Need proof that “retro-influenced” isn’t code for “puny”? Try standing in earshot of the Deus Ex Machina Boodaak. Its 650-cc single cylinder emits a scenery-shaking declaration that it’s more than just another nostalgia-drenched café racer. (Boodaak is derived from the noise an engine makes as you roll on and off the throttle.) While its swept-back handlebars, exposed framework, bullet-style tank, and forward-leaning stance certainly nod to the stripped-down 1960s motorcycles that Euros raced from café to café, its racing-spec engine is built to move.
Yanked from a Honda XR650R, it brings the bike to 120 mph with a single piston that pounds out a ton of torque. Handcrafted over 500 hours by Deus’ Michael “Woolie” Woolaway, the one-of-a-kind Boodaak is a two-wheeled work of art. It represents a new class of custom café racers, and bike shops from Williamsburg to West Ventura are taking cues from Deus’ classic café style and building big-muscled, ultra-exclusive rides. The Boodaak and its brethren are meant to race—and are snarling, smoke-belching proof that bespoke can still be bold. [us.deuscustoms.com]
Photos by Ted Emmons