The Lovers’ Land trip blends surfing with the riding of motorcycles, which isn’t quite the springsuit-and-gloves combination it may seem. Surfing shares a bloodline with motorbike culture just as it shares one with skateboarding, as illustrated by the works of Bruce Brown (see below), although the two pursuits have split ways in recent decades. While there aren’t many Harley’s with boardracks, though, there is an active subculture of surfer/gear-heads chasing the need for speed on both water and asphalt. The bikes built for Lovers’ Land come from Deus ex Machina, a Sydney shop run by Dare Jennings. The lifelong wave-rider and former surf industry heavyweight sees little distinction between his dual passions.
“They’re both just fun. I hate narrow-minded notions of ‘I only do this, I only do that.’ Surfing suffers from that, where people feel that in order to be a real surfer they need to surf to the exclusion of all other activities.”
His brand of bespoke motorbikes takes inspiration from a 1950’s design throwback born in, of all places, Japan – land of the new and the modern. Sitting on Kawasaki W650 and Yamaha SR500 bodies, the bikes have a drawn-down aesthetic and a simplicity of form that allows for hands-on customization.
“You could go and buy a far more sophisticated piece of technology,” Dare says of his shop’s products, “but in this current era of fuel-injection and water-cooled systems, it’s very hard to go in and make any changes.”
Dare draws a connection between this class of motorcycle buffs and the surfers who explore new twists on old or out-of-the-box board designs.
“They’re happy to find these other boards, and aren’t interested in riding the cutting edge. It’s people finding their own level, finding what’s fun, rather than being told that this or that is what they have to ride.”
Coverage of Deus’ bikes, and the surfers who ride them, continues daily at www.LoversLandBlog.com