Electric shock: Deus team up with Zero for their first electric bike build

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This world-first, one-off Zero, created in collaboration with custom bike experts Deus ex Machina, has been built to shine the spotlight on the leading electric bike brand as they unveil their 2021 line-up.

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The café racer-style machine is not only the first factory-commissioned Zero custom but also the first electric bike Deus have built. It’s based on the range-topping Zero SR/S sportster as introduced earlier this year with the transformation by acclaimed fabricator Michael ‘Woolie’ Woolaway who says the idea for it was to be a track-only, modern/retro with top-spec components sourced from World Superbikes.

"It’s the first electric motorcycle I’ve been involved with but I’ve always been intrigued. When I met the Zero guys and got a good look at the bike. I thought ‘You know, man, that bike is the perfect platform to build something with’ because there’s no gas tank, this trellis frame that’s beautiful and everything else comes off so it’s a blank sheet," he said.

"I wanted to do something old and new. Old shapes that I grew up with and new technology – and I wanted to build a bike that wasn’t necessarily street legal because that’s what I love doing.

Deus custom Zero SR/S dash

"I shaped the bike by hand. It was all very organic. I didn’t have any drawings. No computer work. Just foam and shaping tools, the old-school way. It’s all carbon fibre for strength and for stiffness. The main body ended up weighing seven pounds before paint.

"I really wanted to build a race bike and it quickly became clear we were going to be able to get a set of Showa factory-spec World Superbike forks and shock and carbon fibre wheels.

"I removed the foot brake and we installed a custom thumb brake. I just wanted to highlight the fact the bike doesn’t have any foot controls. It doesn’t have a ‘shifter’, doesn’t have a foot brake and because it doesn’t have a clutch lever that can now become the brake. I just wanted to highlight the fact that this is not a normal bike. It was a great experience. I hope everybody likes it."

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Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.