Zero Motorcycles and Deus ex Machina have joined forces to create the first fully customized Zero Motorcycles SR/S. The SR/S was introduced in February and immediately garnered accolades for its elevated design and extended range over its naked street bike sibling, the Zero SR/F. This build marks a significant landmark as Deus’ first electric motorcycle and last Deus build from the iconic custom fabricator, Michael “Woolie” Woolaway
WOOLIE: Yeah, so the zero bike build is the first electric motorcycle I’ve ever been involved with and I’m on any level. And I have always been intrigued. And when I saw them, when I met the guys out at Pike’s Peak, and really sorta 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 really. And there’s this trellis frame that’s beautiful and everything else comes off and there’s nothing there. So in my mind quietly, I was thinking, you know, I’d love to do something with that bike because it’s a blank sheet of paper.
ZERO: So when you first rode it, what was it like? How would you explain it to somebody that’s never ridden electric? How does it differ from a gas motorcycle experience?
WOOLIE: It’s so different riding an electric motorcycle than a gas powered motorcycle because it’s obviously silent and the power delivery is instantaneous and I’m a hundred percent, it just delivers pure torque right off the bottom. And it’s exhilarating. I mean, honestly, I think that it’s shocking to probably anybody that hasn’t ridden one the first time they get on it, I would imagine they’re somewhat shocked just how powerful it is and how quick and how nimble, but also fairly graceful, you know, it’s smooth.
ZERO: Every time I show somebody one of our motorcycles for the first time, they usually come back laughing, like they’re audibly, laughing as they pull the motorcycle back in, because it’s just so different with no clutch and no gears is just that blows their minds. So. Awesome. Tell me about the general design inspiration you took for the bike.
WOOLIE: I wanted to do something kind of old and new, old shapes that I kind of grew up with and, and new technology and I wanted to build a bike that wasn’t really necessarily street legal because I just feel like, that’s what I really love doing. And I thought that it might help lend to a better end product. I just reached back into like sort of old shapes and I started out with like kind of a really old shape. And then as I came back through the motorcycle, I kind of transformed it into something, what I consider to be fairly modern. The way I shaped the bike was just by hand, when I started with the gas tank and, and just worked from there forward to the fairing and then from there, back and from there down and it was all very organic. I didn’t have any drawings. No computer work, nothing like that. Just, foam plastic, shaping tools and, measuring tools and transfer tools and kind of the old school way. I did it like really the way that it would have been done in the thirties or forties or, you know, early fifties for sure.
ZERO: That’s amazing. I thought for sure you would have started with some kind of sketches or CAD. Tell me about, the materials that are used in the body work and you, you described the design process, but, I, when I was there to pick it up, I noticed it was just, it was built in two very simple pieces. It’s very simple as far as how it comes together. Do you want to speak to that a little bit?
WOOLIE: It’s all carbon fiber core mat honeycomb for strength and for stiffness in certain areas. The whole thing attaches with four bolts and standard bolt positions. We molded three pieces to the bike. And the one, the main body kit, ended up weighing seven pounds before paint, it’s a pretty complicated piece to make, very sophisticated carbon fiber layout. We actually had two engineers from Lockheed Martin come down on a weekend, they love to do this kind of thing, but they looked at the shape and at the whole application of it and they kind of spec’ed out the material layout for the project.”
DEUS & ZERO Full Interview here ZERO Motorcycles
Images Courtesy of ZERO Motorcycles