As I started to write this blog I came to the conclusion that I am not a motorcycle guru. Don’t get me wrong, I love to ride and love my custom bike’s that I ride everyday. I dig everything about getting out on the open roads with my bros and winding it up, just so I can wind down. I get that. But when I need to get the straight dope about custom bike’s and why we do what we do, I go to the source, Mr. Jennings. Point in case we have just finished a build on a Suzuki DR650, not your typical donor bike. So, this morning I gave him a ring to ask the questions most wouldn’t…
10am Sydney, Aus Wednesday morning:
Us- State your full name and age.
Him- Allen Dare Jennings, and I’m 61, wait, yep 61.
Us- Wait a second I thought your name was Dare?
Him- Wait, who is this?
Us- It’s Tyler Mars.
Him- Tyler, I should have known. Yes, Allen is my first name and Dare is my middle as well as my grandmother’s maiden name.
Us- Wow, I did not know that about you Dare.
Him- Well, that’s why you ask the good questions.
Us- Thanks for the vote of confidence. Ok, lets do this.
Us- You’re a fan of music and were in the business for a bit, what bands do you hear now that tickle your fancy, if any?
Him- Well, you know I’m a huge Tom Waits fan and a massive fan of C.C. Adcock, I really like the soggy yet funny style he does. It’s the ‘True Blood’ style of music, good ole southern blues. Music you can sink into, so to speak.
Us- Where were you when the idea for Deus Ex Machina came about? And when did it become a reality for you?
Him- Well, probably around the 2000 era, after I sold Mambo. I found myself bored, but felt I still had a few tricks up my sleeve. I really like the surf culture, but feel it takes itself way to serious sometimes. I love motorcycles and being a child of the 70’s, I wanted to combine both genres. It became a reality when my good friend Rod Hundwick, who already has a few motorcycle shops in Sydney, asked me what I thought about what he was doing. I told him I did not care for that style of motorbike. He asked me to show him what style I did like. So, off to Tokyo we went to look at stripped down styles of custom bikes. From that trip, the birth of ‘Deus Ex Machina’ came about.
Us- How is it working with the legendary, D.Hump?
Him- Well, we met in Bali and he was already doing custom bikes as a hobby under the name ‘Hiro’ and we figured that we should join forces, work and learn from each other. And so it began. It’s great.
Us- And, now the question we’ve all been waiting for. Why the Suzuki DR650?
Him- The whole idea was based around what was being done with the Yamaha SR400. The DR650 is a simple big motor and frame; it’s probably the biggest single cylinder four stroke out there. The bike is very adaptable. Once you strip off all the plastic, you find a frame and engine that is prime for customizing. They have power. They look great when stripped back and done up our way and they’re fun as hell to ride.
Us- You a Black Sabbath man?
Him- I saw Black Sabbath in 1978. I liked the music and the theatrics, but I would not call my self a card-carrying member.
Us- If you could drink martinis with anyone, who and what would you talk about?
Him- (laughs) That’s a loaded question. I seldom drink martinis, but when I do, it’s with you. We normally talk music and vintage rock-n-roll t-shirts that are in closet.
Us- Good times…
Us- What was the first bike you ever owned and what is your favorite bike you own now?
Him- Oddly enough it’s the same thing, a 1942 Harley Davidson. It’s not the same bike from my younger days but the same model, a foot clutched, suicide shifting iron steed I bought off a local hoodlum in my town. I read Hunter S. Thompson’s book about his times with The Hell’s Angels when I was living and working on my family’s farm. And, like so many of that generation that experienced or read something that opened their eyes to something new, not in their current life… well, that was the beginning for me, and I never looked back.
Us- Any words of advice for up and coming fabricators or entrepreneurs?
Him- It aint no way to make lots of money, but you can have one hell of a good ride with lots of creative outlets.
Us- Well that’s it folks, everything about the DR650 everyone wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask…
Oh wait, one more thing… we got our mitts on a 1997 Suzuki DR650 and stripped her down to skin and bones. We pulled the engine apart to clean it up and gave it a wrinkle black HD finish, custom oil cooler, custom reverse cone exhaust with alloy tip so you can hear her coming down the road. Added a custom Deus tank and seat combo, CRF suspension, custom tins front and back, Tk black 350-18 wheels with Heidenau tires, KNN air filter, slick little speedo, bullet turn signals, custom chain guard and Ventura street tracker handlebars. So the question at hand is… can u dig it brothers? We think you can. See you on the streets…