Deus Red Grinder: hardtail simplified

Dailies, Galleries -


Have you ever seen a cleaner hardtail than this modified Kawasaki W650 from Deus Ex Machina? It’s not until you view the seat and rear fender top down in the 47-image gallery below that you really appreciate how ridiculously simplified this bike is. There’s literally nothing extraneous anywhere on it, but Deus is still able to hide surprise-and-delight touches like the speedo tucked in just in front of the seat.

Even while being pared to the bare basics, the bike still has room for dramatic visual features like the swoopy exhaust pipes (this thing will be loud) and the fork-mounted mirror. Note how the chromed-spring in the girder front end is mirrored by the chrome seat-support springs, all contrasting the black frame and front-end.

Deus had planned some elegant, but fussy tank badges for the Red Grinder, but at the last minute discovered they didn’t fit. We think that’s a good thing, interrupting the clean, smooth lines of the tank would have unnecessarily complicated the look and interrupted long, easy caresses. Is it wrong that we fetishize custom bikes like this?

Instead, these badges are destined for a Grievous Angel that’s on it’s way to New York. We’ll flog it when it gets here.

Deus bolt-on hardtail W650
21″ front and 18″ rear alloy polished rims stainless steel spokes
Girder springer front fork
Front and rear brake drums
Custom fittings: blinkers and mirrors
Solo seat pan – custom leather by John Pissani
WM™ polished battery box
Hight tension cloth leads
4.5 inch head light
Custom fab led tail light
Custom fab billet foot pegs
Struted rear steel rear fender
Alloy front fender
Modified Triumph T120 fuel tank
Upside down W style bar chrome
Internal micro switches, brass plated
Daytona electronic speedo with idiot lights
Slash cut baffled stainless steel Performance exaust system
Soda blasted engine
Polished engine covers
730 cc big bore kit, Wiseco™ piston
Ported and flowed head cylinder
Performance mild camshaft
Dynojet stage 2, K&N filter with brass plated covers
Black satin powder coat frame and hubs
8 coats of red from Dutchy

Built with care and expertise by Jeremy Tagand, Deus head mechanic.

  • UrbanRider

    Oooooh nice. Deus tapping Falcon on the nose?

  • pauljones

    Beautiful bike, but I can’t imagine riding one around for more than half an hour or so. Hardtails, well, let’s say that we learnt at an early age that those can be a little rough when we got our first bicycles as kids. I would imagine this being more of a conversation piece and occasional bar hopper, as opposed to anything else.

    And yes, I freely admit to being spoiled by the advent of rear suspension. I may not be a hardcore biker like my grandfather was on his old hardtail back in the day, but I am a hell of a lot more comfortable when I do ride.

  • seanslides

    It’s beautiful, but it’s looks a tad bit long. I would’ve massaged the battery box a little bit and moved it up to make room for the back wheel. Scoot that wheel up about six inches, and you would be looking at pure sex on wheels.

    • seanslides

      Maybe just moving the back wheel inboard of the frame would do it. The proportions just look a little wonky as it sits.

  • rustycb450

    Nice looking bike. Wish I could see the gallery. Is anyone else having issues seeing photos in the gallery since the new website design went live? It keeps crashing FireFox.

    • Wes Siler

      Make sure you’re using the latest version of FF. If you are and continue to have issues, email info@ with your specific problem and browser/OS details and we’ll look into it.

  • telekom

    Don’t like. The tail looks like it’s been tacked on from a completely different bike – in fact the side view pictures actually look like a bad photoshop montage. I don’t think it gels, and let’s face it, there’s a reason why the speedo is usually in front of you rather than under your balls. Very nice paintjob though. I think Deus have done much more appealing stuff – this looks poorly thought-out.

  • Liquidogged

    Ho-hum, another sumptuous art bike that looks like a pain in the ass to ride. Wes, you seem pretty excited by how stripped down the bike is. What’s interesting to me is that the biggest movement that popularized stripping unnecessary things off bikes did it to increase the functionality of the machines – cafe racers taking crap off their bikes in the pursuit of speed and handling. Removing useful things from a motorcycle to reveal the elemental beauty of the design is an interesting exercise, but frankly it’s been done before, better, by Deus and others, multiple times. The basic shapes of that bike that are so beautiful – the upright engine cylinder, the springer front end, the spoke wheels and hub brakes – those are what make the bike gorgeous, but Deus didn’t design any of that. It shows restraint and taste to build this bike, but ultimately it’s not that original.

    The bottom line for me: the premium placed on form over function isn’t very exciting. It also doesn’t seem like that much of a challenge for such a highly-rated custom shop. You might not like the chrome and flake style coming out of OCC, but does this bike really RIDE any better than those? At the end of the day it’s a high-priced discussion piece for rich people who probably don’t care much for carrying speed into a corner. That’s fine, to each their own, but it is soul-achingly boring.

    • Wes Siler

      Unlike OCC and its ilk of customs created entirely for (questionable) looks, Deus are actually enthusiastic about functional bikes.

      While a hardtail will ALWAYS reduce function dramatically and aren’t my bag at all, they won’t have made this bike to be merely a stationary showpiece.

      Actual engineering goes into Deus bikes, that girder front end will work very well, the frame will have been designed specifically to instill some ride and handling back into the hardtail design, the engine will be smooth, reasonably powerful with that big bore kit and always start on the first push.

      Is this the most practical or fastest bike ever? Of course not, but it’s built to be ridden, not simply considered.

      • Liquidogged

        Point taken, but when it comes to hardtails, I have to seriously doubt their enthusiasm about functionality. But like I said below, I haven’t ridden it, so maybe I’m horribly wrong.

        I wouldn’t expect a bike like this to be incredibly practical or the top dog in a roll-on comparo. I get that it’s not totally useless. And it does look nice. I just think it would be a lot more interesting to see this kind of design work put into something that didn’t use antiquated technology just because it looks cool. I’d like to see Deus tackle a first gen GSXR. Or how about a ducati 750ss a la the wrenchmonkees?

      • ferrix

        If placing the speedo in the rider’s crotch is their idea of function, I’d hate to see their non-functional design.

  • Liquidogged

    … and by “carrying speed into a corner” I mean “doing anything with a motorcycle besides talk about it.”

    • brutus

      what “useful things” did they remove? I think this bike has the best of both worlds. Clear, simple design, a reasonable price tag, bored out and stripped. They simply want to show off the function of the original bike while still making it very rideable. I’m sure it would be an absolute blast to ride.

      • Liquidogged

        rear suspension
        real mirrors

        It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be bumpy, and you’re not going to have a great view behind you (or ahead of you at night, if the looks of that headlight can be judged.) If that sort of thing is your cup of tea then rock on. Doesn’t have much real-world functionality for me. And I do not expect it’d be that much fun to ride. Maybe I’m horribly wrong. Of course since it is an expensive custom, I’ll never get to ride it so this is purely an intellectual exercise.

  • Mark D

    As far as hard-tails go, the steering geometry and riding position actually look almost…normal. While its certainly no commuter or tourer, just the fact that they used a modern W650 engine is enough of a nod to practicality to make this a cool little runabout. That W650 pushrod engine is a gem.

    • Mark D

      Check that; apparently its a shaft-driven SOHC design. Weird.