scootercycle with an automatic CVT transmission, a broken Rebel exhaust and a spartan sidecar. Most of the original frame was discarded, scraped or cut off. Anything not salvaged or gifted was built from scratch. Not only does it embody the spirit and aesthetic of the Deus event, it hauls ass, reaching 75mph. Total budget: $158.
At the end of a video making an appeal for votes in the Deus “Global Peoples Choice Grand Champion” competition that wraps up the Build Off, Bixby partners Andrew Hopkins and Brody Cox note that the Death Dealer II was, “conceived as a lighthearted joke.” They state that it’s “an anti-cool guy, have fun and enjoy life project.” The video itself does a good job of showing the mischievous, playful attitude behind everything Bixby does — it’s hilarious.
Bixby Moto specializes in street-legal 125cc monkey bikes. Between these and their customs and racers, Hopkins and Cox have carved out an interesting niche somewhere between the worlds of custom bikes, Ruckuses and the variations on older Hondas that are starting to become popular.
Voting for the Deus “Global Peoples Choice Grand Champion” competition runs through November 17. See the Death Dealer II and other entries here.