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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Deus Ex Machina

Latin for: God from the Machines.  Come on now.... you didn't think that you were going to escape without learning something, did you?  Apart from the micro Latin lesson, what am I blathering on about?

Today, I've done a 350 km round trip to and from Auckland to meet with Philip McDaid, Chief Examiner of the Institute of Advanced Motorcycling NZ.  No, not another riding test; just helping with some admin.  Philip suggested that we meet at Deus Ex Machina cafe, which is where the monthly IAM Sunday rides depart from.  Apart from vaguely knowing the cafe had something to do with motorcycles, I had no idea of what to expect.  That (under)statement is a bit like saying that Mike Hailwood was a mildly talented motorcycle racer.......  crikey - what a place!!  More on that in a moment.

I set off from Coromandel early on a stunning winter's morning - brilliant sunny skies, virtually no wind.  Life was so perfect that I decided to take a partial back-road route to Auckland.  Bad move - ran into fog along the twistiest, narrowest part of the route which lasted until reaching the Auckland Southern Motorway. One of those horrible, soaking fogs and the temperature dropped to not far above freezing.  No big deal in the scheme of things apart from a lot of stupid cagers travelling at a fair lick without lights on.  The run up the motorway was in sunny, warm conditions and the moderately heavy traffic was perfect practice for a country boy like me where 2 cars in a row constitutes a traffic jam. Felt quite comfortable in traffic riding assertively with no stupid behaviour by either yours truly or the rest of the motoring public.

Deus Ex Machina is in a converted warehouse complex and an easy walk from the centre of Auckland, although there's ample parking right outside. I met Philip outside as we'd arrived at the same time.  Walking through the unremarkable industrial sliding doors, I must have looked just like one of Dr Who's assistants on seeing the inside of the Tardis for the first time - stopped dead in my tracks with jaw wide open which amused Philip no end!!!  The place is seriously BIG with the cafe at the front, clothing and motorcycle merchandise in the middle and at the back through a glass wall, the large workshop where the most wonderful custom motorcycles are created.  Hard to describe them (patience.....you'll see some in a minute) but if pressed, they look like someone who is heavily into Steam Punk might have had a hand in their design.  If you don't know what Steam Punk is, look it up on Google Images. Being a blinkered old rural fart, I'd never heard of the term until our adult daughter went to a Steam Punk party a few weeks ago. Perhaps their specials have a bit of Mad Max thrown in too. But wait, that's not all!   There aren't conventional tables in the cafe area, there are raised areas with stools round them and classic motorcycles in the middle - sure beats a vase of flowers hands-down, doesn't it?

Thank you for your patience - you will now be rewarded with some pictures.  Hope you think they were worth waiting for (click to enlarge)!

The first two "common" bits of machinery inside the door! Sigh.....

Merchandising area

Racks of seats and polished alloy bits - bike porn par excellence

The workshop

More workshop

I'd kill for any one of these....

A gorgeous Honda 50cc twin - sublime engineering

Not the World's Fastest Indian but....

How rare would this MV and Ducati be?

Vincent 1000 - got deep pockets?

BSA Gold Star - wet dream on 2 wheels

Deus Ex Machina specials

Another Deus Ex Machina special

The next few photos show part of the dining area with the bike centrepieces......

Ducati centrepiece

Harley single cylinder centrepiece

50cc (yes, 50cc!) MV replica, my helmet

Stunning Norton Commandos

A couple of Deus Ex Machina customer bikes outside

To show all the photos I took would take pages but you get the drift with respect to what an amazing place it is.  NZ has a population of around 4 million.  Where on earth do all these bikes come from as there are collections a bit like this of rare machinery dotted all round the country and quite often, they're just sitting in people's sheds - utterly mind-blowing.

Having concluded the business with Philip, who should walk in and introduce himself but Ross Mackay, esteemed Editor of Kiwi Rider Magazine.  He was out testing the new Victory bike shown below.  Another Kiwi with a boring working life! Heck of a nice guy too with a brilliant sense of humour.

Ross' boring life!

Arse end of Ross' boring life!

Well, that was one heck of a winter outing and one that I won't forget for a long, long time.  Special thanks to Philip and Ross for helping to make it so memorable.  The trip home was also wonderful in warm, sunny conditions and getting home at 4pm with a huge grin and still fizzing a few hours later!

 Wilson Bay, Coromandel on the way home - solitary fisherman

That's my last post for a while as we'll be away celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary at the end of the week.  As I've mentioned previously, Jennie and I take turns organising a secret destination - normally only revealed at the airport check-in counter or similar.  It can cause some complications, I'll tell you, but great fun!  It's Jennie's turn to be Secret Squirrel this time.  See ya!

23 comments:

  1. Geoff, congrats on 39 years together - a great achievement in these times!

    What a great store Deus is with some seriously exotic machines on display. I think that they have a place like that in Sydney, but as far as I know Melb only has a clothing / merchandise outlet.

    Cheers Jules.

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  2. Wow geoff that 'Goldie' is crying out for clip ons and solo seat and a place in my garage! a machine to kill for....apart from kick starting the sod!

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  3. Incredible images Geoff, definitely caused a stirring in my boy bits! Deus bikes are awesome, thanks for sharing those great pics.

    Congratulations on the 39 years of marriage! Have an awesome time on your anniversary trip!

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  4. Very nice machines, love the "Deus Ex Machina specials". Congratulations on the 39th :-)

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  5. What an amazing place is the Deus. I can well image how jaws drop when entering.

    And congrats on 39th anniversary. Wonder where she is taking you? I am sure you will love it. How could you not? You'll be with your lady love.

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  6. I admit to have done the droolworks first, before digesting your posting. Vincent, BSA, Norton... Awesome stuff! Whom do I have to kill to get one of those? I can totally relate to the Dr Who reference...

    Congrats to 39 years! I wonder where Jennie will take you this year.

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  7. Happy anniversary - you are going to an airline check-in counter? Maybe you are flying to England....

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  8. Cheers Jules! I can'r wait to get up again and do some really serious exploring of their machines. And yes, they have some rally nice clothing and bags for sale. Must remember for birthdays.

    Dylan: A workmate had a Goldie and he dreaded going through town, slipping the clutch and fouling the plug. Like you, I'd still kill for one though!

    Anthony: Thanks mate. I can't wait to get back up there and explore some more. Maybe we'll end up in Aussie - who knows???

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  9. Thanks George. now all I need is to win the lottery and I'll be up there the same day putting my order in.

    Trobairitz: The weird thing is that Deus don't market themselves prominently. I guess the serious people simply get to know about them. Thanks for the good wishes - it'll be fun wherever!

    Sonja: Yep, the bling on display wouldn't take much to make a person go to the Dark Side! I've been a Dr Who fan ever since I was a teenager so the description is particularly apt.

    Nikos: We're only away for 11 days so I'm picking south of the Equator!

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  10. Crikey - amazing machines! (Although that Victory that Ross is riding is a bit of a monstrosity!)

    Happy anniversary - hope you enjoy the secret location!

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  11. Got to agree on all counts Sue! Reckon the total value of the collection must be in the millions.

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  12. Loved the Dr. Who reference!

    Enjoy your Holiday and congratulations on your anniversary.

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  13. Keith:
    Didn't realise that Dr Who was popular in the US too - absolute gems of storytelling; both scary and moving.

    Thanks for the good wishes and best wishes back to you for a rapid recovery. I think some one was looking out for you as it could have had a rather different ending. Take care....

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  14. Hi Geoff. As others have said congrats on 39 years together. Quite an achievement these days ;-)

    DEM looks like a 'must see'. I'll certainly be putting my head in the door.

    Cheers mate and have a great trip wherever you end up.

    Dave

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  15. Cheers Dave! So you didn't know about DEM either!
    Clearly Auckland's best kept secret!!! Maybe we can use it as a meeting point in a few weeks for a ride.

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  16. Happy Anniversary! Congratulations and I hope the trip is great.

    Were there any Phasma in Machine in Deus Ex Machina? Looks like a great place to spend many any hour.

    -Lori

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  17. Thank you Lori! Guess I'll have to publish a few photos if it's a cool location - which it's bound to be.

    I hope not, although anything's possible with the weird stuff they have there! Still have to see the movie as the review I've seen is good.

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  18. Congratulations. Nice photos and machines.

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  19. Thank you Carlos - it's a great place to visit.

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  20. Happy Anniversary and I like that cafe.

    On that comment about the "Not the World's Fastest Indian but...." They should really dump the motor and just put peddles on the thing. It'd go faster. :->

    I was surprised to see your friend Ross with an American Victory. We can't get that clown company to get it together in the US. How did they get coordinated to get a bike there to NZ?!

    I'm now working on a comparison of a Victory I test rode and a Triumph Thunderbird. Should be done in a day or so.

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  21. Interesting article and excellent photos. Looks like a great spot to visit.

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  22. Thanks GP! I'm continually amazed at the amount of exotic machinery which lives in a country with a population of 4 M.

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  23. Hi nwroadrat!

    Cheers! You make an interesting observation about Victory. I didn't have much time to talk with Ross about his impressions but I look forward to his test. He did make a passing remark about the Victory falling a bit short in some areas but whether these were serious or niggling, I don't know.

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