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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Deus Ex Machina “Sevenish” Custom Makes Use of W650 Engine



The engine in the Kawasaki W650 (since upgraded by Kawasaki to the W800) is perhaps the most correct replica of a traditional British parallel twin, which even incorporates a kick starter. Makers of finely crafted customs, Deus Ex Machina, have taken a W650 as a starting point to create the “Sevenish” for a Hollywood stunt pilot.

The Sevenish is a dirt track-style, minimalist design incorporating top shelf components.  Beringer brakes, Ohlins fork (a converted off-road unit), and fine details (many provided by Rizoma, such as the turn signals and rear view mirror), result in a light, clean design that, according to Michael Woolaway of DEM handles superbly.

Here is what DEM has to say about the Sevenish on its website:

Kinda, sorta, maybe the seventh bike to roll off the rack in Woolie’s Workshop, The Sevenish is the latest bike that’s been brought into being by Deus Ex Machina’s US Motorcycle Design Director, Michael Woolaway. A bit about the name—Although the total number of finished builds out of Woolies Workshops numbers eight or nine, this bike has the very distinctive “007 Woolie” stamp pressed into its steel skeleton, meaning it’s a full frame-up, Deus Ex Machina manufactured, custom build: about as Deus as a bike can get. Combine that with the fact that the build was commissioned by motion picture helicopter pilot Fred North, who just happens to have done aerial film work on several Bond movies, and the name The Sevenish finds clearer focus. Don’t let the wishy washy nomenclature fool you, though. The Sevenish, much like its owner, is incredibly precise in its purpose. And it is without a doubt incredibly fun to ride.

It’s a full competition dirt track set up that’s super light and handles extremely well. It’s planted. The seating position is very forward, right at the base of the tank. There’s a lot of ground clearance. The tires are dirt track racing spec. “The Sevenish spins up the tire accelerating in first gear, loves to back into turns and slides into stop signs. It’s really really fun to ride,” says Woolie. With only about two-ish people in the world that can attest to that, we’ll take his word for it.

Woolie’s Workshop would like to extend a very special thanks to:

– Ed Sorbo at Lindemann Engineering
– James Elliand at Rizoma USA
– Pierre Vallaincourt at Works Performance




  1. rg500g says:

    Meh, I ride a 1971 BSA (it does not stand for “Bastard Stopped Again” contrary to the haters) Lightning and honestly I don’t miss a thing. Added oil filter, anti wet sump valve, Shorai battery, electronic ignition and sleeved the Amals otherwise bone stock and actually quite reliable. No shortage of character, Quite comfortable (just don’t cruise above 5000 RPM), 90+ MPH verified (not by Smiths clock), and it actually can stop well (well, well enough). There’s a buttload of these bike out there still, and the parts availability is stupid common. BSA chocked their global warehouses so full of stuff, and died so fast, I’m still getting NOS parts handed to me in the original BSA wrapping dated 1971. Rubber stuff is dirt common also. This particular bike is likely anomalous (and I do undertake aggressive preventive maintenance) but I really don’t see the value of he new stuff that’s wanting to be retro. You get retro engineered experience in modern metallurgy and electronics, but in terms of the whole package, I don’t see the quantum difference that merits my $.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I’ll bet you are one of those guys that thinks vinyl still sounds better. 🙂

  2. donniedarko says:

    This is hipster lust. i hate hipsters. i live near the deus shop in Venice. they build spec customs and charge what we could do for 7k they sell to dummies for 19k. The redundant v neck shirts, pudding lid helmets and man-law breaking tight jeans, with a fresh M ratings on their drivers licenses. Somehow these guys also think they can surf. Dangerous to ride around on the street, and hazards in the water. Super douchey at best but hey whatever.

    But then Im a Ruff Rider jack ass because I ride a sport bike, but as it seems I always to be the guy in most gear, when Ive gone into Douch Ex Machina to get some of their coffee. Sorry I find riding in Chuck Taylors and open face helmets stupid. I wish they would all go away. But the road is for everyone aint it

  3. EZ Mark says:

    Flat Track bikes always look good.

  4. Doc says:

    I kind of like it but to be honest I like my original 2000 W650 better. And my bike has more character than the current Boneville will ever have.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “And my bike has more character than the current Boneville will ever have.”

      that’s a bold statement.

      • Scotty says:

        Backed up by a a few pretty experienced road testers at the time. The W650 just fely more lively, lighter, and even looked more in proportion. It lacked the name, thats all. And names don’t mean a lot sometimes.

      • Doc says:

        Not really. I’ve owned 2 W650s and have looked at the current Bonneville many times closely in the showroom. Never rode one but I would put my stock Kawasaki against a stock T100 anytime as far as looks and character go. And the quality of the ride, you know, pushing all the right buttons. My bike does that. Nothing against the Bonneville. Good bike. But as a total package, I think my W650 fulfills the need better.

  5. Provologna says:

    I’d kill for this bike. Maybe only a bug, but still, I’d kill for this bike!

  6. Provologna says:

    I wonder if possibly the Japanese refuse to sell us something so elementally and spectacularly beautiful simply because, by comparison, it eliminates the marketing angles for all the other ugly bikes they bring us. IOW, they’d have a hard time selling all the other bikes.

    • joe b says:

      to answer your question, its because the Japanese have to pass standards set by your government, that this ‘special’ does not adhere to. If the maker of this bike had to put a giant airbox to quiet the inelt, a giant muffler to quite the exhaust, fenders and lights to conform to road legal standards, how beautiful/ugly would this be now? Also, anyone can make a special, with a high price tag, and have one person buy it, but once that bike is sold to a wealthy buyer, now what. If they made 10,000 of them, they would not be ‘special’ anymore. Again, this styling was popular in Japan about 15 years ago, where were you then?

  7. Frank says:

    I had one of these a few years back. Ran the snot out of it. Nothing ever broke. Stripped the tank, painted it black.
    Got the thumbs up and “nice restoration” just about every time I rode it.
    The reason I sold it ? The counterbalanced engine was “sterilized” to the point of having about as much caricature as a refrigerator compressor.

  8. Halfbaked says:

    The left side looks pretty good too. Did somebody make absolutely positively sure the fork bottoms out before the fender makes contact with the tire. It’s amazing how many things they can get right on a build like this and then screw it up with pipe wrap.

    • todd says:

      Did you not see the o-ring tell tale on the right front fork leg? Looks like there may still be room left. Remember, this is a modified off road fork, meaning they shortened the springs but not the tubes…

  9. takehikes says:

    Now this I would buy.

  10. Ed Chambers says:

    To me this is what a motorcycle should look like.The reasons the big boys don’t and can’t build bikes like this is they have to add just about everything that has been stripped off this bike.I.E they need EPA compliant intake and exhaust,DOT compliant turn signals mirrors and fenders that work and then they might as well put passenger pegs on .

  11. Bob L says:

    Wow! How sweet is this? I just bought a low-miles, stock Yamaha SR500 and it gives me the same tingle, styling-wise. The SR is actually affordable too.

    • Jim H. says:

      I built an SR500 streettracker some years ago. It was really fun to ride, and bunches of people indicated that they would love to have something like it. I do agree that something simple, styled like this bike, would sell in this country. I am a Kawasaki guy, so this motor in a Kawasaki product would be awesome, but, I would also love to see Yamaha do something similar with their 700cc single motor. Both companies seem to have at least a bit of a grasp on how to make a simple bike free of the “mass-produced”, plastic disease from which Japanese manufactures usually suffer. My SR was purely for fun, and lacked anything that could be described as an amenity. Electric start, a reasonable seat, and the slickness of a factory build would make this something I would buy and keep for the long haul. Probably wont happen, as I am sure guys like me will continue to be victims of market research.

    • BlackCayman says:

      I had an SR for years! Lease expensive bike I ever owned and one I remember fondly.

      I wish I never offloaded it for a couple of hundred bucks – I would do it up just like this if I could

  12. TomS says:

    Give me the bike and no one gets hurt.

  13. joe b says:

    no one here seems to realize this style of design was very popular in japan about 15 years ago, all one has to do is look at old magazines to see it.
    more silly that some even comment the Japanese don’t know about it.
    who is the fool?

  14. Gronde says:

    It amazes me the none of the big motorcycle companies can’t get it right but the little boutique builders know what the market desires. We just can’t afford the bikes that the smaller builders produce ($$$). The big factories could probably build the same bike as above for about $8,000 and sell a ton of them. I guess the big builders are addicted to plastic and extra doo-dads that add nothing to the motorcycling experience. I guess we should just be content to expect the same old crap from the big factories while the little builders temp us with the possible…

    • pistoldave says:

      Well, people ‘SAY’ they desire bikes like this, but i would imagine that at one time or another, every major manufacturer has been burned by building something out of the box, and then watching all those cool bikes sit on the showroom floor unsold for 3 years until they get firesaled at 80% of invoice.
      I think that majority of people looking to purchase a motorcycle may be tempted by narrow focus specialty bikes like this, but when it comes time to plunk down their hard earned cash, they end up buying something that is more livable day in/day out.
      In other words, this bike would be a second or third bike for a lot of folks who can only afford 1 bike. If the big guys were TOTALLY clueless about what the public wants, I think they would have went out of business a long time ago.

      • soi cowboy says:

        Kawi brought the w650 in back in the 1990s. It was basically a countermove to the triumph twin. Maybe if they had made the intro some other way, the bike would have been accepted. The problem with retro bikes is that they cater to an older demographic, and older guys want their windshield and bags.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Can’t say I’ve seen any windshields or bags hanging off of the Bonnevilles or occasional V7s I see in these parts.

        • sliphorn says:

          The W650 was offered for sale BEFORE Triumph had their new Bonneville.

        • paul A says:

          Older guys have all the money, just ask Harley.

          • Bud says:

            That front brake looks way too modern for the rest of the bike. I’m not sure about the upside down fork either.

          • Bud says:

            Oops, that was meant to be a new comment, not a reply.

        • Gronde says:

          The Kawi 650 was OK but didn’t look the part. Aesthetics really count in this segment of the market. Either you get the look right, or suffer in the sales department. It’s not rocket science but the idea of building an attractive, lightweight retro surely eludes the big factories.

  15. Krisd says:

    Deus is owned by one of the founding gurus from a hip surf clothes label called Mambo- he sold out of Mambo, made a motza, and started Deus. His first shop was here in Sydney, and rumours quickly got around about a unique small range of custom bikes he was building. He then combined his shop (bikes are still the primary product) into a full blown restaurant and added Deus clothes. So its a very cool 360 experience.
    Orlando Bloom from Lord of the Rings, apparently has about 3 Deus bikes,and there are a few other stars that have bought them. Now Deus has stores in California, Italy, and Indonesia, with further expansion plans…..

    • Gutterslob says:

      Actually, surf boards were his primary product. Motorcycles came in just after that. First bike builds they offered had ‘holders’ for boards on the sides. They still make some models in that style, I think.

      Deus are one of my favorite builders. Sadly, their prices have been inflating upwards since they opened in the States and the Hollywood celebs started buying their bikes.

  16. Michael says:

    The ones here finding something to complain about are the same ones that complained Cindy Crawford had a mole……….

  17. skybullet says:

    Wow! A bare essentials bike like the ones we used to build for ourselves in the 60’s and 70’s. I really, really think one of the main line mfg’s should build a version of this bike. They would probably be shocked at the number that would be sold in lieu of the plastic clad, do-dad laden, more is better (but is just more of the same) imitation bikes they continue to offer. Try simple, clean, light, all around performance for a change.

  18. kjazz says:

    So sweet….!!! Oh….wait a sec. WTF!!!!??? Why did they put that stupid looking front fender on there…..!!?? Really…..?? Jeezzzz.

  19. TF says:

    Heart, be still……

  20. Karlsbad says:

    What’s left to be said, That is simply a beautiful motorcycle crafted by insanely talented artists.
    Cheers to all involved.

  21. mickey says:

    Pretty cool!

  22. John Bryan says:

    Dear Hinckley Triumph design staff – look at this bike, especially the tank and the proportions of the exhaust system. Look at them again. And again. And again. Now go build the new Bonneville street-tracker (please use tubeless tires – inner tubes are a pain!) before I’m too old to ride.

    PS you can make the 1+1/2 style seat an option if you like…the seat on the current base model Bonnie is just fine.

  23. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Love that little front fender..

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